Topic outline

  • General

    Assistive Technology Resources

    In this WebAccess Page, you'll find resources for using:

    • Kurzweil 3000
    • Dragon NaturallySpeaking
    • Accessing WebSmart and Student email (

    These lessons are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
    You can use them and edit as needed but please include a copy of this page so people get credit for their work.
    Carolyn Fiori

    • Kurzweil 3000

      Kurzweil 3000

      Many college students experience significant difficulties with reading and reading comprehension. Assistive Technology software, such as text-to-speech applications like Kurzweil 3000, NaturalReader or Read&Write Gold, offer universal learning and study tools. All students who are struggling with reading fluency and comprehension can benefit from this technology. Technology is a key tool in  21st century learning.

      Below are videos and step-by-step lessons for using many of the key features of Kurzweil 3000.

      • K3000

        Text to Speech

        What is text-to-speech? Text-to-speech programs use voice synthesis to convert text into spoken audio. You can listen to files on your PC or create MP3 files for use on portable devices like iPods, iPads, iPhones, Androids, other tablets, and some CD players that support MP3 files. The software can access virtually any information, whether it is printed, electronic, or on the Web.

        Who uses text-to-speech programs? Students with specific learning disabilities or attention difficulties, students with visual impairments, and students with physical disabilities that limit their ability to hold books and/or turn pages. Do you think there are others?

        What text-to-speech programs are supported at CSM? CSM has Kurzweil 3000 available around campus as well as NaturalReader in the Assistive Technology Computer Lab.


        Click on the link to read Text-to-Speech Resources link below to read and/or listen to information on other resources.

      • K3000

        Reading with Kurzweil

        Kurzweil 3000 reads text on the screen. You can adjust the voice and speed at any time. Kurzweil keeps your settings for the next time you log in. Click on the links below to watch some short videos and get an overview of some of the features in Kurzweil.


        Each video opens in a new page.
        Click on the icon below the video to display the video in full screen.

        Kurzweil for Windows Videos:

        Kurzweil for Macintosh Videos:

        Reading text or documents that are not .kes

        If you can select and copy text, you can paste it into Kurzweil and read it. Kurzweil 3000 opens and reads .txt files, .doc and .docx files (Microsoft Word), and .pdf files.

        Read the Web

        Kurzweil installs a toolbar in your browser. Kurzweil recommends using Mozilla's Firefox. An extension for Firefox needs to be installed. If you click on "Read the Web" and haven't installed the extension, you will be prompted. Follow the directions on the screen.

        The KESI taskbar can be turned on in the Windows Taskbar at the bottom of your screen. Right-click on the taskbar, choose Toolbars from the menu, then choose Kurzweil Taskbar. The Image Reader (on the right) can be used to hiKESI taskbarghlight text to read. Once highlighted, the text opens in a new window and reads. This is useful for text that Kurzweil can't read or when Kurzweil loses it's focus and doesn't read/highlight correctly.

      • K3000

        Study Tools - Highlighting Main Ideas and Details

        The highlighting tools in K3000 are just like the highlight pens you use to mark up important details in your textbook. You can electronically highlight text with 6 different colors. 4 colors are already on the study skills toolbar and the others are found under the Tools menu. (You can also customize your toolbar and add icons to any of the Toolbars.)

        Highlighted text can be extracted into another document and printed for studying. Extracted text is saved in a text file (with the file extension of .rtf for Rich Text Format). This file can also be opened in Microsoft Word on both Mac and PC.


        Use Color Highlights to Study

      • K3000

        Extracting Highlights to Column Notes

        Macintosh Users: This feature is not available on the Kurzweil version for Macs.

        Instead of extracting highlights to an outline, you can extract highlights to column notes. Having access to your study notes in column format can be more organized visually for some students and make it easier for studying. In addition, Kurzweil 3000 has incorporated a feature that allows you to review your column notes by hiding a particular column when studying. You can also print out your column notes so you can study for your tests using a printed version.

        It is recommended that you first watch the Kurzweil 3000 video on Column Notes. You can also access this video from the Help menu in your Kurzweil program.


