4. Reading books with the EasyReader App
Welcome to the fourth lesson in the EasyReader Premium for Educators Course.
This lesson follows on from the previous lesson. In this lesson you will explore the reading options available in the EasyReader App. You will also discover ways you can navigate through a book and ways to adjust the text and audio settings to make reading a more comfortable experience.
After studying this lesson, you will be able to:
- Accurately explain the options in the Reading screen
- Accurately explain the options in Text and Audio settings
- Correctly explain the steps to navigate Headings in a book
This lesson should take no more than twenty minutes to complete.
When you open a book in EasyReader, the book opens in the Reading screen. The Reading screen contains all the options you need to make reading a comfortable and productive experience.
Opening a Book
Following on from the previous lesson, let's start by opening the book you've previously downloaded to the 'My Books' list.
To do this:
- Open EasyReader.
- On the 'My Books' screen, tap, click or press the ENTER key on "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde".
Your book will open in the Reading screen.
Let's pause at this point and explore the options available in the Reading screen. Here, you'll notice there is a difference between mobile devices and the layout presented in the Windows App. Please be assured the functionality is comparable between the different platforms.
Reading screen on iOS and Android
Controls shown top of screen, left to right include:
- Side menu.
Provides access to the key features including 'My Books' and libraries.
Lets you search for a word or phrase in text-based books.
Enables you to mark the current passage of text to provide easy access in the future. You can add as many bookmarks as you need.
- Text settings.
Provides access to settings that let you change the font, text size, spacing, colours, and other text attributes.
- Audio settings.
Provides access to settings that let you change the voice, reading speed, pronunciation and other audio parameters.
- Book Options (called 'More Options' on Android).
Provides access to settings that let you review information about the book, your position in the book and a sleep timer option. A 'Switch to text view' option will also be available if you are viewing a PDF document from RNIB Bookshare. It is recommended, where both an EPUB and PDF edition of a book is available, that you choose the EPUB edition for better accessibility. Please note: PDF support is restricted to RNIB Bookshare.
Controls shown at bottom of screen, left to right:
- Book navigation.
Provides access to settings that let you navigate to Headings, Pages and Bookmarks in a book.
Lets you skip back through your book in increments you can set in 'Navigation settings'.
Lets you play and pause the reading voice.
Lets you skip forward through your book in the increments you set in 'Navigation settings'.
- Navigation settings.
Lets you set how far the 'Previous' and 'Next' buttons skip in the book.
Reading screen on Windows
As previously mentioned, although the layout differs between mobile devices and Windows, the functionality remains comparable.
On Windows, you have access to Play and Pause buttons as well as buttons to skip forward and back through text. You also have access to Text and Audio settings, plus the ability to add bookmarks to a book. These options are available through the menu bar and toolbar located across the top of the screen.
If your student prefers to use the keyboard to navigate programs rather than the mouse, they can access the menu bar and toolbar using standard Windows keyboard commands including:
- Alt key to move focus to the menu bar and Arrow Keys to explore the menu options.
- F6 to move focus between the book and the toolbar.
- TAB and SHIFT + TAB to move focus between the toolbar items.
It is also worth noting that EasyReader for Windows includes a wealth of keyboard commands to help students quickly navigate text and easily adjust their reading options. Here are just some of the popular keyboard commands available in EasyReader.
Popular keyboard commands:
F5 or SPACEBAR
Increase playback speed
CTRL + RIGHT ARROW
Decrease playback speed
CTRL + LEFT ARROW
Skip forward to next Heading
Skip back to previous Heading
SHIFT + H
Go to start
Go to end
Increase text size
CTRL + PLUS
Decrease text size
CTRL + MINUS
Reset text size to default
CTRL + ZERO
Show/Hide Text settings
Show/Hide Audio settings
For a full list of keyboard commands, please refer to the help page: EasyReader for Windows Keyboard commands and touch gestures
Navigating a Book
Now you understand the Reading screen layout, let's go to the first chapter and listen to a segment of the book.
On iOS or Android
- Tap the 'Book navigation' button located in the bottom left corner of the screen.
- Under 'Headings', tap the "STORY OF THE DOOR". This will take you to the first chapter in this book.
- Tap the 'Play' button. A human-sounding voice will start to read your book aloud.
- Listen for a few seconds and then tap the 'Pause' button to halt the reading of the book.
- Open the 'View' menu and choose 'Headings View'.
- In the 'Headings' pane, select the "STORY OF THE DOOR". This will take you to the first chapter in this book.
- Click the 'Play' button or press F5. A voice will start to read your book aloud.
If you are running SuperNova Version 21.02 or later, the SuperNova voice is used to read text-only books in EasyReader. If the book you are reading contains audio, then EasyReader will control The reading of the book.
- Listen for a few seconds and then click the 'Pause' button or press F5 to pause the reading.
Now, as an exercise, return to the 'My Books' screen and re-open the book again. When you re-open the book you will find yourself positioned at the last place you stopped reading.
