Welcome to Web Page Reader!
This app is one of many apps which I wrote to make my life easier, and want to share with the Window-Eyes community. It allows you to enter a web page address, two text selections on the web page, and the text between the selections will be read to you. If you think about it, there are many instances in your daily search for web content where you know that a web page always displays its content in certain places, say, between two headings; all you need, then, is a tool which allows you to record this information in a simple database, and you could retrieve it at the press of a button. This app does precisely this.
The app menu
The Web Page Reader option on the Window-Eyes Apps menu has the following entries: Main menu and Help. The Help option opens the typical Window-Eyes Help dialog, from which you can access the Hotkey Manager, as well as the documentation for the app. The Main menu option opens the app’s main menu, which can also be done using a hotkey.
The Main Menu
The Web Page Reader Main menu is a dialog box with a single listbox and several buttons. Most of these buttons are disabled unless the listbox contains entries and/or one of the entries is selected.
Since the purpose of the app is to read web page text, and a demonstration is always helpful, the listbox will always contain one or more sample entries, and the word “sample” will be found in their names. Because I originally wrote this app to read my local weather page, and, in particular, three different pieces of text on that page, one after the other, you can see the app in action by simply selecting the first sample, and pressing the Read button. Assuming the web page was downloaded successfully, and the selected text was found, Window-Eyes will read each of the samples in turn, since the samples are chained together.
The Web Page Reader Editor
To understand how the app really works, you can simply select one of the samples, say, the first, press the Edit button, and the Web Page Reader Editor will open. This dialog will contain all the information the app needs in order to download the web page and read the text you want.
Entry name. This field contains the name you want to assign to the entry. If you plan to chain read another entry to this one, you may want to add a number to the end of the name, in order to help keep things organized.
URL. This field contains the full name of the web page from which you want to read text.
Hotkey. Although you can read entries at the Main menu, you can use the Hotkey listbox to assign one of 10 reading keys to the entry. The specific Window-Eyes hotkeys assigned to the reading keys can be modified using the Hotkey Manager.
Entry to chain read. This listbox allows you to choose one of the entries already created to be chained to the current entry. Therefore, immediately after the current entry is read, the chained entry is then read. The chained entry could also have an entry chained to it, making it possible to have quite an extensive list of entries read simply by the press of a single button or hotkey.
View web page text. This button opens the default editor for text files on your system, most likely Notepad, and displays the text of the web page corresponding to the value in the URL field. The filename displayed is “Web_Page_Reader.txt,” and this is simply a temporary file to hold the web page content. You will not need to modify or save this file. You use the text displayed to locate the text you want Window-Eyes to read from the web page.
Speech parameters. This button opens a dialog where you can specify the volume and rate used for reading the web page text, as well as three of the punctuation settings found in the Screeen node in the Window-Eyes control panel, namely, Math, Miscellaneous, and Textual. Using the radio buttons, you can choose whether to use the screen voice setting currently in effect, or use the setting you want. This is a very powerful tool, since you can control exactly how you want any text to be read.
Selecting the text to read
The remaining fields in the Web Page Reader Editor allow you to set up how to search for the text you want to read on the web page.
You select the text to read by reviewing the web page content in your text editor, and choose two text strings (a text string is a series of characters or blank spaces).
The first text string should be at the beginning of the text you want read, while the second should be at the end of the text you want read.
Therefore, the text read will be between these two text strings.
In addition to the text strings themselves, you also specify, for each string, a number, starting from the top of the web page content, representing which occurrence of the text string to use, that is, the first, second, etc; you figure this out by actually performing a text search for each string using the Find feature of your text editor, keeping in mind that the search should be case-sensitive, since the app will automatically perform this type of search.
Next, using the checkboxes for each string, you can specify whether you want to include the actual text string itself when reading, or not include it.
Finally, the two fields, Speak before 1 and Speak after 2, are used to specify text messages which are not necessarily found within the web page content, but which you want to have read before and after the web page text, respectively; such messages help the text read to be more intelligible, since they can serve as introductions and closings for the web page content. (See in the included samples how the Speak Before 1 and Speak After 2 text messages improve the overall reading of the web page content.)
Once you have entered all of the information into the editor for both text strings, you can press the Save button to store your values for this entry to disk.
