ClaroPDF Android Released

We are happy to announce the first release of ClaroPDF Android, an easy-to-use speaking PDF reading app for Android phones and tablets. It’s a simpler version of our hugely-successful ClaroPDF for iPhone and iPad and tries to provide the same convenience and usability for anyone who needs to be able to read back accessible PDF files, for study or reference.

  • Tap to open PDF files using the Android file picker, which gives you access to PDF files saved on your phone and also integrates smoothly with Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and other cloud file stores.
  • Then just tap in the PDF to show where to start and the PDF will be read back from the point of your finger. You can stop and make it repeat itself as many times as you want, read whole documents at your leisure, and relax while ebooks and references are read aloud to you with high-quality speech.
  • Choose from dozens of voices from Google and other vendors covering many accents and languages, and set the voice speed for faster reading (so you get through things faster) or slower (to give you time to digest and understand).

Want to read PDF files on your iPhone or iPad? ClaroPDF for iOS contains all the reading functionality of ClaroPDF for Android and more, and on iPhone and iPad you can also get ClaroPDF Pro, which lets you convert images and inaccessible PDFs into readable PDFs. On a Windows or Mac? Try our reading toolbar, ClaroRead.

Get ClaroPDF Android on Google Play now! Or, for more details, check out the release notes.

Claro ScanPen Premium iOS Released

Introducing Claro ScanPen Premium – a free-to-download iOS app which allows you to have 10 free scans. You can optionally sign up for the annual subscription to get a free 14 day trial. If you don’t cancel during the free trial, you will get charged the £9.99 annual subscription (correct as of October 2017). With an active subscription you have unlimited scans and unlimited access to all of our high-quality voices (currently Nuance Expressive, Acapela and children’s voices).

Claro ScanPen Premium joins our Claro ScanPen family alongside the standard Claro ScanPen version which is still available to purchase outright for £6.99 (correct as of October 2017).

Below is a comparison chart highlighting the differences between the two versions (click to enlarge or visit the original chart):

When you first launch Claro ScanPen Premium, you will see the following launch screen, just select whether you’d like to have the 10 free scans or sign up for the 14 day free trial (with the option to cancel at any time).

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Windows 10 Fall Creators Update support

The latest version of Microsoft Windows, “Windows 10 Fall Creators Update” (or version 1709) is now available for Windows 10 users to download and install.

We can confirm that we have tested all our current versions of Claro Software products and they work fine with the new version of Windows. If you do encounter any problems after upgrading, please contact support at support@clarosoftware.com.

ClaroPDF V2 Released

October 2017 saw the release of V2 of our ClaroPDF for iOS app, with some major changes. The most significant feature is the new tabbed structure when viewing multiple PDF documents.

Multiple Documents

In V1 of ClaroPDF, you were limited to viewing 1 document at a time.  In V2, ClaroPDF now allows you to open multiple PDF documents at the same time.  The documents are arranged in a tabbed view, across the top:

Tabbed document view in ClaroPDF V2,

Tabbed document view

This lets you switch quickly to other documents for reading and/or annotating without having to replace the current document you were viewing.  You can tap the X button on any document tab to close it.

Photo to PDF

The Photo to PDF feature has been significantly upgraded in V2.  You were previously limited to adding 1 photo at a time.  Now you can select multiple images when choosing to create a PDF.  Not only that, but you can now also choose to append your chosen photos to your current PDF; they’ll be inserted at the page after the one you are currently viewing.

Delete Pages

Deleting PDF pages is a brand new feature in V2.  From the thumbnail view mode, tapping Edit, you are able to select PDF pages you wish to delete from your current PDF:

Deleting PDF pages in V2

Delete PDF pages

This gives you even greater control over your PDF creations.

Acapela Children’s Voices

There are a new range of high-quality children voices, available as in-app purchases for 8 different language accents, including boy and girl.

Quick-look Settings

In V2, the document settings have been moved from the standard Settings menu and placed down on the main bottom toolbar, accessible by tapping the new document settings button:

Document settings menu in V2

Document settings

This change takes some of the most commonly changed settings and makes them quicker to access, as well as being able to see the changes made to your document as you go. Changing the page background colour, for example: now you can get exactly the right shade you require as the document changes colour in real-time.

New Document Setting: Scroll mode

There is also a new setting on the document settings menu called Scroll mode.  This setting controls how the document is to be scrolled.  There are 2 options to choose from:

  1. Per page – this is the traditional page scrolling, where each page has a defined page break.  Swiping left or right in this mode will scroll to the next page.
  2. Continuous – page scrolling is continuous and there are no page breaks.  Scrolling is like scrolling through one big page; there are no defined page breaks.