Tip: On an iOS or Android device, tap the 'Side Menu' button and choose 'My Books' to go back to the 'My Books' screen. On Windows, tap or click the 'Back' button or press the ESCAPE key to go back to the 'My Books' screen. Once there, tap, click or press ENTER to re-open the book.
- With EasyReader Premium, your reading position is synchronised across the other devices you choose to use. This ensures you can continue to read anywhere and learn anywhere, on any of your devices.
Adjusting text and audio settings
With your book open, let's take the opportunity to review some of the popular text and audio settings you can change to enhance your reading experience.
You can use the 'Text settings' options to adjust the style, layout and colours of the text in your book. Simply tap or click the 'Text settings' button to view the available options. If you are using Windows, you can also press F7 to open the 'Text settings' option.
Text Settings include:
- Text size.
Use this to increase and decrease the size of the text in your book. The text in the book will wrap when the size increases. Alternatively, you can adjust the size of the text while you are in the reading screen by using the pinch-to-zoom gesture. Or, if you are using Windows, use the keyboard command CTRL + PLUS and CTRL + MINUS.
Choose a font to display the text. You can choose from a variety of fonts including dyslexia-friendly fonts.
- Margins, Line spacing and Letter spacing.
Use to change the appearance and layout of your text.
- Use the "Show image description" button to control whether descriptions are shown in front of images in the text. Note that this feature applies only to particular text-only books formatted to the EPUB 3 specification.
- Use the 'Lines visible' to choose the number of lines you want to see at any particular time when you are reading. You can choose from 'All', '1 line', '3 lines' or '5 lines'. Lines you have chosen not to view will be covered with a black overlay.
Sentence highlighting will also be disabled when you restrict the viewing of lines. Please note that this feature is for text-only books and, if you are using an Android device, it requires you to download and use a Vocalizer synthesiser voice.
Use to choose a colour scheme. You can choose from specially designed dyslexia-friendly colour schemes and high-contrast colour schemes suitable for students with low vision.
If no theme is suitable, use the colour picker options to set your own text, background, sentence highlight and word highlight colours.
You can use the 'Audio settings' options to adjust the voice, reading speed and pronunciation of your reading voice. Simply tap or click the 'Audio settings' button to view the available options. If you are using Windows, you can also press F8 to open the 'Audio settings' option.
- Voice rate
Adjust to alter the reading speed of the synthetic and human narrated output.
Use to choose an alternative human-sounding voice. The availability of voices will depend upon compatible voices present on your device. You can use the 'Add voices' button to purchase additional voices.
- Voice settings
Choose to open further voice parameters including pitch, volume and pause duration.
- Pronunciation options
Use to change the pronunciation of words by the human-sounding voice. You can create multiple pronunciation lists, allowing you to produce lists that may be specific to a book, subject or voice.
- Play on navigation
Select to make reading automatic following movement to a navigation point such as a chapter, page or bookmark.
- Play sound on bookmark
Select to get an audible beep sound when speech encounters a bookmark.
The changes you make to Text and Audio settings apply to all the books you open.
- With EasyReader Premium, it is important to note that your key Text and Audio settings are only transferred to your second device during the first run of the EasyReader App on a new device. This is because devices have different screen sizes and audio options, so it makes the continuous transferring of settings disadvantageous.
Once you are happy with your audio and text settings, please close down EasyReader. Then download, install and sign into EasyReader on your second device and review the options that are synchronised.
If you do not have a second device, you can remove and reinstall the EasyReader App for a similar experience.
Note: If you are using SuperNova or Dolphin ScreenReader Version 21.02 or later with EasyReader for Windows Version 9.02 or later, you will find the Audio settings controlling text-to-speech options disabled when you are reading a text-only book. This is because the SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader voice is used to read the text. The Highlighting options in the EasyReader Text settings are also disabled to enable you to use your SuperNova and Dolphin ScreenReader Highlighting settings.
In this lesson you looked at the reading screen, familiarised yourself with the controls available on the screen, and worked through the text and audio settings which you can change to make your reading experience accessible, comfortable and productive.
You also learnt that book position is saved and synchronised between devices to ensure you can continue to read from the place you left off, on any device you sign in to. You also learnt that key text and audio settings are only synchronised on the first run on a new device.
In the next lesson, you'll be taking a closer look at the management of bookmarks, and how you can create your own study notes.
There are three sample quiz questions below, based on this lesson.
Please spend no more than five minutes considering the answers to these questions.
- The main options available in the reading screen is comparable between the different editions of EasyReader. Is this statement true?
- The speed you listen to a human narrated book cannot be adjusted. Is this statement true?
- You cannot adjust the time interval the Previous and Next buttons navigate in a book. Is this statement true?
End of lesson
Thank you for completing this lesson. Please click the 'Next Lesson' option below to continue to the next part of the course.
If you want to revisit a previous lesson, please scroll to the top of this page and click the lesson you wish to visit in the Course Outline menu.
But before you move on, here are the answers to the quiz questions: