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Kurzweil 3000

An accessible guide to Kurzweil 3000

Intro to Documents in Kurzeweil

Whether you are using the Kurzweil browser application, or the standalone desktop application, there are multiple ways to open and save documents in Kurzweil. This page will go over the basics of importing and saving work in Kurzwile, focusing on accessing local files (files saved on your computer), files from your Universal Library (Kurzweil's in house cloud storage and sharing system), and Google Drive. As stated previously in this guide, tools like the Universal Library and its integrated Google Drive functionality enable users to open their saved work on any computer that is connected to the internet.

Kurzweil 3000 is compatible with the following file formats:


  • .rtf (rich text format)
  • .txt (text file)
  • .pdf
  • .doc (Microsoft Word)
  • .docx (Microsoft Word)
  • .jpg (image)
  • .kes (Kurzweil)


  • .doc
  • .pdf
  • .tiff
  • .jpg
  • .rtf
  • .kes
  • .ai
  • .txt

Opening Files in Kurzweil

Local Files:

A local file is one that is stored on the computer that you are using.

Opening a local file in the web application:

  1. Begin in the Universal Library page (page found directly after login)
  2. Click the icon titled "Computer", found between the icons "Bookshare" and "Upload"
    Open from Outside Source Toolbar
  3. Navigate to desired file.Example Local File Location
  4. The document should open as a converted Kurzweil readable file (.txt). Processing may take a few seconds

Opening a local file in the standalone application:

The following instructions apply to both Mac and Windows operating systems.

  1. Navigate to the "File" dropdown menu in the application toolbar (top of window in Windows, top of screen in OSX).
    Opening a local file in standalone app example image
  2. Click "Open."
  3. Navigate to desired file and open it.
  4. It will take a few seconds to a few minutes to process the file into a Kurtzweil compatible format. Users may see a prompt to select a page range to open.
A note to Zotero users:

If you are a Zotero user, it is possible to change your default PDF reader to Zotero.

  1. Open "Preferences"
  2. Under the tab "General" select "Open PDF Using."
  3. Select "Custom."
  4. Select Kurzweil 3000.

Saving and Opening Files with your Universal Library

One of Kurzweil's most innovative features is that both its browser and standalone applications are fully integrated with cloud storage capabilities. Users can save and open files directly from Kurzweil's own cloud based storage system, the "Universal Library", and also from Google Drive.

Using the Universal Library:

The Universal Library is Kurzweil's in house cloud server system. Items saved to the Universal Library can be opened from any Kurzweil application on any computer, browser or desktop, so long as it is connected to the internet.

Universal Library use, browser application:

The Kurzweil browser application is, in practice, centered around the Universal Library. It is the first page after logging into the Kurzweil.

Universal Library browser screen

The Universal Library is the series of file folders underneath the section "Library Home."

In the previous "local file" subsection, users received instructions for logging into the web browser, and uploading a local file. What users may not realize is that these "local files" are stored to the Universal Library. To access these files:

  1. Login to your Kurzweil account.
  2. Under the "Library Home" folder list, select the folder with your username and name (within the example image, folder reads,"Elan Goldman."
    Kurzweil Universal Library User Folder
  3. Select the subfolder "recently_opened_local_files" from the dropdown folder menu.
  4. Users will now see a list of local files they have previously opened in Kurzweil. Note that users will only be able to see recently opened local files from the browser application, not the desktop application. Recently opened files in the browser application are accessible via the desktop application Universal Library (for instructions on how, see below).

While opening a local file in the browser application is one way to get your documents into the Universal Library, users can also upload documents directly to its folders. As of now, student users may only have read/write permission (ie. saving, editing, uploading) for three folders, and cannot create new sub folders: "recently_opened_local_files", "public", and "private." For the purposes of this tutorial, users will be encouraged to use the "private" folder. 

  1. Select the "private" folder under the user folder dropdown menu (see above image).
  2. Without deselecting the "private" folder, navigate to the series of buttons ("Google Drive", "Bookshare", "Computer", and "Upload") and click "Upload".
    Button Bar Example Image
  3. Navigate to the desired file, and click "open".
    Universal Library Webapp Upload
  4. When the file has uploaded, a pop up window with the words "Upload Successful" will appear. Click "Ok".

