While some may dismiss this tool as predominantly “for kids” or just for educational use, it can be useful in a myriad of situations for adults too, such as those with learning disorders such as dyslexia or visual impairments, to aid comfortable reading and reduce eyestrain, to improve focus, or simply to read a document aloud to avoid having to read it directly yourself, if you’re travelling for example.
Allowing everyone a set of tools with which to customise their reading experience to a style that suits them is a great addition for all users; it can improve and assist learning, allowing individuals to read at their own pace, or it can enable better focus and a more comfortable reading solution by allowing users to colour the screen to help prevent eye strain. The feature can be used on desktop versions of Office apps, or in the web-based browser version.
Putting the content of the document at front and centre, Immersive Reading mode in Office allows users to have minimal distractions on-screen while reading. Its simplified UI allows access to the tools used to change the layout and style of the text, or switch back to full mode where necessary. Focus mode can even be used while writing.
Change the style and tone of the Read Aloud voice, or adjust the visual settings to enable a more comfortable read. Some people find particular fonts easier to read, while others may prefer a specific background colour makes it easier for them to concentrate. People with issues such as dyslexia often have a background colour which makes things easier to read for them, for example.
Along with the ability to adjust letter, word and line spacing, this feature certainly has the potential to improve accessibility by allowing users to copy and paste text or open documents into Word, Teams or OneNote, and then use Immersive Reading to fine tune the content to suit their preferred reading style.
Next week we’ll be having a look at some of the other features and possible uses of Immersive Reading mode!