New Vision Concepts
This is the online Help page for EZReader.
EZReader consists of 30 custom applications designed to enable vision-impaired users to more easily access computer capabilities. EZReader focuses on improving the ability of users to read screen content. Large font sizes, high contrast colors and minimal screen complexity are the key EZReader design elements.
You can purchase the EZReader software for installation on your own PC, or you can select one of the PC system solutions we offer.
Click here for more information on purchase options.
EZReader Overview Help Topics:
EZReader Main Page Help
EZReader Application Help Pages
Welcome to EZReader, custom software that enables persons with low vision to view and operate computers more easily. It offers users, such as those with macular degeneration, the ability to read books and other information at a level they thought was no longer possible.
It does so by allowing unlimited font sizes, utilizing pairs of high contrast colors and by minimizing the visual complexity of the screens.
In addition to allowing you to more easily read content, EZReader also provides text-to-speech capabilities. It can speak the content of books, newspapers and email.
Instead of trying to allow you to read existing applications, EZReader takes the unique approach of replacing existing applications with over 30 different new applications that are specifically designed for users with low vision issues such as macular degeneration.
Finally, EZReader supports the use of touch screen navigation and data entry, allowing you to operate your computer entirely by touch (or by keyboard and mouse if you choose).
EZReader itself is software that users can install on their own PC, or on a PC and monitor from New Vision Concepts.
Large screen sizes, such as 32", allow users to see more content per screen, but touch screens are typically available only up to about 24". Users should choose the purchase option that best suits their situation.
EZReader Windows - Resizable
EZReader looks and behaves like all Windows 10 applications in that it can be resized and located anywhere on the desktop. This allows the user to have EZReader visible while allowing screen space for other Windows applications that the user may want to access.
However, EZReader users tend to use its main window maximized in order to see as much content as possible.
The resizable EZReader window also enables the use of the EZReader screen magnifier, where half the screen might be a user's application and the other half would be the EZReader window which displays a zoomed-in version of the other half of the screen. For example, the user might open Microsoft Excel on one side of the desktop and view it zoomed on the other side using the EZReader screen magnifier.
EZReader requires very minimal computer skills. Navigation (between functions or within a document) and actions are taken by selecting one of the icons found at the top of all screens.
To minimize complexity, every screen contains just 5 navigation/action icons. Just touch an icon, or click on it with a mouse, to perform the action. Right mouse click on an icon to see a description of what action will be taken.
If an EZReader application has enough features, then additional rows of navigation/action icons are provided and can be reached by pressing the rightmost, "Menu" icon found on all pages. The icon displays a dot for each available row of icons. The dot corresponding to the current row of icons will have a white center. This multi-row menu approach gives the user full access to an application's capabilities without increasing the visual complexity of the screens.
EZReader also supports "gestures", where scrolling of a document or list is achieved by dragging the screen up or down, exactly as is done on cell phones. Font size can likewise be changed by pulling thumb and forefinger together, or apart, for zooming in and out on a document. A touch screen monitor is required to use gestures.
When scrolling text content, by gestures, mouse or keyboard, the rate of scrolling can be controlled - set to single line or multi-line scrolling.
The navigation icon sizes may be selected by the user. Additionally, a text description of the icon may be displayed, where the text font size can be adjusted by the user.
Because moving between maximized and normal window sizing, EZReader provides a shortcut to toggle between those two states. It's most useful when a user want to quickly access the underlying Windows 10 desktop, or some application already open underneath EZReader, without leaving their place in EZReader.
Special Navigation Aids
As mentioned, there are 30 different EZReader applications, available for selection form the 6 rows of icons that are available on the main screen. However, there are two special navigation tools available which can speed up access to applications.
A special on-screen navigation graphic is available which displays a composite image of all 30 EZReader application icons. The user can click on any of the images to go directly to the application, without the need to click through the rows of menus to get to the application of choice.
Another useful navigation tool is a special setting which replaces the 6 menu rows with a single row of 15 of the most used application icons. Applications not displayed in this setting can be accessed using keyboard shortcuts.
Finally, EZReader recognizes the F1-F12 keys as shortcuts to the most used applications. For example, no matter where you are, pressing F3 opens the book reader application.
