ClaroPDF V1.9 Released

ClaroPDF V1.9 update is now available on the iOS App Store.

What’s new in V1.9?

  • Four free voices – you can now download up to 4 of our high-quality voices for free, inside the Store in ClaroPDF. ClaroPDF no longer comes pre-installed with any installed high-quality voices, so the initial app install time should be significantly reduced. Then you can choose to download your preferred voices in a wide range of languages.
  • Improvements to the “Convert as Text PDF” feature.
  • Export annotations as text.
  • New Animated Speech Highlighting on sentence mode.
  • New background colour chooser.
  • New speech rate slider.
  • Bug fixes.

See the ClaroPDF V1.9 Release Notes page for more detailed information.

ClaroRead for Mac V6 Release Notes

What’s New in V6.0?

  • A New Integrated Optical Character Recognition engine – ClaroRead Plus for Mac now includes its own integrated optical character recognition engine which gives you the rapid Scan from Screen function to capture any inaccessible text, as well as quickly converting scanned files to accessible PDF, Word and text files.
  • New Scan from Paper feature – you can now quickly launch the MacOS Image Capture app and immediately get to scanning in physical documents and creating accessible, digital copies of them using “Scan to ClaroRead”*.
  • New Scan from PDF/File feature – using the new Scan from PDF/File feature you can convert PDF or image files to fully accessible formats, so that ClaroRead can then read aloud. You can also scan inaccessible files and create editable output formats, such as DOCX. Supported output formats are PDF, DOCX, TXT and RTF *.
  • New Scan from screen feature – with the new Scan from screen feature you can select an area of the screen to be read with your mouse and ClaroRead will quickly and accurately scan your chosen area and read it aloud. You can now instantly read anything on your screen as well as copy it to the clipboard.
  • Launch ClaroRead with PDF and image files. ClaroRead now supports opening of PDF and image files directly, so you can choose a PDF/image file, right-click and select Open With, choose ClaroRead and it will launch ClaroRead and start the file scanning process.
  • New extra app – ClaroSpeak. ClaroSpeak is a supportive reading and speaking app that read PDF files, Microsoft Word document, text files and more, aloud, with synchronised highlighting. When you open a document in ClaroSpeak, the text of the document gets copied in to the ClaroSpeak window and then you can also edit any text. ClaroSpeaks built-in text prediction and echo features can help you maintain accurate typing.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed an issue that could cause text in Microsoft Word documents to be removed when speaking them and quickly moving/switching between different documents.
  • Fixed an issue where some prediction items were being spoken twice.

* indicates features only available in ClaroRead Plus

System Requirements

ClaroRead SE/Standard/Plus for Mac:

  • Mac computer with an Intel processor
  • Mac OS X 10.8 or later
  • 850MB of disk space
  • 200MB-650MB for each voice

Recommended:

  • Microsoft Word 2008, 2011, 2016
  • Pages ‘09 (V4)

ClaroRead Pro for Mac:

  • Mac computer with an Intel processor
  • Mac OS X 10.8 or later
  • 1.3GB of disk space
  • 200MB-650MB for each voice

Recommended:

  • Microsoft Word 2008, 2011, 2016
  • Pages ‘09 (V4)

ClaroPDF V1.8 Released

The latest version of ClaroPDF is now available in the App Store!

What’s New in V1.8?

  • iCloud Integration: ClaroPDF is now fully integrated with iCloud Drive so you can save to, and open from your iCloud Drive across all of your iOS devices. You can also quickly save and open documents from other compatible apps using the iCloud Drive feature
  • New My Documents list: There is a brand new My Documents list in V1.8. This new documents list is smoother, faster and organises your documents alphabetically into sections. D
  • Search – there is now a search bar so you can search for documents.
  • Improved rename, move and delete features – these features have an improved UI and it is now possible to move/delete multiple documents simultaneously.
  • Improved the launch of ClaroPDF so it launches faster and cleaner.
  • Many other bug fixes and performance improvements.

Follow @ClaroPDF on Twitter for the latest news and hints & tips.

Check out The Codpasts recent review of our ClaroSpeak Plus App!

New Claro Software website

We are updating our website at www.clarosoftware.com: you should see the new website appearing at any point in the next day. If you have any problems, try hitting Refresh in your browser. If you need it, you can still find the old website at claro2012.clarosoftwaredownloads.com. We’ll retire this at some point, but for now everything is still there.

Thanks for your patience while we switch, and if you do have any problems or need anything from the old site then please do contact us and we’ll do our best to help.

