read text Read Text

Tags: Calc Draw Extensions Impress Writer

last edited: 2022-12-02

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The Read Text Extension lets an external program or web application read text from LibreOffice Writer, Calc, Draw, Impress, Web Writer or the system clipboard.

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Description

The 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 Add-On 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 add-on 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.

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Homepage: http://sites.google.com/site/readtextextension/

Repository: https://github.com/jimholgate/readtextextension

Release List

  • Release Description Compatibility Operating Systems License Release notes  
  • 0.8.62 Updates for MacOS 13.0.1 and Debian Linux 11.5 plus documentation updates and bug fixes 5.4 Linux, Windows LGPL

    Windows

    Clicking multiple times quickly on the main button on a legacy Windows system will not cause the application to open the Basic editor with an error message because of a request to delete a lock file that no longer exists.

    MacOS

    • MacOS 13 (Ventura) includes many new multilingual voices. Now, if you use /usr/bin/python3 as the application in the main extension dialog, you can select different voice profiles like “male2” or “female1” that select a male or female profile for every language that has both male and female voices.
    • On MacOS, python checks if Fiona and Lee are actually installed before allowing them as a voice option. These two voices appear in the say -v '?' response, but they are not installed by default in all regions.

    Linux

    Support the larynx-server speech synthesis platform.

    • Since the larynx-server Application Programming Interface (API) uses the http network protocol, supported snap and flatpak versions of office software that block speech-dispatcher can now use high quality speech synthesis with Read Text Extension.
    • The larynx package includes many high quality voices. You can manage languages and voices using a web browser pointed to a locally hosted web page.
    • Supported languages include Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Swahili.
    • On Debian 11.5 compatible Linux platforms, you can use cinnamon-settings startup, gnome-tweaks or another similar application to set up larynx-server to automatically start up after 10-15 seconds when you log in. For testing purposes, you can also start the server by entering the larynx-server command in a terminal window.
    Download
  • 0.8.60 Bug fixes and support. Supports more .wav to .mp3 converters. 5.4 Linux, Windows, macOS LGPL

    All Platforms

    Bug fixes and support. Supports more .wav to .mp3 converters.

    Windows

    • Fix VLC exports. Omit Flac export – sometimes created a file with length of zero. Do not ask for metadata with VLC because VLC does not include metadata.
    • Python update readtexttools.py includes a command for Windows Media Player to play mp3 files.

    MacOS

    • MacOS Monterey 12.6 uses python 3.9.6, so the release includes a compatibility update.

    Linux

    • Improved audio file export support for lame. Versions of LibreOffice released as appImages require ffmpeg or lame to be able to export .mp3 files. This release supports lame in addition to ffmpeg. If you install one of these programs, the main menu includes an option to include a poster image with the .mp3 audio file.
    • Playback on Linux. Resolves Debian Linux GitHub Issue 21. When using plain single and double quotes with pico2wav or speech-dispatcher, the speaker would pronounce the character coding for the characters on some systems. This update resolves this issue.

     

    Download
  • 0.8.58 Bug fixes and performance improvements. 5.4 Linux, Windows, macOS LGPL

    Bug fixes and performance improvements. Works on legacy i386 32 bit systems.

     

    Details...

    Download
  • 0.8.56 Bug fixes for LibreOffice 7.3. Feature update for Ubuntu Linux 22.04 LTS. 3.3 Linux, Windows, macOS LGPL

    This release includes bug fixes for LibreOffice 7.3.2.2 and current language frameworks for Ubuntu Linux and Fedora Linux.

    All Platforms

    • GitHub Issue 19 March 30, 2022 is resolved. LibreOffice 7.3.2.2 does not display a dialog saying “Argument not optional” and stop.
    • Copyright information for on-line service providers is included.
    • Ribbon Enabled - The extension can display buttons on the LibreOffice ribbon toolbar. Before you select View – User Interface… – Ribbon, note that if you choose to use the ribbon, you will have to perform two clicks to read text aloud; one to select the Extensions tab and one to click the Read Selection… button.

    Windows

    • You can add the ability to create compact audio files without personal metadata if you install the desktop version of VideoLan VLC. The Windows Store version of Apple iTunes also works now, but the files it creates are larger because they include metadata information and an image.

    MacOS

    • You can add the ability to create compact audio files in open formats like ogg and opus without personal metadata if you install the desktop version of VideoLan VLC.
    • File export works in both legacy and current versions of MacOS.

    Linux

    • Both Fedora and Ubuntu can read text aloud when using a current Try Ubuntu or Try Fedora USB stick or DVD.
    • If you download an AppImage of LibreOffice to try out a different version, then you can probably use most functions of the extension, depending on the exact version of LibreOfficeyou install. It’s been verified with LibreOffice 7.3.2.2.
    • The python script for Festival now lets you use Flite as an alternative to a full installation of Festival for a compact low latency English voice.
    • If you have installed the necessary packages, the extension can play jtalk voices in Japanese.
    • When you create a media file, a Fedora or Ubuntu Gnome desktop pops up an information message when the program finishes creating the file.
    Download
  • 0.8.52 Update web links and code for MacOS 11 6.0 Linux, Windows, macOS GPL

    * Works on MacOS Big Sur
    * Updated sample web links

    Download
  • 0.8.44 Bug fixes for LibreOffice 6.4.0.3. 6.0 Linux, Windows, macOS GPL

    Bug fixes for LibreOffice 6.4.0.3.

