IT Helpdesk > IT Helpdesk > Knowledgebase

Search help:

Read and Write Basics


What is Read and Write?

Read & Write is designed to provide help to computer users with reading and writing difficulties. It can read text aloud and help construct sentences. It also has many other features such as document scanning and internet tools to name a few.


How to Open the software

Go to the Start Menu > All Programs > Accessibility > Read and Write and then Select Read&Write.


How to Dock/Undock the Toolbar

To dock the toolbar click on the title bar of the toolbar and then drag to the top of the screen.

To undock the toolbar click on the anchor and this will allow you to move the toolbar where you want it.


How To Add Additional Options On The Toolbar

To Add additional options to the Toolbar Click on the dropdown menu next to the Read&Write Logo (Puzzle Piece) and select General Options. You can then tick the options that you want to use. 


How to Change the Design of the Toolbar

Under the same option dialogue box there is a drop down that allows you to select icon set. There are four different options to choose from. Please select which one you prefer to use.


How to Change the Toolbar colour

To change the toolbar colour click on the drop down next to the Read&Write Logo and select the option “Change Toolbar Colour”. Select which colour you prefer.





How to Read a Word Document

Open any Word Document and put the cursor anywhere within the text. On the toolbar select the play button and you text will be read out. To stop the speech click the stop button on the toolbar.


How to Change the Voice

To change any settings to with speech click on the down arrow next to the play button and select “Speech Options”. This will allow you to select between voices. You can also select the pitch, speed and volume of the voice. Even after this is selected when a document is being read you can use the up and down arrows to adjust the speed.


How to use The Different Speech Options

There are different speech options such as speak as I type, read by word, sentence or paragraph. To select these options click on the down arrow next to the play button and select the ones that will benefit you.


How to use Screen Reading

To use screen reading go onto the down menu of the play button and select screen reading. This will now read out anything on screen that you hover over for example anything on the speech options menu.


How to Change the highlighting Options

To change the highlighting options click on the drop down menu of the play button and select speech options. Along the tabs of the dialogue box there is a tab called highlighting this will allow you to select what colour you want the highlighting to be when the text is being read out.


Reading Webpages


How to Read a Webpage

Firstly click on the drop down menu next to the play button and select read the web. Once this option has been selected open a website. Once on a website hover you mouse over a section of text and wait until it highlighted, this will then go and read out your text.


Using Screenshot Reader

How to use the Screenshot Reader 

To use the screenshot reader click on the screenshot option on the toolbar. Your cursor will now look like the icon representing the option on the toolbar. You can click and drag over a selection of text that you want to be read. The screenshot reader will then start to read out the highlighted text. Once finished just click on the “X” on the box.


How to Screenshot to MS Word

Firstly click on the down arrow next to the screenshot reader and select “Screenshot to MS Word”. Once you have selected this go back to the document you want to screenshot from and do the same steps as before to select the text you want however this time it will put the selected text into a word document.


How to Screenshot to an Active Word Document

Firstly go into the screenshot options found under the drop down menu on the screenshot read and select “Screenshot Reading Options” You can then make sure the option named “Append to active Microsoft Word Document”. When you then go to capture a screenshot it will put it to the most recent open word document you have open.



Converting Text into Sound


How to Convert Text into Sound

Select some text out of a Word Document (Max 20,000 characters) and the select the “Speech Maker” option on the toolbar. This will then open up a dialogue box showing the text that you have selected. If need be you can edit this text even in the wizard. Then select Next, this will then allow you to select the voice, pitch and speed. You can text the voice to make sure that you are happy with this as well before confirming. After pressing next again you will be given the option to select a location to save the file to. Under the file format always select mp3 as these create a smaller file size. Once you are happy with your settings press create. You will then be able to go to the location you selected and play the saved file.


Reading PDF Documents


How to Use Adobe Reader to Read PDFs

Firstly before opening any files go to the main options fir the toolbar by clicking onto the drop down next to Read&Write Logo and select “Use PDF Aloud for Adobe”. You will then be prompted to close and open the toolbar again to confirm the change. You can then select the PDF option the toolbar and you will be asked to open a PDF document. You can then select the PDF Aloud toolbar and read the document out loud through Adobe.


Spell Checking


How to use the Spell Checker

To use the spell checker click on the spell check option which is represented by a tick and this will open the spell check dialogue box. You will then see the spelling error and the replacements for that word including the definitions of the replacement words. You click onto the word and press play to hear them out loud the same with the definitions. Once you are happy with the selection click on the word and press change or change all. The wizard will then move onto the other spelling errors.


