Fonts and Browser Extensions That Help Those with Dyslexia Read the Web

Fonts and Browser Extensions That Help Those with Dyslexia Read the Web

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Dyslexia is a studying situation characterised by difficulties with studying and, to a lesser extent, writing. As the online is filled with written content material, the correct fonts and extensions could make consuming digital content material a lot simpler for these with dyslexia.

Fonts

An image of different fonts.
Image courtesy of OpenDyslexic.org

Something that’s written in a digital format should use a font. Whether or not it’s a Phrase doc, an internet web page, a spreadsheet, subtitles on a video, or any phrases written down, all of them use a font.

Individuals with dyslexia typically “see” letters swapping locations, turning again to entrance, melting collectively, or simply usually altering in ways in which make it troublesome or unattainable to learn. The proper font may help cease these issues, or no less than alleviate them sufficient that studying is feasible.

There are two huge names on the earth of dyslexia fonts: OpenDyslexic and Dyslexie Font. Each are fashionable, each are free, and you may set up one or each and use them everytime you need.

In the event you’ve by no means put in a font earlier than, we’ve written a guide that covers Windows, Mac, and Linux, and in addition a information for iPads and iPhones. After you’ve put in your font, you'll be able to change the default font in your web browser, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and lots of different apps you employ recurrently.

If you wish to know extra about dyslexia-friendly fonts, together with different choices, the science behind the readability of various fonts, and extra, Learn & Spell has a comprehensive article for you.

Browser Extensions for Chrome and Firefox

A lot of recent life is mediated via the web that making your browser extra dyslexia-friendly is a should.

Helperbird

The preferred browser extension (based mostly on downloads) is Helperbird, out there for each Chrome and Firefox.

Helperbird Logo

Helperbird has a variety of choices, together with altering fonts to dyslexia-friendly ones comparable to OpenDyslexic, altering colours, text-to-speech, tint overlay, and rather more.

That is all nice stuff, however the draw back is that Helperbird’s free model consists of just a few of the choices. If you'd like all the performance, it’ll set you again $4.99 a month. This could be simply value it, otherwise you may really feel it’s not.

If you would like a free various to Helperbird, you’ll have to put in a number of extensions.

Font Modifications

There are totally different font-changing choices for Chrome and Firefox. For Chrome, Dyslexia Friendly modifications the font to a dyslexia-friendly font (OpenDyslexic or Comedian Sans), supplies contrasting colours for odd and even paragraphs, and provides a studying ruler.

For Firefox, Mobile Dyslexic modifications the font to OpenDyslexic and does nothing else. If you need a studying ruler in Firefox, attempt Ruler. This does one easy factor very properly: It provides a line beneath textual content that your cursor is on to assist your eyes keep on the appropriate line.

Colour Modifications

For colour modifications, Midnight Lizard for each Chrome and Firefox is your go-to extension.

Midnight Lizard Logo

It can allow you to change colours, colour schemes, brightness, saturation, distinction, hues, and rather more. It really works on something you open in your browser, together with PDFs.

Textual content-to-Speech

The third main piece of Helperbird performance to exchange is the text-to-speech element. For that, you’ll want Learn Aloud, out there for each Chrome and Firefox.

Read Aloud Extension Logo

This open-source extension options a number of female and male voices and allows you to management the velocity and pitch of the studying. It additionally highlights the textual content because it’s learn and can learn PDFs that you simply open in your browser.

The extension is free. Should you’re involved it says in-app purchases can be found, know that these are for individuals who need to use text-to-speech cloud service suppliers, resembling Google Wavenet, Amazon Polly, IBM Watson, and Microsoft.

Should you don’t know what meaning, you’ll by no means use them, so don’t fear. The whole lot you want on this app is free.

If these do sufficient for you, there’s no have to splash out on Helperbird, though the free model by itself will virtually definitely be helpful.

Options Constructed In to Microsoft Edge

Microsoft’s Edge browser natively has a number of accessibility options, so that you gained’t want a lot in the best way of extensions.

Throughout all of the Workplace suite—which incorporates Edge—Microsoft has embedded Learning Tools that give customers the power to have content material learn aloud. These instruments additionally permit customers to regulate settings to interrupt the phrases into syllables and alter textual content measurement or background colours.

The primary studying software is what Microsoft calls “immersive reader.” That is the place text-to-speech, textual content measurement and spacing, and speech highlighting are offered. You'll be able to examine how one can use it in Edge here.

This all sounds good in principle, however in apply, there’s one obtrusive drawback: Nowhere in Edge does it clarify find out how to flip any of the options on. The one exception to this can be a “Learn Aloud” choice in the primary menu. It activates text-to-speech; to entry all the different instruments, you'll want to click on Ctrl+Shift+R to place Edge into “Studying View,” which shows a toolbar of choices.

Edge's "Reading view" options.

From right here, you are able to do issues like activate line focus, change the background shade, set font spacing, and use grammar instruments to interrupt phrases into syllables and spotlight phrases to point out in the event that they’re nouns, verbs, or adjectives.

That is all nice stuff, and Microsoft ought to be getting plaudits for together with it by default. As an alternative, it’s hidden behind a keyboard shortcut that nobody would ever find out about with out being advised. Nevertheless, let’s concentrate on the positives right here: Edge supplies good accessibility instruments by default and totally free, with out you needing any extensions.

Options Constructed In to Safari

Safari makes use of your Mac’s built-in text-to-speech functionality. It additionally supplies a Reader view that strips away extraneous noise and allows you to change the font, font measurement, and background shade (however solely to white, black, grey, or sepia).

This performance is certainly higher than nothing, however it’s inferior to Edge. We have been additionally unable to discover a single dyslexia-friendly browser extension for Safari, not to mention something that might match as much as Helperbird or Midnight Lizard.

Nevertheless, when you have an iPad or iPhone, there’s an alternate. ER Browser has been designed particularly to cater for dyslexia and visible stress and permits you to change the font (to OpenDyslexic, Arial, Verdana, or others), font measurement, letter spacing, and web site background colours.

It’s not a fully-featured browser like Safari, Chrome, or Firefox, however for easy studying, it’ll offer you higher performance than Safari. Given all of the choices although, we’d advocate utilizing Chrome, Firefox, or Edge moderately than an alternate browser.

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