This is an easy to use, powerful and fresh visual software solution for the creation of Idea Maps.
Idea Maps allow a user to focus on bringing together thoughts and related content in various formats, and are a recognised way to maximise learning potential, improve problem-solving, enhance research and aid revision.
Use ClaroIdeas to illustrate your ideas, projects, plans and everything else you can imagine. Draw and connect ideas, add titles, hyperlinks, images and notes and personalise your ideas.
You can download ClaroIdeas for Mac with a Cloud account if you have ClaroRead for Mac activated.
We’ve updated our cross-platform Web App, ClaroRead Anywhere. This works on tablets, desktops, phones in any modern browser, so it’s great to provide speech and OCR across a wide range of users without needing to install anything.
Here’s what’s new:
We’ve done some design work and cleaned up how the App looks. We’ve introduced a File button that gives you access to your cloud drive and your local drive for saving and loading documents, which is cleaner and more familiar from both traditional desktop programs and modern web apps like Google Docs. We’ve put labels on the buttons so new users can find their way around more easily. And we’ve cleaned up the save and load dialogs to better tell you what you are doing and what your options are. ClaroRead Anywhere is likely to be used occasionally, not every day, so we can’t assume users know their way around it: keeping the user interface obvious and clean is important.
Users on Android will find that the Dictate button is now available and you can speak into ClaroRead Anywhere to see your text appear – no typing required! Android uses the Google speech recognition services, which are coming along brilliantly, so it’s great to be able to make these available to our users and let them get down the text they want without having to fight with typing and spelling.
We think ClaroRead Anywhere is about proofing and getting text down rather than polishing your final document, but still it’s nice to be able to open a Word document or do some editing and get out a document that keeps some of your formatting. We’ve therefore enabled saving as a cross-platform Rich Text File (.RTF) document, which will open in Word or Google Docs and keeps your bold text, italics, bullet points, underlines, font sizes and other formatting intact.
Finally, some improvements to word prediction: predictions stay visible so long as they match, meaning it’s easier to check out the suggestions, and we have expanded the supported languages from English, Dutch and Swedish to include Arabic, French, German, Polish and Spanish. Just switch to a voice in that language and prediction will switch too.
ClaroRead Anywhere is available to end-users of ClaroRead and as part of an annual ClaroRead site licence. Check out the ClaroRead Anywhere web page for more details!
We’ve updated our online OCR/scanning document conversion web app with some new features!
Support for KESI files. KESI, Kurzweil or .KES files are a file format for scanned material (books) often found in education. ClaroRead Cloud OCR V3 will let you open these files and save them as accessible PDFs so they can be read in any app that handles PDF. This lets you work with legacy stores of KESI files when you move to a more modern platform, like Chromebooks.
Support for Word DOCX, DOC and RTF input files. Convert any of these common document formats into accessible PDF, plain text or image files.
We’ve worked to clean up and simplify the user experience so it’s even more straightforward to use. We know that most people don’t care about PDF formats – but they do care that the PDF they make looks like the original and reads correctly. So we’ve made our default option the most accessible and useful format for most of our users – while letting advanced users choose their output formats where necessary.
We’ve also added support for the PDF/A standard so by default the accessible PDF files produced by ClaroRead Cloud OCR will work on any PDF reader on any platform.
In March 2017 we released an updated version of the ClaroRead Cloud OCR service. In this latest version:
Administrators can decide which input and outputs (of local, photo, OneDrive, Google Drive or Dropbox) are available to end users. For example, if you have chosen Google Drive as your preferred cloud storage solution, you can turn off OneDrive and Dropbox so your users are not confused into using the wrong one.
You can now save to a particular Google Drive folder instead of simply into the Google Drive root.
You now get a nice suggestion for the output filename based on the input document.
ClaroRead Anywhere is our cross-platform Web App for any desktop, laptop, tablet or phone, and we’ve just released our first update of 2017 to it!
We know that readability and appearance of text is important, so we’ve worked on the display of Word and other documents you open. We still simplify the text layout to make it easier to read and work with, but the page width is now changed to optimise the number of words per line. This can really help with readability – newspapers have known this for years, which is why they use columns. Here’s what it looks like:
Of course, you can still set the font (typeface) and font size that suits your reading best, and the page will re-format to suit!
It’s great to be able to work with different popular programs and formats, so we’ve added support for LibreOffice (OpenOffice) ODT and ODF documents – you can still open Word DOCX and Adobe PDF files, of course. We’ve also added support for opening ebooks in the ePub format.
Opening image files now automatically sends them to scanning/OCR to be converted into text or readable PDF, no matter how you choose to open it. Previously you had to use the OCR/Scanning button, not the Open button, so this is simpler – if it’s a TIF file, you want to OCR it, no matter where it is from. (Of course, you have to have scanning/OCR credits available.)
Finally, Danish and Norwegian users will find that ClaroRead Anywhere is in their language.
We have updated ClaroSpeak Web and renamed it ClaroRead Anywhere. We think the name change reflects how it provides the key features we know people need – speech with highlighting, OCR, PDF – just like ClaroRead for PC and Mac and Chromebook, but with the added advantage that it can be used on any modern platform – Android, iOS, Windows, Mac – without the need for installation.
Other changes in this version include:
Mozilla Firefox users will find that they can use installed system voices in ClaroRead Anywhere. For Windows users, this includes the Vocalizer voices that come with ClaroRead, such as Daniel. For Apple Mac users, this includes the high-quality voices provided by Apple. All of these work offline, so you do not need an Internet connection.
We’ve changed how taking a photograph (or opening an image file) works. Instead of simply extracting the text for you, you now get an accessible PDF version of the photo so you can see the original text in context when you play it. Much better for understanding what you’re reading.
ClaroRead Cloud OCR is our online OCR document conversion service. You can send it any file type you would use in ClaroRead Plus or Pro – PDF, TIFF, JPEG – and get back an accessible PDF, Word or text file, or take a photo and get the text in the picture back. It’s great for organisations big and small that want to provide OCR capability across machines and tablets and phones without having to manage the installation of ClaroRead Plus or any other software.
We’ve upgraded ClaroRead Cloud OCR to V2, and the new version features better integration with three popular Cloud storage mechanisms. Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive are now all supported within ClaroRead Cloud OCR: you can select any file from your account with one of these services, OCR it, and save the result back to your Cloud storage – all entirely within your browser!
Select a local file, take a photo or get a document from your Cloud storage service:
Choose the accessible output format:
Save to your local machine or phone, or save back to Cloud storage:
All the features and simplicity of V1 are there: you can still take photos and OCR them on your phone, and convert local files from your computer, but we hope the new Cloud features make it a better fit for our users moving to Cloud-based solutions.
We have updated our online cross-platform Web App, ClaroSpeak Web, to Version 9. ClaroSpeak Web is designed to work on any modern browser on any platform – Windows, Mac OSX, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Chromebook. It gives you text-to-speech anywhere.
In this new version:
You were already able to paste in text from web pages and documents, or open text, HTML and PDF files to read them back. Now you can open Microsoft Word DOCX and Rich Text RTF files directly in the browser. If you are online you can also open and Microsoft Word DOC, OpenOffice/LibreOffice ODT and Apple Pages documents (using our servers to process them – hence the need to be online.) Formatting that is suitable (e.g. boldness and size, not floating text boxes) is retained and you can play and edit the text at will.
We’ve added support for OneDrive to the existing Google Drive and Dropbox cloud storage systems, so you can open PDF and DOCX and other documents from your OneDrive account.
The speaking dictionary now supports French, Spanish and German words. Switch to a French, Spanish or German voice to look up the selected word and hear its definition read aloud.