Other improvements and bug fixes

Check out the ClaroPDF V2 release notes for full details on other improvements and changes in V2:

http://www.clarosoftware.com/help/claropdf-v2-release-notes/

ClaroRead V7.2 Released

Over the summer we released our latest version of ClaroRead for Windows PC. Exciting new features include:

  • Play On. Users have told us that they sometimes want ClaroRead to keep reading through their document as they switch to other Windows to check their references, edit the document as it reads, or just leave it playing in the background. We now have a “Play On” mode, where ClaroRead will keep playing as you edit your Word document. This lets you proof through your document with speech, fixing any minor errors as they come up, rather than having to stop, edit, and restart. We hope this will let you save time and stay in your flow.
  • Dynamic phonetic spelling suggestions. ClaroRead has always supported common phonetic (or dyslexic) misspellings. Now ClaroRead includes a dynamic phonetic spellcheck mechanism, so English words that are particularly hard to spell are checked against the phonetics of the user’s word to produce extra suggestions even when the original user’s word is very far removed from the orthography of the targeted word (e.g. “bzr” for “bazaar”).
  • Speak word under mouse. Users like to quickly check the meaning of a word, or hear it read aloud. ClaroRead 7.2 gives you the ability to simply hold control, point the mouse and hear any word on the screen read aloud and/or defined with a speaking dictionary in ANY application, including Google Books and PDFs.

There are also lots of minor improvements and fixes, all of which you can find in our release notes: ClaroRead 7.2 Release Notes.

Getting ClaroRead 7.2

Existing end-users of ClaroRead 7 and 7.1 can get the latest ClaroRead 7.2 free from the Claro automatic update system, from their ClaroRead Cloud account or by emailing support@clarosoftware.com. Licence keys from versions 7 and 7.1 will work fine – no need to get a new key.

ClaroRead USB

You can also install ClaroRead onto a personal USB stick free with your ClaroRead licence key. Get a USB stick, go to our website and download the free ClaroRead USB Creator. Enter your licence key and ClaroRead will be installed on your USB pen drive. This is a totally portable version of ClaroRead that can be used on any Windows machine, no installation required, no admin account: just walk up, plug it in, and off you go!

Get ClaroRead USB Creator
https://www.clarosoftware.com/usb

Check your licence key
https://www.clarosoftware.com/get

Download the latest software from ClaroRead Cloud
https://www.clarosoftware.com/login

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Claro ScanPen Android 2.1 Released

We’ve updated Claro ScanPen for Android with a powerful new Share feature and made it easier to get.

First, you can now share text you have captured with other Apps. You can use ScanPen to take a picture and speak the text in the picture out loud. But what if you want to use the text somewhere else?

We’ve added a Share button to ScanPen Android, so you can just tap on Share and the text you have selected will be sent to wherever you choose – an email, a message, even Word for Android or Google Docs. This lets you include printed documents in your work and communications – put a quotation in your essay, or send a copy of a page to yourself for reference.

Select the text to share (copy). Then tap the Share button (top, centre)

Share action pop-up on an Android phone

Select the Share action (where the text will be sent). Select “Copy to clipboard” to simply copy the text to the Android clipboard. I’m going to select Outlook.

The text has been Shared to an email and can be sent

The selected text is now Shared to the chosen application, in this case an email App.

Second, you can now unlock ScanPen for Android with a ClaroRead key. If you’ve purchased ClaroRead for Windows or ClaroRead for Mac with a licence key, you can simply install Claro ScanPen for Android and enter your licence key. This will unlock all of its features: essentially Claro ScanPen for Android is now included free with ClaroRead for Windows or Mac.

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Claro ScanPen Swedish Review

We have just come across a wonderful review of Claro ScanPen. This one is from Sweden and the reviewer, consumer editor Martin Appel, has really nailed some of the best features for his readers.

For those of you who do not read Swedish, this is what he said:

Some apps are almost magic, and just a few years ago they would feel like science fiction. Claro ScanPen is one such. What the app does is to turn written text into speech. You can keep the phone in front of a regular page in a paper book, and after a few seconds you hear the text read by a synthetic voice.

We agree. Every time people try out Claro ScanPen at exhibitions or conferences, they think it is magic. It is something about the mix of old style paper print with new technology that really appeals.

Martin Appel goes on to talk about the different groups who will benefit:

The scan pen is primarily intended for schoolchildren who have difficulty reading. By hearing the text while reading, it becomes easier to understand. But, of course, it’s not just schoolchildren who may have trouble reading, and the app may as well be used by people with impaired vision – or all of us who sometimes need some help concentrating.

Thanks Martin for the excellent review and the helpful tips.

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ClaroRead in the Workplace – Supporting Firefighters and Saving Money

ClaroRead helps people be productive. Here is an example of how. Download this article as a PDF.

Andy Fell has been a disability assessor for over 20 years. Originally a rehabilitation officer working with people with visual impairments, Andy has worked at Guide Dogs for the Blind and Microlink and was one of the first visual impairment assessors for the Disabled Students’ Allowance.

These days he is a Workplace Assessor, a senior associate trainer for the British Dyslexia Association and an expert witness in tribunals.

