Bookworm is an ACCESSIBLEebook reader that enables blind and visually impaired individuals to read e-books in an easy and hassle free manor. The main highlights of Bookworm are:
To get Bookworm up and running on your computer, follow these steps:
You can open a book by selecting the “Open…” menu item from the “File” Menu. Alternatively you can use the Ctrl+O shortcut. Either way, the familiar “open file” dialog is shown. Browse to your e-book, and click open to load it.
The main window of Bookworm consists of the following two parts:
The “Table of contents”: This part shows the e-book chapters’. It allows you to explore the content structure. Use navigation keys to navigate chapters, and press enter to navigate to specific chapter.
The “Textual View” area: This part contains the text of the current page. In this part you can use your usual reading commands to navigate the text. Additionally, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts to navigate the e-book:
Bookworm allows you to annotate the opened book. You can add a bookmark to remember a specific location in the book, and later on, quickly jump to it. Also, you can take a note to capture a thought or summarize some content.
While reading a book, you can press Ctrl + B (or select the “Add Bookmark” menu item from the “Annotations” menu to add a bookmark. The bookmark is added at the current position of the cursor. You’ll be asked to provide a title for the bookmark. Type the desired title and click the OK Button. A bookmark will be added at the current location, and the current line will be visually highlighted.
Press Ctrl + Shift + B, or select the “View Bookmarks” menu item from the “Annotations” menu. A dialog containing added bookmarks will be shown. Clicking any item in the bookmarks list will immediately take you to the position of that bookmark.
Additionally, you can press F2 to edit the title of the selected bookmark in place, or you can click the “Delete” button or the “Delete” key on your keyboard to remove the selected bookmark.
While reading a book, you can press Ctrl + N (or select the “Take Note” menu item from the “Annotations” menu to take a note. The note will be added at the current position of the cursor. You’ll be asked to provide the title and the content for the note. Type the desired title and content, and then click the OK button. A note will be added at the current location.
When you navigate to a page containing at least one note, you will hear a little sound indicating the existence of a note in the current page..
Press Ctrl + Shift + N, or select the “Manage Notes” menu item from the “Annotations” menu. A dialog containing added notes will be shown. Clicking any item in the notes list will immediately take you to the position of that note. Clicking the “View” button will bring up a dialog showing the title and the content of the selected note.
Additionally, you can click the “Edit” button to edit the title and the content of the selected note, press F2 to edit the title of the selected note in place, or you can click the “Delete” button or the “Delete” key on your keyboard to remove the selected note.
Bookworm allows you to export your notes to a plain-text file, or to an HTML document which you can then open in your web browser. Optionally, Bookworm allows you to export your notes to markdown, which is a text-base format for writing structured documents popular among expert computer users.
To export your notes, follow these steps:
Bookworm supports reading the content of the opened book aloud using an installed text-to-speech voice. Just press F5 to start the speech, F6 to pause or resume the speech, and F7 to stop the speech entirely.
You can configure the speech in two ways:
During reading aloud, you can skip backward or foreword by paragraph by pressing Alt plus the left and right arrow keys.
In addition to the speech settings, Bookworm gives you the ability to fine-tune its reading behavior through these settings. All of the following settings could be found in the reading page of the application preferences.
How to read: this set of options control how Bookworm behave during reading aloud. You can turn on/off any one of the following options by checking/unchecking its respective checkbox:
In addition to Bookworm’s built-in text-to-speech features, you can take advantage of your screen reader’s continuous reading functionality (also known as “say all”). Bookworm provides support for this functionality through its “continuous reading mode”. This mode is active by default, and you can disable it from the reading page of the application preferences. While the continuous reading mode is active, pages are turned automatically as the screen reader progresses through the book.
Note that due to the way this feature is currently implemented, the following limitations should be expected:
Bookworm allows you to view a fully rendered version of the book. While a book is opened, you can press Ctrl + R or select the “Render Page” menu item from the tools menu. We call this view “The Render View” as oppose to the, default, Textual View.
When you are in the Render View, you can use the usual zoom commands to zoom the page in and out:
Note that you can also use the book navigation commands, mentioned above, to navigate the render view as well. You can also press the escape key to dismiss this view and return to the default textual view.
To navigate to a specific page in the currently opened book., press Ctrl + G, or select the “Go To…” menu item from the tools menu to show the “Go To Page” dialog. In this dialog you can type the number of any page you want to navigate to, and Bookworm will take you to it. Note that this dialog will indicate to you the total number of pages found in the current book.
To find a specific term, or a portion of text in the currently opened book, you can press Ctrl + F to bring up the “Search Book Dialog”. This Dialog allows you to type the text you want to search for as well as configuring the search process itself. The following options are available:
After clicking the OK button in the “Search Book Dialog”, another dialog containing search results will be shown. Clicking any item in the search results list will immediately take you to the position of that result with the search term highlighted for you.
Note that if you’ve closed the search results window, you can press F3 and Shift + F3 to move to the next and previous occurrence of the last search respectively.
The “Manage File Associations” button, found in the general page in the application preferences, helps you to manage which file types are associated with Bookworm. Associating files with Bookworm means that when you click on a file in Windows explorer, that file would be opened in Bookworm by default. Note that this dialog is always shown to the user in the first run of the program.
Once you launch the file associations manager, you will have the following options:
By default, Bookworm checks for new versions upon startup. This ensures that you get the latest and greatest of Bookworm as early as possible. You can disable this default behavior from the application preferences. You can also check for updates manually by clicking the “Check for updates” menu item found under the “Help” menu.
Either way, when a new version is found, Bookworm will ask you if you want to install it. If you click “Yes”, the application will go ahead and download the update bundle, and will show a dialog indicating the progress of download. After the update is downloaded, Bookworm will alert you with a message, telling you it will restart the application in order to update. Just click “OK” to complete the update process.
As blind developers, our responsibility is to develop applications that provide independence for us, and for our fellow blind friends all over the world. So, if you’ve found Bookworm useful in any way, please help us in making Bookworm better for you and for others. At this initial stage, we want you to tell us about any errors you may encounter during your use of Bookworm. To do so, open a new issue with the details of the error at the issue tracker. Your help is greatly appreciated.
Before submitting a new issue, make sure that you ran Bookworm in debug mode. To turn on debug mode, go to the “Help” menu and then click “Restart with debug-mode enabled” and try to reproduce the issue with debug mode enabled. In the majority of cases, when the error happens again with debug mode enabled, a dialog will be shown with the details of that error. You can then copy this information and include it with your problem report.
Note that some issues could be tricky to reproduce, they go away when you restart the program. In this case, it is okay to report the issue without the detailed information from the debug mode. Just make sure you include as much information as possible about the particulars of your system and usage scenario.
To keep yourself updated with the latest news about Bookworm, you can visit Bookworm’s website at: mush42.github.io/bookworm. You can also follow the lead developer, Musharraf Omer, at @mush42 on Twitter.
Bookworm is copyright (c) 2019 Musharraf Omer and Bookworm Contributors. It is licensed under the MIT License.