The Texthelp feature combines a text-to-speech function, access to a dictionary/picture dictionary, and translation tool. Texthelp can be used on any text within icurio, and for text on web resources accessed from any Search Result. Using a highlight-to-read approach, users simply highlight a passage of text using their mouse to hear the text read aloud through their computer speakers.
Basic Texthelp Operation
Access the Texthelp Toolbar by sliding the Off/On slider at the top right of any icurio page, or from the frame above any web resource accessed from a Search Result. Sliding this button to the right will open the toolbar.
Once the toolbar is open, you can use all features of icurio as you normally would, with the added ability of hearing whatever text you’d like, getting a dictionary definition of any word, or translating a word or passage into another language. If you only want to use the Texthelp functions on a web resource accessed from a Search Result, you can wait until you have accessed the web resource and open the Texthelp toolbar from the frame above the resource. Again, you will continue to have full use of the features of the web resource with the added ability of hearing whatever text you’d like, or getting definitions or translations.
When you want to hear a piece of text, simply scroll across the text to highlight it. icurio’s Texthelp feature will play the passage through your computer’s speakers or headphones,
highlighting each word as it is spoken. There is no software to download, and no other user intervention is required.
The Texthelp toolbar contains stop/play/pauses buttons, a speed select drop down list, a voice select drop down list, a dictionary button, a picture dictionary button, a translation button and a close button. The following sections explain the specific functions of each element.
Texthelp Read Aloud
Once you highlight a text passage, click the Play button to hear the whole passage read. You can Stop or Pause the reading at any time.
Texthelp Speed and Voice Selection Menus
To aid understanding, Texthelp offers users multiple speeds of playback of the highlighted text.
Two voices are available for intonation of the speech: Ava or Tom. The default voice is Ava (female), but you can change to voice to Tom (male). If you have highlighted more than one sentence, you can change the voice of the reading after you have clicked the Play button, and the voice will change with the following sentence.
Texthelp Dictionary and Translation
Texthelp provides three tools which help with the understanding or interpretation of text.
1 The Dictionary button – Highlight a word and click the Dictionary button to get a definition of the word in a pop-up box. The pronunciation of the word will also be provided with a click of the “speaker” button next to the definition.
2 The Picture Dictionary button – Highlight a word and click the Picture Dictionary button to get a graphical illustration of that word. If the word has a variety of meanings, the picture dictionary will offer multiple images. While not every word lends itself to a pictorial rendering, most common nouns and verbs, and many adjectives, prepositions, and other words are defined with images.
3 The Translation button – Highlight a word or passage and click the Translation button to get a translation of the highlighted material in a pop-up box. Click the speaker button next to the translation to hear it read aloud.
The default languages are FROM English TO Spanish. However, these can be changed by going to My Preferences:
From there you can choose another FROM language, another TO language, or both, and your changes will take effect when you click the Save button.
Language options include: Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Czech, English, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.
4 or The Off buttons – You can turn off Texthelp in either of two places. At the right end of the Texthelp toolbar, click the X to close the toolbar, or in the top right corner of any icurio page, you can slide the Texthelp button to turn off the feature.