BrowseAloud: Assistive Technology
BrowseAloud is an example of assistive technology that
- reads aloud PDF files and text on webpages
- highlights the text that is being read aloud
- saves text that has been read aloud in mp3 format
- allows the reader to use a reading ruler to better focus on a particular piece of text
- highlights an area so that the reader can better focus on a particular piece of text
BrowseAloud (or Talande Webb in Swedish) is free of charge for the user.
To begin using BrowseAloud, you need to download the programme. This takes a few minutes. You do not need to install anything. Simply choose where you want to save the programme and then run to begin use.
When the programme is in use, a round blue icon appears at the bottom right of your screen beside the clock.
When you come to a connected website, the BrowseAloud toolbar appears.
If you want to see the programme's installations, you must click on the blue icon in the right-hand side of the toolbar or double-click on the blue circle at the bottom right of your screen beside the clock.
Change Your Settings
When you open BrowseAloud, you can change the settings so that the programme works according to your preferences. You can change, for example:
- the speed at which the texts are read
- how you want to highlight the text that will be read
- the colour of the text and the background
- the size of the text
- how the focus will work - if you want a ruler or a darker background
The changes to the settings that you make will carry over to all the websites that you visit.
How Do I Know If BrowseAloud Is Working?
BrowseAloud automatically senses which websites are connected for use with its system. The mouse pointer changes in appearance, the toolbox appears, and a yellow tick-mark appears over the programme icon.
This is how the mouse pointer looks when you are in a connected website:
This is how the programme icon looks:
You just need to point and let BrowseAloud read aloud the text.