Side-by-side comparison of features, reviews, pricing and more
Category: Text-to-Speech (TTS) Software
Industries: Software Development
Home Annual License (U.S. Only) $95/year
Student Annual License (U.S. Only) $90/year
Home License $1000
Professional License $1285
90-Day Timed License $250
Category: Text-to-Speech (TTS) Software
Industries: E-Learning Providers
Speechify is the #1 audio reader in the world. Get through books, docs, articles, PDFs, email – anything
you read – faster.
“Speechify is absolutely brilliant. Growing up with dyslexia this would have made a big difference. I’m so glad to have it today.“
Sir Richard Branson
JAWS is my eyes. I’ve been using JAWS since 2001, and it has helped me wonders, right through my educational period at college up till now in my professional life as a computer instructor to blind learners…”Salman Khalid – Lahore, Pakistan
is a computer screen reader for Microsoft Windows that enables blind and visually impaired people to read the screen using a refreshable Braille display or text-to-speech output. The Blind and Low Vision Group at Freedom Scientific creates JAWS. A study of screen reader users conducted between May and June 2021 by WebAIM, a provider of web accessibility services, revealed that JAWS was the most widely used screen reader globally, with 53.7% of respondents using it as their primary screen reader and 70.0% using it frequently . Both Windows 10 and Windows 11 as well as every iteration of Windows Server since Windows Server 2008 are supported by JAWS. The software is available in two versions: the Home edition for private use and the Professional edition for usage in business settings. Standard, the previous name for the Home edition, was only compatible with personal Windows operating systems. Prior to JAWS 16, Standard was also available in a free DOS version. The user can utilize programs without the default Windows controls and programs that weren't created with accessibility in mind thanks to the JAWS Scripting Language. With JAWS, you can use keyboard shortcuts and verbal feedback to operate all of the main Windows operating system features. The majority of applications maintain these shortcuts as consistently as they can, however because to the extremely large number of functions required to efficiently operate current computer software, end users must memorize numerous unique keystrokes. The user has virtually complete control over virtually every aspect of JAWS, including all keystrokes and variables like reading speed, the level of granularity needed to read punctuation, and tips. Additionally, JAWS has a scripting language that may be used to automate procedures and change the behavior of the application in more intricate ways . When a browser is active in the forefront, the software activates a special mode made just for web browsers. When navigating a website, JAWS initially announces the page's title and the number of links. The control key can be used to pause speech, the up/down arrow keys are used to traverse through lines, and the tab key is used to switch between links and controls. The next or previous element of a certain type, such as text boxes or check boxes, can be reached by pressing a specific letter on the keyboard. JAWS can similarly access headings in Word and PDF documents . It has been noted that the JAWS feature set and configurability are "complicated," and it is advised that users, such as site designers undertaking accessibility testing, receive training to prevent drawing incorrect conclusions from such testing.
PowerTalk will need a fairly powerful PC or laptop to run it. It requires PowerPoint 2000/ 2002 and Windows 2000 or Windows XP, as earlier versions do not provide the necessary support for events required by PowerTalk. Unfortunately the freely redistributable PowerPoint viewer is 'stuck' at PowerPoint 97 so it cannot be used. When you first run the software you should open PowerTalk. ppt. This is a sample presentation that describes the project, demonstrates the narration capabilities and allows the user to try out presentations with ease. So to the software itself. Every now and again one finds a piece of software that actually does what it says on the packet. PowerTalk is a prime example. To hear PowerTalk reading a presentation, waiting for animations to arrive before it continues and reading the 'alt text' behind a graphic, was astonishing. It even waits for you to advance the slideshow, before continuing its reading. When the next slide appears, the narration continues � automatically, without any further user intervention at all. If you have included any animation effects (eg flying bullet points), PowerTalk waits until each animation effect is complete before continuing. The voice was a fairly typical 'computer voice' � although I understand that future releases will include a GUI (Graphical User Interface), which will allow the user adjust the settings � I found it to be the tiniest bit fast and you would need to know your way around the Control Panel to make alterations. The voices supplied with PowerTalk are Microsoft standard -perfectly acceptable and quite intelligible. The installation is long� on our test machines here at Ford it took about ten minutes, and they are quick machines! But then there is a lot of software to load, as I mentioned earlier. If you do exactly what the Installation Wizards tell you (they are very clear and easy to understand), the package will install and work first time. Something of a rarity these days. Packaged with PowerTalk is the text of the General Public License and a file called Powertalk. ppt � a demonstration presentation highlighting some of the features. To run a Powerpoint presentation, simply write it as you would normally (but remembering to include your 'alt text' !), then open it using the Power Talk 'open file' dialog box. And Robert, as they say, is your relation by marriage ! (Ed. Bob's your uncle!) Overall then, I thoroughly recommend this software, to anyone who has difficulty speaking and needs to give Powerpoint presentations � and remember, it is absolutely free !Steve Lee
