Using ReadSpeaker webReader

ReadSpeaker webReader allows the text content on a website to be read aloud. By speech-enabling text, you can better understand information, and listen to it anywhere and at anytime. This makes the content more accessible and the website more pleasant to visit. As a user, you don't have to download anything.

How Does it Work?

Listen to the Content

Simply click the Listen button to listen to the content of a web page:

An audio player appears (see image below) and webReader starts reading the text of the web page out loud.

In the player, you can:

  • Pause/restart the reading
  • Stop the reading
  • Use the skip buttons to rewind or forward the audio
  • Adjust the volume
  • Adjust the reading speed
  • Close the player

webReader pop-up windows

Some of webReaders features, such as Text Mode and Enlarged Text and Translation, will open a pop-up window. All webReader pop-up windows have a play button for listening to the content shown. You can play, pause, or stop the audio, alter the text formatting, adjust the reading speed and maximize the window size for easier and undistracted reading.

Features for Selected Text

Selecting text on a page triggers some features. To use these features, select a word, phrase or phrases and then select the desired feature from the pop-up menu that appears next to the selected text.

Read selected text

 To listen to any part of a text, select the text and click the Listen button from the pop-up menu.


To look up a word in the dictionary, select the word and click the Dictionary button from the pop-up menu. A pop-up window will open, showing the dictionary entry for the selected word. This feature works best if only one word is selected.


 To translate any part of a text, select the text and click the Translation button from the pop-up menu. A language picker will appear, where you can select the target language. The translation will be shown in a pop-up window.


Use the Features in the Toolbar

 Click the expand button in the corner of the Listen button to open the toolbar. The toolbar (see image below) has many useful features which are explained below.

Pop-up Control Panel

Access key: Modifier + C

During audio playback, you will sometimes see a pop-up control panel where you can pause/play the audio and toggle the automatic scrolling of the page (on/off). This pop-up control panel will show when the webReader player is out of sight and/or when automatic scrolling is off.

Floating Listen button, player, and toolbar

Put focus on drag handle: Modifier + U

 When you scroll down on the page, the Listen button, player, and toolbar will float to a different position so as to remain visible. The floating Listen button or player will show a drag handle.

 You can use the drag handle to drag the Listen button, player and toolbar to where it is most convenient in relation to the content shown on the page. They will move back to the default position when you scroll back up. They will always float to the position you last dragged them to.

 (Note that if there are multiple players on one page, a player will only float if it is actually in playing mode)

 Keyboard Navigation

webReader can be activated, i.e. focus can be set on the Listen button, with the access key "K". The access key "L" will set focus on the player and also start the reading. Many of the webReader tools and features also have a dedicated access key.

 Access keys are activated with modifier keys, which differ depending on the browser and the operating system used (see list of modifier keys for different environments here:

 Inside the player and toolbar, i.e. when the user has set focus on the player, tab/shift+tab can be used to navigate and the enter key to activate a certain button or option.

  • Put focus on Listen button: Modifier + K
  •  Put focus on player and start the reading: Modifier + L
  •  Open/close toolbar: Modifier + 1

 The access keys for the individual features are mentioned in the respective sections below. For some features the access keys may only function if the toolbar is opened first.


Access key: Modifier + S

Click to personalize webReader according to your preferences. A pop-up window will open where you can adjust certain settings that determine how webReader works. Read about each setting below. Your personalized settings are saved between sessions.

 From the settings window, you can change the following:


Text Highlighting On/Off

 Choose to have the text highlighting feature enabled or turned off.

Highlighting Options

Choose what type of highlighting you would like. The different options are:

  •  Word and sentence
  •  Sentence only
  •  Word only
  •  No highlighting

Word Color

Choose the color that will be used for highlighting words as they are read or choose to underline instead.

Sentence Color

Choose the color that will be used for highlighting sentences as they are read or choose to underline instead.

Text Color

Choose the color for the highlighted text.


Automatic Scrolling

Toggle automatic scrolling (on/off). When activated, the page will automatically scroll down to follow the highlighted text. This setting can also be toggled from the pop-up control panel which will show when automatic scrolling is turned off.

Pop-up Menu for Selected Text

Turn on or off the pop-up menu that appears when text is selected.

Close pop-up menu for selected text

If you want the pop-up menu to close automatically, choose that option and set the number of seconds the pop-up menu should show.

If you prefer the pop-up menu to remain visible until you either make a choice from the menu or select other content on the page, choose the option Do not close.

Restore Default Settings

Restore all settings to default.

 Read on Hover

Access key: Modifier + H

Click the button to activate or turn off this feature. A green dot on the button will indicate that it is activated. When activated, webReader will start reading a paragraph when the cursor points to it. This allows you to listen to a paragraph you want to read without having to select it first and click the Listen button. You simply hover over it.

 Enlarge Text

Access key: Modifier + E

Click the button to activate or turn off this feature. A green dot on the button will indicate that it is activated. When activated, webReader will display the sentence being read at the bottom of the page, with a larger font size and simultaneous text highlighting. You can play, pause or stop the audio and increase or decrease the size of the text.

 Page Mask

Access key: Modifier + M

This tool dims the screen except for a highlighted area that follows the mouse cursor, or the finger on touch devices, to make it easier to focus on smaller portions of text at a time. To turn the page mask off, hit the escape key or click the cross on the right edge of the page mask.

To enter (or exit) keyboard navigation mode when page mask is showing, hit the space key. A small keyboard icon will show just above the focus area when keyboard navigation mode is active. When active, arrow keys can be used to move the focus area (or shift key + arrow key for faster movement). Plus and minus keys will change the size of the focus area.


Access key: Modifier + I

The help page gives you more information about the different tools in ReadSpeaker webReader. To learn more about ReadSpeaker, please visit


Any visuals described in this help tool refer to the standard ReadSpeaker skin implementation of webReader and might not apply if the webReader tool has been given a customized skin.