ClaroPDF iOS 2.3 Released

We’ve released an update for our ClaroPDF iOS app that introduces some great new features and improvements.

One of the major changes is the revamped document list, which has been tweaked to be easier to view and read.

  • The document thumbnails are larger and easier to identify.
  • The document titles are a different colour.
  • Larger spacing between documents, which helps to aid readability.

You can see the difference between the old list and the new 2.3 list here:

Old list

Old list

New 2.3 list

New 2.3 list

As a further enhancement to the the My Documents list – you can now toggle between list mode, as seen above and grid mode, as shown below:

Grid view

Grid view

Grid view mode shows large document previews, so you can easily navigate and visually identify your documents.

Another great new addition to 2.3 is the direct integration with the popular file sharing platform Microsoft OneDrive.  Because ClaroPDF is now integrated directly with OneDrive, you no longer need to have the OneDrive app installed or configured on your device to access your OneDrive files.

A new menu item will appear under Open from…which now lists OneDrive:

One Drive menu

One Drive menu

Tapping this will prompt you to log in and then you’ll have access to all of your OneDrive files in ClaroPDF, similar to how the app is also integrated with Google Drive and Dropbox.

One Drive list

One Drive list

Likewise, you can also save files back to your OneDrive account using the Save > Save to OneDrive option in ClaroPDF.

For a full list of changes, please see the ClaroPDF release notes.

ClaroRead V7.3 Released

We are pleased to announce the general availability of our latest version of ClaroRead for PC, V7.3. Of course, there are lots of little improvements and bug fixes, but here are the top new features – check out the release notes for a complete list of all changes.

Improved scanning/OCR

We know that converting inaccessible documents – paper or PDF or images – to readable Word or PDF files is very important to our users. We’ve updated ClaroRead with the very latest world-class OmniPage OCR engine to make sure that more documents work perfectly when you are getting ready to study, research or sit an exam. Documents produced by ClaroRead 7.3 will read better and more accurately, and we’ve worked to make ClaroRead 7.3 handle broken PDF files better so you know whatever you start with you can make a highly-compatible working accessible PDF file.

We’ve also added support for the Kurzweil eBook format. Schools and colleges often have books and documents as Kurzweil files, which is a problem if your students don’t have access to the Kurzweil software. ClaroRead 7.3 will convert Kurzweil into accessible PDF (or Word documents) so you can use your Kurzweil documents more freely.

Finally, we’ve decided to make ClaroRead output PDF/A by default. This is an “Archive” version of the PDF format that does some technical tweaks (like embedding fonts) to ensure that the PDFs you create work on more machines and devices. We think our users are increasingly consuming PDF on a variety of machines (Chromebooks, Android and iOS devices) and need the best inter-operability possible.

ClaroRead Chrome Extension

We’ve always supported reading web pages by selecting the text you want to hear, or using Scan from Screen. ClaroRead also supported reading web pages with highlighting – like in Microsoft Word and Adobe Reader – in the Internet Explorer browser: just click in the web page and press Play to read the page from that point.

The venerable Internet Explorer, however, has been superseded by the Google Chrome browser for most users. We’ve therefore built a ClaroRead Chrome Extension to give you reading with highlighting in web pages in Google Chrome, Google Docs, and PDFs you open in Google Chrome. We are really pleased with it, but of course an end user has to know it exists and how to get it.

ClaroRead for Windows 7.3 will therefore install the ClaroRead Chrome Extension, so it is easy for you to activate and use it. Of course we don’t activate it unless you say so – you’ll get a prompt the first Chrome next starts, and if you don’t turn it on you’ll never see the prompt again.

If you do choose to use ClaroRead Chrome you can unlock its premium features, including Scan from Screen, by entering your ClaroRead for Windows licence key into ClaroRead Chrome. We want our ClaroRead users to have the best experience and the widest range of tools available to them, no matter where they do their work and study.

More voices

We ship the very best-quality text-to-speech voices we can, because we know that having a voice that suits you is very important if you are going to use the software in the first place. Which voice you like best is a really personal preference, of course: that’s why we make thirteen English voices available to any end user (and 67 other voices if you are not reading English text).

Now Microsoft has started to ship good-quality voices for free with Windows 10, including many non-English voices like Swedish and Arabic. This means extra choice, which is great for end users: but Microsoft has decided to ship these new voices in a special format which meant that they were not available to ClaroRead (and other traditional desktop software).

We’ve done the work in ClaroRead 7.3 to make these new free Microsoft Mobile voices available for you to use: you will see them in the Speech settings in ClaroRead and they start with “Microsoft”, like “Microsoft George”, but do not have the word “Desktop” in them. Try them out, you might find one that suits you!

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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.

ClaroRead Chrome V13 Released

We have updated our ClaroRead Chrome extension with a new feature, document conversion, and made a change to better support site licence users.

Document conversion

We know that you sometimes need to convert an inaccessible file – maybe a TIFF or JPEG scan of a paper document, maybe an inaccessible PDF file – into a readable, accessible format, like Word or accessible PDF. Then you can read it in any software, or send it to someone else to use.

ClaroRead Chrome Extension now lets you do this by accessing our ClaroRead Cloud OCR service online. On the ClaroRead Chrome toolbar you’ll now see a drop-down on the Scan button (you’ll need to turn on the Scan button if you have not already!)

Then click on the ClaroRead Cloud OCR button that appears on the dropdown:

You’ll then be taken to our ClaroRead Cloud OCR web app, where you can select your inaccessible file and it will be uploaded, OCR/scanned, and returned to you as accessible PDF, Word or plain text.

Note that this document conversion feature is only available to Premium users – anyone paying for ClaroRead Chrome through a site licence or personal account, or anyone who has ClaroRead for Windows or Mac. If you are interested in upgrading, see the ClaroRead Chrome webpage for options.

PDF handling

ClaroRead Chrome opens PDF files in a special way to make them readable. If you’re deploying ClaroRead Chrome across a site you may not want ClaroRead Chrome to do this, even though you want to deploy ClaroRead Chrome to every user.

In V13, if you or a user turn off all the speech options in ClaroRead Chrome – click and play, echoing typing, speak on select, and scan from screen – then ClaroRead Chrome will no longer open PDF files and will leave it entirely to Chrome.

If you have reasons to use the native PDF handling in Chrome – additional extensions, for example – then this may be of use to you.

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ClaroRead Chrome V10 Released

We have updated ClaroRead Chrome, our Chrome extension for Chromebook and the Google Chrome browser. The free version is unchanged but the Premium version now supports reading with highlighting in Microsoft Office 365’s online version of Word. Premium Swedish users will also find some more voices, and there a couple of minor bug fixes.

Screenshot of Chrome with Office 365 reading.

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ClaroRead Anywhere V11 Released

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:

ClaroRead Anywhere showing page width adjusting to font size in V11

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!

Other changes:

  • 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.

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