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The Library: Software

Assistive software

There is a range of assistive software available in the Library for all students to use.

More information about the software, including tutorials and guides, is available below.

If you have a disability or dyslexia you can book an appointment with the Library Disability Support Team for support and training on the assistive software. See the Library Disability Support webpage for more information and support.

If you are not registered with Disability Advice, please contact the Library for IT support.

Microsoft Accessibility Tools

You may also find the information about the free Microsoft Accessibility Tools useful.  These include tools to read information aloud to you and the Dictate tool, which will type as you talk.

Ask us about assistive software - try searching our FAQs

Mind mapping software

MindView is a visual learning mind mapping tool designed to help you develop and organise ideas. It aims to enhance creativity, clarify your thoughts and improve memory and is a good study and revision tool.

MindView has functions which allow you to undertake tasks that are more involved than just simple mindmaps; for example creating essay plans, creating time lines, setting calendar reminders and creating tables of contents.

MindView is available on all Library PCs. You can also access it on your PC from home using the Remote App. This is a service that lets you use University applications on any device with an Internet connection without downloading them.

  1. Go to the Library’s Leeds Beckett RemoteApp page and click the link to access the RemoteApp service through a web browser.
  2. Enter your University username and password when prompted and click on the Sign In button.
  3. Once the RemoteApp loads, click the MindView icon and this will start a download.
  4. Once the file has downloaded click on it to open the Remote App dialogue box and then click on Connect.
  5. Enter your username and password when prompted.

For help with saving your work see How do I save my work when using Mindview via the RemoteApp?

Getting help

Mindview video tutorials and a Mindview user guide are available on the MindView website.

Study Skills software

Read & Write supports your study skills through a toolbar which works alongside other applications such as Microsoft Word, email and the Internet. It is designed to provide support for people with writing, reading and spelling difficulties.

Here are just some of the tools available:

  • Text-to-speech - it will read the content of web pages and documents aloud
  • Dictionary - gives dictionary definitions of words
  • Spell checking - check your spellings with definitions and example sentences
  • Sounds like and confusable words - check and correct your use of words such as their and there or weather and whether
  • Speech Input - types as you speak (requires a microphone)
  • Screen Masking - change the colour of the whole screen to make it easier to see and read
  • Highlighters - highlight useful text and then collect these into a new document, which is useful for taking notes

Read & Write is available on all Library PCs.

Read & Write video tutorials and Read & Write user guides are available on the TextHelp website.  Try out a useful tool which allows you to discover the Read & Write toolbar bar buttons.

Read & Write for Google Chrome is a toolbar which offers many of the functions of the full Texthelp Read & Write software within the Chrome web browser. It works with webpages and files accessed through Office 365 and Google Drive.

Here are just some of the tools available:

  • Text-to-speech - it will read the content of web pages, Office 365 files or Google Docs files aloud.
  • Dictionary - gives dictionary definitions of words
  • Speech Input - types as you speak (only available in Office 365 and Google Docs and requires a microphone)
  • Screen Masking - change the colour of the whole screen to make it easier to see and read
  • Highlighters - highlight useful text and then collect these into a new document which is useful for taking notes

Video tutorials on using Read & Write for Google Chrome, a Read&Write for Google Chrome - Quick Reference Guide and an interactive guide to Read&Write for Google Chrome Tools are available on the TextHelp website.

ClaroRead supports your study skills through a toolbar which works alongside other applications such as Microsoft Word, email and the internet. It is designed to provide support for people with writing, reading and spelling difficulties.

Here are just some of the tools available:

  • Text-to-speech - it will read the content of web pages and documents aloud.
  • Spell checking - check your spellings and look up dictionary definitions 
  • Homophones - check your use of words such as their and there or weather and whether
  • Screen colour- change the colour of the whole screen to make it easier to see and read.

ClaroRead video tutorials and ClaroRead user guides are available on the ClaroRead website.

ClaroRead Chrome is a toolbar which offers some of the functions of the full ClaroRead software within the Chrome web browser.  It works with webpages and files accessed through Google Drive such as Google Docs and PDF files.

