Jason Carroll

PDFs are now even more accessible with Read&Write for Google Chrome

Read&Write for Google Chrome™ helps make PDFs more accessible by allowing users to hear text read aloud, see and hear definitions with talking and picture dictionaries, create and collect highlights, look up facts and more.  

Today we released a new update to our PDF Viewer that includes some of our most popular feature requests from customers. This includes the addition of both Word Prediction and Speech Input for our Typewriter Annotation tool, and a few other improvements that you’ve been asking for.

Check out the quick video below, and read on for more details.

Word Prediction

The new Word Prediction and Speech Input tools are designed to work with the Typewriter Annotation tool only. Simply click the Typewriter Annotation tool to turn on, then click anywhere in the document to insert your annotation and start typing. To use Word Prediction, click the Word Prediction icon on the toolbar at the top of the screen. You will now see up to 10 words predicted when you begin typing a word. 

Speech Input

To use Speech Input, ensure that Prediction is switched off, then click the Speech Input headset icon that displays below the Typewriter Annotation box. You will be asked to allow microphone access in order to use. After clicking allow simply start speaking and your text annotations will appear shortly after. Click the Speech Input icon again to switch off.

Check out this video to see the two new features in action.

Other updates to the Typewriter Annotation tool in this release include:
  • Text auto-wrap in so that text will automatically go to the next line once the edge of the page is reached. 
  • Automatic text re-size so that Typewriter Annotation text will match the size of the text in the document.
  • The ability to copy and paste text into annotations without removing any of the previous text. 

New to Read&Write for Google Chrome? 

To access Read&Write for Google Chrome’s PDF viewer you will need to first have a PDF file in Google Drive and have the Read&Write for Google Chrome extension installed. The ability to use the PDF Viewer is a premium feature. Everyone receives 30 days of premium access free when you first install the extension, plus the premium version is free for teachers.

To open a PDF, simply double click on it. As long as you’ve selected Read&Write as your default app to open PDF files, it will open the viewer and you can start using the tools immediately. If the file opens in preview mode through Google Drive, you can always right click the file and choose “open with” then Read&Write for Google Chrome. You can also set Read&Write to be the default handler in the Google Drive settings. 

Give it a try...

All of these updates came directly from customer requests so we hope you enjoy! If you haven’t started using Read&Write for Google Chrome yet, get it from the Chrome store today. And if you’re a teacher, don’t forget to register for your free premium license. And as always, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments area below. 


Dearna Read 10/23/2018 1:22:01 AM
Is there a way to move the text box that appears when you are using the type function? If the PDF is a worksheet then often the typing appears under/away from the answer line.

Deena Kimmel 10/23/2018 6:26:38 PM
Hi Dearna. We've actually updated our PDF Reader since this blog. Here is a link to a more recent blog, announcing the new version of the PDF Reader: https://www.texthelp.com/en-us/company/education-blog/august-2017/texthelp%E2%80%99s-new-pdf-reader-now-available/. As you'll see, the text boxes in this new version have a button on the top left that has four arrows. If you click and hold that down, you can drag the text box to the correct location. If you have any additional issues, please feel free to contact support@texthelp.com. Thanks!

Beth Davis 9/13/2018 2:24:58 PM
Is there a way to use the screen masking tool on a PDF document? I have a student who uses a colored overlay (which we can not get to work on a pdf) but he also has success with the masking tool in his color. Any tricks to utilize that feature from the Read and Write toolbar?? I wish it was automatically part of the Read and Write PDF tool bar!

Deena Kimmel 9/14/2018 2:37:46 PM
Hi Beth! Thank you for your question/comment. At this time, Screen Masking is not available for PDF documents. However, it is in our development backlog, so we hope to provide you with this integration in the future. Thanks!

Glenda Burditt 3/29/2017 9:09:55 PM
When photocopying I have set the photocopier (Xerox) to custom PDF, activate the searchable function and set the resolution to 300 DPI. I still experience difficulties with having many documents read. I had a document that was 5 pages long- when I used one photocopier Read and Write would only read the last page, when I copied the same documents using the same type of copier at another building, it would read the first two pages but not the last three. Is there something that will make things work better consistently?

Kim 3/3/2017 10:22:43 PM
After I open a Pdf in read and Write and type on it...I dont see anything to click on that allows me to save, share, or even simply exit or go back. If I just exit out of the entire window itself it never saved the changes automatically when I open it again. Please advise.

louise muller 10/25/2016 1:52:28 PM
When opening a pdf document in google drive after selecting read and write as my default, it does not allow the text to speech option to select any text or read any of the info aloud. Please help

Deena Kimmel 10/26/2016 3:26:46 PM
Hi Louise,

Sorry to hear you've been having some problems with the text-to-speech. Here's a support article that addresses this issue: https://support.texthelp.com/index.php?action=artikel&cat=5&id=77&artlang=en

Hope this helps!

Kerri Cindel 10/18/2016 3:45:12 PM
I am trying to print a PDF that has been annotated. When I go to print it, the text typed into text boxes, does not appear where it is on the screen - meaning all of the typed words are at the bottom of the pdf. Ideas? Help?
Thank you!

Deena Kimmel 10/18/2016 5:22:37 PM
Hi Kerri,

Thanks for reaching out! We are releasing a new version of the PDF Viewer soon that will resolve that issue.

Sandy Green 9/21/2016 4:48:10 PM
Can I save a pdf to my google drive with the addition I add with the Typewriter tool? I'm able to print and see the changes but can't see the changes on the doc in my drive

Ruth Houston 9/22/2016 10:35:56 AM
Hi Sandy,
When you open a PDF with Read&Write for Google Chrome from your Drive and add a Typewriter comment, if the PDF is closed, when you open it again with Read&Write the comments should still appear. If you're having issues with this feature please email our support team at us-support@texthelp.com

Stacy 9/8/2016 5:39:57 PM
Is the pdf reader part of the free version? Or are these features only included in the premium version?

S Hanna 9/9/2016 8:42:35 AM
Hi Stacy,
Please see matrix of freemium v premium features: https://rwchrome.texthelp.com/drive/Support/premiummatrix

Dora 8/27/2016 2:29:10 PM
How do you make the text box smaller when you are using the typewriter annotation tool in a PDF. The box is as long as the page, I want the box to be small and to expand as I start typing. Also, is there a way that students can use the speech input for a math symbol. Example "divide"

Ruth Houston 8/30/2016 2:20:08 PM
Hi Dora,

Your question about making the text box smaller when you are using the typewriter annotation tool has been logged with our development team for some investigation.

This has been logged with our development team to look into further.

>>Also, is there a way that students can use the speech input for a math symbol. Example "divide"<<

If you click on the article below, you should be able to find a Speech Input command for math symbols.

Elizabeth 3/17/2016 3:37:53 PM
When using the typerwriter feature I am not able to print what is typed. Also is there a screen reader function for Read & Write for Google PDF viewer?

Ruth Houston 3/18/2016 9:35:09 AM
Hi Elizabeth,
Sorry to hear you've been having some problems with the typewriter feature. Here's a couple of hints to get you on the right track:

Make sure that the Annotations are saved properly and appear in the PDF once you've finished. They should print out ok if they appear in the PDF.

There's no screenshot reader but a PDF can be read in the viewer using the Click to Speak button on the toolbar.

Hope this helps! If not fire off an email to support@Texthelp.com




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