Notes for specifying text strings
When choosing text strings to search for, you should choose strings which will always be present in the web page each time you access it; otherwise, you will get inconsistent results.
If you hear “String 1 not found,” or “String 2 not found,” this means either that the precise case of the text string you specified does not match any text in the web page content, or the occurrence value you specified is incorrect.
In the case of a failure to find String 2, note that String 2 must be after String 1, that is, further from the top of the web page content than String 1.
The remaining Main menu buttons
The remaining buttons on the Main menu are as follows:
New. This opens the Web Page Reader Editor with a new entry template containing default values, with the name “New entry” in the Entry name field; you can replace this with any name you like; be careful not to specify a name belonging to another entry; if you do, the settings currently in the editor will overwrite previously stored entry settings.
EditAsNew. With an entry selected in the Entry listbox, this button opens a copy of the selected entry with the characters “ – New” appended to the original entry name. This allows you to make a copy of an entry having exactly the same values as the original entry, including the values it had in the Speech parameters sub-menu. This is a convenient way of ensuring consistency when you want to speak different selections of text from the same web page.
Edit. As previously discussed, this button allows you to edit the settings for the selected entry.
Remove. This button removes the selected entry from the list of entries; you will receive a confirmation dialog before the entry is removed, and, when you choose the Ok button, the entry is removed not only from the listbox, but from the INI file on disk as well.
Clear. This button will remove all the entries from the listbox as well as from the INI file, and, as above, you are prompted for confirmation. Note, however, as discussed in greater detail below, the default samples, installed with the app, will not be removed.
Close. This simply closes the Main menu, and is equivalent to pressing the Escape key.
I have included several sample entries to demonstrate how nicely the app can work.
One limitation of the included samples is that it is not possible to assign a ReadingKey to any of the samples.
This was for simplicity, since, in future updates, the samples will be updated automatically, and I did not want to interfere with any ReadingKey assignments.
Further, you should note that you cannot make any permanent changes to any of the samples, since any changes to the samples are overwritten the next time the Main menu appears.
Should you wish to permanently remove the samples, this can only be done by deleting the file named “Web_Page_Reader_Samples.INI” in your Window-Eyes profile folder. (Be careful not to delete “Web_Page_Reader.INI,” that is, the INI file without the word “Samples” in its name, since this file holds all your personal app settings.) However, even if you delete the INI samples file, the next time you install an update for the app, the updated samples will reappear.
Incidentally, one way to assign a hotkey to any of the samples is to select the sample you want and press the EditAsNew button, and this will create a copy of the sample.
As long as the entry name is anything other than “Sample1,” “Sample2,” or “Sample3” (since these are the names of the current samples), you can configure the entry as you want and its settings will be save.
As you can see, you are not actually changing the samples, but, rather, copies of them.
Indeed, if you like how the samples work, simply select Sample1, press the EditAsNew button, and a copy of it will be created whose name is “Sample1 – New”; this entry is already configured to chain read Sample2, which chain reads sample3.
Sample1 – New can now be assigned one of the ReadingKeys, and its settings can be permanently saved.
Although the included samples demonstrate the app at its best, that is, reading an easily-downloadable web page, I have noticed that some pages do not download properly; in these circumstances, when you press the View web page button, even though no error is reported, you might find no text in your text editor; I am continuing to look into this problem.
Also, because pressing the View web page button will always open the web page content in your text editor, you may find that you have multiple instances of your text editor open at the same time; to avoid confusion, try to keep an eye on this, closing any extra copies of your text editor.
I hope you enjoy this app as much as I do, and as much as I enjoy knowing that you now have the same tool available to you that I have.
Indeed, the joy of sharing my gifts with you is the greatest reason I write apps.
All the best,
Supported Languages: English
Minimum Version: Window-Eyes 220.127.116.11
Release Date: 4/30/2017
Last Update: 4/30/2017
4/30/2017 9:53:57 AM
Set Read as the default button in the main menu; added a delay before the text of the web page is opened in the editor; updated samples.
2/5/2015 9:38:47 PM
11/14/2014 8:00:02 PM
- Filename: web_page_reader.wepm
- Date: 4/30/2017 9:53:57 AM
- Size: 19.3KB
- Total Downloads: 1917
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