Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Kurzweil 3000

An accessible guide to Kurzweil 3000

Intro to annotation in Kurzweil 3000:

Kurzweil features robust annotation tools. These tools can be used to highlight and alter a document's text in many ways, and also insert a variety of user generated text and audio notes into documents. These notes can not only be read out loud through the application's text to speech functions, but also incorporated into user generated audio files.

As stated in other pages of this resource guide, many of these tools, but not all of them, rely on a document being of a legible quality high enough for Kurzweil to generate readable OCR text. A tutorial on this process is found in the Making PDF's Accessible page.

This page will cover annotation in Kurzweil under two cagories:

  1. Kurzweil annotation basics.
  2. Notes extraction and compilation.

Annotation basics in Kurzweil:

In this box, users can learn to use the basic annotation tools that Kurzweil 3000 offers. The core of annotation in both Kurzweil's browser and desktop application remains fairly identical. Both programs have highlighters, a variety of notes options, and the ability to bubble and strikethrough text. However, the locations of these tools varies, as do some options for annotation, between the applications. This box will note when specific tools are application-specific, and also where they affect text to speech functionality.

Annotation in the Browser Application:

The Kurzweil browser application's basic annotation tools are less centralized than that of the desktop application. However, they remain easy to access. These tools are split between two menus: the "Highlighters" menu, and the "Notes" menu.

Highlighting in the Kurzweil Browser Application:

To access the Highlighers menu.

  1. Navigate to the vertical toolbar on the far left of the browser window. Click the icon that says "Highlighters".
    Highlighters icon
  2. Examine the tool icons in the Highlighters menu.
    Highlighters menu full browser

    The icons in order from left to right are:
    • Select: Restores cursor to normal.
    • Customize Highlighters: Allows users to customize highlighter names, and their properties for extraction of highlighted text into notes.
    • Colored Highlighters in order: Yellow, Green, Teal, Magenta, Orange, Grey.
    • Red Circle Text: Draws red circle around highlighted text.
    • Blue Circle Text: Draws blue circle around highlighted text.
    • Cross Out: Strikes through text.
    • Erase: Erases highlighting.
    • Extract Notes and Highlights: Extracts notes and highlights into a new "Study Guide" document.
  3. Select appropriate highlighter tool. Highlighters must be manually deselected in the same menu by either selecting another tool or the default "Select" cursor.

Notes in the Kurzweil browser application:

To access the "Notes" menu:

  1. In the vertical toolbar on the far left of the browser window, click the icon that reads "Notes".
    Notes Icon Browser
  2. Examine the notes options in the menu.
    Document notes browser

    Options for notes from left to right, and top to bottom are:
    • Select: Restores cursor to normal.
    • Delete Note: Deletes any note users click on (except for bubble notes).
    • Print Note: Prints any note users click on.
    • Add Bubble Note: Bubble notes are collapsible notes that have a variety of options not available in sticky notes, text notes, or footnotes (desktop application only). Bubble notes are inserted wherever the reader is set in a document's page, rather than by clicking the location with the cursor. Upon clicking the "Add Bubble Note" button, a popup window will appear:Bubble note cutoff browser


      Unique bubble note functions include:
      • Editing bubble note "Shape"  and "Size"
      • Specific note subject field
      • Open Options: Users can chose to select whether or not the note "Opens while reading". If this option is checked, users may indicate whether or not the note opens before the linked reading unit is read, when it is being read, or after it has been read.
      • Question Options: Users have the option of inserting a question into the bubble note to simulate a question on a quiz or test. Users can choose to have "No question", a "True or False Question", a "Multiple Choice Question", or a "Text Answer" question. 
      • Question Image: Users can chose to upload an image that is linked to the bubble note. Customizable image fields include an image's "Size" and "Width", a caption for the image, and more.
      •  Bubble notes will automatically read when selected.
      • Bubble notes must be deleted while editing their properties by clicking "Delete Bubble Note".
    • Sticky Notes: Sticky notes are square notes with solid, opaque backgrounds. They can be moved using the default cursor once they are placed. Sticky note buttons are:
      • Add Sticky Note: any location the cursor clicks adds a separate sticky note. Sticky notes can be edited while in this cursor mode.
      • Hide Sticky Note: Toggling this button will turn all sticky notes in a document invisible.
      • "Italicize" and "Bold Sticky Notes": Italicizes and/or bolds the text in all sticky notes respectively.
      • Customizable "FONT SIZE", "FONT TYPE" "FONT COLOR", and "BACKGROUND COLOR". Uniform across all sticky notes.
    • Text Notes: Text fields with transparent backgrounds. Text notes can be moved using the default cursor. Text note buttons and customization options include:
      • Add Text Note: any location the cursor clicks adds a separate text note. Text notes can be edited while in this cursor mode.
      • Hide Text Note: Toggling this button will turn all Text notes in a document invisible.
      • "Italicize" and "Bold Text Notes": Italicizes and/or bolds the text in all Text notes respectively.
      • Customizable "FONT SIZE", "FONT TYPE" and "FONT COLOR". Uniform across all text notes.
  3. Add note.

