Make learning more accessible using Microsoft’s Immersive Reader

The Immersive Reader tool provides several ways to make learning more accessible. It is available across multiple Microsoft products and can aid students and staff with additional needs, as well as being a great proofreading tool. It helps to make learning more accessible in the following ways:

Text preferences

The Immersive Reader allows users to change text size, spacing, font, and themes (page colour), making content more inclusive for those with a visual impairment or a learning difference, such as Dyslexia.

Screenshot showing the text preferences in Immersive Reader on Teams
Change text size and spacing with the Immersive Reader
Screenshot showing background colour preferences with the Immersive Reader in Teams
Change page themes with the Immersive Reader

Grammar options

Words can be broken up into syllables, making them easier to comprehend and pronounce, and the Immersive Reader can also colour code and label words, showing which ones are nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs. The colours of the labels can be changed by the user too, allowing them to tailor them to their own preferences.

Screenshot showing grammar options in the Immersive reader in Teams
Break down words into syllables, and highlight word types with the Immersive Reader

Reading preferences

The line focus setting narrows the focus of reading, and highlights either one, three or five lines at a time, making it easier to concentrate for those who struggle to focus when presented with a large body of text.

Screenshot of highlighting options using the Immersive Reader in Teams
Make it easier to focus on text with the Immersive reader “line focus” tool

The picture dictionary option allows users to click on a word they might not understand or be able to visualise, and one or several images will appear above the word.

Screenshot of the picture dictionary function in the Immersive Reader in Teams
Use the picture dictionary function to understand the meaning of words.

The translation tool offers the option to translate text to over 60 languages, with more languages being added regularly, and allows users to switch back and forth between languages.

Screenshot of the translation function in Immersive Reader in Teams
Translate text and have it read aloud to you using the Immersive Reader

Read aloud

The read aloud tool allows users to listen to the text being read out, whilst following along as the words being spoken are highlighted in the text. Users can choose the speed and gender of the voice reading the text, personalising it to suit their preferences.

Screenshot of the read aloud tool in the Immersive Reader in Teams
Use the Read Aloud function to listen to text.

Dictate

The dictate tool works alongside the Immersive Reader in Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote, and transcribes text spoken through a microphone connected to the device you are using. This is useful for those who prefer to talk instead of writing large bodies of text, and makes it easier to transfer handwritten notes to a computer.

Screenshot of the Dictate tool in Microsoft Word
Try using the Dictate tool to type up notes quickly.

Who it’s useful for?

The Immersive Reader tool can make content more inclusive for users with visual impairments, specific learning difficulties, and for users who find concentration and focus difficult. The Read Aloud function is also great for proof-reading, as it will read aloud exactly what you have typed, allowing you to audibly spot grammar and spelling mistakes.

What software is it available on?

The Immersive Reader is available on most Microsoft applications, although with limited functionality in some formats (such as desktop apps). The list below details which apps support the Immersive Reader, with links to more information on the functionality in different formats, and how to access the Immersive Reader in each app.

 

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