Bookworm Quick Start Guide

Bookworm Quick Start Guide


Bookworm is an eBook reader for Windows computers that supports PDF, EPUB, MOBI and many other document formats. It is free and open source and accessible for persons with disabilities. The document content is shown as plain text by default and most reading features are based on it. It also has a fully rendered view which presents the document with source formatting, this view however has limited accessibility.


  • Bookworm supports more than 15 document formats, including EPUB, PDF, MOBI, and Microsoft Word documents
  • Supports structured navigation using single-letter navigation commands to jump between headings, lists, tables, and quotes
  • It has full text search with many options
  • It has simple as well as advanced annotation tools.
  • PDF documents can be viewed in plain-text or as fully rendered, zoomable images.
  • It can extract text from scanned documents and images using Windows10 builtin OCR engine or the free Tesseract engine(downlodable).
  • It has integration with Wikipedia to look up term definitions.
  • It has integrated web article extractor which automatically extracts the main article from the page
  • Document navigation using Table of content is supported for all document formats
  • Bookworm has Read Aloud feature using Text-to-speech with customizable options.
  • Support for exporting any document format to a plain text file.


Bookworm can be installed on any Windows computer. Download the setup file 32 bit or 64 bit version from the Bookworm download page. A portable version suitable for running from a USB thumb drive is also available on this page. Install the 32-bit variant of Bookworm if you want to use some existing SAPI5 voices on your system.

Opening and reading document

In “File” menu click on “Open…” or use the keystroke Ctrl+O. The “open file” dialog opens, click on “Browse” and select the document file you want to open.

The Bookworm window has two parts:

  1. “Table of contents” which displays list of chapters/headings in the document. Use navigation keys to navigate this list and press enter to move to the desired chapter/heading.
  2. The “Textual View” area which displays text of the current page of document. You can use your usual reading commands to navigate the text. Additionally, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts to navigate the document:
  • Enter: navigate to the next page in the current section
  • Backspace: navigate to the previous page in the current section
  • While the caret is at the first line, pressing the up arrow two times in succession navigates to the previous page.
  • While the caret is at the last line, pressing the down arrow two times in succession navigates to the next page.
  • Alt + Home: navigate to the first page of the current section
  • Alt + End: navigate to the last page of the current section
  • Alt + Page down: navigate to next section
  • Alt + Page up: navigate to previous section
  • Go to page: Ctrl + G
  • Search: Ctrl + F

Read Aloud

Bookworm supports reading the content of the document using an installed text-to-speech voice. Just press F5 to start the speech, F6 to pause or resume, and F7 to stop the speech.

During reading aloud, you can skip backward or foreword by paragraph by pressing Alt plus the left and right arrow keys.

Reading with Screen Readers

In addition to Bookworm’s built-in text-to-speech features, you can take advantage of your screen reader’s continuous reading functionality (also known as “say all”). Bookworm provides support for this functionality through its “continuous reading mode”. This mode is active by default, and you can disable it from the reading page of the application preferences. While the continuous reading mode is active, pages are turned automatically as the screen reader progresses through the document.

Viewing A Fully Rendered Version of The Current Page

When a document is open, press Ctrl + R or click on “Render Page” in the “Tools” menu. The document is now displayed with text formatting and images if present in the document. Press the escape key to dismiss this view and return to the default textual view.

In the Render View you can use Ctrl + to zoom-in, Ctrl + – to zoom-out and Ctrl + 0 to reset the zoom level

You can use the document navigation commands, mentioned above, to navigate the render view as well.

More information

Tags: App reading system / EPUB / Software reading system