In Windows XP, Vista, and 7, you can change the background colour of windows to make them easier to read.
In Windows 8 the setting to do this is still there, but it’s buried away. You have to change your Theme to one of the High Contrast themes in the Control Panel\Appearance and Personalisation\Personalisation screen. Then you can change the Color setting.
This is long-winded and you may not want to set your machine to High Contrast – many people, such as people with dyslexia, want to change the background colour to reduce contrast, not increase it. And you lose the attractive Windows 8 styling.
You can use ClaroRead (Standard, Plus or Pro) to change the background colour in Windows 8:
- Start ClaroRead.
- Click the Extras button on the ClaroRead toolbar and select Advanced Settings Editor.
- On the General tab uncheck the “Reset background colour when exiting” checkbox.
- Close Advanced Settings Editor and restart ClaroRead.
- Go to Microsoft Word.
- Click the Font button on the ClaroRead toolbar and select Background. Choose the colour you want.
You can now close ClaroRead and the background colour will be set.
Mathematical Markup Language (MathML) can be used to display mathematical formula in webpages. To make such a formula accessible to ClaroRead for reading back, a plugin for Internet Explorer is required.
The plugin is called Design Science MathPlayer™ and is available as a free download from here.
Once MathPlayer™ has been installed, simply hover the cursor over the formula with ClaroRead running and ClaroRead will read it back.
Translation tooltips are switched off in English editions of ClaroRead by default. To use this feature, do the following:
Quick Summary: Claro Software programs work fine on Windows 8 / 8.1 machines.
We have tested all of our products with Windows 8 / 8.1, and all of our products below work fine with Windows 8 / 8.1 when using it on the traditional desktop where non-Modern UI apps like Office, Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader run:
- ClaroRead (Pro*, Plus*, Standard*, SE) V6
- ScreenRuler V3
- ClaroCapture V2 **
- ClaroIdeas V2
- WordRead V6
- Scan2Text V2
- Oska WordBanks
- Tactix Touchpad
- Oska V2
- Claro FaceMouse
OpenOffice and LibreOffice are free open-source Office/Productivity suites – competitors to Microsoft Office. ClaroRead for Windows PC works with both of them for highlighting and reading back in their word processors. However, if you have both installed on your system, then one them may fail to work. This is because the programs were the same program until very recently, and they conflict at a system level if both are installed.
Uninstall one of the suites and reinstall the one you want to use to make sure ClaroRead works with it.
LibreOffice 4 (Spring 2013) has been tested and works with ClaroRead.
Customers owning a site licence or multi-user licence version of a Claro product are able to distribute that product over multiple computers. This could be done by visiting each computer with the installation DVD and manually installing the product. If the computers are connected on a network however it is possible to use Microsoft networking tools to distribute the software from a central location.
All Claro products use Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI) files for installation. This means that standard Microsoft installation techniques can be used. For more information on the techniques please consult the following sections.
Claro products often come with high-quality synthesized speech voices: these sound great, but can eat up more disk space than you want. See the Voices section below.
Claro DVD Contents
For all of the steps below it is useful to know the layout of folders on the DVDs for Claro Products. For more information on this see Claro DVD Contents.
Network Installation Guide
Click this link to download the Network Installation Guide (PDF). This contains information on, and examples of, the ways in which Claro products can be distributed over a network. This information is also contained in the sections below.
ClaroRead lets you click in a PDF file in Adobe Reader, click Play on the ClaroRead toolbar, then hear the PDF file read back from that point.
If you are on a touchscreen computer/monitor with Adobe XI then you may find that you cannot click on the PDF file to place the caret (cursor) to indicate where you want to start reading.
Adobe Reader detects that you are on a touchscreen and goes into Touch Mode when you open a PDF. This is helpful to let you flick and scroll through the PDF file, but it also changes the default Selection Tool to the Hand Tool. To click and place the caret you need to use the Select Tool instead, but Adobe Reader XI also hides the button on the toolbar that changes to the Select Tool.
You can quickly change to the Select Tool by right-clicking on the PDF document and selecting Select Tool from the drop-down menu:
You can now click in the document to indicate where you want to start reading, or select text to have ClaroRead read it out straight away.
To make the Select Tool button reappear on the toolbar so that you can get to it more easily, open the View menu, the Show/Hide menu item, Toolbar Items menu item, Select & Zoom menu item, and click Select Tool. The button will now appear on the toolbar and you can click it on any time more easily:
Adobe Reader turns off text smoothing by default if it detects ClaroRead is running because it wrongly thinks that ClaroRead might want to magnify the text and this is easier if smoothing is off.
You can prevent this happening by starting ClaroRead, then opening Adobe Reader and going to the Edit menu, Preferences, Page Display category, Rendering section, and changing “Smooth Text” to “For Laptop/LCD screens” or “For Monitor”. This will leave smoothing on when ClaroRead is running and your text will look better.
ClaroRead for Arabic works perfectly on machines with Arabic Windows. However, some users prefer to run English Windows, and find that some of the ClaroRead user interface does not display properly as a result.
