Once the Kurzweil program is open, select a voice, the volume and the reading rate. Increase or decrease the speed as needed (the more complex the material, the slower one generally reads). We suggest 140 wpm as a starting place and adjust the rate desired. Also, we recommend that you select either “sentence or Paragraph” as these options flow more easily with the punctuation.
Once the document is opened in Kurzweil, adjust the page size (a good starting place is 100 %) then adjust as desired.
We suggest that you take notes as you are reading the material (generally taking notes as you read, saves time later and the notes become part of your study guide for a test). Notes on Kurzweil may be taken using a number of different methods. Post-it notes may be added to any margin and are yellow and opaque. Text notes may be added to any margin and are clear. These notes may be saved and printed. Column notes may also be used for note taking and/or for extracting highlighted text into a study guide.
The highlighting feature in Kurzweil can be a good tool, but be cautious when using it. Highlighting is best used to organize and to categorize material. Over use of highlighting is inefficient and frequently results in the need to reread the material in its entirety. Highlighting can be effective if used to organize information. For example, color coding major themes and secondary themes. The highlighted information may then be converted to column notes (click file, then column note. You can select which color highlighted material can be extracted to the first column, second column, etc.).
While reading in Kurzweil, you can highlight a word with your cursor and open “definition” on the tool bar to see the definition of the word immediately.
Kurzweil has a feature for “reading the web”. It can be used to read accessible information on the internet, articles in electronic format and email. If you are doing research in the library, open the PDF’s directly into the Kurzweil software in the ATC and the files will immediately be converted to a Kesi file. Make sure you save the Kesi file on a flash drive or upload to your Sakai site for DSS.
The writing tools include options for brainstorming, draft and outlining. Information is shared between the drafts and outline options so when information is added to one, it will be included in the other automatically.