ClaroCom Pro Review

ClaroCom Pro is an app from Claro Software designed for AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication), available on iOS for iPad or iPhone. An AAC app helps to replace speech or assist writing for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language. Read more at claro-apps.com.

We’ve received the following helpful review of ClaroCom from Loretta and Krystal.

Loretta has limited use of natural speech so uses ClaroCom to communicate and says “ClaroCom has been highly beneficial with these new things I have to keep in mind about my voice and not over-using it”.

Krystal is unable to speak at all but is now leader of a volunteer call centre providing information technology help desk services to anyone who needs them. Krystal can consistently keep under an 8 minute call time averaging about 5-6 minutes when the goal is 10 minutes using nothing but text to speech (ClaroCom).

ClaroCom Pro AAC App Review by Loretta and Krystal, 11th August 2014

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT an expert in alternative and augmentative communications (AAC) solutions. What works for myself or Krystal MIGHT NOT be the best choice for everyone else. Furthermore the opinions expressed herein are those of myself or Krystal as appropriate. We have no affiliation with the developers of any application mentioned and we were not “bought” to make these opinions, we came to them from actual experience with the products mentioned.

Man… Krystal had me on an adventure into the deep dark corners of the iOS App store. This assignment was because she finally said “it’s time for a communications upgrade for me! A dedicated AAC app is in order!” so off into the app store I went looking for free apps. There were truly free and the “free apps that are just to show you what the paid version can do”. I only focused on the apps that required a zero dollar investment to install.

Two days ago I spent close to 6 hours testing installing and configuring close to 80 different apps from the app store. There was the good, the bad, and the downright incomprehensible. There were those that were feature packed and those that could use a little more meat on the bones.

I was just about ready to call it a night for testing when through an unlikely search I found an app I fell in love with (see Note 1) and was sure Krystal would too. This app is called ClaroCom.  The free version is only limited in a few “minor use” functions… nothing too bad (see Note 2). The free ClaroCom app comes populated with close to 1,024 pre-canned messages in several different categories from restaurants, technology, medical, entertainment, general phrases, and many others. I could add my own phrases to any of these categories and have them be dynamic or static.

A static phrase is something that has no variables like “my name is Loretta, I live on Maple drive in no where California”. Something that never needs revision based on context. A dynamic phrase is kind of like that game madlibs and textually looks like this “I need to know if Dr. ___ has any available appointments on or before ___ in the ___.” If I had multiple doctors this might allow for something like “I need to know if Dr. (Briggs, Shay, Benson, Puckett, Jones) has any available appointments on or before (next Friday, the 15th, June 1st,) in the (morning, afternoon, late afternoon, evening).” where any of those items in the parentheses could fill in that part of the sentence or request.

For dynamic speech the ClaroCom dialog will pop up asking “fill in the first blank…” if there’s only one blank, just fill it in. If there is more than one it steps you through them in order. When you fill the first blank and then it asks you to fill the next it shows you the statement up to the blank so in my doctor example first “I need to know if Dr. ___ has any available appointments on or before ___ in the ___.”, then “I need to know if Dr. Shay has any available appointments on or before ___ in the ___.” then “I need to know if Dr. Shay has any available appointments on or before next Tuesday in the ___.” and finally “I need to know if Dr. Shay has any available appointments on or before next Tuesday in the late afternoon.”

These message creation wizards make even dynamic content creation even easier!

ClaroCom USA comes with two voices by default (one male and one female) both better quality than what most “computer voices” are known for (especially if you grew up in the 1990’s) and tons of options to configure the app to the user needs.

The ClaroCom “Pro” USA version is decently priced at 14 bucks and adds a few extra little “nice to haves”. I fell in love with the free version which had its limitations so wound up later buying the pro version for the extra value.

I gave a presentation to Krystal to see if she liked the app or could find some use for it yesterday. She was absolutely in love with it. She downloaded the free version and tested it and has plans to support the developer by buying the pro version next month.

Note 1: the features I fell in love with are the “madlib style” dynamic content creation, the high quality voices, and the ease of use.

Note 2: the “value added features” that made the ClaroCom Pro version all the more attractive were among other things:

  • custom categories: which makes grouping pre-canned messages into categories that make the most sense for me. This also useful so I can have all my stuff specific to say burger king or the call center in it’s own category.
  • bulk-add: the adding of messages to the phrase list was easy, but with bulk-adding I can populate a new category with less effort.
  • Post to facebook or twitter: this handy little feature allows me to post up my Wendy’s order or the text version of any utterance to Facebook or Twitter. Krystal loved that demo because in her words “the less apps I have to keep open the better… if I don’t have to leave my speech screen to do something I do already, even easier!”

so yeah… the Pro version in my eyes is well worth it!

