AssistiveWare has updated its system-wide spoken word interface for Mac OS X, VisioVoice, to version 1.1.

VisioVoice makes it easier for people with vision impairments to use Mac OS X, offering a system-wide talking interface, typing echo, text and image zoom windows, large cursors and a document and selection reader.

VisioVoice is used by the writer of the ATMac, the most active blog on assistive technology for the Mac.

The software offers natural sounding voices and is able to convert text, Word, PDF, HTML and RTF documents into audio files and iPod and iPhone-ready audiobooks.

Alongside Japanese localization and the addition of Japanese translation for the Mac OS X 10.4 version of Apple's VoiceOver screen reader for blind users, the latest release has been updated to support Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard'.

Additional features tweaked in this update include:

- A typing echo as the user types into any application.

- The text zoom window now updates as the user types.

- Talking interface enhanced to work not only with the mouse but also with full keyboard access.

- Talking interface and typing echo support was added for Pages and Keynote (iWork '08 and later).

- Improved support for reading text in Safari with VisioVoice's talking interface.

VisioVoice costs €249 excluding VAT. A fully-functional downloadable demo and voice samples are available from the developer's website.