List of screen readers

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Screen readers are a form of assistive technology.

Contemporary screen readers[edit]

Screen reader Creator Supported platforms License Notes
95Reader SSCT Windows Commercial Japanese screen reader
BRLTTY The BRLTTY Team *nix and Windows console Free and open source (GPL2) Available to download; part of most Linux distributions
BrowseAloud Texthelp Systems Inc Windows and Mac Free for Users, Commercial
Capture Assistant Renovation Software Windows Commercial Multilanguage screen reader
ChromeVox Google ChromeOS or, with a speech processor, Linux, Mac, Windows Free ChromeVox is a screen reader for Chrome and Chrome OS.
Microsurf Microsurf Mac, Windows Free Microsurf is a screen reader for Chrome.
Claro ScreenRuler Suite Claro Software Windows Commercial Provides a "strip" or "ruler" across the screen.
ClickHear[1] gh LLC Windows and Mac Commercial Text-to-speech. Three voice options. Variable text and highlighting color options. Translates to several different languages: Spanish, French and German. Configuration settings saved per user
ClickHear Mobile[2] gh LLC Windows and Mac Commercial No software installation required. Text-to-speech. Three voice options. Variable text and highlighting color options. Translates to several different languages: Spanish, French and German. Configuration settings saved per user
ClipSpeak[3] (last update: 2009) Daniel Innala Ahlmark Windows Freeware A lightweight text-to-speech tool with a minimal user interface that speaks text copied to the clipboard.
COBRA BAUM Retec Windows Commercial Supports Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) and the Java Access Bridge.
Edbrowse Karl Dahlke *nix console Free and open source Makes a complete audio desktop, including web access with JavaScript support.
Emacspeak T. V. Raman Emacs (on *nix) Free and open source Turns Emacs into a "complete audio desktop".
Fire Vox Charles L. Chen Unix, Linux, Windows, OS X Free and open source For browsing with Firefox only (plugin)
HAL Dolphin Computer Access Windows Commercial Supports MSAA, the Java Access Bridge, and PDF. 30 day Free Trial available for download.
HT Reader HT Visual Windows Commercial Includes support for MSAA and PDF.
iZoom Issist Windows Commercial Screen magnifier with low-vision speech capabilities. Includes support for Mozilla Firefox.
JAWS Freedom Scientific Windows and DOS Commercial for Windows; freeware for DOS Includes support for MSAA, the Java Access Bridge, and PDF.
Kurzweil 3000-firefly and Kurzweil 1000 Cambium Learning Group Inc. Windows and Mac OS, iPad Commercial Text to speech which incorporates easy note taking and writing tools to support outline to editing. Supports Daisy, NIMAS, PDF, MathML, HTML and TXT.
Leitor de Telas MC / CPqD Windows Free Brazilian Portuguese screen reader. MSAA support.
Lingspeak Lingit Windows Commercial A visual screen reader, which highlights the object and text being read. Supports MSAA, Java Access Bridge (OpenOffice), per line reading from Win32 classes "Edit"(Notepad) and "RichEdit"(Wordpad), MS Word. UIA and IAccessible2 is being worked on. One-month trial version available.
LookOUT Choice Technology Windows Commercial Also available integrated with a screen magnifier.
MAGic Freedom Scientific Windows Commercial Speech magnifier with low-vision speech capabilities. It can be used together with JAWS.
Microsoft Narrator Microsoft Windows Commercial Bundled with recent versions of Windows, this basic screen reader makes use of MSAA.
Mobile Speak Code Factory Symbian OS, Windows Mobile Commercial Full-fledged screen readers and Braille interfaces that let you access your mobile phone. One-month trial version available.
Model T Reader Dolphin Computer Access DOS Freeware
NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) NonVisual Desktop Access project Windows Free and open source (GPL2) Programmed and scriptable in Python. Supports Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Word, Excel and Outlook Express, and Mozilla Thunderbird. Supports web content using JavaScript. Supports Java Access Bridge. IAccessible2 is supported.
Orca GNOME *nix Free and open source ( LGPL 2.1) The development of Orca was started by Sun Microsystems as part of the GNOME project with contributions from many community members, but since Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010, Orca turned into a completely community-driven project. It supports AT-SPI, so it works with the GNOME desktop, Mozilla Firefox/Thunderbird, OpenOffice/LibreOffice and GTK+, KDE/Qt and Java Swing/SWT applications. Though it is developed by the GNOME project, it is the most popular screen reader for Unix like systems with graphical environments other than GNOME, like KDE or Unity.
PC-Talker Kochi System Development Windows Commercial Japanese screen reader. Supports MSAA and Flash[4]
PCVoz EzHermatic Windows Commercial Available to buy or download trial. Supports MSAA.
Project metalmouth Alistair Garrison ChromeOS, or via Chrome Browser, Linux, Mac, Windows Free open source (Apache 2.0) Project metalmouth is developing a free fully functioned open source voice browser as an installable extension for Chrome. The ambition is to give Chrome users the best possible experience when interacting with a spoken web - by voice commands or using the keyboard.