Universal Library use, desktop application:

Unlike the browser application, local files opened in the Kurzweil desktop application do not automatically save to the universal library's "recently_opened_local_files" folder. Users of the browser application must save their work directly to the universal library if they want to access it via the cloud. Remember, saving and accessing the universal library via the desktop application requires users to be connected to the internet.

To save a file to the Universal Library:

  1. Open a local file (see tutorial in the box above).
  2. Find the Kurzweil application toolbar. For Mac users, this will be the at the top of the screen. For Windows users, it is at the top of the application window.
    Desktop application toolbar Mac
  3. From the toolbar, select "File".
  4. From the dropdown menu, select "Save to Universal Library"
    Save to Universal Library Desktop
  5. Select the folder in the popup menu that you would like to save to (in this example, "private"), and click "Save.
    Save to Universal Library Desktop Popup


Opening files from your Universal Library is a similar process:

  1. In the toolbar, open the "File" dropdown menu.
  2. Click "Open from Universal Library.
  3. Navigate through the popup menu to the file you want to open and click "Open".

Please note that student Kurzweil users have limited options in terms of organizing their uploaded work. Users who would like to organize their Kurzweil work with more detail should use the integrated Google Drive plugin.

Google Drive in Kurzweil

While the Universal Library is the default cloud based storage option for Kurzweil Users, Kurzweil 3000 also has both browser and desktop application Google Drive integration. Google Drive integration can be used to import files you've already stored on the cloud into your Universal Library, or to save local files you've opened in Kurzweil into a more customizable file organizing system.

Kurzweil and Google Drive

As with the Universal Library, using the integrated Google Drive feature with Kurzweil requires an internet connection in both the browser and desktop applications. While using both is relatively simple, the browser application sometimes requires some extra steps.

Using Google Drive in the Kurzweil Browser Application:

Users moving through this guide may have already noticed the button near the "Upload" and "Computer" buttons labeled "Google Drive".

Button Toolbar Browser Application

To open a Google Drive file in Kurzweil

  1. Click on the Google Drive button and login via the pop up window.
    Note: users may need to approve the Kurzweil page's generation of popups. This can be done via the settings page on your internet browser.
  2. A select window will pop up. Navigate to the desired file in your Google Drive, and press "Select".
  3. The file will open in your browser application. The converted Kurzweil can then be saved in the "recently_opened_local_files" folder of your Universal Library.

You can also add Kurzweil files to your Google Drive in the browser application:

  1. Start on the Universal Library page.
  2. Navigate to the Universal Library folder with the desired file, and then select the file(s) by clicking the checkbox to the left of their labels.
    select files browser application
  3. With the files selected, navigate to the box that says "Copy" atop the file menu, and select the option "Copy to Google Drive".
    Copy to Google Drive Browser Application
    note: you may have to login to Google Drive again.
  4. Navigate through the popup window to the appropriate folder, and click the button labeled "Paste".

Using Google Drive in the Desktop Application:

The Kurzweil desktop application also has integrated Google Drive functionality. While you can use the desktop application in offline mode, please note that, like the Universal Library, users can only access their Google Drive through the application's built in functionality when the application is connected to the internet.

note: Users can still open locally saved Google Drive files, as they would open a local file, if they have Google Drive's desktop application.

If you have already opened and converted a local file into Kurzweil, and you would like to import it to Google Drive:

  1. Navigate to the "File" dropdown menu in the application toolbar
  2. Select "Save a Copy to Google Drive."
    save copy to google drive desktop
  3. In the popup menu, sign into your Google account.
    Kurzweil Google Login desktop
  4. Navigate to the desired folder, and click "Save"

As noted above, users can open files from their Google Drive directly into Kurzweil. To do so:

  1. Open the "File" dropdown menu from the toolbar.
  2. Click "Open from Google Drive"
    open from google drive desktop
  3. Navigate to desired file and click "Open".
    open from google drive desktop

What's Next?/Additional Links:

All files that are uploaded and opened via the Universal Library and integrated Google Drive functionality can be opened for accessible file conversiontext to speech, and annotation. Writing projects in Kurzweil can also be saved to the Universal Library and Google Drive.