Read&Write for Mac

Read&Write Description

Read&Write is software with tools to help reading, writing, and studying.

Read&Write is installed on all Sites Macintosh computers. Due to networking issues with this version and the Mac operating system, you may be prompted for administrative passwords (click "cancel") or may not be able to use some features.

Installing Read&Write on a Personal Computer

Any current U-M student, faculty, or staff member may obtain a version of Read&Write for their personal Macintosh by doing the following:

  • Go to the Read&Write website and choose "Try Now"
  • Choose "Mac OS" then choose "Install." The Read&Write.dmg file will download.
  • Look for the downloaded file and open it. Follow the instructions to drag the icon into your Applications folder.
  • From the Applications folder, choose the Read and Write icon:
  • If you get a dialog box asking "Are you sure you want to open it?," choose "Open."
  • When prompted to accept the user terms, choose "I accept the user terms."
  • When prompted for a sign-in method, choose Google.
  • You will get a "Read&Write wants access to control..." dialog box. Choose "OK."
  • Sign in as usual with your University user name and password.
  • The Read and Write icon will appear in the top right corner of your screen. Choose it to open the Read&Write toolbar.


Read&Write Overview

Read&Write works directly with applications such as Microsoft Word and Web browsers.

Most functions are located in the Read&Write toolbar, which appears on the screen when Read&Write starts. The default toolbar looks like the following (you may need to click and drag the toolbar to the right to see all the icons):

Read & Write Toolbar

A Read&Write menu appears at the uppermost top left of the screen when Read&Write starts. When pulled down, the menu bar looks like this:

Short video tutorials for many Read&Write features are available on YouTube.

Default Toolbar Functions

This section describes the buttons that appear on the toolbar when Read&Write starts. If you change these defaults on public machines, note that your settings may not be saved.

You can find more information in TextHelp's Read&Write Quick Reference Card.

Spell Check button
Check It.Runs both the Spell Checker and the Similar Word Checker (see "Additional Toolbar Options" below) on highlighted text. Press Play on the main toolbar to read the dictionary definition aloud.
Word Prediction button Prediction. This feature puts up a list of words based on letters that have been typed (similar to the prediction used by cell phones).
Dictionary button
Dictionary. Provides definitions of common words. Definitions can be read aloud by clicking Play.
Picture Dictionary
Picture Dictionary. Allows you to type in a word and retrieve one or more associated pictures. Double click on the image to insert it into your document.
Verb Checker Icon
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. Click Play to hear them read aloud and click the Replace button to add the selected verb into your document.
Play Icon
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. This feature is for use with Microsoft Word, web pages, and similar documents.
Pause button
Pause. Pause current reading. When Pause is clicked a second time, the audio continues from the stopping point.
Stop button
Stop. Stops the current reading. If the user then presses Play, reading recommences from the beginning of the current reading unit.
Screenshot Reader button
Screenshot Reader. Allows user to capture text in any format and read it using Text Reader or from within Word. Useful for reading bitmapped (non-selectable) text or other text that cannot be accessed with the Play or PDF Reader 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.
Audio Maker button
Audio Maker. Converts highlighted text in Word docs and PDF files to an MP3, M4A, or AIFF audio file.

To use Audio Maker:

  1. For best results, highlight 4 pages of text or fewer, then click on the Audio Maker icon. The first page of the resulting dialog box previews the text you have chosen.
  2. Clicking on Next goes to a second screen allowing you to change and test settings for voice, speed, and volume. Then click on the “Create” button to generate the audio file.
  3. You will be prompted for the location where you want to save the file and the file format you wish to use. Click “Save” when done.
Scan button

Scan. Options include whether to scan text to a Word, PDF or HTML file and specifications about the type of scanner being used. Even if you don't have a scanner attached, the Scan function can be useful for converting PDFs that were scanned as images into a text format. To use this functionality:

  1. Open Read&Write and click on the Scan button.
  2. The resulting window will look like this:
    Read and Write Gold Scanning Options screen
  3. Set up the window as follows:
    • Click on "Scan from file" (upper left corner). If there is no physical scanner attached, this option will be selected automatically.)
    • Click on "Multi-Page" (under Mode)
    • Click on "Word" (under Output options)*
    • Click off "Preserve Format" (under Output options)
  4. Click on the Scan button (bottom right). You will be prompted for a Word file name and location to save the document. You will then be prompted to open the document you want to scan.
  5. You may be asked to grant access to the Word file; it is fine to do so.

* If you are a U-M student and do not already own Microsoft Office, which includes Word, you may download it at no charge.

Fact Folder button
Research Folder. Select information you wish to store from a website. Then click the Fact Folder icon, click on "add fact," then click "close." The fact and website address are saved.
Translator button
Translator. Select a word or phrase and click on this button to translate into the language of your choice. Note: You must be online to use this feature.
Screen Masking button
Screen Masking. Tints all or part of the screen.
Highlighters button
Highlighters. Allows selected text to be highlighted in green or yellow.
Deselect Highlights button
Deselect Highlights. Erases highlights on text.
Collect Highlights button
Collect Highlights. Collects and sorts highlighted text, and sends it to a new file.
Vocabulary List button
Vocabulary List. Allows users to add highlighted words to a vocabulary list, with the option of adding images for the Picture Dictionary as well.
PDF Reader button

PDF Reader. Provides access to a program designed to read PDF files:

  1. Click on the PDF Reader icon, then select the file you would like to read. The PDF Reader window will open.
  2. A hand (Hand Off button) will appear at the top left of the page. Select some text and then click on the hand. A purple strip will appear underneath it (Hand On button) and the program will start to read the text.
  3. Use the Play, Pause, and Stop buttons on the standard toolbar to control the reading.
  4. If you wish to deactivate the reading feature (e.g., so it doesn't clash with the Highlighter), click on the hand so that the purple strip disappears.
Settings button
Settings (keyboard shortcut: ⌘ + , [comma]) Allows options to be set for the following functions:
  • Appearance
  • Customize Toolbar (see "Additional Toolbar Options" below)
  • Dictionary
  • Web Search
  • Screen Masking
  • Screenshot Reader
  • Similar Word Checker
  • Speech
  • Spelling
  • Check It
  • General

Additional Toolbar Options

The following features may be added to the Toolbar by choosing Settings from the Toolbar or Preferences from the Read&Write Menu. When the dialog box appears, choose "Customize Toolbar" on the left, and then check features on the right-hand list. (Existing features may also be unchecked.) Note that in the center of this dialog, there are options for customizing the look and functionality of the toolbar itself.

Blue Marker button
Highlights Blue. Adds a blue highlighter.
Pink highlighter button
Highlights Pink. Adds a pink highlighter.
DAISY Reader button
DAISY Reader. Reads files that are in DAISY format (a format optimized for accessibility).
Web Search button
Web Search. Brings up a dialogue for typing in a web search. When you click "OK," it opens Safari and performs a Google search.
Calculator button
Calculator. Provides basic calculation functionality.
Forward button
Forward. Moves the cursor forward in the document and resumes reading.
Backward. Moves the cursor backward in the document and resumes reading.
Spell Check button
Spell Check. Runs a spell check on highlighted text. It tends to provide better options than checkers built into programs such as Word.
Similar Word Checker
Similar Word Checker. For highlighted text, provides definitions for distinguishing between words that sound identical ("bare" and "bear") or similar ("accept" and "except").