[Athen] Foreign language voices with Read/Write Gold 11

Sean Keegan skeegan at stanford.edu
Mon Jul 15 12:13:26 PDT 2013

Hi all,

I can confirm (from a TextHelp representative), that Read and Write Gold 11 does not support the automatic switching of language text-to-speech voices when reading an MS Word or HTML document. You can manually switch the voices provided you have the different language TTS engines installed. I know you can use other applications and include the appropriate language codes, but why is it that a $35 program can get it to work when a $645 program can't? In any case, it looks like the best option for language switching with RWG 11at this time is to use a DAISY book with full-text/full-audio (with the appropriate language TTS engines being used for the pre-recorded audio).

On the plus side, there is better support for Chrome and Firefox with improved speech highlighting. On the downside, this support only works if the HTML content is served from a web server. If you create a text-based web page (i.e., an HTML document) and it resides on the local computer, then Firefox and Chrome will not read the content. Only Internet Explorer supports reading of the document if the file is offline. A bit annoying.

I must say, though, that I do like the new icons and the ability to change the toolbar background. The previous icons were looking a bit dated and kid-based from a higher ed perspective. Thanks for the note, EA, about the magnification issue.

take care,

Sean Keegan
Associate Director, Assistive Technology
Office of Accessible Education - Stanford University

On Jul 15, 2013, at 5:38 AM, "E.A. Draffan" <ea at emptech.info> wrote:

> Sorry for the delay in getting back on this one. I now have version 11

> Read and Write Gold up and running and tried it with a piece of text in

> French followed by English and then German in MS Word and all the text

> was read by the voice that had been selected - in my case British English,

> so it does not automatically detect the language and switch voices. If

> you have the same toolbar up when you are running Chrome and a two

> language site - once again it will read with your chosen voice.


> The new version allows you to change the background of the main toolbar

> which is nice but you may want to go back to the original icons as well -

> they are not the default in the new version. The new version has better

> support for Chrome and Firefox. Another new features is that you can

> record instant audio notes that can be displayed in Word as .wav files to

> help some users and there are more subject related word banks for younger

> users. ABBYY version 7 allows you to save a scan to ePub which is useful

> if you want to read on the move using an ereader.


> Just as a little note on the side I have found that when I tested version

> 11 on a Windows 8 machine with DPI 150% which is not the default for my

> laptop - some of the icons became misplaced and some dialog boxes were

> unreadable. I have told TextHelp but you have to return to 125% to sort

> out the problem.


> Hope this helps.

> Best wishes

> E.A.


> Mrs E.A. Draffan

> WAIS, ECS , University of Southampton

> Tel +44 (0)23 8059 7246

> Mobile +44 (0)7976 289103

> http://access.ecs.soton.ac.uk

> http://www.emptech.info


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