This 2nd article in the Read&Write Gold (R&W) Tools series presents some of its writing and self-editing tools. Part 1 presents reading tools and part 3 presents study skills and research tools. Please note that R&W works best when used with Microsoft Word, Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer (Windows), and Safari (Mac).
Do you have a hard time starting a rough draft? Is a blank screen on the computer really tough for you? If you have an easier time talking out your ideas than writing, R&W's speech input may be something to try out. This voice recognition function, which includes a voice training and setup program, enables you to dictate documents using a microphone. It converts speech to text. It is not perfect. It's not Dragon (a full-fledged speech recognition software program) but it does a pretty good job for the in-between. You still have to go through and clean everything up, but it can be a good rough draft starting point.
- Speech: Windows (Video)
- Speech Input is not a feature on the Mac
A proofreading tool that checks for spelling, grammar, homophone and confusable word errors. In Word, select the icon to see your errors underlined in purple in your document. Outside of Word, select your text and click the Check It icon to do a check of your work in a separate pop out window.
- Check It: Windows (Video)
- Check It is not a feature on the Mac
Shows a verb table with conjugation options for a selected verb. Select Play to hear them read aloud and click the Replace button to add the selected verb Into your document.
Similar Word Checker
Use the Similar Word Checker to identify homophones and confusable words. Select or click the Play button on the Read&Write toolbar to hear definitions read aloud.
Provides word suggestions as you type. Develops writing skills and helps construct error-free sentences more easily.
Use the Play button on the Read&Write toolbar to hear a word suggestion read aloud. Double-click on a word to insert.
R&W can be a great proofreading tool. If a person writes something and tries to proofread visually, it is easy to miss some errors. The brain is seeing what he or she meant to say. Text-to-speech isn't going to lie. It's going to read exactly what's on the page.
Some people for whom English is a second language may be better at hearing English than reading English. With R&W Text-to-Speech they can tell that something sounds awkward when they hear it and can go back and change it in their document.