Wildcat Computing Support


What is Kurzweil?

Kurzweil is an assistive technology that helps students read, study, and write. Kurzweil is provided to every Chico state student and offers assistive learning technologies through screen reading software and note-taking tools. Kurzweil is especially useful for students in need of accessible learning technologies. 

Please note that these settings may look different depending on your operating system (Mac or Windows).

You can visit Kurzweil Academy(opens in new window)  to view tutorials on how to utilize the useful tools in the application.

How do I access Kurzweil?

Kurzweil is available to all students, staff, and faculty and can be used for many purposes.

There are two ways to access Kurzweil, through the website application, or software application. To sign in, use Single Sign On (SSO), use your blackboard credentials when asked for username and password. If you are a Chromebook user you will be restricted to only using the website application.

We recommended you download the application, this will make tools run smoother with more customization options. 

Visit the Kurzweil 3000 Box folder(opens in new window) to find installation instructions and files. After downloading the files for either Mac or Windows, you will need to open the downloaded file to finish the installation. After installation is complete Kurzweil may not appear in your applications until you restart your computer.

To access Kurzweil online, simply go to this Box-Link(opens in new window) and sign in with your Blackboard credentials. 

Visit Chico State's Office of Accessible Technology and Services for instructional videos on how to install Kurzweil 3000(opens in new window)

Download Troubles?

If you have trouble downloading Kurzweil, we have a web page dedicated to helping you get it done. Visit the Kurzweil 3000 (text-to-speech)(opens in new window) website to get started.

Kurzweil is quite a large download, it takes up over 2GB once installed on windows. Also, when installing the SSO file you may encounter an error, warning that this file is from an unknown publisher. Allow this anyway.


  • Highlighting and Taking Notes

    Highlight and Take Notes

    Kurzweil has highlighting and note taking tools to help you study! While in Kurzweil, selecting “Tools” from the taskbar will give you highlighter options such as color and style. After selecting the highlighter color and style you desire, you can select any text to highlight. To stop highlighting and use your normal cursor, click tools and click “Selector”.

    To undo highlights you can click tools again and select eraser to make revision.

    Under Tools menu, look for Eraser "Highlight" setting, under "Tools" tab

    Your highlighted content can be converted into notes by clicking “File”, then “Extract Highlights to Column Notes”. See Tips for Using Kurzweil for more information regarding highlights and note taking basics.

    Under “Tools” you will find many note taking options like footnotes, voice notes, column notes, sticky notes, bubble notes and bookmarks, (shown in image below).

  • Text to Voice Tool

    Text to Voice Tool

    Kurzweil provides text to speech options which allow you to personalize the voice that reads your work back to you. The default reading language and voice respectively are English and Karen, these can be changed in Kurzweil’s preferences in the “Reading Settings.” You can also change the Reading Colors used to highlight the text as it is read.

    Kurzweil 3000 preferences screenKurzweil reading screen

    To activate the text to voice tool, select “Start Reading” under the “Read” tool or press the play button. You can click anywhere to stop the voice, to start from where you left off, use your cursor to select the starting point and select “Start Reading”. By accessing the “Read” tool you can set reading speed by words per minute, or by selecting the “Read Slower” or “Read Faster” button.

    Activating voice toolUnder "Read" tab, selecting "Reading Speed"
  • Turning Notes into MP3 Files

    Turning Notes into Mp3 Files

    You can use Kurzweil to convert your books, documents, or notes into Mp3 files which you can download and listen to on the go! To do this you simply need to upload or type a document, select “File” and choose “Create Audio File.” You want to make sure you name it something memorable and select the Mp3 format option.

    On Mac the Mp3 file will be saved to Itunes in a playlist you can rename.  On Windows the file will be saved to a playlist in the “Windows Media Player”. Make sure you change the file path to your “P: Drive.”

    Creating an audio file for macCreating audio file on pc
  • Uploading a Document

    Using the Website

    If you’re using the website application, when you first sign in, you will be brought to the home page. In the home page click the icon “Computer,” and navigate to the desired file for upload. The document will take a few seconds to convert into Kurzweil format.

    Kurzweil Web application home screenButton, "computer"

    Using the application on our computer

    For uploading files using the software application, open Kurzweil and navigate to the “File” dropdown menu in the application toolbar, (top of window for Windows, top of screen for Mac). Click the “Open” option in the “File” dropdown menu and navigate to the file you want to upload.

    MAC Image of Kurzweil App

    "File" tab, then "Open"

    PC/Windows Image of Kurzweil App

    "File" tab