The best alternative to scanning pens

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    Scanning pens can help individuals with dyslexia. However, when it comes to scanning, there are other options too. So, let's explore them.

    The best alternative to scanning pens

    Scanning pens, such as the C-Pen Reader, are quite valuable for individuals with dyslexia. However, due to various reasons, you might want to opt for something different. Let’s examine some alternatives to scanning pens and how they can help you.

    Scanning pens and their top alternatives

    As we’ve briefly mentioned, scanning pens represent a valuable tool for people with dyslexia and other reading disabilities. These pens allow you to listen to text out loud instead of reading it. And it all works in a pretty simple way. You simple scan the text with the scanning pen, and it’s read back to you in a digital-sounding voice. These pens are rather handy since they fit right into your pocket, which means you can use them anywhere.

    There are different types of scanning pens made by different brands. However, a rather popular choice is the C-Pen Reader. In addition to reading the scanned text out loud for you, the C-Pen Reader also offers word definitions to make the whole experience more accommodating. Another popular choice is the C-Pen Exam Reader pen which provides a similar service.

    While scanning pens are helpful gadgets, it’s good to know that there are other alternatives as well, so without further ado, let’s get into discussing other forms of assistive technology that can aid you in your reading experience.

    Natural-sounding text to speech

    A stellar alternative to reading pens is AI voice generators. These apps use text to speech technology in order to read your text out loud to you. Unlike scanning pens, most text to speech can read your text to you in very humanlike voices.

    One such app is Speechify which is particularly convenient for its simplicity and functional nature, as well as the fact that it’s specifically catered to individuals dealing with reading problems. Text to speech apps are also even more practical than scanning pens since you can simply use them through your phone. For example, Speechify has both an android and iOS version, so you can use it on your mobile device wherever you go. You can also opt to use it on Mac and Windows too. Additionally, Speechify can read all types of files, such as docs, emails, articles, PDFs, and physical documents. In fact, it can read copies of photos by using the photo scanning feature that essentially allows you to use your phone for mobile scanning.

    It’s also much more practical and multi-use than scanning pens. All you need is your phone and a pair of earphones, and you’re all set.

    Portable wand scanner

    A wand scanner is similar to a scanning pen, albeit with a different design. It’s simple and practical and comes with a protective case. However, what sets it apart from a scanning pen is the fact it can also download scanned files for later.

    IRIScan™ Desk 6 Dyslexic

    The IRIScan™ Desk 6 Dyslexic is a great assistive device for anyone experiencing reading difficulties. This device uses text to speech technology and is able to read any document out loud for you. This includes Word documents, PDFs, web pages, various text files, as well as scanned documents. It also makes it easy for you to read and listen simultaneously. Additionally, it’s compatible with different USB cables.

    Dyslexia Toolbox

    The Dyslexia Toolbox is a toolkit for dyslexics provided by Reading Rockets. It allows the user to take pictures of any piece of text and have it read to them. In addition, this app also allows you to create messages, emails, and all types of texts using a type pad feature that uses word prediction software. It’s also easily accessible and can be used on apple devices such as an iPad or iPhone, and it also works on Android. At $14.99, it’s a relatively cheap option too.

    Prizmo

    Prizmo is a scanning app that allows you to scan and recognize all types of text documents and images. This is a concise secondary alternative to other, more complicated apps, and you can use it in combination with an AI voice generator for your reading difficulty needs. The app price can vary depending on the version.

    Microsoft Office Lens

    Microsoft Office Lens is a handy app that allows OCR (Optical Character Recognition) scanning, which enables you to scan physical documents. The results are usually OCR formatted, and the app itself is free. It’s a good choice for Microsoft Office users.

    SwiftScan

    SwiftScan is similar to Microsoft Lens. However, it does have extra features and is a very versatile app compared to other scanning apps. It has both an iOs and an Android version and allows you to edit your files, create custom folders, sync them to your Cloud, and organize them with a smart naming system. For Android, the monthly price is $5, while the iPhone app is $8.

    Adobe Scan

    With Adobe Scan, you turn all types of printed texts into digital texts, be it travel documents, business cards and related documents, school reports, and so on. The app itself is free, but the premium version costs $10 a month. And with the premium version, you can get extra storage and export your scans to Excel and Word files.

    Apple Notes

    This app is an apple user exclusive app, and it’s rather simple and straight to the point. It allows you to scan all kinds of files and save them to your iCloud. Additionally, you can access your files through other devices. And, for a free app, the OCR it performs is actually pretty decent.

    Scanner Pro

    Scanner Pro is another free scanning app for iOS, and you can use it on your iPad or iPhone. It has pretty stellar scanning skills and scans all types of documents, which you can then export. Just like the previous few apps, it’s not a dyslexia-centered app, but it can be a great help to individuals with reading difficulties nonetheless.

    How to use Speechify for your OCR needs

    As we’ve mentioned briefly, Speechify has a feature that allows you to essentially scan pages of physical documents, study materials, or more and turn them into machine-encoded text that an AI voice can read aloud to you. It’s pretty much ideal for all your OCR text recognition needs and is an irreplaceable tool for people with reading disabilities.

    With Speechify, you can also mark and follow the text as you listen to it, functioning as a digital highlighter and making the whole experience more fruitful for both learners and business people alike. In addition to that, Speechify has a vast collection of different language options, such as French, Spanish, Chinese, and so on. So, you don’t have to settle only for English. Try Speechify for free today to see how it changes your reading experience.

    FAQ

    Which pen is best for scanning documents?

    The C-Pen Reader is one of the best pen scanners on the market, if not the best one. Additionally, PenPower WorldPen Scan Go is also a good document scanner pen.

    What is the best pen for reading?

    When it comes to reading pens, the IRISPen Air 7 is a great choice.

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

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