Here it is in use:
I have just clicked on the example "poem" on this page:
Here, Text Echo has echoed the complete poem, even though only part of it shows on the screen - if you use the scroll bar you can scroll through it in TFE to read the rest of it.
The original font has been changed to Arial Black, a bold easy to read font. The text has been changed to light on a dark background - some visually impaired users find light on dark easier to read than dark on light, so it is to test that. The font has also been enlarged - set to 28 point. All text, whatever the original size, will now be echoed as 28 point Arial Black and using lavender on midnightblue as the colours.
You adjust the text and background colours using the colour wheel and drop list of named colours.
Here it is used to help enter text into a search field, again using a large font so that it is easy to check that you have entered it correctly:
Note however. At present this is an incidental feature of Text Echo. It isn't a fully fledged accessibility tool for those who are visually impaired.
Limitations - For web pages, it only works with Internet Explorer at present, not with Firefox or Opera.
It can echo text in many other programs as well, but not Word documents.
It doesn't follow the mouse in a large web page. If you click on a block of text such as a poem that happens to be set up as a separate web page entity, then TFE can echo just that block. But otherwise it tends to echo the whole page. With a large page you may have to scroll all the way through it to find what you want. It is most useful for small text fields, or ones that you read continuously (such as e.g. chapters of on-line e-texts).
It can also be used to read your e-mails in Outlook Express - though not to edit your reply. Well actually you can use it to reply as well if you reply in plain text and select the option to let the body of the text be edited from Opts | Text Options - but that converts the text automatically into plain text - otherwise it seems to work okay in OE.
It shows the text only for web pages - it doesn't preserve the web page layout. If you want to magnify the web page however, you can do that directly in Internet Explorer using Ctrl + scroll up / down with the mouse scroll wheel.
That Ctrl + scroll up / down shortcut also works in TFE - you can temporarily enlarge or reduce the font in the main window in that way.
Text Echo is clearly not a complete solution for anyone with visual impairment.
That said, when used in combination with the Windows Magnifier (Windows logo key + U) for text fields it can't echo, it may be useful for some with only slight vision impairment.
Also it is lightweight, easy to install and unintrusive. This is an advantage in some situations where some of the more heavyweight solutions may not be appropriate.
So, for instance, if you share your computer with others, or are using someone else's computer for a short while, it gives you a way to show text e.g. as white on black, without having to change the settings to one of the ones with high contrast fonts.
So for instance, if you have visual impairment and share your computer with others, you may well have a separate user account on your machine all set up as you like it for your own use with accessibility aids and high contrast text. If so, you may still find TFE is useful as a way to look at text on the screen when your computer is being used by another member of your household who has their user account set up with normal fonts and font sizes.
Freeware / Shareware status: This feature is free if you just want to use it to view the text.
You may however want to use it to edit text, e.g. to enter text into a web page form by editing it directly in TFE. In that case, it is a shareware feature. You may also want to use it with some of the other shareware features in TFE, such as the search and replace for more than three items simultaneously, or all the files in a folder etc.
To read more about Text Echo, go on to:
To get the program, download and install Text Echo
|Site Designed with advice from Sojo Media (Thanks!)||
© Robert Walker 2008
|tool tips by overlib||
Activity Timer and Text Echo - Utilities
|By Robert Walker|
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