It provides:

  • Text-to-speech - it will read the content of web pages or Google Docs files aloud.
  • Screen Overlay- change the colour of web pages to make it easier to see and read

Installing the ClaroRead Chrome extension

  1. Go to the Chrome Web store ClaroRead Chrome page
  2. Click on the + Add to Chrome button
  3. Click on the Add Extension button
  4. Once installed you will see the ClaroRead Chrome icon on your Chrome toolbar.  Click on this to access the toolbar.

ClaroRead Chrome help guides are available.

Pro-Study is a study tool that collects and organises your research in a single click. It categorises your research topics by grabbing your specifically selected text from Websites, PDFs, Microsoft Word and just about anywhere else you can select text and saving it into your personalised colour coded category tabs. Pro-Study provides quick hyperlinks back to the original websites. It also allows you to export this research as either a whole project or as individual categories into Microsoft Word or your favourite Mindmapping software with all of the referencing done for you in the required style and format.

Pro-Study for Windows is no longer installed on Library PCs.  However, if you have been given access to Pro-Study Online through your Disabled Student Allowance you can still access this on Library computers.  You will need to download the Pro-Study Extension from the Chrome Web Store. If you still need access to Pro-Study on Library computers and do not have access to it on your own computer, or if you would like to access Pro-Study Online please contact LibraryDisability@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.

Pro-Study Online video tutorials and Pro-Study Online user guide are available on the Pro-Study website.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking is speech recognition software which types as you speak. The software is not available in the Library as it must be used in an environment with no background noise and where others will not be disturbed by the speaking. If you are registered with Disability Advice you can contact the Learning Support Officer to request a demonstration of Dragon Naturally Speaking to help you decide whether to get your own copy, or for support with using your own copy of the software. Students not registered with Disability Advice would need to purchase their own copy of the software in order to use it.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking user guides and Dragon NaturallySpeaking video guides for PC are available.

Lecture recording software

Glean is a web-based tool for easy note taking which allows you to combine lecture recordings with PowerPoint slides.  You can also add your own notes, flag important information and add tasks.

Glean video tutorials and more information is available on the Glean Help Centre.

Screen reader and magnification software

JAWS is for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content.

JAWS reads aloud what's on the PC screen and gives you a set of tools for navigating and accessing web pages and all screen content.

If you need to use this software please contact your Disability Adviser, they can arrange for you to borrow a laptop with JAWS installed.

JAWS user guides are available on the JAWS website.

Zoomtext provides screen magnification and screen reading. You can choose from a selection of mouse pointers and cursors to make them more visible.

If you need to use this software please contact your Disability Adviser, they can arrange for you to borrow a laptop with Zoomtext installed.

Zoomtext video tutorials and Zoomtext user guides are available on the ZoomText website.

SuperNova is for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content.

It provides magnification and reads aloud what's on the PC screen and gives you a set of tools for navigating and accessing webpages and all screen content.

If you need to use this software please contact your Disability Adviser, they can arrange for you to borrow a laptop with Supernova installed.

SuperNova video tutorials and SuperNova user guides are available on the SuperNova website.

Free software and apps

Recommended free software and apps

  • Microsoft Accessibility Tools include tools to read information aloud to you and the Dictate tool, whiich will type as you talk.
  • MyStudyBar brings together a range of useful tools to support studying, reading and writing for Windows PCs.  It includes tools for mindmapping, customising font and background colours, a talking dictionary, converting text to audio and speech recognition.
  • Ginger Proofreader is integrated with most of your favourite desktop applications and with all major browsers. Ginger Proofreader offers both ESL (English as a Second Language) and native English speakers the ability to correct spelling and grammar mistakes with a single click.
  • Wordweb  is a one-click English thesaurus and dictionary that can look up words in almost any program.
  • Goconqr  is an app which allows you to create and share mindmaps, quizzes, flashcards, slides, notes and flowcharts.  You can also use it to discover user created resources on your topic.

Collections of free software and apps

Adobe Reader DC accessibility features

Want to convert files into different formats?

You can do this using SensusAccess, a web-based tool which allows students and staff to automatically convert documents into a range of alternative media.

Or you can use Ally File Transformer, available on the Assist tab in MyBeckett to convert documents into a range of different formats.

For files which are within your module content on MyBeckett you may be able to use Anthology Ally. Blackboard Ally is a tool within MyBeckett which can convert files into alternative file formats.