Read&Write Tools, Part 1

Reading Tools

This 1st article in the Read&Write (R&W) 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.


Icon: Text to Speech

A main feature of Read&Write is a built-in text-to-speech synthesizer, which speaks information to 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.

Audio Maker (MP3 Creation)

Icon: Audio Maker 'MP3'

Select a piece of text then select the button to convert the text into an audio file e.g. mp3.

PDF Reader

Icon: PDF Reader

This feature performs text-to-speech within accessible Adobe reader files and provides dual highlighting.

Screenshot Reader

Icon: Screenshot Reader

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.

Online Translator

Icon: Online Translator

The translator can be especially helpful for people whom English is a second language. They can check a word in the dictionary immediately instead of having to use a second dictionary. It allows single words, paragraphs, or blocks of text to be translated into multiple languages.


Icon: Dictionary

R&W 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.

Picture Dictionary

Icon: Picture Dictionary

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.

Screen Masking

Icon: Screen Masking

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.