        Working with Column Notes

        Additional information about Column Notes is included in the Book below: Extracting to Column Notes

      • K3000

        Trying Out Sticky Notes

        When used in conjunction with Extract Annotations, Kurzweil 3000 Notes enable you to create summaries and study guides. The Instructions file below deals with Sticky Notes and includes helpful information on extracting the text from a document's Notes to a separate document.

        • A Sticky Note can have a colored background and/or colored text. It is opaque, covering the image. Sticky Notes serve as handy reminders.
        • The Extract Annotations feature enables you to extract contents from Footnotes and Sticky Notes into a study document.

        Macintosh Users: To change the font and color of Sticky Notes and Text Notes, go to Preferences under the Kurzweil 3000 menu.


        Creating Sticky Notes and Text Notes (Windows)

        Using Sticky Notes (Macintosh) YouTube video

      • K3000

        Creating MP3 (Audio Files)

        You can create MP3 files of Kurzweil 3000 files. You can create these from .kes files, as well as .doc and .rtf files within Kurzweil 3000 and then download them to play on your MP3 player,iPod, iPad, phone, tablet.

        Creating an audio/MP3 file from a Kurzweil 3000 file is pretty simple. Here is a link to the mp3 file of the research article you read previuosly: . Click on the link to listen to the file.

        Watch this video:


        Creating an Audio File (Windows)

        Follow the instructions in the Step-by-Step file below to make an mp3 file.

      • K3000

        Changing the Page Number in a Kurzweil 3000 file and Bookmarks

        Setting the First Page in Kurzweil 3000 (.kes) file

        In order to have the page numbers in your Kurzweil 3000 file match the page numbers of your book, you can change/set the first page number of a Kurzweil 3000 file. Then you electronic file will match the page numbers in your printed textbook.


        Bookmarks can be used for marking the following:

        1. Where you stopped reading in a chapter.
        2. Important sections in a chapter (i.e., when writing an essay for English and looking for supporting details from a novel).
        3. Sections of information that you don’t understand and about which you want to ask your instructor.

        Please download and review the step-by-step instructions for adding page numbers and bookmarks.

        Then complete the Assignment - Setting the First Page Number and Bookmarks

        Macintosh Users: You will find the page numbers (current, last page and next page buttons) at the bottom of the screen.

        To change the page numbers, go to Edit - Set 1st Page Number to make your changes.

        To add a Bookmark, go to Tools - Bookmark. A window opens to the right and the mouse pointer will have a little bookmark icon attached. Click the mouse pointer where you want to place the bookmark, then type in the name and page number in your bookmark.

        To get back to the Bookmark, click the Bookmark button in the Toolbar.

        • DNS

          Dragon NaturallySpeaking

          Voice recognition, or speech recognition, is a computer technology that utilizes audio input for entering data rather than a keyboard. Speaking into a microphone, for example, produces the same result as typing words manually with a keyboard. Simply stated, voice recognition software is designed with an internal database of recognizable words or phrases. The program matches the audio signature of speech with corresponding entries in the database. [Source:]

          • DNS Videos

            Check out the videos on YouTube and other resources from Nuance.

          • DNS Lessons

            Lessons for Dragon 11.5 – Word 2010 Spring 2014Red Dragon

            Edited by Carolyn Fiori, Assistive Technology Specialist College of San Mateo

            The contents of these Dragon Lessons in this WebAccess module represent the fifth major revision of the Dragon Manual that Judy Lariviere and I developed for use in our classes. The lessons here have been modified and formatted for Web Access. I would like to acknowledge the many resources used in developing the previous editions of this manual:

            • Judy Lariviere, Skyline College. We worked together to develop the print versions of this manual.
            • Alexis Copeland, Monterey Peninsula College, for his help with editing and completing extensive updates for version 11.
            • Kathleen Kraemer, Santa Rosa Junior College for her help in our first major edit.
            • Dragon NaturallySpeaking Curriculum, Ellen Cutler and Claudia Celestial, Santa Monica College
            • Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7.0 (Advanced), Gaeir Dietrich, High Tech Center Training Unit, DeAnza College
            • Dragon NaturallySpeaking for the Office Professional and Dragon NaturallySpeaking Quicktorial, Karl Barksdale
            • Dragon NaturallySpeaking Workbook, Calais Roussel, Cabrillo College