PowerTalk is a free program that automatically speaks any presentation or slide show running in Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows. You just download and install PowerTalk and while you open and run the presentation as usual it speaks the text on your slides. The advantage over other generic 'Text To Speech' programs is that PowerTalk is able to speak text as it appears and can also speak hidden text attached to images. Speech is provided by the synthesised computer voices that are provided with Windows 7, Vista and XP, and other voices are available. PowerTalk uses PowerPoint supplied with Microsoft Office to show the presentation. Features. Aids you if you have difficulty speaking or you have an audience that contains people with sight problems (visual impairments, low vision or blind) or who have dyslexia; Helps you access presentations when there is no speaker and you are partially sighted; Creates engaging school activities such as reading stories created by students; Simple to use as you just select a presentation and it runs in PowerPoint as usual; Speaks the text on any presentation and uses standard Windows speech; Waits for text to appear and animation effects to play before speaking; Will speak hidden 'alternative text' for pictures, graphics shapes and text; Lets you add instant narration to presentations without the need to record speech; Is a useful tool for testing presentation accessibility when using a screen reader; Is mature with 1000s of downloads and several reviews from people who have found it useful; Free (gratis - as in 'free beer'). No purchase, registration or adverts, you just download and run it; Free (libre - as in 'free speech'). The Open Source Licence guarantees you the freedom to make copies and to alter its behaviour; Is listed on DMOZ and on Google web directories; Anyone can contribute to the project and developers will find it is a SourceForge project; Is an example of Open Source Assistive Technology Software, or OATS. Find out more on the Fullmeasure.co.uk home page. Is a featured project in the OATSoft Open Source Assistive Technology Software project which brings the benefits of Open Source software to Assistive Technology users; Using PowerTalk. Opening Presentations. NB! - some people are experiencing errors when opening a presentation from the PowerTalk file dialog. Please right click in explorer and select 'Narrate with PowerTalk'. There are a number of ways to get PowerTalk to narrate a PowerPoint Presentation (.ppt / .pptx file) or Slide Show (.pps / .ppsx file): Note: ppt and pps files are identical except for the ppt/pps part of the filename, the difference being what happens when they are opened. A .ppt file may be be saved in PowerPoint as a .pps file or else a .ppt file can be simply renamed as a .pps. Open a Slide Show. See below for details. Right click on a Presentation or Slide Show and select 'Narrate with PowerTalk'. Drag a Slide Show file onto a PowerPoint program shortcut. Browse to a Presentation or Slide Show using the dialog that appears when launching PowerTalk from the Start menu. The initial folder used may be specified using the shortcut 'Start in' property or adding the folder name as a parameter. Create a specific shortcut. Specify PowerTalk.exe as the target and the presentation file as a parameter(e.g. "C:Program FilesPowerTalkPowerTalk.exe" "MyShow.ppt"). By default PowerTalk will narrate Slide Shows when they are opened outside of PowerPoint (e.g. by double-clicking or right click and 'narrate' in Windows Explorer). Slide Show files may still be shown without narration by opening within PowerPoint or right-clicking on them and selecting 'show'. During installation there is an option to disable this feature and another option to enable it for Presentations. This behaviour may be changed at a later time by using the PowerTalk settings option in the startmenu (or as follows: open Windows Explorer (Windows key + E), select 'Tools' -> 'Folder Options' -> 'File Types', type 'PPS', select 'Advanced', select 'show' from the list (or 'open' for .ppt files) and then select 'Set Default'). Controlling Speech. Text can be entered on a slide in either a single text box or split into multiple boxes and these are handled slighty differently. The text in any single box is spoken continuously from top to bottom. Individual boxs are spoken in the order they are added to the slide. There appears to be no way to alter this and the way to force a different order is to create a new slide and copy the text boxes in the required order (hint: click on the box border and copy). Animated text is spoken in the order that the animations play, waiting for each to complete before speaking the next. However if a number of animations are used within a single text box, PowerTalk waits for the first animation only and then speaks all the remaining text. You may want to break the text into separate boxes and animate each. It is possible to specify the text spoken for images (and indeed any object including text) by entering Alternative Web Text for the image. This is done as follows: right click on the image, select 'format object' ('size and shape' in Office 2007), select the Web tab and enter the alternative text to be spoken (there may already be some alt text when images are cut and paste from web pages). If you enter a space then nothing is spoken at all. It is also possible to have text spoken that is not visible on the slide, for example to provide narration in addition to the slide content. One way is to add some text to a slide that is one or more spaces, which is then not visible, and set the Alternative Web Text to be the text to be spoken. If you have slide notes that you would like read then these can be copied to the Alternative text. Other ways to make text invisible are to drag it off the slide or set the text colour to be same as the background (and make it behind other text) and then you do not need to set the Alternative text. It can be hard to reselect invisible text later in order to change it unless you pick a consistent placement (e.g top left of slide). One way is to drag a selection rectangle over the area where it is known to be. Speech Options. The voice used and the speed of narration can be changed with the settings in the 'Speech Settings' section of Control Panel (on the 'Text To Speech' tab). There is a PowerTalk startmenu item that opens these settings. Windows XP comes with as single voice 'Sam'. The 'SAPI TTS components' download available in the Downloads section will add 'Mike' and 'Mary'. A range of additional SAPI 5.1 voices are available and examples include AT&T Natural Voices, Nuance RealSpeak, Neospeech and IBM ViaVoice The first time that PowerTalk is run you may notice a small delay as it analyses your PowerPoint and Speech API installations.
