Getting Started with Web Reader

Web Reader is Bookshare’s accessible eBook reader that lets you read Bookshare books from within your Internet browser. No need to download reading tools or book files!

Compatible Browsers

In the following browsers on computers Web Reader displays books with self-voicing and word highlighting:

  • Google Chrome version 33+
  • Safari version 6.1+
  • Chromebooks version 14+

In the following browsers, Web Reader displays the book without self-voicing:

  • Mozilla Firefox version 6+
  • Safari version 6.0+
  • Internet Explorer 9, 10 and 11
  • Safari on an iPad with iOS 7+

These platforms can use external voicing applications for audio such as VoiceOver or Screen Readers.

The Web Reader is not supported on other mobile devices.

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Reading Books with Web Reader

  1. Open a Web Reader compatible browser.
  2. Go to and log into your Bookshare account.
  3. Search for your book of choice.
  4. Select "Read Now" to open the book in your browser. Opening the book may take a minute or two.

  5. Screen shot of the first page of Black Beauty, displayed in the Bookshare Web Reader.

  6. Select "Play" to hear the book read out loud.

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Saving Your Place in a Book

Your place in a book is automatically saved in a cookie, however it will only be saved on the device you are using at the time. Your place will not be transferred across devices

When you are ready to read again:

  1. Log into your Bookshare account and select "My History".
  2. Select "Read Now" for your book of choice. The book will open where you last left off.
  3. Select "Play" and Web Reader will begin reading from the top of the current page. Be sure your desired starting point is at the top of the page if you would like to begin reading at a different point.

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Navigating Web Reader

The navigation buttons in order from left to right, followed by corresponding keyboard shortcuts are:

  • Table of Contents (T)
  • Previous (2)
  • Next (1)
  • Play (P).
  • Settings (O)
  • Night mode On/Off (N)
  • Full screen On/Off (F)
  • Help (H)
  • Show/Hide Toolbar (X)

  • Screenshot of the Web Reader navigation settings. Navigation options include: Table of Contents (T) - A rectangle with three lines followed by  three dots  to the right; Previous (2) - A triangle pointing to the left; Next (1) - A triangle pointing to the right; Play (P) - A speaker with three lines coming out of it, all within a speech bubble; Settings (O) - A gear with a hole in the middle of it; Night mode On/Off (N) - A square with a line going diagonally from the bottom left to the top right, the top left section is black, bottom right is white.  These colors invert when night mode is on; Full screen On/Off (F) - A small square in the middle with four arrows, each starting from a corner of the square and point away from the square.  Arrows point inward when full screen is On; Help (H) - A circle with a question mark in the middle; Show/Hide Toolbar (X) - An orange circle with an arrow pointing up, arrow points down when toolbar is hidden.

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Visual Features

  1. Select “Settings from the navigation bar.Use the “Font Face”, “Font Size” and “Font Color and Background” options to customize the book font.
  2. Customize the book’s page format and navigation using the “Display Format” and “Margins” options.

  3. Screen shot of Settings page. Customization options include: Font Face, Font Size, Text and Background Color, Display Format, Margins, Speech Rate, Voice

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Audio Features

  1. Select “Settings” from the navigation bar.
  2. Select your desired speech rate and text-to-speech voice.
  3. Web Reader will use your computer’s default voice setting, however you can use any other voices installed on your computer as well as this Google TTS extension for Chrome:

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Enhance Your Experience

Enhance your Bookshare Web Reader reading experience with these extensions available in Chrome, Safari, and Edge (2020 edition):

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