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Kurzweil 3000: Guides & Videos

Information and resources for students using Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil 3000

Students can access Kurzweil 3000 on the web (, using the desktop application for Windows and Mac or by adding the "Read the Web" extension to the Chrome or Firefox web browsers.

We recommend the Read the Web browser extension for those interested in utilizing text-to-speech in their online studies. The extension is easy to install, easy to use and enables students to have text read out loud to them within Canvas, or anywhere else on the Internet.

Read the Web Browser Extension

Installing the Read the Web browser extension for Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge

Prior to installing the browser extension, please make sure you have registered your Kurzweil 3000 account.


Firefox Microsoft Edge


  1. Open the Chrome browser and go to Read The Web (Chrome Web Store).
  2. Select Add to Chrome.
  3. Select Add Extension.

Pin the Extension

  1. Select the Extensions icon, on the far right side of the toolbar.
  2. Locate Read The Web and select Pin.

Add to Chrome button is highlighted


  1. Download the Firefox extension from Kurzweil: Read The Web, 3.2.14 for Firefox.
  2. Save the .xpi file to an easy-to-locate folder on your computer.
  3. Open the Firefox browser. Drag and drop the .xpi file directly into the browser.
  4. Click on Add when prompted to add the extension.




  1. Open the Microsoft Edge browser and go to Read The Web (Chrome Web Store).
  2. Select Add to Chrome.
  3. When prompted, select Add Extension.


Starting Read The Web Extension

Open Chrome and go to a web page, select the Read The Web extension.


Select the Toggle Display down arrow to expand.


If you have been issued a Kurzweil account, type your Kurzweil Username and Password, then select Login.


Users who registered with their Waubonsee Google accounts will use the Google Sign In.

To begin reading: (1) Insert the cursor where you want the reader to begin then
(2) select the Read button to begin the reader, or press (Alt + Shift + P)


After starting the reader, the Play button icon Read button will become a Pause icon Pause button that you can use to stop or pause the reader.

Stopping Read The Web Extension

To disable and hide Read The Web, select the icon from the toolbar. 


Accessing Options

From the toolbar, select Options.



Changing Options

1. Voice: Choose from many different voices and languages.

2. Reading Speed: Adjust the speed Faster or Slower

3. Read Alternative Text for Images: Select to read aloud alternative text or images.

4. Position: Select the location the toolbar appears on the top of the browser (left, center, or right).

5. Unit: The block of text that is highlighted when reading.

  • Choose between word, line, sentence, or paragraph.

 6. Mode: Choose when the audio playback automatically pauses:

  • Continuous: Playback will not pause unless you select Pause (Alt+Shift+P).
  • Self-Paced: automatically pause reading at the end of each unit (as set in the Unit option).
    • Click the Read button to continue reading the next unit.
  • Word by Word: pause reading at the end of each word.
    • Click the Read button to continue reading the next word

Review the videos in this playlist to learn how to install and use the Read the Web browser extension, including the Snapshot and PDF Reader functions.

Kurzweil 3000 Desktop Application for Windows and Mac

System Requirements

Students interested in using the Kurzweil 3000 desktop application should review the appropriate system requirements prior to installation.

Prior to installing the Kurzweil desktop application, please make sure you have registered your Kurzweil 3000 account.


Windows Mac

Go to Kurzweil 3000 Windows Downloads, select Version 20 (subscription/web license), and then save the file to your workstation.

Please Note: The .exe file is large and may take between 30 minutes to an hour to download.

When the download is complete, find the .exe file in your Downloads folder, and then double-click it to begin installation.

If a "User Account Control" window appears, asking whether you want to let the installer run, click Run.

The installer will extract all the files it needs to continue. When prompted, select Install Web Licensing Software.

When the installation is complete, you will be prompted to restart your workstation. Select Yes to continue. When your workstation restarts, you will see the Kurzweil 3000 shortcut on your desktop.

Go to Kurzweil 3000 Macintosh Downloads, select Version 20 (subscription/web license), and then save the file to your workstation.

Please Note: The .dmg file is large and may take between 30 minutes to an hour to download.

When the download is complete, find the .dmg file in your Downloads folder, and then double-click it to open it.

When prompted, select Kurzweil 3000.pkg.

In the installation window, select Continue to begin the installation.

When the installation is complete, double-click the Kurzweil 3000 icon to launch the application. If you get a security warning, click Open to continue.

For more detailed installation instructions, please see the appropriate guide below:

Getting Help

If you need assistance determining if the Kurzweil 3000 desktop application will work with your computer or need help installing the software, please complete the Software and Technology Assistance form in ServiceDesk. Please note: you will need to log in to ServiceDesk with your Waubonsee X-number and password.

During the installation process, you will be prompted to sign in to your Kurzweil 3000 account. 

Use the "Sign in with Google" option and sign in with your Waubonsee Google account.

Getting Started

Uses & Features

Keyboard Shortcuts

For many users, using a mouse to interact with Kurzweil 3000 can be a challenge. In order to make the Kurzweil 3000 experience positive for all users, most (but not all) functions and features are accessible using a variety of keyboard commands.

Quick Reference Guides

Video Resources Web Access & iPad app

Students can access Kurzweil 3000 on the web to read e-files and other materials containing digital text. 

To begin using Kurzweil 3000 on the web, go to and login. If you have been issued a Username and Password, use that information. All other users will use the Sign in with Google option.

Open a file by selecting Google Drive, Bookshare or Computer then choose the file to open. If you haven't used Google Drive or Bookshare, it might be easiest to get started by opening a file saved to your computer by selecting Upload.

Once the file is opened, you can use the controls to read aloud.

Review this video playlist to learn how to open and save files using

Using on Your Mobile Phone

*Please note: Waubonsee Community College students will sign in with Google, using their Waubonsee email address:

                The button reads Sign in with Google

Downloading & Installing the Kurzweil 3000 iPad App

  1. Tap the App Store icon to open it.
  2. In the App Store, enter Kurzweil in the Search field. The results are displayed.
  3. Tap the Kurzweil 3000 button to open the description.
  4. Tap the Download button.
    1. The Loading button replaces the Install button.
    2. When the circle has completely surrounded the square in the center, the Open button replaces it.
  5. Tap Open. An icon is placed on your iPad along with your other apps.

To learn more about using the Kurzweil 3000 app for iPad, please see this guide: Using Kurzweil 3000 on an iPad.

Single Sign On

All Waubonsee Community College students can access Kurzweil 3000.

To register your account, go to the Kurzweil 3000 website and click on the "Sign in with Google" button:

Select your Waubonsee Community College student e-mail and continue.

You will be asked to grant Kurzweil certain permissions. Click allow to grant Kurzweil the proper permissions.

You will use this method to log in however you choose to use Kurzweil 3000.


ServiceDesk for Student Tech

The college can provide technology loans to students in need. Available devices include laptops, wireless hotspots and webcams. Students can request an equipment loan through ServiceDesk or by calling the Technical Assistance Center (TAC) at (630) 466-4357.

Our Library Student Technology Support staff provide free technical support for students.

We can help with:

  • Canvas
  • Microsoft Office (signing up for FREE, accessing on the web and/or installing the software on your personal device)
  • Zoom
  • mywcc
  • Accessing e-materials
  • laptops, phones and other electronic devices
  • ... and more!

To request 1-on-1 help, please use the Student Technology Assistance form in the ServiceDesk portal. Log in to ServiceDesk with your X-number and password.

For step-by-step instructions for using the ServiceDesk portal, please view the PDF below.