You can fix this with the free AppLocale tool from Microsoft. This tells Windows that ClaroRead is working in Arabic, and the parts of the user interface that did not display correctly will look perfect.
AppLocale was designed for Windows XP so you can install it directly if you are using Windows XP:
AppLocale still works correctly in Windows Vista, 7 and 8 but installing it requires an elevated command prompt. Follow these instructions:
- Download AppLocale from the Microsoft website:
- Open the Start menu.
- Go to the Command Prompt shortcut (typing “command” is the easiest way to do this.)
- Right-click on the Command Prompt shortcut and select “Run as Administrator” from the dropdown list.
- Change to the folder where you saved AppLocale.msi (you do this by typing something like cd “c:\users\YourUsername\downloads” to go to the folder. That’s “cd”, then space, then the full path to the folder, surrounded by quotation marks if there is a space in the path.)
- Type “msiexec /I AppLocale.msi” to start the installation.
These same steps are described in more detail at this site:
Having installed AppLocale you start it up from the Start menu and follow the instructions. A good walkthrough is provided by AppLocale: here are the specific settings for ClaroRead:
- Run AppLocale, click Next.
- Choose “Launch an Application”
- Click “Browse” and select “ClaroRead.exe” from the “C:\Program Files (x86)\Claro Software\ClaroRead” folder (the exact path will depend on your version of ClaroRead and Windows.)
- Click Next.
- Select “Arabic” (in Arabic) from the list of languages.
- Click Next.
- Check “Create a shortcut to always run this application with AppLocale”
- Type a good name like “ClaroRead Arabic”
- Click Finish.
You should see ClaroRead launch, and you should now have a “ClaroRead Arabic” shortcut in your Start menu. You or the user can just click on the shortcut in future and ClaroRead will launch entirely in Arabic on your non-Arabic Windows machine.
Claro Software has Arabic and Hebrew versions of ClaroRead and other software. However, support for right-to-left languages has many limitations, in Windows and other software, especially older versions. Arabic and Hebrew users will know many of these: these are generally not problems with ClaroRead, but problems with other programs and with Windows.
On Windows XP you may find that ClaroRead does not play in Adobe Reader with highlighting. Disabling Protected Mode may fix this.
- Opening Adobe Reader, open the Edit menu, and select the Preferences menu item.
- From the Categories list at the left select “Security (Enhanced)”
- Uncheck “Enable Protected Mode at startup” at the top.
- Restart Adobe Reader and try reading with ClaroRead again.
(The setting is located at the bottom of the General tab on older pre-XI versions of Adobe Reader)
AppV is a way to deploy applications so that they are isolated from the rest of the system. This helps system administrators to manage their networks: they do not have to worry about operating system version, or Internet Explorer version, or many rights issues. It is also useful for older software.
Applications using AppV are running in their own Virtual Machine – another whole copy of Windows. That’s fine for standalone applications, where the user works with the application, like ClaroIdeas or Microsoft Word. But it does not work well with ClaroRead, which is designed to work with other applications – reading text in Word or Internet Explorer or Adobe Reader, for example. If you run ClaroRead with AppV then ClaroRead cannot access these other applications – it is running in another copy of Windows. This is by design: ClaroRead has been isolated from the rest of the system. But it means that it makes no sense to run ClaroRead in AppV. It will install and run correctly, but it will not read other applications like it should, and only the default Windows voices will be available.
ClaroRead is not currently compatible with the Click-to-Run version of Microsoft Office. Follow this link, Switching to an MSI based Office edition, to convert Office to a fully installed version which is compatible with ClaroRead.
When you press the Play button ClaroRead or WordRead uses the same speech settings (voice, volume, speed) for all of the text it reads out. Everything will sound the same. You might, however, want to put in pauses, or make some text louder, or lower-pitched, or use a different voice halfway through. ClaroRead lets you use Microsoft’s XML Tags to do this. You can alter which voice is used, put in pauses, change pitch and speed and many other things as ClaroRead speaks. This works for both text read out and text saved to audio files.
Since writing this, Microsoft SAPI 5.2 and later versions have introduced support for the W3C standard Speech Synthesis Markup Language SSML so you may want to use that instead of the Microsoft-specific XML detailed here. The mechanisms to employ SSML (start with a < left-angled bracket) are the same, however.
ClaroRead 5.7 and later supports reading with highlighting (“click and play”) in Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat.
- For the best results update your Adobe Reader to the latest version. In Adobe Reader X and later reading works better and the bookmarks and headings sidebars read correctly.
- If ClaroRead will not play in Adobe Reader then try performing a Repair on the Adobe Reader installation. Go to Control Panel, Programs, Programs and Features, and click on Adobe Reader. Then click on the Change button at the top of the list of programs, and select Repair from the installation dialog. If this is too difficult, uninstalling and reinstalling Adobe Reader will do it but take longer.
Below is a list of add-on voices you can buy to use with ClaroRead. Due to licensing restrictions we can only sell these voices to customers who have purchased ClaroRead or WordRead.
To buy an add-on voice contact our sales team on 01772 977888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vocalizer Voice List
ClaroRead will speak from Office Starter Edition using mouse select. To do this, highlight the text you want to be read out, ClaroRead should then speak this text. Click and Play functionality as well as highlighting in Microsoft Office Starter Edition is currently unsupported.
