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Read Text

Read Text Extension uses an external program or a web service to read text. Read the selection with Calc, Draw, Impress, Web Writer and Writer. Read the contents of the clipboard. Use speech synthesis to help to edit documents. Compare computer documents with printed documents. Learn a new language. Learn how to pronounce words correctly. Easily transfer text to your mobile device using QR Codes.

Project Description

Read Text Extension lets an external program or web application read text from Writer, Calc, Draw, Impress, Web Writer or the system clipboard. If you use it to read text aloud, it can help you to edit your writing or to compare your document's text with a printed document. If you use it with a web application, you can translate your text to another language or check punctuation and grammar. It can help you to learn a new language or to find out how to say words you do not know. To use it, highlight some text. If you are using the word processor or the HTML editor, you can highlight several selections by holding down the Control key. When you have highlighted some text, select Tools - Add-Ons - Read Selection or click the Read Selection button on the tool bar. To read the system clipboard, select Tools - Add-Ons - Read clipboard.

If you can't read the screen easily, consider a system-wide accessibility solution for Apple OSX, Gnome, KDE or Microsoft Windows. If you have installed a system-wide accessibility solution, and it is activated, then you might not need this extension to read text aloud. You can use the Read Text Extension to read using a different language or voice, to save speech as an audio file, or send the text to a web application.

The Read text extension uses temporary files to send information to external programs. Depending on the security set up of your computer, other users or programs might be able to read the contents of files that the the extension or other external programs produce. If you are concerned about privacy, launch this add-on again with no text selected to replace the temporary file that contains the text you want to remain confidential. The paths and names of any temporary files directly created by the extension are shown in the Command and Script areas of the About... dialog.

Built-in speech synthesis

Read Text extension uses your computer platform's built-in speech synthesis application by default. For example, Linux uses espeak. Apple OSX uses say. Windows uses the system's SAPI5 voices. A Windows computer can read with a different voice or language if you install an additional SAPI5 voice.

External Programs

External programs can give your computer the ability to use different languages or voices. To use text to speech with a command-line based speech synthesis program like Festival or eSpeak on your computer, you may need to install extra speech files for your language and dialect. Custom voices will only work if they are installed. If you are using espeak with a recent release of Ubuntu Linux, you can install mbrola voices using the package manager. For other platforms, see the espeak-mbrola web page for instructions how to install voices from the mbrola project.

The external application can be any program you can start with a command line that can read plain text documents.

Web Applications

If you have an Internet connection, you can get started reading text aloud right away using different languages or voices without installing software by using the web application option. The extension uses your web browser or media player to play the selection. The main dialog of the Read Text Extension includes access to a web application for creating QR codes. QR codes are patterns of squares that embed text in a visual image so that mobile devices can quickly and reliably read information with a built-in camera. The application is powered by the Google Chart API. Read the on-line help for more information.

Screenshot

Screenshot

Current Release
Read Text 0.8.10

Released Dec 23, 2013 — tested with LibreOffice 3.3, LibreOffice 3.4, LibreOffice 3.5, LibreOffice 3.6, LibreOffice 4.0, LibreOffice 4.1

This release includes Finnish help, Asian language support in Windows 8 that include an Asian language pack and improved pronunciation when using swift speech engine for Linux.
More about this release…

Download file Get Read Text for All platforms
oxt extension
If you don't know, how to install an extension in LibreOffice, see our howto about installing extension for detailed instructions.

All Releases

Version Released Description Compatibility Licenses Status
0.8.10 Dec 23, 2013 This release includes Finnish help, Asian language support in Windows 8 that include an Asian language pack and improved pronunciation when using swift speech engine for Linux. More about this release…
LibreOffice 3.3
LibreOffice 3.4
LibreOffice 3.5
LibreOffice 3.6
LibreOffice 4.0
LibreOffice 4.1
GPL final
0.7.44 Aug 28, 2013 Improved multilingual support for OSX More about this release…
LibreOffice 3.3
LibreOffice 3.4
LibreOffice 3.5
LibreOffice 3.6
LibreOffice 4.0
LibreOffice 4.1
GPL final
0.7.40 Aug 26, 2013 Fixed video for Linux. Finnish description reworded. More about this release…
LibreOffice 3.3
LibreOffice 3.4
LibreOffice 3.5
LibreOffice 3.6
LibreOffice 4.0
GPL final
0.7.38 Aug 10, 2013 Finnish language help and support added. More about this release…
LibreOffice 3.3
LibreOffice 3.4
LibreOffice 3.5
LibreOffice 3.6
LibreOffice 4.0
GPL final
0.7.32 Aug 02, 2013 Read_Text.0.7.32.oxt - Extension tool bar installs at the top of the window More about this release…
LibreOffice 3.3
LibreOffice 3.4
LibreOffice 3.5
LibreOffice 3.6
LibreOffice 4.0
LibreOffice 4.1
GPL final
0.7.30 Feb 11, 2013 Read_Text.0.7.30.oxt will now recreate a missing directory when saving audio files in Linux. More about this release…
LibreOffice 3.3
LibreOffice 3.4
LibreOffice 3.5
LibreOffice 3.6
LibreOffice 4.0
GPL final
0.7.29 Feb 08, 2013 Read_Text.0.7.29 is compatible with LibreOffice 4.0. More about this release…
LibreOffice 3.3
LibreOffice 3.4
LibreOffice 3.5
LibreOffice 3.6
LibreOffice 4.0
GPL final
0.7.28 Mar 18, 2012 Read Text 0.7.28 works better with non-English versions of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. More about this release…
LibreOffice 3.3
LibreOffice 3.4
LibreOffice 3.5
GPL final
0.7.27 Mar 08, 2012 Windows XP - default to English voice code for unknown languages More about this release…
LibreOffice 3.3
LibreOffice 3.4
LibreOffice 3.5
GPL final
0.7.25 Dec 28, 2011 Includes updates for the Ubuntu 11.10 Unity desktop and adds features to the About... dialog. More about this release…
LibreOffice 3.3
LibreOffice 3.4
LibreOffice 3.5
GPL final
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