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Electronic Readers (Text-to-Speech) Applications

Text-to-Speech (Electronic Reader) applications:

  • Natural Reader
    • Reads from PDFs, Microsoft programs, emails, web pages etc. Natural Reader also has an optimal character recognition (OCR) program which, when used with a scanner, can convert printed characters into digital text.
  • Central Access Reader (CAR)
    • Free and powerful reader developed by Central Washington University students. CAR will read MS Word documents, math and logic equations, saves files as MP3s, and offers customizable text and background features.
  • Balabolka
    • Free and versatile program which works with a multitude of languages. Onscreen text may be saved as audio files with customizable voice options.
  • Website Add-ons
    • Available on web browsers like Chrome, Edge, Internet Explore, and Firefox. Various add-ons available (e.g., Talkie is available on Chrome and Firefox).
  • Adobe reader
    • Reads and interacts with PDFs. You can alter settings so you activate both highlighting features as well as the built-in text-to-speech capabilities.
  • Set up text-to-speech in Windows 8, 10 (Windows 7)
  • Set up text-to-speech on a Mac
    • If the language you are reading is not English, then open System Preferences, click "Dictation & Speech," and click on the drop down menu next to System Voice. Click "customize," and select a voice for the language you are reading.
  • Audiobooks
    • Free reader available on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
  • Audible
    • Free reader available on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
  • Cool Reader
    • Free reader with text-to-speech capabilities on Android devices.

EPUB Reader applications:

EPUB is a type of file that many alternative text books are created into instead of a PDF or other file type. EPUB files are set up to be compatible to a variety of text-to-speech applications as well as allowing for other interactive capabilities with a text.

  • Microsoft Edge
    • Free with Windows 10; choice of voice and reading speed; take notes, highlight, and bookmark in browser; 6 fonts available (not dyslexia or comic sans font)
  • Benetech Bookshare
    • Free for U.S. students who qualify; AES has a license for this application and can assist you in determining if you qualify for an individual account
  • Kurzweil 3000
    • Available on any device, on or offline; variety of interactive capabilities with text; free trial, then will cost
  • Read & Write for Google Chrome
    • Available on Google Chrome; free trial, then will cost
  • VitalSource Bookshelf
    • Available on any device; functions include study tools, read aloud, search & navigation, to name a few; application is free but must purchase electronic textbooks
  • Dophin Easy Reader
    • Available on any device; ideal for readers with dyslexia, low vision or blindness
  • Overdrive Media Console
    • Source to borrow ebooks and audiobooks for free through local public library or school

Please note that these applications may or may not be free. If you discover any other resources that you think Accessible Education Services should include in this list, please do not hesitate to contact us at or at 503-370-6737.

Willamette University

Accessible Education Services

Salem Campus

Smullin 155
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6737 voice
503-370-6647 fax

Portland Campus

Room 270
Pacific Northwest College of Art
511 NW Broadway
Portland Oregon 97227 U.S.A.