"I began using JAWS with version 3.1 or 3.3 while still at AT&T Bell Laboratories. JAWS and my career advanced together as I progressed across increasing responsibilities in a 28-year career in the telecommunications industry, then to my current role for the past 8 years as President and CEO of The Seeing Eye. As my career advanced, so did technology, going from Windows 95 to 98 to XP and finally to Windows 7. During that time, JAWS moved from 3.3 to today's JAWS 16. JAWS has always been an important part of my professional success. It's been a great trip, and it isn't over yet."
- Jim Kutsch- President and CEO of The Seeing Eye
"I'm visually impaired from birth, and could see a little and use my eye (only one) to September 2002, when my eye breaks down. My first contact with JAWS was in 1996, when I started to use Windows 95. My first JAWS was version 2.0, not translated into Swedish. I get interested about how to translate it into Swedish. So I was one of the first translators of JAWS here in Sweden. Since 2005, I work here in Sweden with translating Freedom Scientific products. I often say that translating and using JAWS is not a work, it is a way to live. Today, I cannot think how to live without using JAWS." Håkan, Sweden"I'm visually impaired from birth, and could see a little and use my eye (only one) to September 2002, when my eye breaks down. My first contact with JAWS was in 1996, when I started to use Windows 95. My first JAWS was version 2.0, not translated into Swedish. I get interested about how to translate it into Swedish. So I was one of the first translators of JAWS here in Sweden. Since 2005, I work here in Sweden with translating Freedom Scientific products. I often say that translating and using JAWS is not a work, it is a way to live. Today, I cannot think how to live without using JAWS."
- Håkan, Sweden
"I started using JAWS with Windows 3.1. I'm not sure of the version...it is all a blur! I was the voice of several JAWS tutorials including JAWS and Excel, JAWS and WordPerfect, and the first audio training material for the PAC Mate. When I do conference presentations I still have people come up to me and tell me that they learned how to use the PAC Mate with my "voice." I write books and how-to guides on accessible PDF, Word, and PowerPoint. I depend on JAWS to be able to continue doing this. As a Microsoft MVP for Word, I also test the limits of the new versions of Office as they become available. I often tell people I live on the bleeding edge of technology. I can't believe I've been using JAWS for so long!"
Nice and Easy to use.
|Easy to use with Daisy formatted basic training|
|Save time with Skim Reading and Text Analyzer|
|Surf the net with web browsing keystrokes|
|Higher Price compare to other competitors|
|Limited to Windows only|
|Speaks the text on any presentation and uses standard Windows speech|
|Waits for text to appear and animation effects to play before speaking|
|Will speak hidden 'alternative text' for pictures, graphics shapes and text|
|Supports windows OS only|
|Need a fairly powerful PC|
Speechify is one of the most popular audio tools in the world. Our Google Chrome extension, web app, iOS app, and Android app help anyone listen to content at any speed they want. You can also listen to content in over 30 different voices or languages.
How can Speechify turn anything into an audiobook?
Speechify provides anyone with an audio play button that they can add on top of their content to turn it into an audiobook. With the Speechify app on iOS and Android, anyone can take this information on the go.
Learn more about text to speech online, for iOS, Mac, Android, and Chrome Extension.
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