Read & Write Gold for Windows

Read & Write Gold is reading/writing/notetaking software.

Any current U-M student, faculty, or staff member may download Read & Write Gold v. 11 to their Windows 10, 8, or 7 machine at no charge.

Read & Write Gold v. 11 is installed on all Sites Windows computers. There is also a version of Read & Write Gold for Mac on Sites Mac computers and an iPad version available for personal use.

If you have questions or run into any difficulty, please contact Jane Vincent at jbvincen@umich.edu.

screenshot showing Read and Write Gold's masking feature

Useful Strategies for Reading/Writing Assistance

Reading Modes Reading Tools Notetaking Writing Tools
  • Audio only
  • Audio and highlighted text
  • Masking
  • Syllabification
  • Reference (dictionary)
  • Highlighters
  • Extraction of highlighted text
  • Word prediction
  • Audio output while typing
  • Checkers (spelling/homonym)
  • Reference (dictionary/thesaurus)

Features

Many Read and Write Gold features have option settings and short tutorial videos. Click on the down arrow next to the associated icon to access these. Features that have these are indicated with an asterisk (*) in the toolbar descriptions below.

Documentation

Read & Write Toolbar Overview

Read & Write works directly with applications such as Microsoft Word and web browsers. Any changes to formatting are done within those applications.

The Read & Write toolbar is highly customizable. There are six preset configurations (All Features, Reading Features, Writing Features, Research Features, My Features, Study Skills). The only constant feature is the TextHelp button the TextHelp button that appears on the far right. Clicking on this button cycles through the preset toolbars. If you prefer to directly select a toolbar, pull down the TextHelp button by clicking on the arrow to the right of the TextHelp button and choose Current Toolbar; a list of all the toolbars will appear.

To change the size of the toolbar icons and to specify whether each icon is accompanied by text, pull down the TextHelp button and choose General Options. On the Display tab will be a "Toolbar Icon Settings" section that will let you set your icon display preferences.

To modify the currently active toolbar, pull down the TextHelp button and choose General Options. On the Display tab will be a "Toolbar Buttons Visibility" section that will let you check or uncheck items to be included on the toolbar.

If there are more items selected than can be displayed on the toolbar, a double arrow button the double arrow button will appear. Clicking on this button will bring up a list of the extra items. It's possible to click and drag the lower right corner of the toolbar to display additional buttons, but the effectiveness of this toolbar expansion will depend on the width of your monitor.

Many icons have a small down arrow next to them. Clicking on this arrow brings up a menu of options associated with the function that the icon represents. Functions listed with an asterisk (*) after their name have a video tutorial available from this associated options menu.

"All Features" Toolbar

This section describes the buttons that appear on the default All Features toolbar when the "Small Icons without Text" option is chosen. If a different option is chosen, fewer buttons may appear.