Proloquo AssistiveWare Mac OS X Commercial Includes a license for Infovox iVox. 15 days trials.
ReadHear[5] gh LLC Windows and Mac Commercial Support for NIMAS 1.1 and DAISY/NISO 2005. Support for MathML-enabled NIMAS and Digital Talking Books. Additional navigation for escapable and skippable text. Easier book import. New navigation pane. SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) support. Roaming activation for greater portability. Concurrent licensing for institutions. Optimized for large books. Page-by-page display. Improved support for books on CD. Revised keyboard shortcuts and support for multi-media keys. New AT hardware support. Continuous playback without focus. Automatic update checking. Save As DAISY compatibility.
Read:Outloud Don Johnston Inc. Windows and Mac OS Commercial Incorporates reading guide for easy note taking and outline construction. Supports Daisy, NIMAS, PDF, RTF, HTML and TXT.
ReadSpeaker ReadSpeaker Holding B.V. Web-based Free for Users, Commercial Available in 35 languages and 90 voices. Device-independent and no downloads required by end-user. Synchronized highlighting of the text being read.
Read & Write Texthelp Systems Windows and Mac OS Commercial Support toolbar designed to assist users who require extra assistance when reading or composing text.
Recite Me[6] Recite Me Ltd Web-based Commercial Recite is an online software as a service system that acts as a translation layer between the user and the website.
Simply Talker EcoNet International Windows Commercial Trial download available.
SodelsCot[7] Sodels Factory Windows Commercial Spanish screen reader. Converts copied or typed text to speech in any Windows program. Includes voices in Spanish and can use others compatible with SAPI5. It can create wav and mp3 files.
SpeakEasy Media System NDU Windows Commercial Specialized suite of vocalized programs designed for ease of use
Spoken Web Eyal Shalom All Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, iPhone, iPad, iPods, Windows, Android etc.. Free Spoken-Web is a web portal, managing a wide range of online articles and content like Wikipedia articles, news updates, weather, travel and business articles.
SUSE-Blinux Novell Linux Free and open source
Supernova Dolphin Computer Access Windows Commercial Includes a screen magnifier and output to Braille devices. 30 day Free Trial available for download. Supports MSAA, the Java Access Bridge, and PDF.
System Access Serotek Windows Commercial Trial download available. Supports Microsoft Internet Explorer (including DHTML/Ajax and Flash), Outlook Express, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Skype, and Adobe Reader. No support for Java yet.
TalkBack[8] Google Android 1.6+ Opensource Use with SoundBack and kickback
TalkButton[9] Upward Spiral Software Mac Commercial TalkButton works together with Microsoft Word to create an extensive text-to-speech environment. Features include highlighting of spoken text and keyboard echo. Trial version available.
Talks Nuance Communications Symbian OS Series 60 or 80 Commercial Presentation and free Trial Version to be found on the site.
TeleTender TeleTender.org All Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, iPhone, iPad, iPods, Windows, Andoid etc.. Free TeleTender is a voice communication platform for sight impaired people, embedded with a cloud based screen reader. Users can interact with any web pages on the internet by issuing voice commands over the phone. To use it, just dial one of its access numbers.
Text to Speech[10] SpeakComputers.com Windows Freeware
  • A free program that converts written text into spoken words or even written text into MP3 files.
  • Seven programs: Text to speech: Reader, Web browser, Mini Clipboard reader, Image Presentation, Appointment Reminder, Speaking Clock, Parental Controls
Thunder ScreenReader Sensory Software Windows Freeware Supports MSAA.
Virtual Vision MicroPower Windows Commercial Brazilian screen reader. Supports MSAA.
VoiceOver Apple Inc. Mac OS X, iPhone, iPad, iPods, and Apple TV Free, Commercial Free and included with any Apple product. No installation or setup required. Available in over 30 language voices, which are also included for free. See Apple Accessibility [11] for more information.
WebAnywhere University of Washington Web Free and Open Source (new BSD) Doesn't require any software installation to run so can be used at any public terminal that has sound available - works on any platform.
WinZoom Clarity Windows Commercial Screen reader with magnifier. USB version does not require any installation and can be used on any public computer.
Window-Eyes GW Micro Windows Commercial Available to buy or download 30-minutes per Windows session demo. Supports MSAA.
Screen Access for All National Association for the Blind, New Delhi Windows Open source Last update: 2004
ZoomText Ai Squared Windows Commercial Includes a screen magnifier. Trial download available.
Screen reader Creator Supported platforms License Notes

