Accessibility statement

Texthelp Read&Write and EquatIO

Click on the tabs below for information about Texthelp tools.


About the software

Texthelp consists of a suite of tools called Read&Write Gold, OrbitNote PDF Reader, EquatIO and Mathspace. Read&Write Gold and EquatIO are available on desktop and Chrome.  Orbitnote PDF Reader is available on Chrome. Mathspace is a web resource. Select their tabs to find out more.

Where to find it

Read&Write Gold and Equatio are installed on all IT Services managed PCs. They are not available for personal devices PCs; please see the Obtaining the software tab.

The Chrome extensions can be added by going to the Chrome Store and looking for the extensions, or select the following links for Read&Write Chrome extensionOrbitNote Chrome extension and EquatIO Chrome extension. Mathspace is accessed at After 30 days, you will need to enter the licence code to continue using the premium features. See the Obtaining the software tab for the licence code.

Licence Agreement and policies

The End User Licence Agreement has been accepted by the University on behalf of users. You can view these here:

Read&Write Gold

Read&Write Gold

Read&Write is a discreet toolbar which can help you to consume course content easier and write coursework more effectively. It integrates seamlessly with the computer applications you already use to study, like web browsers and Microsoft or Google applications. You can also benefit from the toolbar’s features as you carry out research across the web, organising content as you go. It includes a PDF reader.

Some things you can do with Texthelp Read&Write Gold:

  • Text-to-speech: Proofread more effectively by hearing your work read back to you.
  • Word prediction: Predictive text boosts writing efficiency.
  • Subject related word banks available.
  • Audio maker: Convert course text into audio files to listen and learn on the go.
  • Highlights: Organise research and compile references in a bibliography at the click of a button.
  • Scan: Convert inaccessible hard copy texts into accessible PDFs, Microsoft Word documents, EPUB and HTML formats.

See our Introduction to Read&Write on the Learning Technology Practical guide for more support with getting started. We have a monthly meetup where you can learn to use the software and meet other users.

An alternative is Microsoft Edge browser which has immersive reader function and annotation function, and works with VLEBooks.


OrbitNote PDF reader

As part of Read&Write, OrbitNote (formerly called 'OrbitDoc') is a PDF reader you can use the literacy and accessibility support tools from Read&Write (including text-to-speech, dictionaries and highlighting), plus powerful collaboration tools to bring your PDFs to life. Open PDFs in Google Drive, the web, or your local device, then use OrbitNote to: 
  • Read text, including maths and science equations aloud
  • Highlight text
  • Translate words 
  • Insert freehand drawing and shapes
  • Add text annotations using Word Prediction and Dictation 
  • Build vocabulary lists 
  • Add text and voice comments using only your voice

To access, install the OrbitNote Chrome Browser Extension.

See also our Introduction to OrbitNote on the Learning Technology Practical Guide for more guidance with getting started.

EquatIO and Mathspace

EquatIO and Mathspace

EquatIO software allows you to create mathematical and scientific equations, formulas and more directly on your computer. Simply type, handwrite or dictate any expression, and EquatIO will convert it into accurate digital maths and formulas which can be added to Microsoft Word documents or Google Workspace apps with a click. EquatIO can turn inaccessible maths in images on webpages or PDFs into accessible, editable maths. See Accessible Equations - EquatIO for more information and guidance.
Mathspace is a collaborative workspace for your Chrome browser that enables you to make maths together. There is a workflow to create assignments and provide feedback. See Accessible Equations - Mathspace for more information and guidance. Access Mathspace at
EquatIO mobile is a mobile companion to EquatIO on your computer, which enables you to use your phone or tablet to insert maths into your synced documents or Mathspace.
EquatIO for Windows and Mac also benefits from the addition of the new STEM tools, a scientific calculator, molecular viewer and periodic table. Examine the structure of molecules and understand their geometry with up close 3D views of proteins and other chemistry structures. You can find the Molecular Viewer when you select the “STEM tools” beaker in the toolbar.
See also our Introduction to EquatIO on the Learning Technology Practical Guide for more guidance with getting started.

Obtaining the software

Obtaining the software


Read&Write and EquatIO are installed on all IT Services classroom PCs. They appear under Start > All Programs. You can also select Start and type the programme name for them to appear.

Managed PCs

To install Read&Write and EquatIO on staff and research graduate PCs managed by IT Services follow these steps:

  • from the Start Menu search for and open Software Center
  • locate the software under the Available Software tab
  • click on the Install button in the lower right

Once installed, it will appear under Start > All Programs.

Unmanaged PCs and home use

Staff are able to install Read&Write and EquatIO on unmanaged University owned PCs.

Installation files

Read&Write and EquatIO are available for Windows and Mac. After installing, sign in with your University Google account. Please download using the links below:

Training and Support




IT Services has no expertise in the software and is unable to offer user support for Texthelp.