by Craig Mill
on Mon Jan 09, 2017
Microsoft Edge, the default browser for Windows 10, has recently started to incorporate browser extensions, similar to Google Chrome. A browser extension is a plug-in or add-in that provides additional functionality to a browser. Some extensions can help to modify or simplify the layout and colour of a web page. Other extensions offer text-to-speech so web pages can be read aloud.
What does the Read&Write extension do?
The extension has a range of useful features, including:
- Text-to-speech - select/highlight text and press the play button).
- Hover Speech - hover the mouse pointer over a line of text and it is automatically read aloud.
- Picture Dictionary - picture support.
- Study Tools - text extraction.
- Simplify Page - simplify the layout of a web page with colour contrast options.
Read&Write can also be used for word processing via Microsoft Word (Online) and OneNote (Office 365 - available via Glow).
How do I add an extension to Microsoft Edge?
Extensions can be added from the ‘More’ option situated at the top right-hand side of the browser (3 dots).
Follow the steps below to add the Read&Write extension:
1. Select 'More' and on the drop down menu choose 'Extensions'.
2. When the Extensions panel appears, choose 'Get extensions from the Store'. This panel also stores previously installed extensions.
3. The Windows Store (or App Store) contains a range of apps and extensions for Edge browser. You can search by category (Apps, Games, Music etc) or do a manual search for 'Read&Write'. When the Read&Write icon appears select it and the extension will automatically install to the browser.
4. After Read&Write installs, the purple RW icon appears in the URL bar on the far right side of the browser. Select the icon and the Read&Write toolbar appears. To close the toolbar, click the icon and the toolbar will disappear.
5. Text-to-speech can be accessed by selecting a portion of text and clicking the 'Play' button or by selecting the Hover Speech button. With Hover Text, content is spoken aloud when the mouse icon is positioned over a line of text.
It is not possible to use the Scottish voices as a default voice.
6. Picture dictionary - select a word and choose the 'Picture dictionary' icon.
7. Simplify Page - choose the Simply Page icon (far right side of toolbar) to simply cluttered web pages. There are also options for changing the colour contrast.
To temporarily turn off or uninstall Read&Write go to Step 3 and choose the 'Cog' icon' - there are two options, e.g. turn off and/or uninstall the extension.
Google Chrome Extension
If you use Google Chrome you can download the Read&Write extension. It is free for teachers.