Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Monday, November 28, 2005

Scan Printed Materials Faster With Text Cloner Pro

Designing tools to work with screen readers and not duplicating what they already do well. Premier Literacy's scanning package Text Cloner Pro focuses on both Accuracy and Speed.

Text Cloner Pro has two different scanning methods: high-speed and high-detailed scanning. Switching between the two scanning modes is just a matter of which key to press-F5 or F6. Now your low-cost scanner can be fast. Text Cloner Pro was tested with a portable Canon LIDE 20 scanner, and the low-end $600 Dell laptop, running Window-Eyes 5.0. Text Cloner Pro was able to scan and recognize five pages a minute with 99-percent accuracy. For professional or academic requirements, getting information into the computer so that it can read it, in an expedient fashion, is critical for success. The two different default-scanning modes make it so you rarely have to make menu changes while scanning . and less time scanning equals more time reading.

The difference is the high-speed mode is only looking for text. If there are images or tables, it will ignore them. The high-speed mode has three different scanning methods; these methods tell the computer what kind of document you are scanning. By providing this information up front, the computer spends less time trying to figure out what kind of document it is, thus, speeding up the loading and scanning process. For the high-detailed scanning, the computer assumes nothing and looks at every part of the document; it will try to reproduce the tables and include the graphics found in the original. This takes time, so if you are doing straightforward scanning, you will find that you can reduce the time waiting for text to appear on your screen by 66 percent . spend less time waiting and more time reading!

High-speed scanning will: automatically detect orientation of the document and rotate it 90, 180 or 270 degrees. You can have it so that it automatically removes the columns and puts the text in continuous reading format. It will automatically de-hyphenate words to ensure smooth reading by screen readers. Retains font type and size. It will, however, ignore pictures and will not reproduce tables.

High-detailed scanning will: automatically detect orientation of the document and rotate it 90, 180 or 270 degrees. You can have it so that it automatically removes the columns and puts the text in continuous reading format. It will automatically de-hyphenate words to ensure smooth reading by screen readers. Retains font type and size. Includes the images in the final document and reproduce tables. It is recommended that you use high-detailed scanning for documents with watermarks, colored backgrounds, or very complicated layouts.

Blind computer users have to spend in the neighborhood of a $1,000 for a screen reader to access their computer. Then, the same company that sold them the screen reader would try to sell them a scanning and reading package that required the users to turn off their expensive screen reader-in essence, blind computer users paid twice for a reading product. As individuals who require a screen reader to read, blind computer users don't need another reading product; they just need a tool that can get their information into the computer so their screen reader can read it. Text Cloner Pro is that tool. By default, its output is an MS Word compatible or RTF document that you can have your screen reader read in Text Cloner Pro or you can save it, open it up, and read it in your favorite word processor. Premier Assistive avoids creating proprietary file formats, because they want to produce documents that can easily be accessed by everyone, even those who don't use assistive technology.

For more information, contact:

Premier Literacy
Phone: 517-668-8188

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