Scanning Features

About scanning

All versions of ClaroRead allow you to capture or scan text from the screen and speak it back.

ClaroRead Plus and Pro also include the option to scan documents into Microsoft Word or Adobe Reader PDF files. All these scan options use the powerful OmniPage Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. This allows anything you can see (paper, PDF file, image file) to be turned into text that can be read by ClaroRead.

You can scan paper with a scanner. This is a hardware device. You have to set up the scanner, then you can scan newspapers, books or anything else.

You can also scan files. You may need to do this because you cannot make it read in ClaroRead. This usually means you have an Adobe PDF file that you can see on the screen but cannot make read. The technical reason for this is that although you can see it, the text in the file is a graphic picture of text, like a photograph of a piece of paper, not the actual words and letters, so ClaroRead cannot read it (no other program can either!) These are called inaccessible PDF files. You need to scan the file, which through OCR will make the text into actual words and letters, and you can then read it back.

You may also find that PDF files that can be read out in ClaroRead will read out much better if you scan them and then save them as PDF. This is because the ClaroRead process is optimised to produce readable PDF files.

For much more on PDFs see Making Accessible PDFs. For more on Scan settings see Scan settings.

Finally, you can also capture text from the screen. This lets ClaroRead speak and extract text you can see but not "get at" - in an image on a web page, for example.

Scanning into Word, or scanning to a file

When you scan with ClaroRead you can send the output to the currently-open Word document or saving the output as a file - typically a PDF file, but also a Word or RTF file for later editing.

If you are in Word when you start scanning the text will be placed in the Word document at the caret position. If you are not in Word then you will be prompted to save the output to a file, and you can choose the output format (PDF, RTF, image...). You can also have the saved file opened instantly if you want - see Scan settings. If you have Preview or Proofing turned on you can also choose between Word or file in the Preview or Proofing window.

There are advantages to each:

Plus and Pro

ClaroRead Plus has a convenient and fast scanning process. If you start it when you are in Microsoft Word then what you scan will be inserted into the Word document. If you don't you can save it as a Word document, PDF file or an image or text file. You can also turn on a Preview window that lets you select the reading order of the document and delete pages from it before you scan it.

ClaroRead Pro has a more powerful scanning process, including an extra Proofing window that lets you correct any mistakes in the scanning, and many more output options including eBooks, password protection and other features.

Scan from paper

You need to ensure your scanner is correctly setup before scanning for the first time.

If you are currently working in Microsoft Word, ClaroRead scans straight into Word at the position of your cursor. If you are working elsewhere, a file save prompt will appear asking you to save the result as a file.

Click the Scan Button on the ClaroRead Toolbar, and the following menu will appear:

Click Scan from Paper to start your scanner operating.

See also Preview and Proofing (Pro only).

Scanning more than one page

If you have a multiple-page scanner, then ClaroRead will take as many pages as the scanner sends.

But whether a multiple- or single-page scanner, after scanning has finished then you will be prompted to add more pages:

If you are done adding pages then click "Stop Loading Pages." If you want to add more pages then put the new page(s) in the scanner and click "Add More Pages" to scan the new page(s).

Scan from PDF/File (Converting an image or PDF file to text)

This is useful for inaccessible PDF files that cannot be read back in Adobe Reader, ClaroRead or Accessible PDF, or files you want to edit in Word or convert to audio.

If you are currently working in Microsoft Word, ClaroRead scans straight into Word at the position of your cursor. If you are working elsewhere, a file save prompt will appear asking you to save the result as a file.

Click the Scan Button on the ClaroRead Toolbar, and the following menu will appear:

Click Scan from PDF/Image A file selection dialogue will open:

Select the file to open. This is the same as scanning a document in from a scanner.

See also Preview and Proofing (Pro only).

Scan from screen (speak some text on the screen and copy it into the clipboard)

This is useful if you have some text on the screen and you can't access it - an inaccessible part of a web page, or a program that does not let you copy text, or an image - but you can see it.

In ClaroRead Plus or Pro, click the Scan Button on the ClaroRead Toolbar, and the following menu will appear:

Click Scan from Screen. In ClaroRead SE and Standard the Scan from Screen button is directly on the toolbar.

The screen will now "freeze" and wait for you to select the section you want to scan. The mouse pointer will become a cross-hair: use it the mouse to click-and-drag around the text you want. You can press the Escape key if you have changed your mind and want to go back to normal.

When you release the mouse the area is scanned and the text put in the clipboard for you. It will be read automatically if you have Speak on Mouse Select turned on in the Advanced Speech settings. You can also Paste it into Microsoft Word to read it with highlighting.

Try to make the text you are scanning as large as possible on your screen to help ClaroRead recognise it correctly (computer displays are very low-resolution compared to print so it is harder to recognise text.)