How to use Spell as I Type

To use spell as I type you will first need to turn the option on. To do this click on the down arrow next to the spell check option and select “spell as I type”. Now as soon as you type and create a spelling error the dialogue box will appear allowing to review the change.




How to use Prediction

Open a Word Document and select the Prediction option on the toolbar (This is represented by the crystal ball). This will then open up a small windows which will predict words as you type. For example start typing “This is an ex” with the window open there will be a list of 10-12 different options of words that start with “ex”. You can then select the word that you want (Example). In order to select the word that you want either click onto it or select the related function key on the keyboard. To check the meaning of the word before inserting it hover over the word and select the book symbol to the left of the word.


How to change the Prediction Options

To change the prediction options click on the down arrow next to the prediction option and select “Prediction Options”. This will allow you to select the amount of options you see and the colours that are used.




How to use the basic dictionary

 To use the basic dictionary click on the dictionary option the toolbar and start to type in the word you want the definition for. Once you have searched for the word you will be given some definitions in order to get these read out click on the definition and then select the play button from the main toolbar.


How to use the advanced dictionary

You will first need select the advanced dictionary to do this click on the down arrow next to dictionary and select advanced dictionary. This will also turn the dictionary into a Thesaurus as well. In order to this search for a word and then select advanced. This will then give you alternative words that can then be selected and changed for wat you have.


How to use the picture dictionary

Click on the picture dictionary option on the toolbar and a small window will open. You can then either highlight a word in a document and this will automatically search for it or you can type into the windows a word that you want. This will use whatever diction you have selected from the drop down on the standard dictionary options. You can then click onto the image and double click to enter this where your cursor is in a word document.



Word Wizard


How to use the Word Wizard

To use the word wizard type a word into a document or highlight an existing word. Once you have done this click on the Word Wizard option on the toolbar. The first window will show the highlighted word and then select next. You then need to select a part of speech and then select next. You can then select option 1 and press next. You can then select what search you want to perform and the press next. You will then see the results in the right box and the definitions in the left box. You can then select a word and then press change to change the word within the document.


Verb Checker


How to use the Verb Checker

In a word document type a verb e.g. seen and then highlight it. Once this is highlighted click on the verb checker on the toolbar. The window will open and then select Next. On the next screen select which tense the verb is in. In this case select “Is this in the past?” and then press next. You will then see a list of the past tense options of the verb “seen”. You can then click on the sentence it gives you and press the play button the toolbar to hear the word out loud. Once you are happy with the word you can then select change and this will replace the verb in the document.




How to scan a Document (Excluding Office Docs) to a PDF

Firstly under the drop down next to scanning make sure the option to “scan from file” is selected and that “scan to PDF” is also selected. After doing this click on the scanning option on the toolbar and select the document you want to convert and press open. The dialogue box will appear to allow you to select which pages you want to scan. Once you are happy with what pages you want to scan press scan. You will then be asked where you want to save it to. Press save and the scan will complete.


How To Scan a Document to Word

Firstly under the drop down next to scanning make sure that the option to “scan to Word” is selected and so is “Scan form File”. Once this has been checked click on the scanning icon and select the file that you want. Once you have selected the file that you want you will be prompted for what pages you want to convert. After selecting the pages that you want converted click scan and wizard will then ask where you want to save it to. Press save and the scan will complete.


Fact Finder


How to use the Fact Finder

To use the Fact Finder type a word within a word document and then highlight it. After it has been highlighted click in the Fact Finder option on the toolbar. This will then complete a search online using Internet Explorer.


How to Change the Default Search Engine

Click on the drop down menu on fact finder and select “Fact Finder Options”. The dialogue box will open click on “Change Default”. You will be able to navigate through a context menu. In order to search for generic search engines go to the following path:- Search Using > General > Google Search. By selecting Google Search Google will become you default.


Fact Folder


How to Use the Fact Folder

Firstly start by searching online for an item that you want to store as a fact. Choose one of the results and visit the page. Once on the page highlight some text and then click onto the Fact Folder option on the toolbar. You will then be given a dialogue box allowing you to add attributes before you save it. The attributes include:- Author, Description and Category. In the title box type in what you wish to refer to the fact as and then type your name in the author box. The sources box will contain any webpages that are currently open on the PC. You may just need to go through and select the website that you got that information off only. Click on the 3 dots next to categories and click “Add New Category” and type in a category related to the fact. Once the category has been added then tick the box to it to select that category. In the description box type a description for the fact and then press OK. This will then save the fact.


