Throughout this series I have used OneNote online to show the Immersive Reader tools. Word online looks exactly the same- it has all the same features, including Translation. Keep in mind that the Math tools are under the Draw tab, not the View tab; they are not part of Immersive Reader and are not in Word (yet?) We have made it to Day 20 of 365 Ideas for Office 365.
Immersive reader looks different and has a smaller selection of features in Word on the desktop, OneNote 2016 and the OneNote app.
Here is what it looks like in OneNote 2016.
Notice that OneNote 2016 also has incremental text size, and increased spacing also toggles on and off. There are the same 3 font choices, but only 6 color themes (including all the Irlen colors.) Syllabication, nouns, verbs and adjectives can be color-coded, but not labelled and adverbs are missing. However, there is an added feature called comprehension that puts clauses in brackets to make it easier to read complex sentences. It can read aloud at various speeds in two voices, and allows additional voices to be downloaded. However, it lacks the Line Focus and Translation tools.
OneNote Windows 10 app
Here is Immersive Reader in the OneNote app.
The OneNote Windows 10 app has the incremental text size, the toggles text spacing on and off, has the same 3 fonts, and all the color themes of OneNote online. Syllables, parts of speech coloring and labels are all present. Finally, it has all the Line Focus, Picture Dictionary, and Translation tools. In short, the app has the exact same features as the online OneNote.
In Word on the desktop, the reading tools are available in two locations.
Under the Review tab, there is a read aloud button. This simply reads the text on the page while keeping the view the same. To access more features, click on the View tab, and select Learning Tools. This looks like Immersive Reader, and includes text spacing, syllables and three color themes. Within the reading tools it seems to lack the ability to change font size or change fonts, however if you change fonts or text size in editing mode, that is reflected in read mode, which means all the fonts in Word are available. It does not have parts of speech, line focus, picture dictionary or translation. While you can translate the document in Word, the Learning tools cannot read aloud in other languages (yet?)
Editing Word document within Learning Tools
However, there is one unique feature only found here. In Immersive reader, no matter what app or program you use it in, it is read only. You can’t type or edit in Immersive Reader. Strictly speaking, there is no Immersive Reader in Word desktop. I used to think it was annoying that it has a different name here- Learning Tools, but it is actually different. Many of the same features are available here, but the text is editable. Students can write and make changes in Learning Tools in Word, so they can type, then listen to what they typed and make changes if needed without going in and out of Immersive Reader.
Most of Microsoft’s accessibility features debut In OneNote and spread to other programs from there, but this particular one, the ability to edit in reading mode, one was born and raised in Word.
Finally, Read Aloud is also available in Outlook and in the Edge browser.
I just saw Immersive Reader in Teams today at NCCE. Click the ellipses on the top right corner of posts to access the full features of OneNote online and Word Online.
Help your students become more independent- show them all the places they can access Immersive Reader. Click here for a video summary I just made for all the features in Immersive Reader! Next up- how you (or your students) can use Immersive Reader with text books, magazines, signs, or anything else they can find in print.
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