Automatic draw method of a reading assist ruler using OCR technology

Senior citizens and people with learning disabilities have difficulties in reading long sentences spanning multiple lines. Sometimes they lose track of the current line or they have to make a special effort to keep their eyes on the proper line. Even people without such disabilities may lose track, especially when doing something else concurrently, reading complex sentences or reading in bad shape. To prevent losing track of lines, people sometimes move their fingers on the PC display or invert the sentence by highlighting it with the mouse device. However, there are few IT assistive tools to address the problem. One of the existing methods developed is to display a ruler (a horizontal bar) on the PC screen for separating the lines, as provided in IBM Easy Web Browsing, or the ScreenRuler of Claro Software Inc. Senior citizens, however, are often uncomfortable about controlling the ruler itself, since they must use the mouse to adjust the ruler position at each line of text. Also, people with learning disabilities have difficulties in finding the space between the lines as a target for positioning the ruler. Considering these problems, the current rulers do not seem to be perfect solutions.
The first disclosed is a method of precise and fast analysis of sentence structures of Web content using a combined method of partial OCR and HTML content analysis. The second is a method of obtaining a candidate list of ruler positions by using the sentence structures. The third is a method of moving a ruler appropriately for the purpose of silent reading by using the candidate list. The fourth is a method of automatically determining the ruler attributes (width, color, line type) and its shape according to the mouse position located by a user.

By: Hiroaki Ozeki, Takuyra Ohko, Takashi Saitoh, Shinji Iizuka

Published in: RT0874 in 2009


This Research Report is available. This report has been submitted for publication outside of IBM and will probably be copyrighted if accepted for publication. It has been issued as a Research Report for early dissemination of its contents. In view of the transfer of copyright to the outside publisher, its distribution outside of IBM prior to publication should be limited to peer communications and specific requests. After outside publication, requests should be filled only by reprints or legally obtained copies of the article (e.g., payment of royalties). I have read and understand this notice and am a member of the scientific community outside or inside of IBM seeking a single copy only.


Questions about this service can be mailed to .