For support with Read&Write, please see the Texthelp website's guides.
Note: This video shows an overview of the Google Chrome version of Read&Write, but it's very similar to other versions as well. The actual overview starts at the 2:25 minute mark.
Here is what the software looks like. It sits at the top of your monitor, above your browser or whichever software you have open. You can customize which icons show on the bar under the full settings menu, then under the General tab.
Below is a summary of all the different buttons available.
Check It: The Check It tool can be used to find many different writing errors, including spelling, grammar, homophones, and more. Click here for the visual guide.
Prediction: The Prediction tool can help you select words for your writing. This tool can also be trained to learn your writing style. There are many Word Banks that can be added to help with this. Click here for the visual guide.
Dictionary: You can easily learn the definition of a word by highlighting a word, then pressing the Dictionary button. You can make this easier by turning on "Pop-up Dictionary" under settings, then under the Dictionary tab. This will make it so that just by highlighting a word, the definition will appear in a little box under the word. You can also add custom words. Click here for the visual guide.
Picture Dictionary: The Picture Dictionary will give you a visual representation of the word you selected, along with allowing you to add that image into your text. Click here for the visual guide.
Rewind: Pressing Rewind will make the audio skip backwards.
Play: Pressing Play will begin playback of the text you have selected, either through highlighting or cursor placement.
Pause: Halts the reading where it is, but it will remember where you left off. Just press Pause again to resume the reading.
Fast Forward: Pressing Fast Forward will make the audio skip forward.
Stop: The Stop button halts playback completely. If you press Play, it will not continue where you left off.
Screenshot Reader: The Screenshot Reader can be used to read text that you aren't normally able to highlight, like an image or a non-OCR PDF file. This tool can also be used to add that text to a Microsoft Word document, or to just have the software read it out loud, depending on your settings. Click here for the visual guide.
Scan: You can use a Scanner to scan a paper document or take a photo you have on your phone, and turn it into text in either a PDF or Word file. Click here for the visual guide.
Screen Masking: There are many different options to choose from for this in the full settings menu, under Screen Masking tab, but the main idea is that you can hide part of the screen to help block out distractions, or make it easier to focus on one paragraph at a time. Click here for the visual guide.
Translator: You can highlight a word and have it translated for you. You can choose from many different languages in the settings, under the Translator tab.
PDF Reader: You can open a PDF in Read&Write, then have it read to you. You can also use all the other tools, like the dictionary and highlighters, while this PDF is open. Click here for the visual guide.
Highlighters: Can be used to colour code whatever sections you feel are important in your browser, Word documents, and PDF files. Highlighted text can also be added to a Microsoft Word document (along with a citation), or can also be used to make a vocabulary list. Click here for the visual guide.
Collect Highlights: This button will take all the sections you highlighted, then add them into a Word document with a citation of where they came from. You can choose the citation style under settings, then under the Highlights tab. Click here for the visual guide.
Vocabulary List: Highlight the words you feel are important, then press the Vocabulary List button to have all those words added to a table in a new Word document. That table will have the word, definition, related image (from the Picture Dictionary), and a section where you can add your own notes. Click here for the visual guide.
Voice Note: You can add an audio note to your work. The default is to add the note as a comment, but you can change the settings (under the Voice Note tab) so that the note is inserted right into the text. Click here for the visual guide.