Read&Write is an easy-to-use toolbar that works within any Windows based application (e.g. word processors, emails, internet browsers, spreadsheets and databases). It assists users in the development of their basic skills in reading and writing.

The easiest way to access Read&Write Gold for Windows users is via AppsAnywhere.

AppsAnywhere only works in Windows. Users of other operating systems can launch AppsAnywhere software inside MyLab.

Read&Write provides reading, writing, studying and research support tools that can be used with a range of familiar applications (e.g. Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Internet Explorer, Adobe Reader). While primarily designed as a support package for dyslexic students, many of the tools can be beneficial for everyone. Access to these tools is via a toolbar that can be anchored to the top or either side of the computer screen.

Frequently asked questions

 How do I sign in to Read&Write?

You need to sign in to Read&Write to access the features. When you sign in for the first time, an account will be created that will store your personal preferences and settings. These settings will then be available whenever you use Read&Write, even if you use a different computer.

To sign in to Read&Write:

Click the Sign In icon on the top corner of your Read&Write toolbar.

Read and Write Sign In icon

Click on the Sign in with Microsoft button.

Read and Write Sign in with Microsoft button

Enter your Lancaster University email address and when prompted, log in using WebLogin.

 What is the Read&Write toolbar?

The Read&Write toolbar can be freely moved around the desktop, but is usually used while anchored to the top or side of the screen. Dragging the dark blue title bar with the mouse will move the toolbar. When the toolbar is dragged to the top or side of the screen, it will expand to the full width or height of the screen.

Read and Write toolbar

When anchored to the top of the screen, a small Read&Write logo tag hangs below the toolbar. Clicking this logo tag will minimise the toolbar. Clicking the logo tag when the toolbar is minimised will restore the toolbar.

Read and Write logo tag

The Read&Write toolbar consists of a number of icons, each of which will activate a specific function. The functions are:

Check Ita spell checker that will correct phonetic spellings of words
Prediction a predictive word or spelling application
Dictionary automatically looks up the definitions of words using Google, Bing or
Picture Dictionaryprovides pictorial representations of words
Speechtext-to-speech tool that will get the computer to read documents and web pages aloud
Screenshot Readerwill capture onscreen text (even if it is included in a graphic or image) and read it aloud or convert it into editable text
Scan conversion of paper-based documents, scanned image documents or PDFs into editable Word documents
Audio Makersimilar to Speech, but will produce an MP3 audio file 
Screen Maskingused to add a coloured tint to the screen, create a coloured reading ruler or provide a horizontal marker to improve reading accuracy
Talk&Type provides speech recognition functionality
Translator translates text into another language
PDF Readera PDF viewer that will also read the content aloud
Highlights allows the highlighting of information in documents and web pages that can then be automatically collected and referenced
Vocabulary Lista tool to create personal word lists or glossaries of key information
Voice Noteadds verbal notes to Word documents

The toolbar and most toolbar functions can be modified via the Settings menu button. The options available for each function are detailed in the relevant sections below.

 How do I change settings in Read&Write?

Read&Write's functions can be customised to suit your individual requirements via a number of settings, options and preferences, which can be accessed by clicking on the Settings menu button.

To access the function settings, click on the Settings menu button on the toolbar and select Show More Settings… in the dialogue box.

Read and Write Settings button with Show More Settings highlighted

The Settings menu will appear, enabling you to set your function preferences.

Read and Write Settings menu

 How do I use the Check It spellchecking tool?

Check It is Read&Write’s spelling, grammar, and confusable word tool. You can use it to check your written grammar, spelling (including phonetic errors), capitalisation, punctuation, verb tense, homophones and more.

 How do I use the Word Prediction tool?

The Prediction tool can help to identify words that you wouldn't normally use or would struggle to spell.

 How do I use the Dictionary tool?

The Dictionary tool can quickly find the definitions of words.

 How do I use the Picture Dictionary tool?

The Picture Dictionary will find relevant images to help you identify or remember words.

 How do I use the Speech tool to read documents and web pages aloud?

Speech is Read&Write’s text-to-speech tool. You can use it to have text in documents and web pages read aloud by your computer. This can help with the comprehension of information.

 How do I use the Screenshot Reader to read text in scanned image documents?

The Screenshot Reader tool will convert any text displayed on screen, including text in images and scanned PDF documents, into text that can be copied into other documents or read aloud by the computer

 How do I use the Scanning tool to make accessible scanned documents?

The Scanning tool can be used to produce accessible, scanned documents. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is used to convert scanned documents into editable Word documents, searchable PDFs or other electronic resources.

If you’ve scanned a document from a scanner to a PDF, it may produce an image that will need to be OCR’d (Optical Character Recognition) in order to be readable by Read&Write. Read&Write already has an option to OCR PDFs so they can be read back with our PDF Reader.

 How do I use Audio Maker to create MP3 audio files from text documents?

Audio Maker will convert text in a document or web page into an MP3 audio file that can be listened to at a later time or transferred onto a portable device, such as a smartphone.

 How do I use the Screen Masking tool?

The Screen Masking tool can be used to tint the computer screen to reduce glare or improve reading accuracy for people who experience visual stress. It can be used to block out sections of the screen, highlight specific areas of text or create a reading ruler on the screen.

 How do I use Talk&Type speech recognition?

The Talk&Type feature in Read&Write for Windows provides speech recognition functionality, enabling you to dictate information rather than typing it. This video shows how to use this feature, improve the recognition of your voice and change the settings to suit your needs.

 How do I use the PDF Reader tool?

The Read&Write PDF Reader can be used to view PDF documents and have the text read aloud by your computer.

 How do I use the Highlights tool to collect key information?

The Highlights tool can be used to highlight text in documents and web pages. Highlighted text can be collected from multiple sources and grouped together by highlighter colour.

 How do I create a Vocabulary List?

The Vocabulary List tool enables you to create a glossary of words relevant to your area of study.

 How do I add Voice Notes to Word documents?

The Voice Note tool enables you to add recorded audio notes to Word documents. These can be used to record ideas to return to later or add comments to remind you of additional work that needs to be done.

Looking for help using Read&Write? Register for an Read&Write training session.


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Further instruction and advice on using Read & Write can be obtained via the Information button (Read and Write Information button). 

Information, including instructional videos, is also available on the TextHelp website.