|F1 - AudioHelp||F5 - Email||F9 - Screen Magnifier|
|F2 - Main Menu||F6 - Calendar||F10 - Settings|
|F3 - BookReader||F7 - Grid||F11 - Top Level Help|
|F4 - Editor||F8 - Camera||F12 - OSK|
These shortcuts, Control-X, are also supported:
|Ctl-A - n/a||Ctl-J - Show Search||Ctl-S - Smaller|
|Ctl-B - Bold||Ctl-K - Cursor Color||Ctl-T - Toolbar Text|
|Ctl-C - n/a||Ctl-L - Larger||Ctl-U - Print Screen|
|Ctl-D - UserColors||Ctl-M - Maximize||Ctl-V - n/a|
|Ctl-E - Edit||Ctl-N - Menu||Ctl-W - Small Font|
|Ctl-F - Font||Ctl-O - Spacing||Ctl-X - n/a|
|Ctl-G - Nav Graphic||Ctl-P - Print Text||Ctl-Y - Colors|
|Ctl-H - Toolbar||Ctl-Q - Update||Ctl-Z - n/a|
|Ctl-I - Icon||Ctl-R - Password|
These shortcuts, Control-Shift-X, are also supported:
|CS-A - Calculator||CS-J - Menu Level||CS-S - Stop Download|
|CS-B - OSK||CS-K - Msg Delay||CS-T - Test Email Connection|
|CS-C - Compile Time||CS-L - Darken||CS-U - Links|
|CS-D - Full Date||CS-M - Stop Songs||CS-V - Full Account|
|CS-E - Error Log||CS-N - Next Account||CS-W - Account|
|CS-F - Friendly URL||CS-O - Test Code||CS-X - Top Help|
|CS-G - GoDo List||CS-P - Internal||CS-Y - Settings|
|CS-H - SideBySide||CS-Q - Backup||CS-Z - ShortCuts|
|CS-I - Internet||CS-R - Test Access|
EZReader emphasizes the display of text. That is, the content of source materials (books, emails, newspapers, etc.) are stripped of images and only the text is displayed.
This allows EZReader to carefully control the way in which information is presented to users, including colors and font sizes.
All text is displayed using a pair of colors, one for the text and one for the background. A variety of pre-selected color pairs are available. Or, the user can specify the exact color pair to be used.
All text is displayed using the same font and font size, as specified by the user. In many cases, such as where a message is displayed, EZReader automatically selects a font size to enlarge the text to the largest possible size.
All text properties (colors and font attributes) can be quickly changed by pressing action icons or by using keyboard shortcuts.
The spacing between letters may be increased for easier viewing.
The user selects the font colors and font attributes (font family, font size, and font boldness) to be used. Typically, whenever text content is displayed, EZReader provides a Search feature, allowing the user to scroll to the next line containing a search term. Display of the search feature is optional.
In some cases, such as email that contains non-text attachments, EZReader can display the attachments in a separate screen. If such attachments are images, they can be zoomed to a convenient viewing size.
All EZReader functions can be used by touch, keyboard or mouse.
In the case of using a keyboard, two custom keyboards are available to assist the user.
The first keyboard option has keys that are about twice the size of standard keys. While much easier to see and touch, the keys are necessarily placed farther apart. Users with previous touch typing skills will find it necessary to make some adjustments.
The second keyboard option is one that simply uses high contrast keyboard colors, either black and white or yellow and black. The keyboard is a standard size and configuration.
In a number of applications, such as the File Editor, Email or Calendar, a user needs to input text. Typically, the keyboard is used for that task. But for users who cannot type or who simply prefer to input text by touching the scree, an on-screen keyboard is available.
EZReader can speak displayed text content. Play, pause, stop and volume options are provided. Also, the user may select between male and female voices.
The speed of speech may be slowed down or sped up as the user prefers.
Other speech options are available. For example, when right mouse clicking on an icon (context help) to see a system message on what the icon does, EZReader may also be set to read the context help. Also, when switching to a new application, EZReader can be set to announce the new application name.
EZReader displays extremely large (about 1.5") easy to see cursors to enable the user to easily locate the position of the mouse. The cursor is significantly larger than is available through Windows.
The user may also select a color for the cursor. Black, white, blue and yellow are allowed. These next images are real-size images of the cursors used in EZReader.
Large sizing cursors, those displayed at the edge or corners of a window, are also provided by EZReader.
When a user is not working inside EZReader, a free utility is provided to enlarge the Windows cursor.
Typically, EZReader displays a large toolbar across the top of its window. But when EZReader wants to display a message to the user, the toolbar is temporarily hidden and the message display in the same location.
EZReader uses the largest possible font to display the message.
Messages are typically displayed for 2 seconds, but the user can adjust the display time for up to 4 seconds.
EZReader provides several printing options, including protection against accidentally printing a large number of pages.
EZReader can print most displayed text content. For example, if you create a file in the File Editor, you can print the content of the file.
The primary place where printing is disabled is in the Book Reader. Books can contain hundreds of pages and users are unlikely to want to print the entire book, so the EZReader Book Reader does not provide print options.
Even in cases where a valid print command is issued, EZReader can protect the user in two ways.
1. Apply wordwrapping if the user-selected font size causes printing to fall of the edge of the page.
2. Adjust the font size to the maximum value that will fit the longest line of text to the width of the printed page.
EZReader allows the user to print a copy of the current window. In some cases, such the Calendar application, EZReader will invert the image to assure a white background and dark letters. This significantly reduces the amount of toner used to print the image.
The shortcut Ctl-U will print the screen from within any application.
Applications - General
EZReader offers 30 different applications, foremost of which are a book reader, file editor, email client, calendar and spreadsheet. These custom applications correspond one-to-one with the basic applications available in MS Office.
The balance of the 30 applications provide various utilities, such an image gallery, jukebox, clock, timer, weather report, games and other applications which give the user access to commonly used tools.
As a companion to EZReader, a document camera is available that lets users read printed materials, such as mail, newspapers, books, drug labels or product directions. The camera can be directed to a users face or body, for help in getting dressed for an evening out on the town!
