Information about Readit and how to use it.



Readit is a software package designed to support people with a visual impairment.

Using the Readit Wand, you can quickly convert printed material into an accessible electronic format. The software can be used with either a keyboard or a mouse.

The Readit software also works with documents already in electronic format so, for example, it can enlarge and read aloud a Microsoft Word document or a PDF.

Accessing Readit

Readit is available in the following rooms:

  • Information Commons (IC) Level 1: Rooms 1.25 and 1.24 and PC's 1059, 1060 and 1061,
  • Health Sciences Library, Royal Hallamshire Hospital: PCs 22 and 27,
  • The Diamond Level 4: 4.04, 4.26 also in the Library Reference Collection on the PC next to the Text Enlarger Workstation,
  • Western Bank Library Level 4 PC 11.

How to use Readit

Either click on the Readit icon on the PC desktop or from the Start menu at the bottom left-hand corner of the PC screen, select All Programs > Readit.

Getting help

Please see these downloadable User guides for help with ReadIt.

Setting up the Wand

  • Plug the USB cable of the Readit Wand into the PC or laptop
  • Place the Wand on a flat surface, ensuring it is not directly underneath any bright lighting.
  • With the triangular surface of the positioning arm facing you, pull the arm carefully towards you until it stops.
  • Rotate the arm 90 degrees clockwise until it rests on the flat surface
  • Gently raise the camera head, until it stops at right angles to the rest of the Wand

Positioning documents

The Wand’s camera captures an area slightly larger than an A4 page

Documents should be placed with the long edge going left to right when the Readit Wand camera head is facing towards you.

Place your document up against the positioning arm, so that the corner reaches the point of the arm. (You can use the reversible Readit mat to help you do this.)

Try to position your document as squarely as possible and ensure that pages are relatively flat. The software will give a visual indication on the screen of what is going to be captured

Use the wheel on the side of the camera head to adjust the light.

Capturing a single-page document

Make sure you are in Camera mode by clicking the icon below on the Readit toolbar.

Position the document under the Wand’s camera and press Enter or Edit > Capture. After two seconds of no movement being detected, a picture will be taken.

As soon as the camera has captured the page, the software will start to read it aloud. To stop this, click on the green Play/Pause button.

If you have no document open to capture the images to, using Enter will automatically create a new document for you. As soon as the capture is complete, you will be taken to Document mode.

Saving a document

Use File > Export to save your document to PDF, Rich Text Format, Plain Text, Word or MP3 formats.

If you are carrying out the work on behalf of someone else, we advise you to check their preferred format beforehand.

Capturing a multiple-page document

If you wish to capture more than one page at a time, select Edit > Multiple Capture. After a page has been captured, you will be asked to turn the page.

Once the page has been captured, repeat as necessary, then finish by pressing the Escape button.

You can check that all pages have been captured by navigating the pages in Document mode.

Two separate pages on one sheet

If you are capturing pages from a small-sized book, where the two open pages could be captured together, select Recognition > Split Book Pages. The software will then recognise that there are two pages in each shot.

If you are capturing only one page at a time, please ensure that this function is turned off.

Exiting Readit

Always exit the Readit software before disconnecting the Wand. Failure to do so may lead to camera damage in the Wand. You can exit the software by selecting File > Exit.

Please note: When replacing the positioning arm, move it to an upright position, before pushing it carefully back towards the wand.

If you would like more detailed instructions, please refer to the VisionAid User Manual. Authored by Suzanne Russell (Student Services) with contributions by Lois Burt on behalf of the Library.

Further information and comments

If you would like further information or wish to comment on any aspect of the service, please contact us, or phone (0114) 222 7204.

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Phone: +44 114 222 7200

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