List of screen readers

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Screen readers are a form of assistive technology.

Current screen readers[edit]

Screen reader Creator Supported platforms License Notes
BRLTTY The BRLTTY Team *nix, Windows console, DOS, Android Free and open source (GPL2) Available to download; part of most Linux distributions
ChromeVox Google Chrome OS or, with a speech processor, Linux, Mac, Windows Free ChromeVox is a screen reader for Chrome and Chrome OS.
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".
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.
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.
MAGic Freedom Scientific Windows Commercial Speech magnifier with low-vision speech capabilities. It can be used together with JAWS.
Metalmouth Evaluera Ltd. All that run Chrome browser Free and open source (Apache 2.0) metalmouth is a simplified open source screen-reader application which can be used to read out any HTML5 web pages and interact with most HTML5 input controls. It also supports multi-tab navigation.
Microsoft Narrator Microsoft Windows Commercial Bundled with recent versions of Windows, this basic screen reader makes use of MSAA.
Microsurf Microsurf All that run Chrome browser Free Microsurf is a screen reader for Chrome
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[1]
PCVoz EzHermatic Windows Commercial Available to buy or download trial. Supports MSAA.
ScreenReader (formerly 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.
Simply Talker EcoNet International Windows Commercial Trial download available.
SpeakEasy Media System NDU Windows Commercial Specialized suite of vocalized programs designed for ease of use
SUSE-Blinux Novell Linux Free and open source
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[2] Google Android 1.6+ Open Source Use with SoundBack and kickback
TalkButton[3] 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.
Text to Speech[4] 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 [5] 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://web.archive.org/web/20100109011430/http://applepie.codeplex.com/ To help blind and partially sighted people to use a Windows Phone.

Discontinued and/or obsoleted screen readers[edit]

Screen reader Creator Supported platforms License Notes
95Reader SSCT Windows Commercial Japanese screen reader; latest version (ver. 6.0, release date unknown) has specific support for Internet Explorer 6 and Macromedia Flash 6 [6], so seems obsolete and its availability seems unlikel
ASAP (Automatic Screen Access Program)[7] MicroTalk Dos Commercial
ASAW (Automatic Screen Access for Windows)[8] 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
Fire Vox Charles L. Chen All that ran Firefox browser up to version 3.6 Free and open source For browsing with Firefox only (plugin), is not compatible with Firefox 3.6 or newer, that made it obsolete long ago
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.
HAL Dolphin Computer Access Windows, DOS Commercial Windows version was superseded by Supernova (later renamed to ScreenReader)
HT Reader HT Visual Windows Commercial Included support for MSAA and PDF. Disappeared from the price list of HT Visual [9], absolutely no other sign of it being available
Leitor de Telas MC / CPqD Windows Free Brazilian Portuguese screen reader. MSAA support. Latest info about it is from December 2007 [10]
Linux Screen Reader (LSR) GNOME *nix Free and open source (New BSD License) It was an alternative screen reader to Orca led by IBM started in 2006. However, it was ceased in 2007 when IBM focused their resources in other projects.[11] It supported AT-SPI.
LookOUT Choice Technology Windows Commercial Was also available integrated with a screen magnifier. Last mention of it is from 2003. [12]
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. The discontinuation of Simbian in 2013 and of Windows Mobile in 2010 made it obsolete.
Model T Reader Dolphin Computer Access DOS Freeware
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
Talks & Zooms [13] Nuance Communications Symbian OS Series 60 3rd and 5th Ed and Simbian^3 Commercial Presentation and free Trial Version to be found on the site. The discontinuation of Simbian OS in 2013 made this obsolete.
TeleTender TeleTender.org All Platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, iPhone, iPad, iPods, Windows, Android 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.
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]

  • Automatik Text Reader from Davide Baldini (Firefox extension)
  • BrowseAloud from Texthelp Systems Inc
  • Capture Assistant from Renovation Software
  • ClaroRead from Claro Software
  • Claro ScreenRuler Suite from Claro Software
  • ClickHear[14] from gh LLC
  • ClickHear Mobile[15] from gh LLC
  • ClipSpeak[16] (last update: 2009) from Daniel Innala Ahlmark
  • EasyTutor from Dolphin Computer Access
  • EnVision: basic multi-featured Windows accessibility tool
  • Kurzweil 1000 (for the visually impaired) and Kurzweil 3000-firefly (for those with reading or writing difficulty) from Kurzweil Educational Systems
  • Penfriend from Penfriend Ltd
  • Proloquo from AssistiveWare
  • ReadHear[17] from gh LLC
  • ReadSpeaker from ReadSpeaker Holding B.V.
  • Read & Write from TextHelp Systems
  • ReadPlease from ReadPlease Corporation
  • Read:OutLoud from Don Johnston, Inc.
  • Screen Reader from SourceBinary.com (no longer available, latest trial version can be obtained from other download sites)
  • SodelsCot[18] from Sodels Factory
  • TextAloud from NextUp.com
  • Ultra Hal TTS Reader from Zabaware, Inc.
  • VoiceText from Neospeech, Inc.
  • yRead from Spacejock Software

References[edit]