    • Remove VLC from list of compatible players and convertors for Linux because the functions that the extension depended on no longer work.
    • Improve readability of code and correct syntax errors.
    Download
  • 0.8.42 Simplify the settings dialogue for LibreOffice 6.2 4.4 Linux, Windows, macOS GPL
    • LibreOffice 6.2.3 for Windows, MacOS and Linux does not allow the extension script to restore the last displayed option for the dialogue; therefore the dialogue always defaults to the first available option.
    • By disabling the festival option if the festival program is not installed, the dialogue defaults to External Program, the most commonly used option on Windows and MacOS.
    • Windows and MacOS commonly can use multilingual system voices, therefore you do not need Festival unless you require a voice for a region that are not available in the system voices catalogue
    • The scripts for setting up the dialogue use with notation to make the code more readable.
    • The main dialog uses a compatible group tag for the option radio button and uses a tab order that groups the radio buttons together.
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  • 0.8.40 AppImage support, updated documentation, bug fixes and performance improvements. 4.4 Linux, Windows, macOS GPL
    • Make compatible with the AppImage format (AppImage is a format for distributing portable software on Linux without needing superuser permissions to install the application.)
    • Update help, links and comments.
    • Bug fixes and performance improvements.

    Details

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  • 0.8.38 Main tool bar icon resized for LibreOffice 6; Ubuntu 18.04 speech synthesis compatibility. 4.4 Linux, Windows, macOS GPL

    Bug fixes and appearance improvements.

    • Redesign the toolbar icon for better appearance when using LibreOffice 6 for Windows.
    • Make speech scripts compatible with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver.
    • When reading XML code aloud on Linux speech platforms, read the text without the XML tags and attributes.
    • Update the release version string.

    Change log

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  • 0.8.36 Improved multilingual support on Windows 10 4.4 Linux, Windows, macOS GPL

    Improved multilingual support on Windows 10.

    Update tts_wscript.vbs for Windows Speech API (SAPI 5) - selecting XM…

    Download
  • 0.8.34 Bug fix 4.4 Linux, Windows, macOS GPL

    Bug fix

    Incorrect StarBASIC syntax: missing closing parenthesis

    With a recent changes in LibreOffice StarBasic parser, it now doesn't silently accept a missing closing parenthesis anymore (as it did before).

    This release adds missing closing parenthesis.

    Download
  • 0.8.32 Update links; fix support for Gstreamer sound playing in Linux. 4.2 Linux, Windows, macOS GPL

     Update links; fix support for Gstreamer sound playing in Linux.

    Download
  • 0.8.32 Update links; fix support for Gstreamer sound playing in Linux. 4.2 Linux, Windows, macOS GPL

     Update links; fix support for Gstreamer sound playing in Linux.

    Download

Other Extensions

Read Text

The Read Text Extension lets an external program or web application read text from LibreOffice Writer, Calc, Draw, Impress, Web Writer or the system clipboard.

12-2022

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Reviews

  • Robert Ferraro Dec 7, 2022, 7:58 AM (42 hours ago)

    I find this to be an excellent extension and serves me perfectly. A pause feature would be awesome!!

  • joseph Nov 1, 2022, 7:20 AM (38 days ago)

    Please check what the speaker pronounces.
    Pronouncing the character coding.
    Example, check five (5) characters:
    ( ) ' " &
    with Kubuntu 22.10 (Kinetic Kudu)
    with Libreoffice version 7.4.2.3 and
    pico -V
    GNU nano, version 6.4
    read_text_2022.10.02_06.03.oxt 471.4 KiB (482,748 bytes)

    --

  • joseph Sep 18, 2022, 6:59 AM (3 months ago)

    read_text pronounces characters that ought not be spoken.
    Please fix readtext version 0.8.58

    In the very least, silence the following 7 characters:
    ( ) ' " | & _
    Because readtext version 0.8.58 says:
    ( as end-ash-40
    ) as end-ash-41
    & as end-ash-38
    etc...

    Installed:
    read_text version 0.8.58 is installed:
    read_text_2022.08.23_20.07.oxt
    469.6 KiB (480,834) bytes
    and running on:
    LibreOffice version 7.3.5.2
    and
    Operating System: Kubuntu 22.04.1

    Please fix readtext version 0.8.58
    --

  • David Katz Apr 13, 2022, 4:56 AM (8 months ago)

    0.8.52 does not work with 7.3.2.2
    Basic Runtime error. Line 4191

  • L Duperval Mar 16, 2022, 8:47 PM (9 months ago)

    It works well except that I can't find a reliable way for it to use the language code of a paragraph to determine which voice to use.

    If someone can provide that information, I can give this a 5-star rating!

  • David Casey Nov 9, 2021, 2:33 AM (13 months ago)

    Loved this extension, but it seems to be broken with the new LO 7. Hoping this gets fixed sometime soon.

  • Scott Ishiyama Oct 21, 2021, 10:54 PM (14 months ago)

    Works great in MacOSX Mojave. Simple to install and uses the built-in Speech settings from the Accessibility preferences pane in MacOS.

    It works so well that I created an account here just to leave this review.

  • Gab Jun 7, 2021, 4:57 PM (18 months ago)

    Thank you it's perfect !
    Can you just add <node oor:name="OfficeNotebookBar"> to the code so I can see the extension in the tab mode ?

  • Kiwi Jan 8, 2021, 9:02 AM (23 months ago)

    This extension worked very well on 7.0.4.2 on Windows using the Microsoft TTS engine and Microsoft David voice.

    This is a vital adaptation for universal access for some people with learning disabilities that isn't included in most office suites by default. It's great that it can be added on. Thanks very much to the author for building it.

  • EdB Dec 3, 2020, 1:56 AM (2 years ago)

    Will there be an update for LO 7.x? I couldn't get RTE to work with it, had to go back to 6.x?
    This extension is great. Thanks for making it.
    EdB


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