List of screen readers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a comparison of some screen reader programs.

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 ChromeOS or, with a speech processor, Linux, Mac, Windows Free ChromeVox is a screen reader for Chrome and ChromeOS. The ChromeVox Classic Chrome extension is in maintenance-only mode. The ChromeVox website has more information on the transition to the version bundled with ChromeOS.
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.
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.
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] 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 Last update 2015.[5] Supports MSAA.
VoiceOver Apple Inc. Mac OS X, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, 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[6] for more information.
WebAnywhere University of Washington Web Free and Open Source (new BSD) Does not 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.
Screen Access for All National Association for the Blind, New Delhi Windows Open source Last update: 2004
ZoomText Freedom Scientific, formerly 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 [7] 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,[8] so seems obsolete and its availability seems unlikely to change.
ASAP (Automatic Screen Access Program)[9] MicroTalk Dos Commercial
ASAW (Automatic Screen Access for Windows)[10] MicroTalk Windows Commercial
Blindows BAUM Retec (formerly Audiodata) Windows Commercial Substituted by COBRA
COBRA BAUM Retec Windows Commercial Supports Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) and the Java Access Bridge.
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.
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,[11] 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 [12]
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.[13] It supported AT-SPI.
LookOUT Choice Technology Windows Commercial Was also available integrated with a screen magnifier. Last mention of it is from 2003. [14]
Mercator/UltraSonix Georgia Institute of Technology X Window System/Linux Educational, Non-commercial More information at Georgia Tech's College of Computing Past Projects and "An Architecture for Transforming Graphical Interfaces" (1994) by W. Keith Edwards and Elizabeth D. Mynatt.
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
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.
Talks & Zooms [15] 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 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 SHARE WARE
Virgo BAUM Retec AG Windows Commercial Substituted by COBRA.
Window Bridge Syntha-voice Computers (now out of business) Windows Commercial
Window-Eyes GW Micro (merged with AI Squared in 2014, [16] acquired by VFO Group, later Vispero, in 2016[17]) Windows Commercial As of 2017, no longer available for sale.
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)
  • Balabolka from Ilya Morozov
  • BrowseAloud from Texthelp Systems Inc
  • Capture Assistant from Renovation Software
  • ClaroRead from Claro Software
  • Claro ScreenRuler Suite from Claro Software
  • ClickHear[18] from gh LLC
  • ClickHear Mobile[19] from gh LLC
  • ClipSpeak[20] (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
  • ReadHear[21] from gh LLC
  • ReadSpeaker from ReadSpeaker Holding B.V.
  • Read & Write from TextHelp Systems
  • ReadPlease from ReadPlease Corporation [22]
  • Read:OutLoud from Don Johnston, Inc.
  • Screen Reader from (no longer available, latest trial version can be obtained from other download sites)
  • SodelsCot[23] from Sodels Factory
  • TextAloud from
  • Ultra Hal TTS Reader from Zabaware, Inc.
  • yRead from Spacejock Software


  1. ^ Bob Regan, Best Practices for Accessible Flash Design (PDF) Archived 2007-03-23 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ TalkBack: An Open Source Screenreader For Android
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ King, Alasdair. "End of the Thunder Screenreader – Alasdair King's WebbIE Blog". Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  6. ^ Apple Accessibility
  7. ^ ApplePie codeplex archive
  8. ^ 95Reader ver 6.0 product information page (in Japanese)
  9. ^ Wael Zakareya
  10. ^ Kenneth Frasse, GUI Access: A Comparison of Screen-Readers (Part I) Archived 2007-06-03 at the Wayback Machine, Access Review (Summer 1997)
  11. ^ HT Visual price list (in Czech)
  12. ^ Leitor de telas has become freely downloadable from the homepage of the Ministry for Communication of Brasil (in Portuguese)
  13. ^ "Status of IBM a11y". Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  14. ^ Lookout screen reader information page
  15. ^ Talks & Zooms product homepage
  16. ^ "Ai Squared And GW Micro Merge Forces". Retrieved Apr 16, 2019.
  17. ^ "Breaking: VFO Group, owners of Freedom Scientific and Optelec, Acquires AI Squared". Retrieved Apr 16, 2019.
  18. ^ ClickHear
  19. ^ ClickHear Mobile
  20. ^
  21. ^ ReadHear
  22. ^ Ross, Ian (1 May 2004). "Software developer builds on artificial intelligence". Northern Ontario Business. Archived from the original on 13 October 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2018 – via Highbeam.
  23. ^