Windows Light (read Assist) for Persons with Dyslexia (Translingual Edition)


This edition of Windows Light (Read assist) is a screen reading software developed as an assistive aid to help people facing challenges in reading and writing (notably those with dyslexia).  It works by retrieving text displayed on the computer screen and reproducing it in synthesised speech.  With the PC mouse, the user can get his/her target text in Microsoft Word and other text editors read out.  In addition, it also provides a “global screen reading” functionality which enables the user to operate with the mouse to get textual contents in other windows applications read out.


Platforms and applications Supported


This edition of Windows Light provides text reading functionalities in Windows XP onwards up to Windows 10 (both 32-bit and 64-bit). It also supports text reading in Microsoft Word 2003 up to 2013. 


Language Independency


Windows Light was previously designed and developed primarily with Chinese and English speakers as its target user groups.  As such, its support for speech and braille has until recently been limited to Cantonese, Putonghua (also known as Mandarin) and English.  In consideration of the potential benefits this software may bring to people with other mother tongues who are facing challenges in reading and writing, the developer is pleased to release this “translingual” edition of the software.  As its name indicates, this edition is no longer language dependent.  Instead, it works with any SAPI5 compliant text-to-speech engines (including those shipped with Windows 7 and 8 and those provided for free download from the Microsoft web site) to provide speech output.  This means that any user may adopt Windows Light (Read Assist) as his assistive reading aid once he has got hold of an SAPI5 speech engine for his preferred language.  With this special edition, Windows Light (Read Assist) now becomes much more versatile in serving the needs of people with reading and writing difficulties across the globe.  


Features and Functionalities


This edition of Windows Light (Read Assist) retains the full features and functionalities of the Chinese and English edition, except that only one text-to-speech engine can be selected for speech output at any time.  This means that mixed text in different languages cannot be spoken out separately by two speech engines as with the Chinese and English edition.




After downloading and installing Windows Light (Read Assist)(Translingual), click on the desktop icon to start the software.  Windows Light (Read Assist) will display its “welcome dialogue box” and list the major shortcut keys.  After you press the “OK” button, Windows Light (Read Assist) will launch Microsoft Word where you can operate with the mouse to get text read out.  For text reading, Windows Light (Read Assist) will on start up automatically detect and identify the default text-to-speech engine installed on your Windows for speech output.  If you do not hear any speech or if u wish to switch to another voice installed on your system, press the Ctrl+Win+escape keys to bring up the Settings Dialogue Box.  There, you can select another voice and make changes to other speech settings and then press the OK button.  For help, press the Ctrl+Alt+h keys.  For Windows 7 and above, more languages may be downloaded from the Microsoft web site.  TO do this, go to “Control Panel” -> “Region and Language” and then select the language you want.


Points to Note


  • when installing this upgrade, make sure that the earlier version of the software is not running.  For assurance of success in upgrading, it is good practice to restart Windows before executing the upgrade package;


    • for full functioning of Windows Light in Windows 7 and higher releases, run it as an Administrator (this can be done by setting the “run as administrator” option in the property page of the desktop icon);

    • if there is any problem starting the program in Windows 7 or above, uninstall and then reinstall the package  in a folder outside the “program files (x86)” directory; and


  • press the ctrl+Win+escape keys to adjust speech settings and press the ctrl+Alt+h keys to get help when Windows Light is running.


 Release Notes


  • The current version of the software is released in September 2016.  It operates in both the 32-bit and 64-bit edition of Windows XP, 7, 8 and 8.1.  It supports both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Word up to 2013;


  • for installation in Windows 7 and above, execute the installation package with the “run as administrator” option.




Now that you have got a good idea of what this software is all about, you may now download the package from here.