How to add an Image to the Fact Finder

To add an image search Google or another search engine for an image related to your fact. The click onto the arrow next to the Fact Folder on the toolbar and select “Add Web Image”. You will then see a small window appear at the bottom of the screen. Hover over the image that you found until you see it appearing the window that opened previously. Then click onto this window. You will then be given the window fill in all of the attributes just like you do on the standard Fact Folder and then press OK.


How to Export Facts from the Fact Folder

Click on the drop down next to Fact Folder and select “Review Facts”. The fact folder window opens showing you facts that you have stored previously. Click on the Word Document icon and select the Bibliography format for this we will select Harvard. After selecting OK this will open up a new Word Document and have all of the facts ordered with the attributes that were added when adding the fact.


Fact Mapper


How to Create a Fact Map

To create a Fact Map click on the option on the toolbar and a webpage will open. If you see a dialogue box press “Allow Access”. On the taskbar of the webpage click on the globe with the plus symbol. This will add a fact bubble to your map. Once this is added click on the text to add your title. To add additional Facts click on the original and then click on the add button again on the taskbar. You can add as many as you want however you may find that you may need to move them apart slightly so that there are easy to see. To do this just click and drag them where you want.


How to add notes to the Facts

To add notes to the Facts click on the fact and then type in the notes box at the bottom of the page and then press the save icon next to the text box. You can do this to all of the Facts.


Change the icons of the Facts

To change the appearance of the facts use the search box at the bottom of the page and search for a relevant image. After you have found an image click and drag the image above the fact picture you want to change.


Exporting the Fact Map to Word

On the tabs on the webpage click on the Word Document image and then this will export this to word in an outline view as bullet points. You can then save this document where you want it.


Screen Masking


How to turn on Screen Masking

To turn on screen masking click on the screen masking icon on the toolbar. This will turn on what preferences you have set in the options.


How to change the Screen Masking Options

To change the screen masking options click on the down arrow next to screen masking then select “Screen Masking Options”. You can then select the masking type whether you want full screen masking or just a line where the mouse pointer is etc. You can then change the colour of the tint using the palette. If the user know the exact colour needed using the RGB code they can enter this as well. You can then set the transparency and then press OK when you are happy.


Study Skills


Collecting Text From Webpages for reference

Click on the Read&Write Logo until you see the dialogue box say that you are on the Study Skills toolbar. The toolbar will now include some highlighters and options to collect the highlighters. Visit any webpage and start highlighting different parts of text using the different colours. After selecting various parts of text click on the option on the toolbar called “Collect Highlights”. The collect highlights dialogue box will appear. Choose your preferences on how you want you highlights collected i.e. via collection time and how you want them separated. You can then also pick the bibliography format as well. Click OK and select where you want to save the document and what you want it to be called.




Open either a webpage or Word Document and start highlighting some key words and then select the highlighters off the toolbar just like we did in the previous task. After you have highlighter a few different words click on the vocabulary option on the toolbar represented by 3 bullet points. The window will appear with the word you have selected within it. Type in a title and click “Include Images” and then press OK. This will then open a Word Document that will include the words that you highlighted with a definition and an image representing them. You can then save this document where you want.


Voice Note

Click within a Word Document where you want the voice note to be placed and click on the voice note option. The voice note window will appear. When you are ready click on Start Recording. When you are finished talking click onto Stop Recording and then click onto Insert to insert the clip into the Word Document.


Teacher Toolkit


How to open the Teacher Toolkit

To open the Teacher Toolkit go to the following Location: Start menu > Accessibility > Read and Write 11 > Toolkit



How to view Spelling Logs

 To View the Spelling logs of a student click onto the tab called Spelling Logs. Once on here Navigate through the groups to find the student in question (By Default all of the students will be under the group Students). Once you have found the group scroll through the list to find the student number of the student and tick the tick box next to their number. After clicking onto this you will see their spelling logs providing they had Read&Write open when doing the document.


How to View the Activity Logs


Click onto the tab called “Activity Logs” and then go to the group where the student is located and the scroll through to find the student number. After finding the student number tick the tick box next to their number to see their activity log again providing they had Read&Write open when working.

Was this article helpful? yes / no
Related articles Outlook asking for password multiple times.
Article details
Article ID: 23
Category: Read and Write
Rating (Votes): Article rated 5.0/5.0 (1)

« Go back

Powered by Help Desk Software HESK, brought to you by SysAid