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> NaturallySpeaking text to speech for webpages
Jan22
post Apr 25 2008, 09:11 AM
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Does anyone know if NaturallySpeaking can read you the contents of a webpage? How does it know what area of the webpage to read?

thanks for any ideas or feedback...


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Chucker
post Apr 25 2008, 10:38 AM
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QUOTE(Jan22 @ Apr 25 2008, 10:11 AM) [snapback]218828[/snapback]
Does anyone know if NaturallySpeaking can read you the contents of a webpage? How does it know what area of the webpage to read?

thanks for any ideas or feedback...


The answer to your first question is yes, Dragon NaturallySpeaking can read the contents of a webpage. The answer to your second question is it does not know what area of the webpage to read. You have to select the text that you want Dragon NaturallySpeaking to read. However, there is a caveat here. You can't simply select text by voice.

1. You cannot select specific text by voice in any browser window, unless you're using a program like VoicePower which gets around this problem by copying all the text and only the text on a webpage to a minimized copy of notepad and then allows you to select specific text from that source. However, that's more of a select and copy process that is not necessarily and may not be amenable to select and read back. The only options that you have for selecting text to be read back to you using Dragon NaturallySpeaking's TTS engine is "select all" and then "read that". Unfortunately, webpages are organized for selective viewing but not for reading back with TTS engines. It will read back all the text that you have selected, but if you have selected all the text on a webpage it will not read it in the order that you would expect, and often reads it back out of order in such a way as to be almost unintelligible or, at minimum, and difficult to follow. In addition, if you select an entire webpage to be read back to you and start the read back, you may find that you have a problem stopping it. Therefore, because of these two caveats I would not recommend selecting all the text in a webpage.

2. You can minimize this propensity to read back text out of natural listening order by manually selecting the text that you want read in small blocks. However, remember that if there are sidebars with text information, selecting text in a particular paragraph may also select the sidebars and result in the same problem as indicated in #1 above. Also, judiciously selecting the text you want read back in small blocks will preclude your having the problem of being unable to stop the read back.

As long as you keep these issues in mind, Dragon NaturallySpeaking will read back text in almost any source containing selectable text, but just be prepared for some surprises when you do. ohmy.gif

Chuck Runquist
Former Dragon NaturallySpeaking SDK & Senior Technical Solutions PM for DNS

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley
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Jan22
post Apr 25 2008, 11:32 AM
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Thanks for the quick reply; your answer is what I was expecting . I do website design and I have read a little bit about new design tags for voice information however it is not popular yet and probably won't be for a while.

When I select text in my browser and click the "read that" option from the NaturallySpeaking drop down nothing happens; it does work if I copy the text and paste it into some other application.

It would be nice if you could just visit the website and say read that... at this point it would try to find a part of the website with more than a certain number of words ( definable in the options ) to read back for you. In the event that more than one area of the webpage met those requirements it would give you the "choose" menu where you could select which area on the page you would like it to read back. This would work for most newspaper articles and lengthy articles of any kind such as blog posts.

Hopefully someone out there is working on something like this.

"We are are in the process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy which have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to actually love their servitude" - Aldus Huxley... elite psychopath


--------------------
Dragon NaturallySpeaking preferred version 9
Vocola and NatLink
Maxthon browser
Windows XP
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Chucker
post Apr 25 2008, 03:52 PM
Post #4


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Other Comments: Former Senior Technical Solutions & Program Manager for Dragon NaturallySpeaking and the DNS Software Development Kit (SDK)




QUOTE(Jan22 @ Apr 25 2008, 12:32 PM) [snapback]218831[/snapback]
Thanks for the quick reply; your answer is what I was expecting . I do website design and I have read a little bit about new design tags for voice information however it is not popular yet and probably won't be for a while.

When I select text in my browser and click the "read that" option from the NaturallySpeaking drop down nothing happens; it does work if I copy the text and paste it into some other application.

It would be nice if you could just visit the website and say read that... at this point it would try to find a part of the website with more than a certain number of words ( definable in the options ) to read back for you. In the event that more than one area of the webpage met those requirements it would give you the "choose" menu where you could select which area on the page you would like it to read back. This would work for most newspaper articles and lengthy articles of any kind such as blog posts.

Hopefully someone out there is working on something like this.

"We are are in the process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy which have always existed and presumably will always exist to get people to actually love their servitude" - Aldus Huxley... elite psychopath


First, you can't select text in your browser and then click the read that option from the NaturallySpeaking drop down menu. Nothing happens because selecting text and then selecting "Read That" from the NaturallySpeaking menu is inconsistent and intermittent. Sometimes you have to select "Read That" more than once. Other times it either won't function at all or you have to reselect the text and try again. The most functional way to get that feature to work is to have the microphone turned on, select the text you want to read, then say "read that". This is the only way that I know of that it works consistently particularly in web browsers. It won't work at all if the microphone is on/asleep or if the microphone is off. Originally, it was only designed to work in either Dragon pad or Microsoft Word. The addition of read anywhere algorithms have always resulted in inconsistent execution when attempting to read text using the menu options in NaturallySpeaking. Whether this is simply a problem with the execution of these algorithms or it is a bug is something that I'm not absolutely certain of either way. Nevertheless, selecting text and actively saying "read that" works consistently.

Second, there are any number of third-party TTS engines out there, as well is other programs, that will read text back to you from virtually any source. However, they are not voice-enabled and they can only be activated manually.

Chuck Runquist
Former Dragon NaturallySpeaking SDK & Senior Technical Solutions PM for DNS

I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but, I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
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