BrowseAloud is a piece of software which makes websites more accessible. For example it can highlight and read text aloud as well as translate pages into other languages.
There are nine icons on the toolbar, they are from left to right:
- Hover to speak
- Speak the current selection
- Translate page
- MP3 maker
- Screen mask
- Text magnifier
Hover to speak
This tool will read out loud each sentence you hover over. It will then continue, sentence by sentence, until it reaches the end or you close the tool. When using the ‘Hover to speak’ or ‘Speak the current selection’ tool, if the text magnifier is ‘on’ in settings, the text you will hear will also appear magnified at the top of the page. As you hear each word, it will be highlighted, making it easy to follow.
Speak the current selection
This is similar to the ‘Hover to speak’ tool. The difference is that this tool will highlight and read out loud the text you have selected. If you don’t select text, it will read out the entire page.
This tool translates the text on the page to different languages. When you click on the tool, a drop down box will appear with a list of languages to choose from. Choose a language and it will translate the page using Google translate.
This will create an MP3 sound file which you can download and play on your MP3 player, smartphone or computer. You will need to select the text you want to convert into an MP3 file, then click on the tool.
The screen mask highlights a rectangular section of the screen to help people with some forms of dyslexia or learning difficulties. There are two options for this tool which you can change in the settings menu.
- The ruler darkens the rectangular section and is like reading a page using a ruler to follow line by line.
- The letter box is the reverse: the rest of the page is darkened and the rectangular section is lighter. This helps you focus on a few lines of text so the rest of the page is less distracting.
The text magnifier is at the top of the page and you will be able to hear the text read out loud. You can change the size of the magnified text in the settings menu from a choice of five options.
This tool will strip out all the distracting menus and boxes from a page, and leave just the article. It is useful for reading long pages of text as well as printing pages. You can also use the ‘Text colour’ features in ‘Simplify mode’ if you prefer a different background colour.
If you want to make changes to any of the tool’s settings like text size for the magnifier or voice speed for the read out loud tools, you can do so in Settings. You will need to click on the save button once you’ve finished making changes.
This button provides a quick list of the features described on this page.