ClaroCom App Store Links

UK

USA

Claro Apps Free With ClaroRead DSA Recommendations

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ClaroSpeak and ClaroPDF, two of our popular iPad and iPhone Apps are free for students when any ClaroRead for PC or ClaroRead for Mac is recommended and purchased through the Disabled Students’ Allowance. Assessors will be provided with vouchers to give to students who are recommended ClaroRead for PC or ClaroRead for Mac. By passing a voucher to the student after their assessment they will be able to redeem the Apps straight away for their iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

ClaroSpeak and ClaroPDF are part of the Claro Solutions Range, and complement our popular ClaroRead software.

Scan documents with ClaroRead Plus and listen to, proof or edit documents on the go with ClaroSpeak and ClaroPDF.

ClaroSpeak

ClaroSpeak is a high-quality text-to-speech reader capable of speaking any accessible text with a range of human-sounding high-quality voices. ClaroSpeak offers the option of visual highlighting in-sync with the spoken words, a great range of colour and font settings to allow for optimum reading, and word prediction and completion to help with writing. ClaroSpeak is a quality app for proofreading text through listening, helping with reading and literacy development and creating audio files from any text.

ClaroPDF

ClaroPDF is an accessible, professional and user-friendly PDF viewer, reader and annotator. View text PDF files and listen to them with a human-quality voice and synchronised highlighting. Create audio annotations and place them anywhere on a PDF. Annotate and mark up text or image PDF files with full compatibility with other popular PDF Apps and programs in Windows and Mac. ClaroPDF is designed as an accessible productivity, reading and study PDF tool for all.

Assessors Register for Claro App Vouchers

1. Reply using this email link marketing@clarosoftware.com
2. Fill in your name and assessment centre details
3. Fill in how many Claro App vouchers you require
4. Claro will contact you to get your vouchers to you

Software Reviews And Quotes

ClaroRead “I think programs like ClaroRead are absolutely invaluable. For me, it is like putting on a pair of reading glasses. When I switch on my computer, I always use ClaroRead. It’s critical.” David Edwards, Birmingham, Dyslexic

ClaroPDF “It is one of the best apps we’ve purchased and we have over 500! It is on my “top ten” list and one that I always install on an iPad when we send them out for loan! Wendy Kay Alameda

ClaroSpeak “This app is absolutely brilliant! I’m currently doing a degree & have M.E, so at times I am unable to read when experiencing a relapse. I have the PC version of ClaroSpeak, I thought I’d try the app version, so glad I did. I am able to upload all module notes & open to Claro via Box & Dropbox. This app has really helped me with my studies. I have it on my iPad & iPhone, I just listen, make notes where necessary, even on the go. App store review

New Claro MagX App

New ClaroMag X App for iOS available now

ClaroMag X from  Claro Software

Claro MagX turns your iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPod Touch or iPad into a powerful high definition visual magnifier.

MagX makes small items look bigger. Make small text in books and newspapers readable, study and photograph small objects and labels, see menus in a dimly lit restaurant.

The wide range of magnification, high contrast and colour viewing options makes the text easier on your eyes.

Claro MagX is developed by experts in low vision technology, and we look to use the power of the iPhone and iPad to provide a high performance cost effective alternative to dedicated hand held video magnifiers.

MagX leverages the power and quality of the iPhone 5 and iPad iSight cameras, high resolution retina displays, large memory, processing power, built in accessibility features and long battery life.

Feature Summary

  • MagX has 16 levels of magnification with a maximum of 16x times zoom
  • MagX uses the high quality front facing iSight camera (iPhone 5 iSight Camera is 8 megapixel resolution, iPad iSight Camera is 5 megapixel resolution)
  • MagX takes advantage of the high resolution Retina displays on the iPhone 5 (1136×640 pixel display resolution, 4 inch widescreen) and iPad (2048×1536 pixel display resolution, 9.7 inch backlit)
  • Torchlight option using the inbuilt flash (iPhone and iPod Touch only)
  • MagX allows a photograph to be taken, capturing a magnified document for later viewing. Photographs are stored in the large iPhone or iPad Photo Gallery, from where they can be zoomed further or edited.
  • Advanced visual features include full colour mode, two colour mode and grey scale mode. There is also an invert function to change display contrast.
  • The grey scale and two colour mode allows a colour overlay to be chosen from yellow, purple, cyan, red, green or blue.

MagX is easy to use, with a small number of touch controls that are fully Apple iOS VoiceOver speech compliant.

Transmit the magnified image from MagX to a large TV with ease. We recommend Apple TV for easy wireless display of your iPad or iPhone display to any TV with HDMI input.

