is there a way to read the screen text

by redmapleleaf » Tue, 10 Feb 2009 21:49:06 GMT

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 Hi all,

I would like to develop an application to read the screen text for the
blind. Do you know if there is any way that I can read the text (word,
or line of text) under the cursor at any time.

Thank you for your help

is there a way to read the screen text

by jman » Tue, 10 Feb 2009 22:57:10 GMT 


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is there a way to read the screen text

by redmapleleaf » Wed, 11 Feb 2009 11:52:13 GMT

 well I was asking how one can pick up the text at any point on the
screen as the user move his finger about the screen, not the speech
generation. Once I could read the text into a buffer then the speech
generation can come next. However at this point I am not quite sure if
there is a way for me to pick up the text under the cursor.


is there a way to read the screen text

by blindfold » Wed, 11 Feb 2009 17:06:38 GMT

 Text from your own app or any running app? I think much effort has
been spent on preventing that one Android app can "steal" information
from another running app unless both were designed to communicate with
each other. You also cannot capture the screen bitmap for instance.
For screen-reader-like purposes you would need hooks to lower-level
native interfaces to tap strings before they are processed by the
(graphical) rendering engines. You cannot do this in Android. Once you
have the strings, speaking them is easy using the TTS-for-Android
library from 



is there a way to read the screen text

by redmapleleaf » Fri, 13 Feb 2009 02:46:14 GMT

 You have described pretty much what I think is needed to be done. Text
capture must be done at the lowest level so that it can span all the
applications. And so my next question is how can this be done? Is
there a low level api can the screen reader application can tap into
to retrieve the text string? For this to work, I imagine there must be
two support functions

1. function1: when called return the coordinate of the cursor
2. function2: called with the cursor coordinate and return the near by
text string whenever possible

Is there any such function in the android sdk???


is there a way to read the screen text

by blindfold » Fri, 13 Feb 2009 04:00:16 GMT

 Instead of cursor position you might use the position where the screen
is touched, using dispatchTouchEvent(). For retrieving labels
(strings) of running programs you likely need to dig deep into ;a=tree

while anything you would change there will not be available to (blind)
end users with production devices.

By the way, I similarly inquired about future screen reader
functionality last month in a post at

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