the Spelling button
Spelling*. Options include spell checking as the user types, spell checker options and spelling a selected word aloud.
the Word Prediction button
Word Prediction*. Similar to the prediction features on standard cell phones. Options include setting prediction options and creating or downloading lists of words (word banks).
the Dictionary button
Dictionary*. Options include choosing the source for the definition.
the Picture dictionary button
Picture dictionary*. Options include lookup of a selected word or a word on the clipboard.
the Word Wizard button
Word Wizard. Allows user to type in a word and then helps brainstorm related words (e.g., antonyms, components).
the Show Homophones buttons
Show Homophones. Changes the text color of all possible homophones (words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings) to blue. Right-clicking on a blue word brings up a list of associated homophones and their definitions.
the Homophones button
Homophones*. Brings up a dialog that facilitates review of all homophones on a page. Options include editing the built-in list of homophone matches, the default for showing or hiding homophones when Microsoft Word is active, and including confusable words (words that are not true homophones but that are easy to confuse, such as "affect" and "effect").
the Hide Homophones button
Hide Homophones.
the Verb Checker button
Verb Checker. When the user inputs a verb, the Checker asks the user to confirm the tense in which it is being used, then provides a conjugation in that tense for standard, perfect, continuous, and perfect continuous verb forms.
the Calculator button
Calculator*. Options include a standard or scientific calculator, an "Evaluate in Document" function that solves equations, and a multi-function Convert feature that performs conversions of highlighted numbers for length, mass, velocity, time, temperature, and volume.
the Rewind button
Rewind. Moves back one reading unit (e.g., sentence) and reads it.
the Play button
Play*. Options include the ability to specify reading unit (word, sentence, or paragraph), a Pronunciation Tutor for hearing (but not correcting) pronunciation of individual words, a Speech Options setting for choosing and adjusting the voice, and several other audio output and reading settings. To use, highlight a few words near the beginning of the text you want to have read, then click on the Play icon.
the Pause button
Pause. Pause current reading. When Pause is clicked a second time, the audio continues from the stopping point.
the Forward button
Forward. Moves ahead one reading unit and reads it.
the Stop button
Stop. Stops the current reading. If the user then presses Play, reading recommences from the beginning of the current reading unit.
the Screenshot Reader button
Screenshot Reader*. Allows user to capture text in any format and read it using Text Reader or send the screenshot to Word. Useful for reading bitmapped (non-selectable) text or other text that cannot be accessed with the Play or PDFReader functions.

To use Screenshot Reader:

  1. Click on the Screenshot Reader icon, and draw a box around the text you would like to read. Screenshot Reader will take a few seconds to analyze this text and will then start reading it aloud.
  2. You can use the standard Play, Pause, and Stop buttons to control this text.

The following buttons may not appear on the default All Features toolbar, but can be accessed by clicking on the bottom right corner of the Read & Write window and dragging it to the right, or by clicking on the double arrow button the double arrow button:

the Speech Maker button
Speech Maker*. Converts highlighted text in Word docs and PDF files to an MP3 or WAV file.

To use Speech Maker:

  1. For best results, highlight 8 pages of text or fewer, then click on the Speech Maker icon.
  2. The first page of the resulting dialog box previews the text you have chosen. Click "Next."
  3. A second screen allowing you to change and test settings for voice, pitch, speed, and volume. When you are finished, click "Next."
  4. A third screen lets you choose where to save the file and in what format. Click on the "Create" button to generate the audio file.
the Daisy Reader button
DAISY Reader. Reads file that are in DAISY format (a format optimized for accessibility).
the Pronunciation Tutor button
Pronunciation Tutor. Allows users to hear (but not correct) pronunciation of individual words.
the Scan button
Scan*. Supports hardware scanners (attached to several computers throughout campus) to convert print text into a readable electronic format. Options include whether to scan text to a Word, PDF, or HTML file and specifications about the type of scanner being used.
the Fact Finder button
Fact Finder*. Provides an alternative strategy for doing Internet searches by providing direct access to relevant sites (e.g., BBC for news, SciSeek for science information).
the Fact Folder button
Fact Folder*. Allows users to save and organize information copied to the clipboard or images copied from the Internet.
the Fact Mapper button
Fact Mapper*. Online mind-mapping tool for entering and organizing information. (The video tutorial is also available online.)
the Screen Masking button
Screen Masking*. Tints all or part of the screen. Options allow the user to choose what portion of the screen is tinted, what color is used, and the opacity of the tint. A Spotlight option allows the user to specify whether the area around the mouse pointer should be left untinted, and how large this area should be.
the Speech Input button
Speech Input*. Provides access to the speech input utility built into the Windows operating system.
the Translation button
Translation*. Translates a highlighted word or paragraph from and to a wide variety of languages.
the PDF Aloud button
PDF Aloud. Provides access to a program designed to read PDF files. You will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer.

