Reading on-screen text can be challenging for many people with visual impairments and comprehension issues. Fortunately, assistive technologies like page readers and text to speech (TTS) apps convert text into audio to make interaction with digital content more accessible.
What is a page reader?
A page reader, also known as a screen reader, is a technology that assists people in interacting with digital content, such as applications or websites, using audio or touch. Page readers are mainly used by blind people or those with severely limited vision, although people with reading difficulties due to dyslexia and ADHD can also benefit from screen readers.
Page and screen reading tech provides information and allows people to navigate menus, headings, icons, files, dialogue boxes, and folders. It uses HTML alt text descriptions to describe images. Users can change the speech speed or language as needed.
The page reader works with the computer’s operating system to read aloud what is on the screen, and some page readers can be used with Braille display.
How does a page reader work?
Page readers use a text to speech (TTS) engine to interpret on-screen information into audible speech. TTS software can be an app built into the page reader or a device that plugs into the computer. It can also be a standalone app installed as a browser extension to translate browser text. They are useful in assisting people with dyslexia or comprehension difficulties.
A refresh-able Braille display is required for users who need information in Braille. This device has rows of cells in the shape of Braille characters, and the Braille characters update as the on-screen information changes. Both outputs can be used independently. However, Braille translation is usually used with speech output.
Using a page reader
When you first start using a page reader, you’ll need to learn keyboard shortcuts or touch gestures. After learning a few commands, it is possible to grasp the essential interaction. On the other hand, users will need some time to become familiar with the advanced features for confident interaction.
The benefits of a page reader
Page reader software offers a whole host of benefits. Here are a few of them:
Web page content is made more accessible. People with literacy difficulties, learning disabilities, and reduced vision can now access digital text with the help of a page reader.
It helps prevent eyestrain. Reading from the screen, especially for long periods, can affect your eyesight.
It is excellent for learning a new language by helping you to improve your listening skills.
It can accommodate people with different learning styles. Some people are auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learners—and TTS software caters to auditory learners.
It helps to improve reading when following along with the text while listening.
It supports multitasking. You can do other things while listening since there’s no need to hold anything or remain stationary, depending on your listening preferences.
Page readers you can try
There are several text to speech software available. Here are some of the best ones:
Read Aloud is an impressive TTS Windows app that reads web pages, documents, news, e-books and own your content out loud. Its standout features include in-app dictionary support, a pronunciation corrector, and multi-language support. It allows you to control the reading speed, pitch, and volume and supports Microsoft Word, EPUB, TXT, and PDF file formats.
NaturalReader allows you to upload a text or a document for online text to speech conversion, or you can change text into an MP3 file. It has 100+ natural voice styles to choose from and allows you to modify the pronunciation of any word. NaturalReader supports the most widely used file formats, including EPUB, RTF, and PPT.
You can use NaturalReader by installing the Chrome Extension via most browsers, including Safari and Firefox, or install the desktop or mobile app.
Brailliant BI X
Brailliant BI X Braille display is the first to include text to speech capabilities. It offers English, Spanish, and French voices, with plans for voices in other languages. Using BI X, you can connect to Wi-Fi to download and read books.
The Brailliant BI X Braille display series has two options, BI 20X and BI 40X. The BI 20X is a portable 20-cell refreshable Braille display that connects to your mobile device. The BI 40X is a future-ready 40-cell refreshable Braille display that uses Bluetooth technology and can simultaneously connect to several devices.
Speechify is the No. 1 text to speech reader in the App store, with over 20 million downloads. This powerful software allows you to control the reading speed and listen to text in high-quality natural-sounding voices with an accent and language of your choice.
Using Speechify, you can convert most text files, including Google docs, and listen to text from popular messages and social media like platforms WhatsApp and Facebook. Speechify also uses optical character recognition (OCR) technology to convert pictures of your text into speech.
Speechify—A powerful TTS software
Speechify is a top-rated text to speech app. It converts the text in your browser to speech via the Google Chrome extension, and you can also install the app on your mobile Android or iOS device as well as the desktop app on Windows or Mac.
How do you get a page to read to you?
You can get a page to read out loud using text to speech software.
Is there an app that can read pages?
Several apps can read web pages, including Speechify and Read Aloud.
Is there page reader in Chrome?
Page reader chrome browser extensions include Natural Reader, Capti Voice, Read Aloud, and Speechify.
What is the difference between a page reader and a screen reader?
There is no difference between a page and a screen reader. Both convert on-screen text to speech.
Where can you get a page reader?
Page reader apps are available from the Google Play Store and App Store. Alternatively, you can enter a Google search for “best text to speech apps.”
How do you make a page reader?
You can use a text to speech app to read out loud your on-screen text.
Is there a way to read pages without downloading a reader?
You can install the Google Chrome extension version of the page reader software if you prefer not to download the app.
Does a page reader have a voice?
Most page-reading apps have multiple voices, languages, and accents for you to choose from to listen to the text.