ClaroRead on 64-bit Windows
The following will not work on ClaroRead 5.0 – 5.6 on 64-bit Windows machines:
- Speak-with-control-and-hover in 64-bit applications. So if you are running 32-bit Internet Explorer and 32-bit Office then this works just fine. If you are running the 64-bit versions then you will hear nothing. (Fixed in 5.7)
- Speaking calculator. You can start the 32-bit Calculator in C:WindowsSysWOW64calc.exe if you need it. (Fixed in 5.5)
- Click-and-play does not work on 64-bit Internet Explorer. You must select with the mouse instead (Fixed in 5.5)
Update ClaroRead to the latest version 5.7 to fix all 64-bit problems (July 2011)
Voices on 64 bit Windows
All our voices are 32 bit packages and will work with the Claro software with which they are sold on both 32 and 64 bit systems however on a 64 bit system the voice may not work in third party programs and will not be shown in the Windows Speech Control Panel or in the Narrator voice selection panel.
In order to display the 32 bit Windows Speech Control Panel on a 64 bit version of Windows…
Windows Vista & 7
MathML is a way to put complex mathematics and equations in web pages and other documents. We recommend getting the free MathPlayer plugin, which means that ClaroRead will then speak the maths when you point the mouse at it. You can also right-click on MathML equations and see many more reading options, including reading the equation aloud with highlighting.
You can make ClaroRead speak non-Western characters using a Western voice, for example reading Greek characters in chemistry using RealSpeak Daniel. You need to be an administrator, you may need your Windows installation CD, and only one non-Western language can be supported in addition to English – English and Cyrillic, or English and Greek are fine, but not Greek and Cyrillic.
- Open Control Panel > Regional and Language Options.
- Select the Advanced tab.
- In the “Language for non-Unicode programs” section select the language for the characters you want to read, for example Russian.
- Restart your machine.
- Open ClaroRead and Word.
- Select and copy one character to be spoken, e.g. “?”.
Alasdair King, 2011
What’s new in ClaroRead Pro
ClaroRead Pro is a natural extension of our ClaroRead Plus toolbar and scanning program that allows you to do more with scanning and PDF files. PDF files are key to many people, from course materials to eBooks. And scanning is very important to create accessible formats and access otherwise inaccessible documents for yourself or for clients or students.
ClaroRead has a number of features that can help using Dragon NaturallySpeaking dictation speech recognition software.
- In all versions of ClaroRead, you can turn on the Echo Dragon feature in Advanced Speech Settings. This will echo back anything that Dragon NaturallySpeaking recognises,when dictating into any application. It will work with the Professional, Preferred and Standard edition of Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
To enable this to work with Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 11 and above, ‘Show preliminary results’ need to be ticked in ‘Dragon NaturallySpeaking > Tools > Options > View > Results box > Show preliminary results’ as shown in the image below.
- With ClaroRead (Standard and Plus) the Dragon Training text can be spoken out when hovering the mouse over the text. ClaroRead needs to have “Speak Object under Mouse” turned on in the Advanced Speech Settings. It is possible to modify the amount of text shown in the training window by Dragon, so please contact us if you would like to know how to do this.
- With ClaroRead, the main toolbar controls are also mirrored using keyboard hotkeys. Play is F7, Stop is F8, Check Word is F9, Show homophones is F10 and Clear Homophones is F11. Pressing F6 first disables the hotkeys linking to ClaroRead, and puts them back to their default settings (should you need this). If you are using Dragon Standard or Preferred dictating into Microsoft Word, and ClaroRead is open, then you can say “Press F7″ and ClaroRead would start speaking from the point where the cursor is.
About the Scanner Setup Wizard
Setting up your scanner
All files needed for scanner setup and support are copied automatically during the program’s installation, but there is no scanner setup at installation time.
Before using your application for scanning, it is strongly recommended that your scanner is correctly installed with its own scanner driver software and tested for correct functionality.
To set up your scanner, start the Scanner Setup Wizard.
- The first panel invites you to update the scanner database containing optimum scanner settings for all tested scanners. Choose Yes or No and click on Next. If you choose Yes, and you have a web connection, the Internet Connection dialog box will appear during the download from the Nuance web site.
- The next panel displays the currently selected scanner (if there is none, “No scanner” is displayed). If there is one, you may choose to either test it, or to use it with current settings.
- In case there is no currently selected scanner, choose â€˜Select and test scanner or digital camera’ then click Next.
Below are steps to take to create a Russian prediction dictionary from a Russian Word document. These instructions can be used for any language.
- Ensure you have the latest ClaroRead Settings Editor (v188.8.131.52). If not, download from here and replace the old one in C:Program FilesClaro SoftwareClaroRead Plus V5.
- Change the “Language for Non-Unicode programs” setting in Regional and Language Settings in Control Panel to “Russian”.
- Start Advanced Settings Editor.
- Go to Prediction Training tab.
- Click Save As and give “Russian dictionary” as the new prediction dictionary name.