This first article in the Read&Write Gold (R&WG) Tools series presents some of its reading tools. Part 2 presents writing and self-editing tools and part 3 presents study skills and research tools. Please note that R&WG works best when used with Microsoft Word, Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer (Windows), and Safari (Mac).
A main feature of Read&Write Gold is a built-in text-to-speech synthesizer, which speaks information to the you through your computer's speakers or ear phones. It can read text materials such as reports, papers, lecture notes, and discussion forums. Make sure the sound on the computer is turned on. Click the play icon on the toolbar. The text is highlighted as it is read providing visual reinforcement. You can use the forward rewind and pause speech. You can set the program to read back completed text by word, sentence, or paragraph. You can select your preferred voice, pitch, speed, and volume to suit your individual needs.
This feature performs text-to-speech within accessible Adobe reader files and provides dual highlighting.
The Screenshot Reader can be used to read a lot of inaccessible images of text. It does an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) conversion. It's not perfect. But it can be helpful in deciphering inaccessible images of text. From there the text can be exported to Word.
R&WG has multiple dictionary options built into it. A talking phonetic dictionary is available to provide definitions as well as alternative words to help expand vocabulary and improve reading comprehension. Basic, advanced, and online dictionaries support the user's creative writing skills.
An online Picture Dictionary is available to display images for a selected word. When a user comes across a word they are unsure of, they can search the picture dictionary for a visual image to better understand its meaning. A text definition is also included.
Users can tint the screen using colors, like an overlay. This feature can help focus via masking out the active/non active parts of the screen.