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Help with reading online

Our tips and tools to help you read online. There are adjustments which everyone can make use of when reading online.

The Library aims to provide resources electronically where they are available.

You are still able to borrow printed items if this is more appropriate for you, in line with the library's current borrowing policy.

If you are a student or staff member with a visual impairment, learning disability or physical disability which prevents you from using an electronic version, please register with the Accessibility Support Service.

Making ebooks accessible

Library ebooks are available through different online platforms. These platforms offer a range of features to make ebooks more accessible for users. Availability of features and how you use them can differ between platforms.

Common accessibility features offered by ebook platforms include:

  • Magnification – zoom in without the text spilling off the screen
  • Navigation – navigate platforms using your keyboard
  • Keyboard alternatives – keyboard shortcuts, using a keyboard instead of a mouse
  • Background or contrast choices – changing the background and font colour, adjusting the contrast levels
  • Searching – keyword or phrase searching
  • Notes – add comments and annotations whilst reading
  • Bookmarking – bookmark specific pages and chapters
  • Highlighting – highlight paragraphs or sections

If you are struggling to access an ebook, please email has advice on how to make your device easier to use.

UK Migraine Trust also advise of IT adjustments such as colour contrast, text display and screen refresh.

Text-to-speech software

Text-to-speech software reads digital texts aloud. The software is available on most devices and works with all kinds of online web pages and text files including Word and PDF documents.

Read&Write makes the web, documents and files more accessible. Any time, any place, and on any platform or device.

  • Text-to-speech - read the content of web pages and documents aloud
  • Screen Masking - change the colour of the whole screen to make it easier to see and read
  • Highlighters - highlight useful text and then collect these into a new document, which is useful for taking notes

Our Assistive Technology Advisers offer training and support for using Read&Write. For further information please contact

Note: For Windows PC, Read&Write is available via AppsAnywhere. For Mac PCs, download and install from Read&Write.

Other text-to-speech/screen reader software:

  • Narrator (for Windows 10 PCs)
  • VoiceOver (for Mac PCs)
  • Adobe Reader Read Out Loud
  • Microsoft Word Read Aloud


For further information and guidance:

Getting support

If you need further support, please contact our Academic Services teams:

  • Assistive Technology – Our Assistive Technology Advisers can help and advise you on the use of assistive software and technology.
  • Digital Training – Our Digital Trainers can help you to develop your IT skills.
  • Academic Liaison Librarians – Each subject area has an Academic Liaison Librarian. Your librarian can provide expert assistance to help you get the most from the Library. 
  • Study Development – Book a tutorial with a Study Development Tutor for help with your academic work.
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