Other Categories for Learning, Memory and Attention:

Options for Notetaking

The ability to read on-screen text is near universal in today's products. However, not all products provide the same set of features so it is important to understand what options to consider.


Several aspects of the reading experience can be customized depending on the product inclduing: 

  • choice of male, female or child voices localized by country
  • speed and pitch of the voice
  • pause/play toolbar
  • read text under the mouse cursor
  • read text in images
  • reading unit can be set to all, paragraph, sentence, or word
  • highlighting of words/phrases as they are read aloud
  • dual highlighting of both the word being spoken along with the sentence or paragraph it appears in
  • masking the background to make the text pop
Otter AI logo


Microsoft hasn't added a dedicated text-to-speech feature directly to Windows as of yet, but they have added a fantastic feature called Immersive Reader to their Office products and their web browser called Edge. There are plenty of third party products available as well. 

Pro-tip: On newer versions of Windows, Microsoft's magnifier tool can speak text highlighted text or text under the mouse arrow. Set the magnification to 100% and you have an easy to use text-to-speech reader.


Glean by Sonnocent

Mac computers have built-in text-to-speech which can read any selected text.  Newer versions also come with a speech control bar to allow for pausing and adjusting the speed of the voice on the fly.

Pro-tip: Press Option + Escape to activate the reader.


Notability App

iOS devices offer a couple of ways to have text read aloud. 

Select to Speak puts a "Speak" option in the menu that appears when text is selected.

Speak Screen reads the contents of the screen after swiping down from the top of the screen with two fingers. Speak screen also uses the speech controller.

audio note app logo

Audio Note App

ChromeOS' reading feature works much like Android's. Both are made by Google. You can activate the reading toolbar from accessibility settings. A button will then appear on the screen. Tap the button and a reading bar appears. 

livescribe symphony

Livescribe Pens

You can activate a reading toolbar on newer Android devices from the accessibility settings. A button will then appear on the screen. Tap the button and a reading bar appears. 

One Note logo

Microsoft OneNote

There are dozens of products (some free and some not) available for each of these platforms and the web. Here are a just few. A Google search will turn up many more of course.


  • Some individuals are not fond of computer generated voices
  • Mores than one product may be useful depending on what type of on-screen text needs to be read.
  • Start with the built-in options before purchasing a product. 

Category Notes

Disabilities Supported

Work-Related Functions

  • Dyslexia
  • Language based learning disabilities
  • Eye Fatigue associated with reading
  • Reduced but functional vision
  • Reading print and electronic text
  • Organizing paper and materials
  • Job-site training
  • Kurzweiledu
  • TextHelp
  • Claro Software
  • Don Johnston


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