The camera is a high resolution, 12X zoom distortion-free camera. It is extremely easy to use and can be operated manually or through the EZReader interface.
Applications - Primary
The EZReader suite of "Office" type applications include the following.
The Book Reader allows users to view text files. Using the supplied 3rd party tools, user can import books from Kindle for viewing in EZReader. A library of 200 books from the Gutenberg library is distributed with EZReader. Just select a book from the list for viewing.
As with all displayed content, EZReader can speak the contents to you. Speech can be paused or stopped at any time.
The File Editor allows users to create and edit text files.
The Email client provides access to POP3 accounts and can receive and send emails. Text messages may also be sent. Attachments can be received and viewed, including images.
The Calendar allows users view monthly calendars and maintain appointment schedules. The Calendar allows a user to enter appointments. It also provides a reminder for appointments on the current day.
The SpreadSheet provides over 30 of the most common spreadsheet capabilities. Column and row summing, sorting, cell formatting, column width adjustments, and row/column addition and deletion are supported. Content can be exported to CSV files for import into Excel.
If you do need to use an application not provided by EZReader, then EZReader provides a screen magnifier, where the windows of other applications can be viewed at up to 10X. The zoom window can be quickly docked to any corner of the screen to display other screen content.
Applications - Utilities
EZReader provides a significant number of utility applications, tools that allow you access to information.
The Calculator provides basic multiply, add, subtract and divide capabilities.
EZReader provides a built-in Internet Browser that provides basic navigation capabilities.
The Online Chat application provides an easy way for users to leave messages for each other or for EZReader tech support.
The Clock/Timer/Alarm applications work just as the names imply, giving help to the user in managing their schedules.
The Music Player allows the user to play MP3 files. A small library of songs is provided and users can import songs of their own via flash drives. Users may also receive song files as attachments to emails.
The Image Gallery allows the user to view images. A small library of images is provided and users can import images of their own via flash drives. Users may also receive image files as attachments to emails.
A variety of Games (Solitaire, 15, Mines, Word Find, Match) are provided.
The Weather Report can provide current conditions as well as 3 and 5 day forecasts.
The Eye Chart allows the user to monitor their ability to see, helping them to make decisions on when eye conditions warrant further help from their eye doctors.
Two soothing Screen Savers (Matrix, Dark) are provided.
The Backup feature allows the user to completely back up the EZReader installation and all changes which have been made to the file structure.
The File Import (Books and Personal Files) capability automatically detects the presence of a flash drive and will import any book, music, or images files that it detects.
Five of the EZReader applications require Internet access - Online Update, Weather Report, Email Client, Built-In Web Browser and Online Chat.
While a built-in browser is available in EZReader, the major browsers, such as Chrome, FireFox and Edge are considerably more powerful. Also, some financial sites will allow access only through those browsers. For those reasons, users may specify whether web sites are displayed in the built-in browser or in the user's default browser. This settings also determines whether email html attachments are displayed.
Online update is available for EZReader.
Users who purchase EZReader get free software updates for life.
Users may also add to the various libraries that are installed with EZReader. Books, newspapers, documents, music files and images may all be imported from flash drives using EZReader's import capabilities.
EZReader excels in providing Help options for users. Tutorials, built-in-help screens, text-to-speech and remote tech support are all available.
As part of installation, users receive a free two-hour tutorial on using EZReader, covering basic instructions on all 30 EZReader applications.
Up to 4 more hours of instruction in your home is also included in the purchase of EZReader. Use that one-on-one time with our tech support to discuss questions that you have or for additional tutorials that go into more detail on using EZReader applications.
There is a complete system of Help built into EZReader. For every screen, just press F1 to see Help. You can read the help information yourself or have EZReader read the Help content to you. We call the system AudioHelp.
In addition to AudioHelp for each screen EZReader provides special shortcut keys to open an introduction to EZReader, to display all available shortcuts and to display additional details on EZReader settings.
In some cases, a user may solicit the help of persons with full vision to answer questions about what is visible on the EZReader screen, or perhaps to help make an input on a screen. As a convenience to those folks, the font size of EZReader can be quickly toggled to a much smaller font size, then restored to the user's settings when the assistance is over.
Another built-in Help mechanism is that you can right click on any navigation/action icon to see a description of what the icon does. If you prefer, you can even have the icon function displayed permanently as text. When EZReader detects a user click it issues an optional beep sound. This provides assurance to the user that their input was received.
Tech support is also available to you, either through email or phone calls. A quick call to tech support can often resolve questions in just minutes.
With your permission, tech support can even create a Team Viewer session, which allows us to view your computer screen to understand and resolve issues you might have.
In-home installation, tutorials and tech support are available within a 45 mile radius of local New Vision Concepts office or representative. Outside that radius, support options are available only by phone and remote tech support.
As installed, EZReader is in Free mode, meaning that no password is required to use it and that the following apps are available: Book Reader, Clock, Timer, Backup, Online Update, Book Library Import, User Color Selection and Settings.
When EZReader is purchased, users can activate EZReader without having to download a new file. Activation of full functionality only requires entering the password that is provided upon registration.