Here’s what you need to know about Read&Write and where it stands compared to its direct competitors.
The ultimate guide to Google’s Read&Write
Text to speech (TTS) software has many uses these days, but its impact is still most powerful in the educational and entertainment fields. What was once a novelty today is a widespread phenomenon in teaching aids and other support tools.
But what piece of TTS software is right for you? While many TTS apps perform similar tasks, few of them are suitable for more than one application. One name you often run into is Read&Write, developed by Texthelp.
Here’s what you need to know about it and where it stands compared to its direct competitors.
What is Read&Write?
The Texthelp Read&Write uses assistive technology designed to help students – as young as kindergarteners – and teachers perform everyday tasks. That said, going through the tutorial might be necessary for younger users.
The text to speech software enables users to read complicated texts aloud, understand unfamiliar words, multitask when learning, research assignments, and even proofread.
It’s available as a Chrome extension and literacy tool on iOS devices, complete with a keyboard replacement functionality.
Benefits of using Read&Write
The Read&Write assistive technology tool has several benefits for teachers and students:
- Text to speech – The text to speech assistive technology is probably the most notable because it reduces the effort of going through entire articles and documents. In addition, reading aloud combined with color highlighting helps students with dyslexia follow along. Read&Write also enables full text to audio conversion and audio file downloads, making it a helpful tool even in offline applications.
- Vocabulary list – Read&Write can create vocabularies in documents and include specific words alongside their dictionary definitions and relevant Widget Symbols (picture dictionary) to provide more context to anyone reading the text.
- Spell checker – The “Check It” feature analyzes writing for spelling, punctuation, tense, grammar, and other mistakes. It can help teachers grade papers. Alternatively, it can help students turn in better reports while improving their grammar, word recognition, and writing skills.
- Accurate dictation – The Talk&Type feature is the reverse of TTS called speech to text. It enables the Read&Write software to process spoken words and turn them into text, significantly improving workflow.
- Improves focus – The advanced interface loaded with features can keep students more focused on the text in front of them. The read-aloud assistive technology amplifies this effect and improves study skills, attention, and knowledge assimilation speed.
- Encourages independent learning – Its compatibility with various text file formats – HTML, PDF, Google docs, Word docs – makes Read&Write a versatile tool that any student can use independently of their classroom and curriculum. It streamlines research, runs on multiple devices, can read aloud from various files, and helps students with reading disabilities keep up with everyone or study even faster.
- Free for teachers – Read&Write is free to use for teachers and has been for a long time. It’s a benefit that compensates for the relatively expensive pricing for licensing to individual students.
- Free trial – Anyone who installs the Read&Write Chrome extension can benefit from a full access pass for 30 days. Interestingly, the TTS feature still supports Google Docs after the trial ends.
Where can I get Read&Write?
Read&Write is available on multiple platforms. Its most popular version is the Google Chrome extension, which you can use directly from the toolbar, although some users prefer the Microsoft Edge extension. However, you can also use the software on desktop and mobile devices, including:
- Windows PC
You can find the app on the official Texthelp website and the official app stores of your mobile device.
Text to speech alternatives
Several text to speech desktop apps, browser extensions, and mobile app alternatives are popular learning tools among students.
- NaturalReader – This is a commonly used Google Chrome, Mac, and Windows-compatible software that can convert written content in various formats into spoken words.
- ReadAloud – ReadAloud is compatible with web pages, news sites, Microsoft Word documents, articles, and custom files you may want to listen to instead of reading.
- MurfAI – MurfAI is an audio maker alternative to Read&Write that focuses on quality over functionality. While Read&Write goes heavy on assistive technology and literacy support, Murf.AI emphasizes audio quality, video content creation through voiceovers, and voice cloning and offers a rich library of human-like voices.
- eSpeak – This open-source software is a decent speech synthesizer with support in multiple languages. It’s available on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems but lacks narration realism and cadence.
- Speechify – A premier alternative to Write&Read and other TTS software, Speechify balances functionality and audio quality to improve the study skills of dyslexic students, language learners, and others with limited time or reading difficulties.
Speechify supports audio conversions from written text in multiple file formats. You can copy-paste content or activate the app directly on websites to read aloud your favorite content.
Alternatively, Speechify does a great job of processing scanned documents of hard copy documents. It can read directly from PDF files or turn your scanned writings into multiple audio file formats.
This way, you can listen to materials online and offline, leave a voice note or two, and study at a comfortable pace.
You can convert anything into an speech, including images via OCR technology. Speechify also allows users to adjust the playback speed, and more.
Students with dyslexia can take full advantage of Speechify-generated audio files and ensure they learn just as fast as everyone else in the classroom, if not faster. In addition, multitaskers can improve their time management and get more things done during the day.
Teachers can curate custom educational content and help students follow along outside the classroom with selected text highlighting and read-aloud narrations in realistic voices. With its availability on all mobile devices, in desktop format, and as a browser extension, Speechify is a terrific all-rounder tool for improving literacy and convenience.
Try Speechify for yourself and notice the improvements you can make even during the free trial.