            These lessons are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
            You can use them and edit as needed but please include a copy of this page so people get credit for their work.
            Carolyn Fiori

            • DNS - Setting up a voice file

              Lesson 1

              Using Dragon NaturallySpeaking

              • Students dictate written work into the text editor that comes with Dragon (DragonPad) or directly into Microsoft Word.
              • Dragon always spells words it recognizes correctly.
              • Students can program in unique words from different subject areas.
              • Students can copy and paste text into Microsoft Word for editing.

              Create a New User - Setting up a new voice file

              When you first start using Dragon NaturallySpeaking, you will need to create a new user file. This is where Dragon will store and update your speech files. After you train Dragon and use it over time, it will improve its accuracy in recognizing you.

              Open the PDF file below for help setting up your voice file.

            • DNS - Getting started with dictation

              Lesson 2

              There are several ways to access your personal User Files, depending on your personal or lab set up. It's important to check your microphone (audio) settings periodically.

              Open the PDF file below for information on the following topics:

              • Key features of the DragonBar
              • Opening your user files
              • Checking your audio settings
              • Opening and closing windows and menus
              • Deleting text
              • Using [Correct] and [Spell That] commands
              • The radio alphabet
              • Editing text

            • DNS - Correcting Misrecognitions

              Lesson 3

              If Dragon continues to not recognize the same words or phrases that you are dictating, you should Train after you have corrected the words.

              Open the PDF below for information on correcting misrecognitions and training words and phrases.

            • DNS - Editing & Numbers

              Lesson 4

              You can move the cursor just as you would using the arrow keys. [Move up/down 3] is like pressing the up/down arrow 3 times. [Move right/left 2] is like pressing the right/left arrow 2 times.

              Open the PDF below to learn more about:

              • Editing commands
              • Spacing
              • Dictating numbers
            • DNS - Capitalization & Punctuation

              Lesson 5

              Dragon will automatically capitalize the first words in a sentence, days of the week, months of the year, some holidays, and some proper names. You can also capitalize words manually.

              Normally you can dictate and use Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice commands in any text window of any application. However, you may occasionally find an application or a specific window in an application where some voice commands won’t work or will not work consistently.Using Dragon's Dictation Box can be helpful in these situations.

              Because misrecognitions often look very different from what you said, Dragon NaturallySpeaking lets you play back your dictation so you can more easily identify what you meant to say. You can play back dictation while you are looking at the text in the document or while you are making corrections.

              Open the PDF file below to learn about:

              • Capitalization
              • Punctuation
              • Dictation Box
              • Listening back to what you’ve dictated

            • DNS - Dictating into MS Word

              Lesson 6

              Dragon NaturallySpeaking provides a small text editor, DragonPad, where you can dictate, edit, save as a .rtf (rich text file), then open in MS Word for additional editing.

              While you can dictate and edit in virtually any program, Dragon NaturallySpeaking includes many additional commands for easy editing and formatting in MS Word.

              Open the PDF below to learn more about dictating into MS Word.

            • DNS Resources


              Appendix 1 has Reference Charts for voice commands.

              Appendix 2 has Reference Charts for voice and keyboard commands as well as mouse movement commands.

              Appendix A has Advanced Features of Dragon - Changing the default font size and setting up dictation with a voice recorder.

              Open the PDF files below.

            • Email

              Setting up

              You can access the email that the college provides for you or you can forward those emails to another email that you access regularly. It is important that you access this email since the college and the Assistive Technology Center will be sending up updates and information to the email. Please see instructions below if you need help accessing or forwarding messages to your preferred email address.

            • WebSmart

              Accessing WebSmart

              Each student has a WebSmart account. You can register for classes, check your balance, find out your email address and check your grades. If you need help accessing your account, read the directions below.