Read & Write
Read&Write is a program that contains lots of tools for working with text. Its central feature is text-vocalisation; reading text aloud using a natural sounding, synthetic voice. As well as vocalising the text, the program highlights it so you can follow along.
Text vocalisation can be useful for:
- Reading speed. Lots of people find that if they set the program to vocalise at a faster pace than they can normally read, they can still follow along with the vocalization and take in the information.
- Reading comprehension. Reading along with the vocalisation can help you understand the information better. This is because you will be taking in what's written using two senses (sight and sound) instead of just one.
- Proofreading. It can be easy to miss errors when you only read visually - because you see what you expect to find. But things like typos and writing the wrong word really jump out when you hear the text vocalised.
Outside of vocalisation, Read&Write has lots of extra tools for reading, writing and proofreading.
- Make a 'word cloud' from a document to quickly see which words it uses most. This is a great way find out if the article is relevant to what you're interested in
- Make a audio file of the text being vocalised so you can listen to anytime on your phone
- Highlight key sections and then extract the highlights into a new document
Writing and proofreading:
- Predictive text - start to type and then choose from a list of suggestions to complete the word
- Select a word and check that you have used the right tense (e.g. ran, run, running)
- Reveal all the all the words like 'there' which sound the same as other words, like 'their'. Then select the word to check you have used the right 'homophone'
My Favourite Tip
Skimming text is a good way to find out if it's relevant. If you skim text first, it will already be familiar to you when you read it again more carefully - and that can help you take in more information. I do something a lot like skimming using TextHelp; I make an audio file of the text and listen to it whilst I'm traveling. Because I'm not following along with the highlights on the screen I don't take in the information in much detail, just like scanning. And just like scanning, listening to the audio file helps me for when I later read the text for detail.