Wednesday, December 02, 2009


How readable is your text? This online tool will generate a series of scores, along with a sentence count, word count, syllable count and an average of how many words you used per sentence.

If you want to make a quick check of how some text sounds when read out loud, stop over at AT&T Labs Natural Voices® Text-to-Speech Demo page, cut and paste your test into the box, and click on speak. There is a 300 character limit, but there are a variety of voices, and it's a decent online tool to test a line of dialogue.

If readability is an ongoing concern, you might check out the free 15-day trial of Readability Analyser for Windows XP and Vista (also included in the free trial download of EssayBuilder.)

Patrick Burt has some good suggestions on how to make your online text more readable in his post How To Optimize Your Body Text For Readability. has a page on Readability - making web pages easy to read that gives great tips plus visually demonstrates why you shouldn't do or use certain things on your web page or blog.


  1. Readers may also find the free readability tools on my site helpful: You can evaluate a web page or pasted text for Flesh Reading Ease, Grade Level, Gunning Fog and the SMOG index. Also, you may find my blog post about using readability tools helpful:

  2. I'm a bit confused. Is this meant for fiction? Or is it meant for blog posts and essays?

    Readability in fiction might be one of those "I know it when I see it" kind of things.

  3. Anonymous9:07 AM

    There is a great tool called Readability that takes the text of a web page and reformats it as "bookish" texts. I've found that it is fantastic for reading the books at Gutenberg. Also work for other web pages - strips out everything but the main body of the text.


  4. You are just so helpful. : )

  5. Margaret wrote: I'm a bit confused. Is this meant for fiction? Or is it meant for blog posts and essays?

    In some cases, both. Readability on the internet is mostly about fonts, formatting and other types of presentation, in which case the links to Patrick Burt's and the's articles would be helpful. The rest are more about the readability of printed text, like what we publish in our books. I just went with both because I found them all pretty interesting. :)

    Readability in fiction might be one of those "I know it when I see it" kind of things.

    I have an advantage in that I write by speaking to the VRS, so I can actually hear all my dialogue as it hits the page, and I've found it really helps me with composition -- sometimes I catch myself writing guy dialogue that sounds out loud more like girl dialogue, for example. That AT&T link can read back a line or two of dialogue to you in different voices so you can hear how it sounds. I also like seeing counts on my scenes (especially averages on words per sentence, since I try to avoid writing long, rambling one, so the Readability tool helps give me a regular count check.

  6. PW,

    First, thanks so much for all you do on this blog. I never miss a day, and I wonder if I'll ever be at your level of daily word count!!! LOL

    Second, it's nice to think that I can share something with you - and today I can.

    For listening to text read back to me, I've been using the free version of Natural Reader for years for editing - no character limit and a selection of voices. Cut and paste your content into the box (same as AT&T), listen, and pause NR when you need to change something in your work.

    Link is here:

    A free, excellent offer over the web. Gotta love it.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  7. One of the big NY publishing houses, I forget which one, uses Oleander Solutions.

    Not free, but exceptional.

  8. Jimmy Hughes11:28 AM


    Jimmy here from Great to hear you found our article helpful!

    All the best.

    Scratchmedia Ltd
    Web Design London


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