Transition from Kurzweil 3000 to Read&Write: Feature guide

On this page:

Texthelp Read&Write will be retired at Indiana University on August 6, 2024. IU provides several applications with many of the same features found in Read&Write; for more, see About the Texthelp Read&Write retirement.


This guide is intended for Kurzweil 3000 users who are transitioning to Read&Write. You will learn about comparable features in Read&Write, as well as new features and feature changes in Read&Write.

Feature comparisons

Not every feature from Kurzweil 3000 is available in Read&Write. The following table matches features in Kurzweil 3000 with their equivalents in Read&Write. If a tool you used in Kurzweil 3000 isn't listed here, contact your campus Support Center for additional information.

Kurzweil features Read&Write features
Import PDF PDF Reader and Scan
Create Audio File Audio Maker
Read the Web Read the Web
Screenshot Reader Screenshot Reader
Dictionary Dictionary
Picture Dictionary Picture Dictionary
Word Prediction Prediction
Highlighters Highlighters
Word Circling (no equivalent)
Footnote (no equivalent)
Sticky Note (no equivalent)
Text Note (no equivalent)
Voice Note Voice Note
Bubble Note (no equivalent)
Hyperlinks (no equivalent)
Bookmarks (no equivalent)
Extract Highlights and Notes Collect Highlights
Kurzweil 3000 in Browser Read&Write for Google Chrome
Universal Library (no equivalent; see Universal Library replacement below)
Speech to Text Talk&Type
Magnify Spoken Word Speak Using One Word Display

Feature changes in Read &Write

This section covers changes, including new functionality and functionality that has been removed, in Read&Write's feature set.

PDF Reader

  • Reads PDFs that have underlying text immediately, without having to process first (Kurzweil 3000 requires all PDFs to be processed first)
  • Image-only PDFs must be processed with the Scan feature first
  • Has a "Click to Speak" option that lets you click on a word in your PDF to make the reader begin reading from that point in the document


  • Gain the ability to process files in GIF, PCX, DCX, and JPEG format
  • Gain the ability to save the processed files as an ePub (Windows only)
  • No ability to insert scanned pages into an existing document

Audio Maker

  • You will have to copy/paste text from documents or type text into this feature
  • Gain the ability to preview the audio playback of the text
  • Lose the option of picking a page range to convert into an audio file
  • Lose WAV and DAISY2 audio format options
  • Lose the option for adding to iTunes and Windows Media Player from the feature
  • Lose options for audio quality

Read the Web

  • No login needed for the browser extension
  • No reading panel in the browser window; controls are accessed from the Read&Write toolbar
  • Gain the ability to use highlighters with web content

Screenshot Reader

  • Offers three output options vs one from Kurzweil 3000
    • Window: Creates a box over the text area with limited controls for playback (play, pause and stop); only plays back from beginning of text (you can't pick a location to start reading from with this option)
    • Microsoft Word: Transfers the text to a new Word document, with an additional option to add the text to an open Word document
    • Text Reader: Closest to the output option in Kurzweil 3000, as it opens in a new window and plays back the text
  • Offers three options for selecting text to capture (versus only one in Kurzweil 3000)
    • Rectangle: As in Kurzweil 3000, you can draw a box around the content you want read on the screen
    • Freehand: For text that isn't linear (wraps around an image) and can't be captured in a single box, this option lets you draw around the text you want read
    • Hover: Captures the whole screen and reads back the text; make sure your document window is maximized when using this option


  • Gain additional dictionary entries for the medical, engineering, and legal professions (Windows only)


  • Gain the ability to use word prediction across all applications as you type and read with Read&Write
  • Lose visual highlighting of words that are homophones


  • Gain the ability to highlight (and extract) content on web pages, and in PDFs and Word documents
  • Gain the option of multiple formats for extracted highlights, including Harvard, APA, Chicago, and MLA (Windows only)
  • Extracted highlights open in a new Word document
  • Lose two colors of highlighters (orange and gray)
  • Lose the outline style option from Kurzweil 3000

Voice Notes (Windows only)

  • Maximum length of voice notes increases from two to five minutes
  • You can insert voice notes into Word documents
  • Gain the ability to save voice notes as MP3 files

Universal Library replacement

Speech Highlighting Settings - Speak using one word display

  • A series of settings in Read&Write that achieve functionality similar to that of Magnify Spoken Word in Kurzweil 3000
  • Lose the ability to change the location where the enlarged text appears on the screen
  • Lose the ability to resize the box in which the enlarged text appears on the screen

New features for Read&Write

Read&Write adds some features that weren't in Kurzweil 3000:

  • Check It: Checks spelling, grammar, and frequently confused words as you type
  • Verb Checker (macOS): Walks you through the process of verifying whether a chosen verb is using the correct tense
  • Research Folder (macOS): Used to collect information from a wide range of resources, along with references
  • Screen Masking: Reduces visual distractions and increases focus
  • Talk&Type (Windows): Use speech recognition (speech-to-text) in Word and other applications
  • Vocabulary List: Create custom word lists
  • PDF Reader for Chrome: Read and highlight PDFs in Chrome
  • Read&Write for Google Chrome: Provides access to Read&Write features for Google and apps
  • ePub Reader: Chrome app for reading ePubs with Read&Write

Additional resources

For video tutorials and demonstrations, see TextHelp Video Tours.

This is document bhec in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2024-06-14 12:20:14.