See more images and videos at www.claro-apps.com

More Information

To find out more go to the Claro MagX Web Page

For more information about the rest of Claro Software’s range of apps, go to www.claro-apps.com, email sales@clarosoftware.com or call +44 (0)1772 977888.

ClaroRead V6 Refreshed For Summer 2013

ClaroRead from  Claro Software

ClaroRead V6 Refreshed For Summer 2013

ClaroRead has had a summer refresh! This free update has many small but important improvements to make ClaroRead even better:

  • More support for phonetic misspellings. Thousands more words that are phonetically correct but the wrong English spelling, like ‘rizen’, will be corrected to their ‘proper’ spelling.
  • New subject-specific prediction dictionaries. Art History, Accountancy, Mathematics and Philosophy support learning new vocabulary.
  • Thousands of new symbols and pictures in Homophones and Spellcheck. The images help with spelling and reviewing.
  • A new toolbar icon theme. ClaroRead has an optional Windows 8 icon set to make it comfortable and unobtrusive to use.
  • Perfect text and speech coordination in Save To Video. Reviewing saved text on a phone is now easier and clearer.
  • ScreenRuler works across many monitors. This increasingly-common setup is now supported in ScreenRuler.
  • Improved webpage capturing in ClaroCapture. Webpage addresses in Chrome and Firefox as well as Internet Explorer from 6 to 10 are now captured along with the page for easy reference. Documents, images and audio can be dragged into ClaroCapture to create complete projects with files all in one place.
  • Access electronic dictionary definitions. Double-clicking on words in web pages, Word or PDF documents and email reveals easy explanations.

ClaroRead 6 continues to support Microsoft Office 2013, the latest edition of the productivity suite. ClaroRead V6.2 also has updated support for the latest versions of OpenOffice and LibreOffice.

ClaroRead V6.2 is available as a free update through the built-in ClaroUp update system for existing users and can be purchased through all our usual partners.

If you are an assessor and would like a free evaluation copy of ClaroRead for training, review and demonstration please contact us at sales@clarosoftware.com

More Information

To find out more about ClaroRead Pro go to the ClaroRead Pro Web Page

To find out more about ClaroRead Plus go to the ClaroRead Pro Web Page

For more information about the rest of Claro Software’s range, or to download free demos, go to www.clarosoftware.com, email sales@clarosoftware.com or call +44 (0)1772 977888.

Education app of the week: ClaroSpeak for iPad

There are plenty of reading and text dictation apps out there, but the best one we’ve found for dyslexia sufferers, SEN and pupils with reading difficulties has to be ClaroSpeak. With a load of customisation and import options, here’s why we’re recommending it to schools…

What is ClaroSpeak?

On the surface, ClaroSpeak (Claro Software Limited, £3.99) is a reader/text dictation app that will read out loud any text you import into it in what Claro call “human-sounding high-quality voices”. Where it gets interesting is the level of customisation – it allows you to import a text file, set up a wide range of font types and sizes, colours and backgrounds, and then have the text read to you, with each sentence highlighted in a choice of colours as it’s read. It also allows you to edit the text and then export it as text or as a spoken audio file.

How could it benefit the classroom?

The place we could see this making the most impact is with pupils with reading difficulties, be it SEN, dyslexia or even ESL – having English language text read aloud does wonders for those learning English as a second language. As you can customise the backgrounds and styles, you can make the text a lot less cluttered and busy, so that it’s easier to read, and the actual speaking voices are really quite accurate. There are male and female British English voices and, intriguingly, French and Spanish as well. The ability to load a piece of French text, and have it read back in a good French accent, while highlighting the spoken text might make this interesting in Modern Foreign Languages too!

What’s the best feature?

One of the most remarkable features of ClaroSpeak is that you can open text directly from Dropbox. This might not sound like a massive thing, but many apps like Evernote require you to export from Dropbox, rather than importing from within the app. That means a lot less hassle when sharing documents with pupils, as you can send out files via Dropbox, then open them up within ClaroSpeak, without having to exit the app and open up the Dropbox app.

What’s also interesting is that Claro have just updated ClaroSpeak to make it read out loud in the background. Now, you can exit the app and get on with other stuff like taking notes, while ClaroSpeak still reads the document back to you from the dock.

Where can I get it?

You can download ClaroSpeak (Claro Software Ltd, £3.99) either from the App Store on your iPad or from iTunes. It’s not free, but if you’re buying more than 20 instances of the app, you can get a 50% discount under Apple’s Volume Purchase Programme, making it just £1.99.

More Information