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Assistive Technology: Read&Write FAQ

What is it?

Read&Write is literacy software that can help students improve reading, writing, research and study skills. Read&Write also has a variety of tools that benefit the English Language Learner who may struggle with reading fluency, comprehension, and word pronunciation. This is the main piece of software used to read Alternative Textbooks.

Read&Write can be downloaded to your personal computer from the UMass Lowell IT software website for free. Follow the installation instructions and use your UMass Lowell email and password when prompted.

How to Download

FunctionDescription
Text to SpeechReads text aloud in Word docs, on the web and more, with dual color highlighting and natural-sounding voices. Highlight or place your cursor in front of some text, and click the Play button.  Use additional controls to rewind, fat forward, pause and stop speech playback.
PDF AloudIf you are going to read a PDF, you must open the file using this button. You will then be able to use all of the functionality of the toolbar.
ScanningClick this button to OCR/Scan a paper document to PDF, Word, or HTML format. Use this feature to recognize the text in photocopies or scans from your phone accessible.
Spell CheckClick this button to perform a Spell Check on a document. Hover over words in the suggestions list to hear read aloud.
PredictionClick this button to open or close the word prediction window. Start typing and words will be predicted based on context.
DictionaryClick this button when you have selected a word to look up in the dictionary. Alternatively, click the button before selecting a word, then type the word into the text box. Definitions can be read aloud by clicking play.
Picture DictionaryDisplays images to help support fluency and understanding.
Screenshot ReaderConverts inaccessible text to accessible text through OCR. Click the icon and then drag your mouse to draw a rectangle around any inaccessible text to read it aloud on demand.
Highlights & Erase HighlightsAllows users to highlight and color code sections of text on a page. Erase highlights from a page when you are done with them, by selecting highlights and clicking the Erase icon.
Collect HighlightsCollects your highlights into a new Word doc. This allows you to easily make study guides with all the key points you have highlighted in the text.
Vocabulary ListBuilds vocabulary lists in a Word document, including selected word, dictionary definitions, images, and an editable notes column. This feature will collect all of the single-word highlights you have done in a reading as well. 
SettingsCustomize options for all the Read&Write features, or use the Quick Access panel for frequently used settings.  
HelpClick this button to access Texthelp's Support site and watch video tours for each button.