ReadSpeaker docReader is a web based product that allows users to listen to the text of an online document, for example PDF and Word, while reading it. The service uses “text to speech” to transform the text into sound. By having the text read out loud to you, you can understand the text more easily.
When a document is opened using docReader, the user sees a toolbar with a speech button and a set of additional functionalities. When you click the “Play” button in the toolbar, the whole page will be read. Alternatively you can listen to a specific section by clicking that section with the mouse. The reading then starts automatically. docReader also offers synchronized highlighting of the text that is currently being read, on a word by word and/or sentence basis.
How to use docReader
Reading options - Read the whole page or “Click and Read”
Simply click the “Play” button in the toolbar to listen to the whole page. Use the navigation options in the toolbar to go to the next page.
You can also choose to listen to only a specific section. When you hover the mouse pointer over a section of text, the section will be highlighted in gray. When you click the mouse button over the section, it will be read. Alternatively docReader will read “from mouse position to page end” depending on what you have chosen as value of the “Select reading area by” option in the Settings page.
Functions in the toolbar
The functions in the docReader toolbar, from left to right, are:
- Previous page button – to go back to the previous page of the document
- Next page button – to go to the next page of the document
- Page navigation – drop down menu with all pages for navigating to a specific page
- Play button – to start listening
- Stop button – to stop listening
- Layout mode/Text mode – to choose if the document should be viewed in a mode that preserves original layout, or if it should be viewed in a text mode that displays the document as continuous text and images.
- Settings button – to go to the settings page
- Help button – to go to the help page
- Accessibility info – to get more information about the document
The settings menu
In the settings menu you can change how the text from the document should be presented and read. When you make a change in the settings, the new settings are stored in a cookie and available immediately.
The settings that can be changed are the following:
You can select between 5 different reading speeds to slow it down or speed it up.
Language for menus
You can select language for the menus.
Select Reading Area
You can decide what will happen if you make a click with the mouse in a text section. You can choose to let docReader read that section only, “regions”, or you choose to have the text “from mouse pointer to page end” read.
docReader offers synchronized highlighting of the text that is currently being read. You can select the type of sentence highlighting you want docReader to use. The choices are: no highlighting (deactivates the sentence highlighting), light blue, light yellow, light green and underlined.
docReader offers synchronized highlighting of the text that is currently being read. You can select the type of word highlighting you want docReader to use. The choices are: no highlighting (deactivates the word highlighting), light blue, light yellow, light green and underlined.
Text appearance *
You can choose different color combinations for the text and the background. The different options are: Black (text) on yellow (background), black on white, black on light blue, black on light pink, red on white, red on light yellow, red on light blue, blue on yellow, blue on white or blue on pink.
Font size *
You can change the size of the text in the document. The text size can be set in 6 steps.
Font face *
You can change the font of the text in the document. There are 5 different fonts to choose from; Arial, Times New Roman, Helvetica, Courier and Comic Sans.
The settings can be previewed in the preview area before saving them.
NOTE: The settings above marked with an asterisk (*) are only available in Text Mode.
The accessibility information is telling you if the document is tagged in reading order or not. Untagged documents present no information to docReader on how to interpret the document. Please read more about how to make documents more accessible at http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Acrobat/9.0/Standard/WS4A3903C4-FD2A-4ca4-A3C3-3FFEB1C7AD3B.html
To the left in the docReader window you find miniature images (thumbnails) of the pages. You can go to any of the pages by clicking on the specific thumbnail. This function is not available from mobile devices.
All the functions in the toolbar and settings are keyboard accessible using tab to navigate and Enter to enable.
Supported document formats
The supported document formats are;
- .pdf (up until PDF version 1.7),
- .doc (Microsoft Word 2002-2003)
- .docx (Microsoft Word 2007),
- .odt (Open Office)
Web browser requirements
docReader transforms documents in the supported formats into a new format that can be displayed in a web browser, and where the user has the ability to listen to the text of the document using the ReadSpeaker technology. docReader is browser- and platform independent and should work on all major platforms and in all major browsers.
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