How is this for timing?! A week or so after I submitted an article about assistive technology and Macs, to be included in the next JISC (North and East) eQuality newsletter… Texthelp announced the imminent launch of Read and Write 3 GOLD FOR MAC! Fortunately, there was time for the editor to do a last minute tweak so when you open your copy of eQuality news this month, you shouldn’t find quite so much of me writing in a slightly-redundant fashion about how different the Mac and Window versions of this popular literacy support tool are, when in fact this gap in performance looks like it’s about to close!
If you have previously attended one of BRITE’s ‘Mac-cessibility’ seminars, you’ll know that the user interface (i.e. toolbar, suggestion list and work-area) in earlier versions of Read and Write GOLD FOR MAC was significantly different from the Windows version of the software. E.g. to compose, check and edit text using Read and Write’s support tools, a student needed to use a dedicated Texthelp work-space and then export the finished text back to the original document.
However, the latest version – scheduled to launch on the 15th of May 2009 – should see major changes. Texthelp tells us we can look forward to: a floating toolbar; integration with MS Word for Mac 2008; new high quality voices; new fact mapper and a new translator. Safari Web Highlighting, Scanning, Phonetic Spell Checker, Prediction Dictionary, Homophone Support and Study Skills Tools have also been enhanced. Click here to learn more about Read and Write 3 GOLD FOR MAC.