He was a fan of Claro software from the very beginning because he could see that a facility to tint the screen would be of use to people with dyslexia and could help those who experience visual stress.

‘I like Claro software because it is just so easy to use,’ said Andy. ‘Instead of putting a host of different functionalities in one product, every element is simple so users can pick it up and get going straight away. This is so good for their confidence. I think the ClaroPDF is excellent; it is popular for dyslexia and VI and for anybody who wants to annotate a PDF whether they are disabled or not.’

These days people do not necessarily have a laptop at work – or even their own desk – so workplace assessors need to find solutions that are portable and adaptable. ClaroRead can be installed on a USB pen drive instead of onto a desktop or laptop. No more negotiating with the IT department or waiting for someone to install files on a machine or a profile. This means that employees now have control over the tools they need to do their job and can use ClaroRead to scan documents, capture text and convert it to an audio file that they can listen to later.

It is used by workers in many industries including some you might not expect. ‘Firefighting is one example. It is a very practical job,’ said Andy. ‘My role is to make sure firefighters with dyslexia can complete written reports and cope with the study units they need to advance their career. Often there will just be a couple of PCs in the crew area for all staff to use so those with dyslexia just pick up their USB and go online to write up their reports without needing extra support.’

A relatively new product – ClaroRead USB Creator – means that if they lose their USB stick, they can go online and download ClaroRead onto a new 4GB blank USB drive. They just need to keep a note of the serial number.
ClaroRead can make a real difference to individuals. Andy found one social worker who had not submitted an expense claim for over a year but once she had ClaroRead she caught up and very quickly realised just how much money she had been losing. ‘ClaroRead makes people more independent,’ said Andy, ‘and it can also save them money!’

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ClaroRead Anywhere V12 Released

We have updated our online cross-platform Web App, ClaroRead Anywhere. This release, which is available to all users immediately, focuses on ease-of-use and performance: we are all busy people and we need the tools we use to work smoothly and easily.

A big part of performance is letting you know that the App is doing what you have told it to do. First, when you use Speech Recognition, you will see the text you are dictating appearing as you say it, rather than in one lump at the end:

Second, when you are converting a file (PDF or image) so you can read the contents aloud and work with them, you’ll get more information that ClaroRead Anywhere is processing and working.

We’ve also made ClaroRead Anywhere better at opening Microsoft Word and Google Docs documents. Lists (bullet points) are better-displayed and easier to read and use.

Finally, if you start a new document but you’ve changed the original, you’ll be prompted to save it – simple, familiar, but a little tweak that stops you potentially losing work. We hope these tweaks make ClaroRead Anywhere more enjoyable to use on your device – which of course can be any tablet, desktop, laptop or phone!

Speech Recognition is only supported in the Google Chrome browser on Windows, Chromebook, iOS and Android.

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ClaroRead Case Study

Our software helps our users to achieve more in education and life. Here is another story of a real-world ClaroRead user. Download as PDF.

Interested in ClaroRead for your school, college or university? Check out ClaroRead Site Licences. Want to know about using ClaroRead as a Computer Reader for GCSE and other exams? Briefing: Using Computer Readers in Exams.

ClaroRead Case Study from Wigan & Leigh College

Thanks to ClaroRead, Nicole is doing well at college and in her job in telesales.

Cheryl Bentley is an Enabling Technology Development Officer at Wigan & Leigh College. Her job is to recommend software, hardware and apps to students who are struggling with their courses and to make sure they get the right training. Here she talks about how ClaroRead helped Nicole Swift who was working towards a Level 2 Diploma in Business Studies.

Nicole was struggling with some aspects of her course. She found it hard to read black text on a white background, had problems with spelling and poor concentration.

She met the Additional Learning Support Team who recommended ClaroRead and arranged a one to one training session where she found out how the software could solve some of the problems she had when completing assignments.

As soon as Nicole began to use ClaroRead, she noticed a difference straightaway and the improvement was so dramatic that she asked her employer to buy a licence so that she could use Claro for her work in telesales. She has found that using the ClaroView yellow overlay means she can read the customer’s details from the computer screen more easily.

Benefits

  • Nicole has now become more confident in using a range of vocabulary
  • She uses the play back feature regularly to listen to written text as it appears on the screen
  • She can express herself more fluently in her assignments.
  • The dictionary and predictive text features let her be more independent and check her own spellings and correct them if necessary

I am extremely pleased with the progress that Nicole has made whilst at college, in the workplace and when completing her assignments at home. It is wonderful to see what a difference it has made to Nicole’s learning experience. I am a firm advocate for ClaroRead and I encourage everyone to use it. Having the ability to proof read your work can make all the difference. I think it helps students to expand their vocabulary and this boosts their confidence.

ClaroRead has helped to break down some of the barriers to reading and writing for lots of our students at college which can only be seen as a positive!

Want more case studies? ClaroRead Case Studies.