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Tech for Learning: Text to Speech

For when you prefer to listen rather than read - can be great for proofreading your work!


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ClaroSpeak Chrome
ClaroSpeak is a Chrome app and provides a easy to use text-to-speech document reader. It
 opens in a separate pop up window and works offline.  You can open a number of document formats, including Word and pick from a selection of voices to have them read aloud. The software also has a talking dictionary. Download from Chrome Web Store. Find out more here.

Window-Eyes
WindowEyes, as the name suggests, is a Windows only screen reader which is available free to anyone who owns a licenced version of Microsoft Office 2010, 2013 or 2016. You can navigate and use your computer by just using the keyboard.
Without a valid version of Office installed on your computer, the software will run in a 30 minute demonstration mode. The program supports Windows versions from Vista through to Windows 10 and is available in a number of languages. More information and download are available here.

 

Mac - Text to Speech
This is built in to all Macs.  It enables you to have your documents and web pages read aloud.  You just highlight the text to be read and press your selected key combination. A number of human-sounding voices in different languages are available to download from Apple. The Mac can also convert selected text to audio and import it into iTunes.
Find it in System Preferences under Dictation and Speech in early versions or System Preferences - Accessibility- Speech in later versions. Find out more here.

ClaroSpeak - free app
ClaroSpeak is a reading and writing app with high quality text-to-speech. Find it here

Claro ScanPen
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Claro ScanPen is an app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch which enables you to photograph a document, then select text with a finger or stylus to have it read aloud.  It doesn't require an internet connection to do this, so it useful for times when you don't have access to a network. ScanPen can recognise text in ten languages and is compatible with Apple VoiceOver. Please see Apple App Store for up to date cost. More information here.

Prizmo Go
Prizmo Go is a free scanning app with difference.  Point your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch camera at a page of typewritten text.  Take a picture, Prizmo Go recognises the text in the picture and then reads it aloud to you, using the built-in voices on your device. It will work in conjunction with VoiceOver on your device, providing voice feedback while using the app.  Using VoiceOver the app can tell you how many lines of text are on the page, and where to position the camera. 
You can change the size of the text in the app and also import photos of text from your camera roll to be read aloud.  All the recognition of text is done on your device, so you don't require an internet connection for it to work. You can save pictures to the camera roll on your device, but you can't export or share the recognised text using the free version.  An in-app purchase unlocks this function. Find in Apple App Store

Voice Dream Reader
Voice Dream Reader is a text to speech document reader which can open a number of formats including PDF, Word, DAISY eBooks and DRM-free ePUB files.  You can also import text from web pages and other places such as Bookshare, Gutenberg, Evernote and Pocket.
The app highlights text when reading aloud to assist with tracking where you are in the document. The app uses the built-in voices on your device where available. Additional voices and languages can be added via in-app purchases.
Requires: iOS 8 or later, Android 4.4 or later. Please check Apple App Store or Google Play Store for up to date cost.

Voice Dream Reader
Voice Dream Reader is a text to speech document reader which can open a number of formats including PDF, Word, DAISY eBooks and DRM-free ePUB files.  You can also import text from web pages and other places such as Bookshare, Gutenberg, Evernote and Pocket.
The app highlights text when reading aloud to assist with tracking where you are in the document. The app uses the built-in voices on your device where available. Additional voices and languages can be added via in-app purchases.
Requires: iOS 8 or later, Android 4.4 or later. Please check Apple App Store or Google Play Store for up to date cost.

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