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Microsoft Reader

Friday, January 19th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Q:
What is Microsoft Reader? I saw something about it the other day, but I have no idea what it is.

A:
Great question! This is something we’ve never gone over before and I think today is the perfect time to start. In this article, I will tell you exactly what Microsoft Reader is and I even have a new feature of the program to go over with you. With both of those combined, you may not be able to resist getting this one for yourself! Let’s get started!

First of all, let me explain what Microsoft Reader is. Obviously, it is another program to come out of the works of Microsoft and it was originally released in August of 2000. It is basically a program designed for reading e-books. So, what’s an e-book? Well, an e-book is an electronic version of a regularly printed text book. They all come in a digital format and you can use a special device to read them, commonly known as an e-book reader.

Microsoft Reader is a 100 percent free program as well. It is used best with a Pocket PC (which is a handheld sized computer), but can also be used with a few other devices. All of the text used with this program is put into an .LIT format, which is used with a small text size for easy reading on small handheld device screens.

Along with all of that, Microsoft Reader comes along with several features. You can do everything from note taking to highlighting to scribbling with it. There is a search function you can take advantage of as well. You can also keep a listing of all your e-books within the program, with some of them having book covers and other images throughout. There are more features to be found with Microsoft Reader, but the ones I have listed are the main attractions.

Okay, now I’m going to tell you about something else that goes along with this program. It’s pretty cool, so you better brace yourself! You can now get a new feature from Microsoft Reader for your Windows-based desktop or laptop computers! It is called Text-to-Speech and it comes with all the whistles and bells. You can enhance your eReading with all of the new features, which include more accessibility options and a more “rich” reading experience from your screen.

Text-to-Speech is available in five different languages, including English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. As with everything else, this has some system requirements, but they really aren’t bad at all. Here they are:

  • Pentium 75 or higher microprocessor
  • 16 MB of RAM
  • Around 19 MB of free hard drive space, along with the 3.6 MB it takes for the Microsoft Reader download
  • Windows 98, NT4 with Service Pack 6, 2000, ME or XP
  • VGA or higher resolution monitor and video card, capable of displaying 16 bit color
  • Internet Explorer 4 or higher with at least Service Pack 1
  • You must also have a working mouse or other pointing device

Now, before you download the Text-to-Speech program, you must get Microsoft Reader, which you can access right from here. Just click on the Downloads link and either download the latest version or update yours, if you happen to already have it on your computer. Then you can go and get the Text-to-Speech package, which you can do from here as well. When you click on the Downloads link, it’s the last one in the list.

Once you have all that done, just follow the directions and if you need more assistance, you can always use the Help file located in both of the programs. If you’re into eReading or if you’re just getting started with it, this is something you’ve got to try. It will make your e-book experience that much better!

~ Erin

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