SDS Knowledge Base: Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil 3000 is an interactive text-to-speech platform that allows you to have digital content read aloud to you. This means that you can download your course readings from Canvas and have them read to you! You can also use Kurzweil to take notes, dictate ideas, organize your thoughts for papers, and more! The best part is, it is FREE for all DU students, faculty, and staff! 

This page is your go-to resource for all things Kurzweil. If your question is not answered here, please contact Student Disability Services at

a view of the DU campus from a drone

How To Log Into Kurzweil

Step 1

Navigate to Kurzweil3000.comClick on “Log in with Microsoft”

the Kurzweil log in page. There is a button that says "Sign in with Microsoft"

Step 2

Log in with your DU email and password.

A pop up screen with the option to log in using your DU credentials

Congratulations! You are now on the Kurzweil home screen. 

The Kurzweil home screen.

How to Open and Read Documents in Kurzweil

Watch a Video of Reading a Document in Kurzweil

Step 1: Ensure your Desired Document is Saved

Make sure your document is saved on your computer or cloud service (OneDrive/Google Drive). If you are trying to get a reading from Canvas to be read in Kurzweil, you will need to download it first.

Step 2: Upload your Document

On the right side of your screen, there are four buttons: Google Drive, OneDrive, Computer, and Upload.

The Kurzweil home screen. On the right hand side, the four button options for uploading files are highlighted.

Uploading with Google Drive or OneDrive

  1. Click the button for the platform where you saved the desired document (Google Drive or One Drive)
  2. A pop-up screen will appear. Log in using the screen
  3. Locate your document in your Drive.
  4. Select the document, then press select. The document will upload and you are ready to read!

Uploading using Computer

  1. Click the Computer button
  2. Select the file you wish upload
  3. Press ok. The document will upload and you are ready to read!

Uploading using Upload

  1. On the left side of your screen, you should see your name. Click on it
  2. Files should appear below
  3. Click “private”
  4. If you wish to place the file in a specific folder you have created, select that folder. (To create a folder, right click on private (Mac users: ctrl+click).
  5. Click upload
  6. Select the document from your computer that you wish to upload
  7. Press ok. The document will upload and you are ready to read!

Step 3: Read your Document

Open your document

You can find the document in either your recently opened local files folder or in the folder you uploaded the document to. 

Pick your starting place

Decide where in the document you want to begin you reading. Click there with your mouse. You can navigate to other pages using the arrows on either side of the screen or the “go to” feature at the bottom of the screen.


Press the play button in the upper ribbon to play.

A document is open in kurzweil. The play button is at the top of the screen. The turn page buttons are on the left and right ides of the document. The cursor indicates where the computer will begin reading from. There is a textbox at the bottom left where you can type the page you wish to navigate to.
A student studies with a computer and textbook open.

How To Customize Your Reading Experience

Step 1: Open Audio Options

Go to the audio options icon. It looks like a gear with a speaker inside of it.

the kurzweil home ribbon with the icon for audio options circled

Clicking on the audio options icon will open a dialog box. This box will give you options to change your reader voice and reading speed. Adjust your preferences accordingly. 

the drop down menu for audio options. You can change the voice, reading speed, unit spoken, and mode of reading.

Step 2: Customize your voice, reading speed, and more. 

Select your desired voice and reading speed. We recommend trying several different voices to find your favorite!

How to Highlight and Extract Notes in Kurzweil

Highlighting Text

Open the Highlighters dialog by selecting the pen icon on the left side of your screen. Click the toggle button for interactive mode. 

the kurzweil highlighting tab is open and the toggle button for interactive mode is on



In the document, drag-select the text you want to highlight, circle, or cross out. Then select the color you wish to use. 

a document in kurzweil with text selected. A popup of color options has appeared.


Now your text has been highlighted!

The same text as the previous image is highlighted yellow


Deleting Highlights

If you decide you no longer wish to have something highlighted, deleting it is easy!

Hover your mouse over the highlighted text. A small "X" in a box will appear at the end of the highlighted section. 

A mouse cursor hovers over highlighted text. At the end of the highlighted text is a box with an X in it.

Click this "X" and that highlighted section will no longer be highlighted. 

Adding Notes in Kurzweil

You can also add notes in a document in Kurzweil. You have several different choices of notes types:

  • Voice Note: Create a recording of a note
  • Bubble Note: Create a note that will be read aloud to you. You can also use this feature to create question and answer style notes. 
  • Sticky Note: A sticky note that you can type in.
  • Text Note: A textbox that you type in. 

On the left hand tool bar, select the notes button.

the tool bar on the left hand side. The notes button is highlighted.

Select the type of note you wish to create.

The Kurzweil notes pop up box with the different options for notes highlighted.

In your document, click where you wish to place the note. Then type or dictate your note!

A document in Kurzweil showing what each of the different notes types looks like.

To delete a note, go back to the notes bar and select the red square with an "X" on it. Then, click the note you would like to delete. 

the notes pop up screen with the delete option highlighted.


Extracting Highlights and Notes

After you are don’t highlighting, open the highlighters dialog box and go to the area that says “Export Notes.” Then select “study guide.”

the notes pop up screen with the export notes section highlighted

When a pop-up box appears, press ok. We do not recommend going to advanced settings, as that part of the program can be buggy.

the popup screen for exporting notes.

Your notes will open in a new page.

A new document in kurzweil containing the highlights and notes from the previous document

Be sure to save any notes in Kurzweil, or copy and paste them to a new Word document.

the save button in kurzweil is on the top tool bar.



Writing and Outlining in Kurzweil

Watch a video of using the writing and outlining tools in Kurzweil.

Step 1: Select a folder

You will need to either create or select a folder in which to have your new writing document saved.

The home screen of Kurzweil with a folder selected
Step 2: Open a document

Go to Write, then open either your outline or a new draft.

The Kurzweil screen has a folder selected and displays the documents saved in that folder. The write button is highlighted.


Step 3: Begin writing

You can choose to use dictation or predictive text to support you. You may also choose to use a split screen to have your outline and draft side-by-side.

Tools to support writing:

Spell check and Predictive text

the spell check and predictive text buttons in kurzweil


Change to split screen or outline

the views button is selected in the Kurzweil writing page

 Use dictation

the dictation button in kurzweil

Reference Tools to support your writing

The reference tools in kurzweil. These include a dictionary, picture dictionary, thesaurus, and translation
three students sit at their computers

Using Kurzweil Read the Web

 While some webpages, particularly news sites, have built-in audio components, not all do. Kurzweil Read the Web is here to help bridge that gap. It is a Google Chrome extension that reads aloud most webpages for you! You will need to use the Google Chrome browser in order to access Read the Web!

First, add the Read the Web extension to your Chrome browser. 

Once you have added Read the Web to your Chrome Browser, you can start using it to read aloud webpages, including Canvas! 

Step 1: Start Read the Web

Go to the puzzle piece to the left of your URL bar.

the extension button on Chrome

Click on it, then select Read the Web

The drop down menu that appears when you click the extension button. Read the Web is highlighted

Step 2: Log in

Log in using the Microsoft Login icon. Log in with your DU email and password.

The login screen for Read the Web. the Microsoft login button is highlighted.

Step 3: Start Reading!

Click where you want the program to begin reading. A green cursor will appear. Then, press play!

A screen that is ready to read. An arrow points to the cursor, indicating where reading will begin. Another arrow points to the play button.