AMIS User Guide

What is AMIS?

AMIS logo

AMIS stands for Adaptive Multimedia Information System.

AMIS is a software program that you can use to read DAISY books. It is self-voicing, meaning that no specialized screen-reading software is needed in order for it to be used by visually impaired people. AMIS is open source software and is provided free of charge. It has been translated into dozens of languages. Go to to download language packs.

What is DAISY?

DAISY Consortium logo

DAISY stands for Digital Accessible Information SYstem. DAISY books are fully accessible digital talking books. Common features of books, such as sections, pages, footnotes, sidebars, and bookmarks are represented in a way that allows users to quickly navigate using them.

In fact, the document you are reading now is a DAISY book! You can see and hear the synchronized text and audio, and move around by section or phrase.

The DAISY standard is a globally recognized technical standard, originally developed to benefit people who are unable to read print due to a disability. It also has broad applications for improved access to text in the mainstream.

The DAISY consortium was founded in 1996 and consists of a growing membership of organizations around the world committed to developing equitable access to information for people who have a print disability.

You can learn more about DAISY at

Supported Formats

The following document formats are supported by AMIS:

  • DAISY 2.02
  • DAISY 3 (also referred to as ANSI/NISO z39.86-2005)

System Requirements

The following PC configuration is required:

  • Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista, Windows 7, or higher
  • DirectX 9 or higher
  • SAPI 5.1 text-to-speech engine or higher
  • Internet Explorer 7 or higher
  • 50 MB disk space

The AMIS installer will report if a required component is missing.

Screen Layout

The screen has two view modes: default and basic. AMIS will start in default view mode unless you tell it to start in basic view (this setting is in the Preferences dialog).

The default view has four major pieces: a menu, a toolbar, a navigation window to the left, and a content window in the center of the screen.

default view for AMIS

Screenshot of AMIS

The toolbar has eleven medium-sized buttons: open a book, load a cd, go to the previous phrase, play/pause, go to the next phrase, slow down, speed up, smaller font, bigger font, change the page style, and add a bookmark.

default toolbar for AMIS

The toolbar

The navigation window contains one or more tabbed lists, depending on what the book contains. The first list is always a hierarchical list of sections. The second list contains page numbers (if the book has pages). The subsequent lists contain special items such as footnotes or figures (again, if the book contains these items), with each item type appearing in its own list.

the navigation window of AMIS

The navigation window

The basic view has two major pieces: a toolbar along the bottom of the screen and a content window in the center of the screen. The toolbar has four large buttons: go to the previous phrase, play/pause, go to the next phrase, switch back to default view mode. There is no menu or navigation window in basic view mode.

basic view for AMIS

AMIS in basic view mode


The following sections contain brief descriptions of the features in AMIS, organized by topic.

Opening a book

DAISY books can be on your hard drive, on a CD-ROM or located remotely.

  • Open a recently-read book
  • Automatically open your last-read book on startup
  • Open a book from the command line
  • Open the contents of a CD-ROM containing a single book or containing multiple books
  • Open a book from your local file system
  • Open a book from a remote URL

Controlling playback

DAISY books are played automatically from beginning to end. You can control the following playback features:

  • Play and pause the book
  • Speed-up audio playback
  • Toggle playback of reading options, like page number announcements and footnotes


In addition to linear playback, DAISY books offer other ways to move around.

  • Previous/Next phrase
  • Previous/Next page
  • Previous/Next section
  • Go to page
  • Search for text

Using the navigation window

Use the items in the navigation window to browse the structure of a book.

  • Hierarchical view of sections
  • List of pages
  • Lists for each special type of item in the book

Setting bookmarks

  • Add bookmark (named automatically based on what you are bookmarking)
  • Go to bookmark
  • The list of bookmarks for a particular book loads when you open that book.

Getting information about the publication

It is easy to get more information about the book you are reading by using the publication summary dialog of AMIS. Here is a full list what is available:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Publisher
  • Description
  • Narrator
  • Total duration
  • Total pages
  • Date
  • Format
  • Features (things like sections, pages, and footnotes)
  • Current page
  • Current section (including the number of pages and subsections)
  • Total number of items in the table of contents
  • Maximum section depth
the publication summary dialog

The publication summary dialog

Getting help with AMIS

  • Find out basic information about AMIS
  • Read the user guide (this document)
  • Learn all the commands and shortcut keys for AMIS

Changing the look

The AMIS user interface lets you choose different display options for the screen layout and the DAISY book style.

  • Use basic or default view mode
  • Show/hide the navigation window
  • Move the navigation window around the screen
  • Change the style of the page
  • Make the font bigger
  • Adjust highlight colors and change the application font through the Text Style dialog

Setting preferences

The following settings are accessed via the Preferences dialog under the File menu.

  • Turn self-voicing on or off
  • Choose a TTS voice
  • Turn text highlighting on or off
  • Load the most recently-read book on startup
  • Start AMIS in basic view mode
  • Pause AMIS automatically when you switch applications
  • Disable your screensaver while using AMIS
  • Select a language pack for use with AMIS
the preferences dialog

The preferences dialog

Setting text styles

The following settings are accessed via the Text Style dialog under the View menu.

  • Select a font for AMIS itself
  • Select foreground and background colors for the text highlight used during playback
The text style dialog

The text style dialog

Contact Us

The homepage for AMIS is All information about new releases, available language packs, submitting bug reports, and getting involved can be found there. We look forward to hearing from you.