Away End

Change Font Size and Colour: Font size can be increased or decreased by clicking on the "A" icons at the top right of any page on this site. The page and text colour can be changed by clicking on the "C" icon, also at the top right of all pages.
Internet Explorer:
 From the menu under search box (top left of page) left click on "Page". If the menu is not showing at the top of the page left click on the cog symbol (top right of page) and ensure that "Command bar" is ticked. You can choose either the "Text size" or "Zoom" from the "Page" menu. The "Zoom" function can also be accessed by left clicking on the cog symbol. 
The latest version of Internet Explorer can be found here, scroll down the page and click on "Do You Have The Latest Browser?".
Using The Mouse: If you have a wheel in the centre of your mouse you can increase the page size by holding down the Ctrl key (bottom left of keyboard) and rolling the wheel away from you, or toward you to decrease.
Other PC Browsers: Hold down Ctrl key (bottom left of keyboard) and press either + plus or - minus keys.
Mac Browsers:  Hold down Command key and press + plus or - minus keys.   

To show the Text-To-Speech toolbar click on the "Show/Hide Toolbar" link at the top of each page.  
The toolbar will appear at the bottom of each page.   
The toolbar can be removed by clicking on the "Show/Hide Toolbar" link again.

This video will show you the procedure for operating the system.
Please ensure your speakers are connected properly and are turned on.
The video can be enlarged by clicking the "Full Screen" link at the bottom right corner of the screen.

User Guide


  1. Listen with your Mouse
  2. Manual Controls - Play/Pause, Record and Stop buttons
  3. Spoken Translation
  4. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Listen with your mouse

With the "On/Off" button you can listen to the text on this website by simply pointing your mouse at the text you want to hear.

  1. Click the "On/Off" button on the toolbar or toolbox.
  2. When this button is on (GREEN), any text you point your mouse at will be read to you. You can also hear any text descriptions of images (called "alt-tags").
  3. Click the "On/Off" button again to turn the Point and Listen tool off (RED).

N.B. If you click on the page with your mouse while ROKTalk is reading, it will pause the speech. See the Click and Listen section below for more information.

Click and Listen

You can also hear (and pause) the text on this website by clicking with your mouse.

  1. To make ROKTalk begin speaking from a particular word, double click with your mouse on the word you would like the speech to begin from.
  2. To pause the speech, click once anywhere on the page (apart from links).

N.B. These controls also work when you are using the Point and Listen feature, and the Main Story buttons - if ROKTalk is reading the text, clicking your mouse will pause the speech.

2. Manual Controls - Play/Pause, Record and Stop buttons

 The "Play/Pause", "Record" and "Stop" buttons give you control over the main text on the page.

Play/Pause button

  • If you select a passage of text and click the "Play/Pause" button, ROKTalk will read only the passage of text you have chosen.

Record button

  • If you select a passage of text and click the "Record" button, ROKTalk will save only the passage of text you have chosen.

Stop button

  • If you click this button while ROKTalk is reading, it will stop the speech.

3. Spoken Translation

You can choose to hear the English text on this website spoken in another language. You will also see a text translation at the top of the screen.

ROKTalk can currently speak translations in French, Spanish, German and Polish, with more languages to come in the near future.

  1. Click the "Help & Languages" button on the toolbar or toolbox to open the Help & Languages page
  2. Select the language you would like to hear by clicking its flag symbol at the top of the Help & Languages page.
  3. Click the "Close Window" button to close the Help & Languages page.
  4. Click the "On/Off" button on the toolbar so that it is GREEN. Make sure your speakers are switched on!
  5. Point your mouse at any text on the page, and you will hear ROKTalk read it in the language you have selected. You will also see a text translation appear at the top of the screen.

N.B. The Spoken Translation feature is only available to organisations that have purchased ROKTalk Plus. The standard version of ROKTalk does not include the Spoken Translation feature.

The translation service is provided by Google Translate. This is one of the best instant online translation services available today, but no online service can provide a perfect translation every time.

We apologize for any errors the translator might make - the best way to avoid translation mistakes is for organisations to use plain English on their websites. Well-structured sentences using simple words and phrases allow the translator to work most effectively.

If you are in any doubt about a translation that the tool has provided, especially if it regards important information such as medical or legal advice, we strongly recommend that you contact the organisation directly.

4. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What do I need to use ROKTalk?

You need a modern Internet browser with Flash 6, JavaScript (both are almost always already enabled on most computers) and sound (speakers or headphones).

Do I need to download anything?

The overwhelming majority of computers will already have everything you need to use ROKTalk installed, so you should not need to download anything.
If you do not have Flash 6 or JavaScript, however, you need to download these to use ROKTalk.
Visit the Technical Requirements page to see how you can check that Flash and JavaScript are enabled.

Will ROKTalk work with my browser?

Almost certainly - ROKTalk works with the vast majority of web browsers.
As a general rule, we make all critical features available to the present and previous versions of Internet Explorer, Safari and FireFox, and we try to make as many features as possible available to any other browsers as well.

What can ROKTalk read?

ROKTalk can read any text on a website, including text descriptions of images (called "alt-tags"). It can also read Microsoft Word documents and Adobe PDF files that are provided on a website.

I can't hear any sound. What's the problem?

  1. Check that your speakers are plugged in and switched on!
  2. Check that JavaScript and Flash version 6 (or later) are enabled on your browser (99% of Internet-enabled computers already have Flash installed).

Does ROKTalk interfere with screen readers?

No. ROKTalk is switched off by default, so it should not interfere with screen readers. ROKTalk cannot fundamentally interfere with the screen reader (e.g. at a registry level) because it is not installed on your computer.

How can blind users open a browser to use a ROKTalk-enabled site without a screen reader?

  1. On a Microsoft Windows machine, press the Windows key and the E key together
  2. Press the ALT key and the D key together
  3. Type the URL of a ROKTalk enabled website and press the Return/Enter key.

You can then use the ROKTalk Keyboard Controls to navigate and listen to the website. See above for a list of Keyboard Controls.

Where's the toolbar?

Look for a "Show Tools" button at the top of the page on a website.

  1. Click the "Show Tools" button to show the toolbar. If you're struggling to find it, try pressing Alt + 1 twice
  2. The toolbar will appear at the bottom of the screen

N.B. Some organisations have customised the "Show Tools" button to suit the style of their websites, but it will usually say something like "Click to show text reader", "Switch Talking Text Toolbar On", or "Click to Show Tools".

Some websites offer the ROKTalk toolbox or their own customised controls instead of the toolbar. These are embedded on the page, so the tools should be visible and ready-to-use at all times.

Why does the text highlighter occasionally highlight the wrong word?

Websites are more complicated than they look - very occasionally the highlighter cannot read certain parts of the code used to design a site.
ROKTalk may also occasionally lose its way on the page, and highlight the wrong word. It will then use clever algorithms to correct itself quickly, however. We are continually working to improve this very occasional glitch.



An alternate free Text-To-Speech application is available here to download onto your computer, which can read and speak any text on websites and documents. A list of other Text-To-Speech applications can be found here.  
Help with making your computer easier to use can be found on the BBC My Web My Way page.