QRead: The Accessible eBook reader for the blind

QRead is an innovative and powerful eText reader for the Windows platform. Perfect for students, professionals, and casual readers alike, QRead provides access to a wide range of e-book formats with support for bookmarking, searching, and more all in a convenient and intuitive tabbed interface.

Try a free demo now!

Enjoy the power and freedom to read

Have you read a good book lately? Are you tempted by the thousands of books online but can't figure out how to read them accessibly?

You've probably heard that the way the world reads books is changing. EBooks, digital versions of print books, have exploded in popularity. While people still buy print books, many more buy electronic books online and read them with devices like computers, tablets, and phones. EBooks are often more affordable, are more portable, and are easily searchable, making them ideal for today's lifestyle.

There are hundreds of thousands of eBook titles available in various formats these days, ranging from fun and lighthearted to serious scholarly works. There are books for students of all ages from children's books to textbooks for postsecondary classes.

There are all kinds of novels, mysteries, romances, as well as cookbooks, biographies, and self-help books. Many magazines offer online versions as well.

For the blind, this wealth of new material has offered a mixed blessing. On one hand the amount of new books and magazines available for us to read is unprecedented. Until recently, the only ways to read a print book were to scan it or hope that one of the library services recorded it. Now that publishers are putting their books into digital form on the computer, scanning isn't necessary anymore.

However, if you have any experience reading electronic books as a blind person, you've probably encountered some of the following hurdles:

  • Books are in a variety of formats requiring many different applications to open.
  • Some popular reading applications are difficult to use with a screen reader
  • Some reading applications only read with their built-in voice, not letting a person see how words are spelled or change the voice that reads the book.
  • There is no standard way of keeping your place in a book, especially if your computer crashes!
  • Navigation, particularly by large blocks of text such as pages or chapters is often impossible.

My name is Christopher Toth, and I wrote QRead to make reading fun and easy again. I need the software myself, and I want to help other visually impaired people discover the pleasure of reading e-books.

QRead lets the reader focus on the content of books without worrying about the mechanics of reading. It has comfort and flexibility at its core, fading into the background as you reach the climax in a thriller or romance. Book navigation is easy and uses keystrokes blind readers already use with their screen reader, so they can focus on what really matters.

Read a user's thought's on QRead here (opens in new tab)

QRead Features

QRead is both easy to use and powerful in several ways. Here is a list of features you'll love in QRead.

  • QRead saves your place in each book you read, even if your computer crashes while reading. No more struggling to find your place if you need to restart your machine for any reason.
  • QRead lets each user use his or her screen reader and the voice they like best for reading
  • Searching for text in a book is easy and fast.
  • QRead can open multiple books, so students can move easily between books while doing research.
  • QRead can set multiple bookmarks in each book, helping you move quickly to important content.
  • Readers can navigate by page, heading, chapter, section, or percentage in a book as long as its format supports the type of navigation they want to use.
  • Books open quickly, and QRead remembers which books have been opened recently.
  • Users can copy text from the QRead window to other applications. This is especially useful if you want to quote a book for a research paper or speech.
  • PDF files open more quickly than in Adobe Reader.
  • QRead works with daisy files from Bookshare whether you keep your files zipped or prefer to extract them to folders.
  • QRead's search feature supports using regular expressions for powerful searches.

Supported formats

QRead currently supports the following formats:

  • PDF: QRead has industry leading PDF parsing support for extracting text streams from PDF.
  • EPub: Easy access to all textual content from an unprotected ePub file.
  • Bookshare Daisy: Open both zipped and unzipped Bookshare Daisy files with support for requesting the Bookshare user password.
  • Mobipocket: Open unencrypted .mobi files
  • HTML: Open a variety of HTML documents such as e-books and webpages
  • Microsoft Office Word 2007 DocX
  • Microsoft Compiled HTML Help CHM files
  • Plain text files, also known as ASCII text files

Understanding Formats

Many of the formats mentioned in the list above may be familiar to you. I want to explain two of them in a little more detail.

EPub is a new standard format many publishers use for their books. It's somewhat similar to daisy in that it can contain navigation by page, chapter, and section. EPub files can contain both text and images. QRead can read the text in ePub files. Some ePub files have encryption on them, also known as DRM. QRead can read unprotected ePub files.

Pdf files are based on an older standard created by a company called Adobe. PDF files can contain text, forms, images, and graphs. Like EPub files, some PDF files are encrypted using DRM. QRead can read the text from unprotected PDF files.

A common practice some companies use in their product manuals is to scan images of the print manual and put just the images in their PDF file. If they do this, there is no text for QRead to speak. If you open a PDF file that seems to be blank, this is often the cause. If this happens, you will need to use OCR software such as Kurzweil or OpenBook to process and read the images.

What people are saying

Check out this awesome review of QRead from a blind student's perspective:

Test Drive QRead

Would you like to see what QRead is like before buying it? That's a smart idea. We have a demo you can use with e-books you already have on your hard drive.

If you're a parent or teacher of a blind child, our demo will let you try the software to see if the child responds well to the reading environment. The menus and hotkeys are simple enough that a child of 8 years or older should be able to operate the software comfortably.

I want you to enjoy reading again and think you'll love QRead once you try it. Download the demo today.

When you're ready to order QRead, our check-out system is easy to use and uses secure processing. You'll have your fully working copy of QRead in a matter of minutes and can focus on the pleasure of reading.