If you have had a moment to look around this website you may have already discovered my article outlining how to use Immersive Reader in OneNote. This amazing tool uses proven techniques to help users read and comprehend texts. But this amazing feature is no longer limited to just OneNote. Microsoft has rolled out the Immersive Reader function across many of the Microsoft 365 suites of products and you can even find this technology being used in other platforms including ClickView, Code.org, Flocabulary, myViewBoard, Nearpod, Pear Deck, SchoolBox, and Wakelet.
Within OneNote, you will find immersive reader referenced by this exact name, where it provides the full immersive reader experience. In many of the other applications, including Microsoft Edge, you will see the term “Read aloud” used. This is still the same feature that you have access to within OneNote however with fewer features hence why it is called Read Aloud.
Within the Microsoft 365 suite, you’ll find immersive reader included with:
- Microsoft OneNote (online, desktop and app)
- Microsoft Word (online and desktop)
- Microsoft Outlook (online and desktop)
- Microsoft Teams (online and desktop)
- Microsoft Office Lens for iPhone and iPad
What many people may not realise, is that Immersive Reader is also available through the new Microsoft Edge browser. I’m not talking Microsoft Edge browser circa 2015. I’m talking about the new, chromium (yes the same as Google Chrome) based Microsoft Edge circa 2020. If you haven’t yet downloaded the new Microsoft Edge browser, then I suggest you follow the link below and then explore the new immersive reader functionality.
Download Microsoft Edge
To download the new, Microsoft Edge browser, follow the steps below.
- Open your existing website browser and search for Microsoft Edge download, or click the link below:
- Follow the prompts to install the new web browser
Start Read Aloud
The next step is to find some information you’d like to have read to you. A perfect example is this article.
- Copy and paste this website URL into the Microsoft Edge browser address bar
- Click the Settings button from the top right corner of the Edge browser window
- From the options select Read aloud, or you can press Ctrl + Shift + U on the keyboard
- The Read aloud toolbar will appear and begin reading the content from the page, highlighting the words as it goes:
Read Aloud controls
The Read Aloud toolbar provides controls to allow you to play, pause, and rewind to the previous paragraph and fast forward to the next paragraph. You can also change voice options such as the speed of reading and which voice/accent you wish to use. The control toolbar is pretty straight forward so I’m sure I can skip giving you instructions on how to press Play, Pause, Forward or Rewind.
To edit the voice options:
- From the Read Aloud toolbar, click the Voice options button
- Use the slider to increase or decrease the speed of the reading
- Click the drop-down menu to select a different voice to use under Choose a voice
- Click Play to resume the read aloud
I hope this provides some guidance into using the Read Aloud, or Immersive Reader feature within the new Microsoft Edge web browser. Remember to utilise the Ctrl + Shift + U on the keyboard to launch Read Aloud without having to access the Settings menu. To see how to use the full Immersive Reader features within Onenote, click here. Comment below with any comments or questions.