Read&Write Features

Posted August 26th, 2021 at 2:13 pm.

Read&Write is a tool that helps with reading, writing, researching, and organization. This article explains the features in the Read&Write extension for the Chrome web browser. Some features may not be available in other versions of Read&Write.

The headings below list the features on the Read&Write toolbar from left to right.

Read and Write toolbar

Adjust the Toolbar

  • Click (Adjust the toolbar) and drag the toolbar to reposition it on screen.


  • Click the text Prediction icon, then begin typing anywhere on a web page — for example, in a search bar, in a Google Doc or online Word doc, or an email — to see a list of suggested words as you type, as pictured below.

word prediction feature

  • Click on a suggested word or press CTRL and its number in the list to insert it at the text cursor.
  • Hover the cursor over a word in the list to hear it spoken.



Hover Speech

  • Click the Hover Speech icon to turn on Hover Speech mode on and off. When this mode is on, Read&Write will read words aloud as you move your cursor over them in your web browser.
  • Click (Pause) to pause and resume reading aloud.
  • Click (stop) to end reading aloud for the current paragraph, but continue reading aloud when you move the cursor over other paragraphs. (If you want to turn Hover Speech mode off completely, click the Hover Speech icon instead.)


  • To see the definitions of a word, double-click on it to select it, then click the Dictionary icon.
  • The definitions will appear in a pop-window, as pictured below. (You can click and drag the pop-up window to move it if needed.)

dictionary feature

  • Click (arrow) next to a definition to have it read aloud.
  • Click (Exit) at the top of the pop-up window to close it.


Picture Dictionary

  • To see a visual depiction of a word, double-click the word to select it then click the Picture Dictionary icon.
  • Pictures related to the word will appear in a pop-up window, as pictured below.  (You can click and drag the pop-up window to move it if needed.)
  • Click (Exit) at the top of the pop-up window to close it.

picture dictionary


  • Click to have Read&Write begin reading an entire page aloud, starting at the currently selected word. (You do not need to move your cursor over the words as you do with Hover Speech.)


  • Click (pause) to pause and resume reading aloud.


  • If Hover Speech mode is on, clicking (stop) ends reading aloud for the current paragraph only. Other paragraphs will be read aloud as you move the cursor over them. If you want to turn Hover Speech mode off completely, click the Hover Speech icon instead.
  • If Hover Speech mode is off, clicking (stop) ends reading aloud.

Screenshot Reader

  • If Read&Write fails to read text on a page, it is probably part of an image or graphic that contains only pixels, rather than readable characters.
  • If this happens, click on the Screenshot Reader icon, then use your cursor to click and drag a box around the part of the page containing the text that wasn’t read. Read&Write will take a screenshot of that area, use a process called optical character recognition (OCR) to identify letters and turn them into characters, then read those characters aloud.

Audio Maker

  • Highlight onscreen text, then click the Audio Maker icon to create an MP3 file of it read aloud using text-to-speech. This file will download automatically; you can move, copy and play it as you would any other MP3 audio files.

Web Search

  • Double-click on a word to select it, then click the Web Search to do a Google search for that word.

Screen Mask

  • Click the Screen Mask icon to turn screen masking on and off. Screen masking darkens everything except a horizontal band of your screen to help you visually focus on the line of text you are currently reading.

screen masking

  • Move your cursor up and down to move the line of focus; scroll as usual to advance through the webpage.
  • Click (Options) to adjust the appearance of the screen mask.
  • Click (move) to reposition the mask control icons.

Talk & Type

Talk & Type allows you to dictate what you want written. To use this feature, click the Talk & Type icon. You may be prompted to allow permission to your microphone. Click Allow to continue. Click the area where you would like to type. Then, speak aloud the words you would like typed. The Talk & Type feature will automatically transcribe what you have said.


To use the translator feature, double click on a word you would like to translate into another language. Then click the Translator icon . A pop-up window providing a translation will appear.

translator feature


To highlight your text on screen, use your mouse to highlight the text you want, and then click one of the following highlight buttons in the toolbar: Yellow, Green, Blue, and Pink. You can highlight with all of these colors on the same screen.

hihglights on webpage

Clear Highlights

Click the Clear Highlights icon to clear the highlights from your web page. First, select the highlighted text that from which you want to clear the color. Second, click the clear highlight button. The highlight will disappear.

Collect Highlights

This feature allows you to collect all of the text you have highlighted into a Word doc along with a link back to the original source.  To use this feature, click the Collect Highlight icon. A menu will pop up. Click the checkbox next to each color you would like to have exported to your Word doc. Then click OK. The Word doc will generate and appear on your screen.

menu to select which highlights to collect

word doc with all the highlights


This feature creates a vocabulary list with definitions from the words you have highlighted on screen. First, highlight individual words you would like to include in your vocabulary list. Second, click the Vocabulary icon. A Word doc will automatically generate which will include the vocabulary you highlighted, along with a definition, a picture description, and a blank space for you to add notes and change the font style and line spacing.

word doc vocabulary list

Simplify Page

The simplify page feature allows you to transform the look of the webpage to show only meaningful text and images. To use this feature, click the Simplify Page icon. The screen will transform and you will see a menu appear at the top of the webpage. This menu provides options for your to choose how much or little simplification you want on the screen, as well as the color contrast of the text and background, font style, and line spacing.

page in a simplified format

Practice Reading Aloud

This feature allows you to record yourself reading a passage of text from the website you are visiting aloud and then listen to the playback. When you click the Practice Reading Aloud icon, instructions will appear on your screen prompting you through the recording process.

practice reading aloud screenshot


Click the More icon to access additional features. The features under the More menu are: Options, Help & Support, Send Feedback, or Navigate to

  • Options: Click Options to customize the appearance of your Read&Write tool bar, to adjust the language features, speech, screen masking, and other features.

options menu

  • Help & Support: Click Help & Support to access Texthelp’s help documentation.
  • Send Feedback: Click Send Feedback to offer feedback to Texthelp about your experience with Read&Write.
  • Click to go to that website.
Filed under: Accessibility by Grace Cipressi

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