Unfinished Screenreader Projects[edit]

Screen reader Creator Supported platforms License Notes
Screenful Screenful Team Windows Open source Concept is done. Due to problems finding skilled developers, the project is idling
The Longhorn Screen Reader Project OSSRP Team Windows Vista Open source Concept ideas have been made. Latest news said that the project had not succeeded. Whether or not they will continue or let it die is not known at the moment.
Apple Pie Project Simnix Software Windows Phone 7 & 8 Open source https://applepie.codeplex.com To help blind and partially sighted people to use a Windows Phone.

Historical interest[edit]

Screen reader Creator Supported platforms License Notes
ASAP (Automatic Screen Access Program)[12] MicroTalk Dos Commercial
ASAW (Automatic Screen Access for Windows)[13] MicroTalk Windows Commercial
Blindows BAUM Retec (formerly Audiodata) Windows Commercial Substituted by COBRA
DRACULA family Eurobraille Windows Commercial
Enable Reader Professional Speech System Enable Talking Software DOS Uncertain
Enhanced PC Talking Program Computer Conversations DOS Uncertain
Gnopernicus GNOME *nix Free and open source (LGPL 2) It was developed by BAUM Engineering, a partner company of Baum Retec AG. Used to be bundled with GNOME, but it was replaced by Orca in GNOME 2.16. Included a screen magnifier. It supported AT-SPI.
Linux Screen Reader (LSR) GNOME *nix Free and open source (New BSD License) It was an alternative screen reader to Orca lead by IBM started in 2006. However, it was ceased in 2007 when IBM focused their resources in other projects.[14] It supported AT-SPI.
Pocket Hal Dolphin Computer Access Windows Mobile PDA and PDA Phones Commercial
PROVOX Kansys, Inc. DOS Uncertain
Screen Reader Research Centre for the Education of the Visually Handicapped (RCEVH) BBC Micro and NEC portable
Screen Reader/2 IBM OS/2 Commercial
Smart Hal Dolphin Computer Access Windows Mobile and WM Smartphone Commercial
Soft Vert TeleSensory Systems DOS Commercial
Tinytalk OMS Development DOS and perhaps Windows Shareware
Virgo BAUM Retec AG Windows Commercial Substituted by COBRA.
Window Bridge Syntha-voice Computers (now out of business) Windows Commercial
WinVision Artic Technologies Windows Commercial Not officially discontinued, but there has been no further release since 1997.
Screen reader Creator Supported platforms License Notes

Software aids for people with reading difficulties[edit]

  • Penfriend from Penfriend Ltd
  • ClaroRead from Claro Software
  • EasyTutor from Dolphin Computer Access
  • EnVision: basic multi-featured Windows accessibility tool
  • Read & Write, Screenreader from TextHelp Systems
  • yRead from Spacejock Software
  • ReadPlease from ReadPlease Corporation
  • TextAloud from NextUp.com
  • Kurzweil 1000 (for the visually impaired) and Kurzweil 3000-firefly (for those with reading or writing difficulty) from Kurzweil Educational Systems
  • Read:OutLoud from Don Johnston, Inc.
  • VoiceText from Neospeech, Inc.
  • Ultra Hal TTS Reader from Zabaware, Inc.

References[edit]

  1. ^ ClickHear
  2. ^ ClickHear Mobile
  3. ^ Clipspeak.codeplex.com
  4. ^ Bob Regan, Best Practices for Accessible Flash Design (PDF)
  5. ^ ReadHear
  6. ^ Reciteme.com
  7. ^ Sodels.com
  8. ^ TalkBack: An Open Source Screenreader For Android
  9. ^ Talkbutton.net
  10. ^ Speakcomputers.com
  11. ^ Apple Accessibility
  12. ^ Wael Zakareya
  13. ^ Kenneth Frasse, GUI Access: A Comparison of Screen-Readers (Part I), Access Review (Summer 1997)
  14. ^ "Status of IBM a11y". Retrieved 17 August 2013. 

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