3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 27, 2013 2:03 AM by sjpt

    epub read aloud on mac

    quatrieme Level 1

      I just borrowed an ebook online from my local public library and started reading it as an epub using Digital Editions 2.0.67275 on a mac running Mavericks. I started selecting the text in the epub one page at a time to use the mac's Read Aloud feature by pressing Option+Esc which reads the highlighted text. In fact, I could also select text from this epub and do Edit->Copy and pasted quotes from the book in my notes.


      However after about 15 pages this stopped working. The Read Aloud feature no longer reads anything from this epub, not even passages it had read before. The Edit->Copy function is now disabled. The Read Aloud feature still works on other apps on mac, just not in Digital Editions.


      Can anyone tell me what happened to cause this change? And how can this be changed? I don't understand why the Read Aloud feature worked for a while and now does not.



        • 1. Re: epub read aloud on mac
          sjpt Level 4

          DRM epub books only allow copying of a few pages (maybe 15?), to prevent illegal copying of the entire book.

          The small amount of copying is to allow academic references and similar permitted use.


          ADE2.0 is full of bugs, generally I suggest the much superior older version 1.7.2.

          However, one of ADE2.0's few extra features is that it is meant to provide direct support for screen readers.

          See http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/digital-editions.html

          I see it claims to support VoiceOver on Mac; I don't know how VoiceOver relates to ReadAloud.

          Maybe some Mac user can help out there, or maybe the reference above will enable you to get going.


          Good luck.

          • 2. Re: epub read aloud on mac
            quatrieme Level 1

            Thanks, sjpt.


            Read Aloud in mac as I understand & use it allows me to select a block of text and have the machine read it out loud.


            VoiceOver, despite the connotation of say tv voiceover, is actually an elaborate system that enables a user to interact with the mac via voice only, ie at its core an accessibility feature. It's really a brilliant system - imagine controlling right click menu options by voice.  But it's kind of an all or nothing system and for my specific purpose of reading a book - constant start/stop, perhaps repeating certain sections, perhaps have the reading done in the background while I do something else like working on a spreadsheet - it lacks flexibility.


            When it reads something on the screen, it includes all the context info (eg it tells you the text is in a browser titled such & such, and always reads the epub from the upper left position, etc). According to the Adobe Digital Editions 2.0 starter guide, there is in fact functionality for selecting individual paragraphs, lines, words even characters to read out loud but that is NOT enabled for mac! It sounds like they chose NOT to make that feature available.


            But VoiceOver does read the epub in question even if it still has the Edit->Copy disabled.


            So in order to get by the paragraphy selection issue, I just made the font really big so just 200-300 words show on the screen essentially simulating very coarse text selection. In the time since I noticed this Read Aloud problem (~24 hours ago), I have already finished reading the rest (90%) of that 158pg book using VoiceOver in this way. It is very blunt tool for the purpose but it does get the job done. Though even then I cannot have the reading done in the background while I work on a spreadsheet since it only reads the window that has the focus.


            I find I "read" far faster by listening to it than reading alone. I have found the Read Aloud (and now the VoiceOver) feature indispensible ever since discovering it early this year. Hopefully at somepoint the powers that be will see the light to make reading things out loud on epubs, DRM or not, much easier.



            • 3. Re: epub read aloud on mac
              sjpt Level 4

              Sorry that the Adobe software fails you and you have to resort to such irritation,

              but glad you found a way through even if imperfect.


              Try setting to full screen view (ctrl-shift-F) and removing the navigation panel (ctrl-T)

              probably cmd-shift-f and cmd-t on Mac.

              That reduces the amout of context info, so may help your reading/listening experience.


              It may also be worth looking into https://openlibrary.org/

              They have special arrangements for people with certain disabilities.

              I don't know exactly what your issues are, nor the rules of OpenLibrary,

              but if you don't already know it, check it out so see if it can help.


              Good luckl

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