Nifty app can be used to increase text accessibility for all readers

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Subjects & Skills

English Language Arts, English-Language Learning

Great for

Special Needs

Price: Free to try
Platforms: Chrome, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac

Pros: Tool assists with visual accessibility through text-to-voice and color overlay options, and translations are mostly clear and accurate.

Cons: The Simplify feature can make sentences difficult to understand, and the Screenshot feature for reading text aloud skips words.

Bottom Line: It's a helpful tool for making text easier to manage, but some of the features could use refinement.

Teachers can invite students to download the Snap&Read app or Google Chrome extension by email. The tool can help students to read aloud, translate, or simplify text and can create cover overlays to make text easier to read. It's a handy option for making websites more accessible for students with visual disabilities.

Language learners can use the app to translate entire pages of text from their primary language into a secondary language. The app can also help students create an outline for a research project, since it allows students to easily copy and paste text to be saved for later use.

A teacher dashboard shows how much each student has read using the app's features. However, the amount a student has read may not be accurate, because students can have the app read aloud while they're not using it. Teachers should check in on learning with a reading quiz or another type of assessment if they want to track student progress.



Snap&Read is an iOS app and Chrome extension that can be used to read aloud, translate, simplify text, and create color overlays to make text easier to read. These features work on webpages as well as on PDFs and images. Students can translate text into over 100 languages. It also allows students to copy and paste text into quick outlines. There is a Capture feature that copies and pastes highlighted text into a notepad so that text can be made into a quick outline. The mobile version allows students to add annotations on websites.

When used as a browser extension, Snap&Read displays a toolbar on the right side of the screen. On mobile, it works as a stand-alone app rather than a tool built into the browser, and it works with downloaded documents or PDFs.

With both the app and the extension, students can highlight or screenshot the text they'd like to have read, and Snap&Read will read the text aloud. The Highlight option is more accurate than the Screenshot option for reading text aloud. Students can also click the Simplify button and the app will replace all of the challenging words on the page with easier synonyms. But the Simplify feature isn't always accurate and can make sentences more difficult to understand. 

Snap&Read is a quick option for translating large amounts of text, for reading text aloud, and for creating cover overlays. The tool isn't as effective for simplifying text since the synonyms often make the sentences difficult to understand. The copy and paste outline tool works, but isn't better than copying and pasting text into a separate document. The mobile app option is a bit unintuitive, as the PDFs and documents need to first be downloaded to the device and then uploaded to the app.

The teacher dashboard feature can track how much time each student is using the app or extension, but it's not necessarily helpful since students could set the app aside to read text without paying attention to it.

Overall, the extension is more useful than the app, particularly for translation and reading aloud. Snap&Read is helpful for accessibility purposes, language learners, and students who prefer audio to reading.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating

The app is functional rather than engaging and can be used on command to easily translate or read text aloud.


Students can choose their own approach to consuming text. However, the Screenshot and Simplify features don't work correctly.


There's a tutorial and help center. Voice speed, pitch, and voice are customizable and there are additional color overlay settings, but overall accessibility is inconsistent.

Common Sense reviewer
Bianca DeJesus
Bianca DeJesus Editor, Learning Content

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