Annotation in the Kurzweil Desktop Application:

The Kurzweil desktop application's annotation tools are somewhat less complicated than the browser application's. For this reason, this subsection is significantly shorter than the above tutorial on the Highlighters and Notes menus in the browser application. This subsection will be split into two smaller sections: The Tools dropdown menu, and the Tools Window.

Accessing the Tools dropdown menu:

The Tools Toolbar in the desktop application is a text only way to select from Kurzweil's full list of annotation tools. To access the dropdown menu:

  1. Navigate to the application toolbar at the top of the screen (Mac) or the top of the application window (Windows), and select "Tools"
    Tools Dropdown Menu desktop
  2. Examine the list of tools. Both highlighting and notes tools are available in the same menu. Almost every tool also has a keyboard shortcut. Each tool shares the characteristic with its browser application analogs where the "Selector" tool must be reselected in order to restore the cursor to normal functionality. Listed below are the tools in order; to save space, detailed descriptions are only written for tools that are either unique to the desktop application, or have functions that differ from their browser application analogs:
    • Selector
    • Eraser: Unlike its browser application counterparts, the desktop eraser tool can erase any note or highlight, including bubble notes.
    • Highlighters by color: Yellow, Green, Cyan, Magenta, Orange, Gray.
    • Red and Blue Circles
    • Cross-Out
    • Column Notes: Hovering over this option opens the column notes dropdown menu. Due to seemingly random differences in functionality between desktop and browser application "column notes", tutorials for their use will be omitted in this guide.
    • Footnote: Selecting this tool will allow the cursor to insert a footnote into a selected reading unit by clicking on it. Footnotes are expandable in text notes similar to bubble notes, but without customizable questions options.
    • Voice Note: Selecting this tool will allow the cursor to insert a voice note into any selected reading unit by clicking. Voice notes are audio recordings that users may insert into the text. inserting a voice note will cause a window to popup that gives users the option to either record their own note or import an already existing audio file.
      Voice note popup desktop
      Voice notes will not play unless selected, even when the reader reads the reading unit they are embedded in. Recording voice notes requires a microphone.
    • Sticky Note
    • Text Note
    • Bubble Note
    • Bookmark: adds bookmark to current page in document.
  3. Select desired tool.

Users may feel frustrated with the need to frequently return to the "Tools" dropdown menu. Thankfully, this is where the Tools window comes in handy.

Accessing the Tools Window:

In order to locate the Tools window:

  1.  Navigate to the window dropdown menu on the toolbar and select "Show Tools".
    Show tools desktop
  2. Locate the Tools popup window and position it in a convenient location near your Kurzweil application window.
    Tools Window desktop
    The icons in order from left to right, top to bottom are: Selector, Eraser, Yellow Highlighter, Green Highlighter, Cyan Highlighter, Magenta Highlighter, Orange Highlighter, Grey Highlighter, Red Circle, Blue Circle, Footnote, Voice Note, Sticky Note, Text Note, Bubble Note, Column Note, Cross-Through.

Notes extraction and compilation:

Users who have familiarized themselves with the annotation features of Kurzweil should be by now well equipped to mark up documents while reviewing and studying them. One of the final features of annotation in Kurzweil is the ability of the application to extract notes and highlights and compile them into a separate study guide document. Doing so can help users isolate relevant document excerpts for studying, preparing to class, or later conversion into an outline for a paper or writing project.

Extracting notes and highlights in the Browser Application:

In order to extract notes and highlights to a new study guide document in the browser application:

  1. Click on the "Highlighters" button on the vertical toolbar on the left side of the browser window.
  2. Click the button "Extract Highlights and Notes". A popup window will appear:
    Extract window browser application
  3. If needed, select the "Advanced" button to adjust the properties of each imported highlight and note style, and which styles are desired for importation into the study guide.
    Advanced extraction.
    As a general rule, it is tidiest to set all "Indent" fields to 0.00.
  4. Click "Ok". Users will be taken to a separate study guide document after the extraction and compilation is processed by the application.

Extracting notes and highlights in the Desktop Application:

Extracting notes and highlights in the desktop application is also simple:

  1. Navigate to the "File" dropdown menu in the application toolbar at the top of the screen (Mac) or the top of the application window (Windows), and select "Extract Notes & Highlighted Text".
    Extract notes and highlighted text
  2. Check all desired note and highlight styles, and set indents to desired values.
    • Two features unique to the desktop application's note and highlight extraction are the checkable options to "Show Page Numbers" and "Show Note Numbers".
  3. Click "Extract".