To use PDFaloud:

  1. Click on the PDFaloud icon, then select the file you would like to read. Adobe will open automatically, with a Tools option in the upper right corner of the screen.
  2. Click on this Tools option, and a list of settings will open on the right of the screen.
  3. Look for the "PDFaloud Toolbar" icon and click on this.
  4. Place your cursor where you would like to start reading. You will then be able to access the PDFaloud play, pause, and stop buttons, as well as use a Click and Speak option (speaks whatever paragraph you click on) and set a limited number of reading options.
These instructions are for Acrobat Reader 11, which is currently on all Sites computers; PDFaloud may work differently with older versions.
the Highlighters button
Highlighters. Allows selected text to be highlighted in yellow, blue, green, or pink.
the Clear highlights button
Clear highlights. Removes highlighting from selected text.
the Collect highlights button
Collect highlights*. Collects and sorts highlighted text, and sends it to a new file. An option allows a bibliographic entry for the source document to be automatically added to the file.
the Vocabulary button
Vocabulary. Allows users to add highlighted words to a vocabulary list, with the option of adding images as well.
the Word Cloud button
Word Cloud*. Allows users to use Word Banks or selected text to create and display word lists or "clouds" for use when writing, filling in worksheets, or taking tests.
the Voice Note button
Voice Note*. Record a note as an audio file and insert this file into a Microsoft Word document or save it as a .WAV file. (Note: this is audio-only, not speech recognition.)
the Help button
Help. Brings up the help interface.

Buttons on Other Toolbars

Reading Features Toolbar

This toolbar includes the following functions:

  • Dictionary
  • Picture Dictionary
  • Rewind
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Forward
  • Stop
  • Screenshot Reader
  • Daisy Reader
  • Scan
  • Screen Masking
  • Translator
  • PDF Aloud
  • Help

Writing Features Toolbar

This toolbar includes the following functions:

  • Spell Check
  • Prediction
  • Dictionary
  • Picture Dictionary
  • Word Wizard
  • Sounds Like and Confusable Words
  • Verb Checker
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Stop
  • Fact Finder
  • Fact Folder
  • Fact Mapper
  • Screen Masking
  • Speech Input

The following buttons may not appear on the default Writing Features toolbar, but can be accessed by clicking on the bottom right corner of the Read & Write window and dragging it to the right, or by clicking on the double arrow button the double arrow button:

  • Dictionary
  • Picture Dictionary
  • Rewind
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Forward
  • Stop
  • Screenshot Reader
  • Daisy Reader
  • Scan
  • Screen Masking
  • Translator
  • PDF Aloud
  • Help

Research Features Toolbar

This toolbar includes the following functions:

  • Dictionary
  • Picture Dictionary
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Stop
  • Speech Maker
  • Scan
  • Fact Finder
  • Fact Folder
  • Fact Mapper
  • Translator
  • PDF Aloud
  • Highlighers
  • Clear highlights

The following buttons may not appear on the default Research Features toolbar, but can be accessed by clicking on the bottom right corner of the Read & Write window and dragging it to the right, or by clicking on the double arrow button the double arrow button:

  • Dictionary
  • Picture Dictionary
  • Rewind
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Forward
  • Stop
  • Screenshot Reader
  • Daisy Reader
  • Scan
  • Screen Masking
  • Translator
  • PDF Aloud
  • Help

MyFeatures Toolbar

This toolbar includes the following functions:

  • Dictionary
  • Picture Dictionary
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Stop
  • Speech Maker
  • Scan
  • Fact Finder
  • Fact Folder
  • Fact Mapper
  • Translator
  • PDF Aloud
  • Highlighers
  • Clear highlights

The following buttons may not appear on the default My Features toolbar, but can be accessed by clicking on the bottom right corner of the Read & Write window and dragging it to the right, or by clicking on the double arrow button the double arrow button:

  • Dictionary
  • Picture Dictionary
  • Rewind
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Forward
  • Stop
  • Screenshot Reader
  • Daisy Reader
  • Scan
  • Screen Masking
  • Translator
  • PDF Aloud
  • Help

Study Skills Toolbar

This toolbar includes the following functions:

  • Highlighers
  • Clear highlights
  • Collect highlights
  • Vocabulary
  • Word Cloud
  • Voice Note

More Resources

For a wealth of useful information about learning disabilities, see DyslexiaHelp.

Other Useful Programs