Jason Carroll, Global Product Manager

Transform PDFs with the Texthelp PDF Reader


Portable Document Format (PDF) files continue to be one of the most popular file formats found both on and off the web. They’re great when you need to retain formatting, restrict others from editing, or save a digital copy of a file. PDFs are also easily viewable on devices ranging from phones to Chromebooks. 

However, when it comes to accessibility, engagement, and collaboration within PDFs, the file format falls short. That’s why we've created the Texthelp PDF Reader, which provides a speedy experience while integrating all the bells and whistles anyone looking to interact with PDFs would want. Read on to find out more.


Depending on the application used to view PDF files, many PDF viewers fall short in areas such as:

  • Accessibility
  • Responding to questions
  • Creating text, voice, or other annotations
  • Making or replying to comments
  • Real-time collaboration
The Texthelp PDF Reader, available for Read&Write for Google Chrome, Read&Write for Windows and Read&Write for Mac, aims to help remedy many of these common shortfalls. Built from the ground up, our Reader provides a lightning fast experience for anyone looking to interact with PDFs. 
 

Accessing the PDF Reader

If you are using Read&Write for Google Chrome, watch this video to learn how to open PDF files in Google Drive, the web, or even your local hard drive.

If you are using Read&Write for Windows or Mac, simply click on the PDF Reader icon within the Read&Write toolbar to open your PDF file. 
 

The Tools You Love, Now Available in PDFs

Once you’ve opened a PDF through any of the above methods, you can use the Read&Write tools you know and love to:
  • Read text aloud
  • Look up words in the Dictionary and Picture Dictionary
  • Translate words
  • Highlight text
  • Build vocabulary lists
 

Collaboration & Annotation in Read&Write for Google Chrome

The Texthelp PDF Reader in Read&Write for Google Chrome also comes with handy collaboration features like commenting and annotations. 
 

Commenting

To use commenting, first select some text, then click the comment icon to the right of the selection and make a comment (just like in Google Docs). You can even use word prediction or speech input to help you type, or create an audio comment using your voice! You can also insert images or links, and listen and respond to others’ comments made in PDFs shared through Google Drive.

PDF Reader, Collaboration tools
 

Typewriter

Use the Typewriter Tool to annotate files or fill in the blanks on worksheets. Simply click the “T” icon from the toolbar, click where you would like to insert your text, and start typing. As with comments, you can use prediction and dictation to help. 

PDF Reader, collaboration tools, text box
 

Freehand Drawing

The freehand drawing tool is perfect for anything from marking up your own document, to circling answers on an assignment. To use, just click the Freehand Drawing button, adjust the color and line thickness settings, and start drawing. This feature is especially great for touchscreen devices.

PDF Reader Freehand Drawing tool
 

Shapes Drawing

The Shapes Drawing tool includes options for squares, circles and lines with customizable line color, fill color and line thickness. Use it for circling/boxing the answer to a multiple choice question, underlining important details in a reading passage, and so much more.

PDF Reader Shapes Drawing

But wait, there's more!

For even more ways you can use the Texthelp PDF Reader, including its integration with Google Classroom and our digital STEM tool, EquatIO, check out a recent webinar on ‘Making PDFs Accessible and Collaborative’.

Making PDFs accessible and collaborative promotional image
 

Tell Us What You Think

Use the feedback within Read&Write or the Comments section below to send us feedback anytime. We look forward to hearing from you!

Comments

Gwenlyn Abraham 5/9/2020 2:21:23 AM
Hi my text icon is grey. It won't let me click on it and type anything onto the pdf.

Deena Kimmel 5/11/2020 1:18:55 PM
Hi Gwenlyn - Can you please email support@texthelp.com? They'll be able to work with you to get you set up and running again. Thanks!

Prateek 4/1/2020 11:51:50 PM
Why is my Text icon grey? It won't let me click on it and I can't type anything onto the pdf.

Deena Kimmel 4/2/2020 2:40:39 PM
Hi Prateek - Can you please email support@texthelp.com? They'll be able to work with you to get you set up and running again. Thanks!

Sarah Hoyer 3/5/2020 5:28:56 PM
Student had started a worksheet, and when they came back to complete it, the original text did not save. How do we ensure text will be saved into the document? *using the typewriter feature*

Deena Kimmel 3/9/2020 12:45:30 PM
Hi Sarah! Here's a Support article about saving annotated PDFs in Google Drive: https://support.texthelp.com/help/how-can-i-save-and-view-annotations-in-a-pdf. Let us know if you have any more questions!

Fiona 2/27/2020 5:19:01 PM
Hi,

I am having difficulty selecting text for the highlighter function in PDFs. I am using Windows 10 Home. Most often the selection I am trying for will let go or jump to another unwanted selection before I am able to select the highlight tool. Is this a glitch or am I doing something wrong?

Also, when collecting highlights is there any way to pull over the page number that the text came from? This would be of massive benefit to students and academics!

Thanks

Deena Kimmel 2/27/2020 7:10:42 PM
Hi FIona! Can you please email support@texthelp.com? Our Tech Support team will be able to look into the particular problem you're seeing. Thanks!

donna marcotte-rizza 2/11/2020 5:11:00 PM
Can you add images to the PDF? I can't drag a picture from your picture dictionary to the PDF. I can not add images from google either?
Donna

Deena Kimmel 2/12/2020 2:04:12 PM
Hi Donna! At this time, you cannot add images as annotations in the PDF Reader. However, you can add images into the Comments on a PDF, so they'll just show up on the side of the PDF as opposed to directly on it. We hope that helps! Thanks!

jessica wortman 11/8/2019 4:56:43 PM
How do I send an annotated PDF to my student's teacher after it is finished?

Deena Kimmel 11/8/2019 6:43:48 PM
Hi Jessica! As long as your student's teacher opens the PDF with the Texthelp PDF Reader, they'll be able to see the annotations previously added to the PDF. Thanks!

Janelle Perry-Askew 10/25/2019 5:12:21 PM
Hi, is there a way to copy and paste. If I draw a circle can I copy and paste the same size circle next to it?

Deena Kimmel 11/8/2019 6:42:23 PM
Hi Janelle! You cannot copy and paste shape annotations at the moment, but we will send the request to our developers to add to the backlog. Thank you!

Sonia 10/16/2019 4:16:37 PM
How can you print your PDF after you used the typewriter?

Deena Kimmel 10/16/2019 6:22:52 PM
Hi Sonia! There is a print button in the bottom left of the screen. Thanks!

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