Students & Families » Assistive Technology » UPAR, Snap and Read and CoWriter FAQs

UPAR, Snap and Read and CoWriter FAQs

One of the biggest barriers to smooth use of CAT is the use of an updated Googlechrome browser.  A document is available in the assistive technology on-demand section of this website that speaks to how to update your browser.
Universal Protocol for Accommodations in Reading  (UPAR)
1. When I click on the Educator Dashboard-Assess I do not see UPAR.  Because of the nature of that tool you must request access.  Send an e-mail to and your access will be provided to you. Please provide your ID#.   Once you receive a confirmation e-mail just log back in to the Educatordashboard and the icon should appear.
2.  My summary report does not show up.  If your students did not complete the UPAR assessment then, while they may have scored at or above grade level and you can see an individual report, the summary data will not show up. 
Co:Writer Universal
1. When I type a number it puts in a word.   How do I put in numbers?  If you are using the Googlechrome extension click on the caret that is pointing to the words so that it points away from the words.   That will remove the numbers from the word choices and  allow you to put in numbers in your text. Click it again to return to using number selection to insert words.  If you are using the desktop version, hit the "escape" key and then type the numbers.  Restart Co:Writer by clicking on the icon down in the tray.  Your bubble should return and be ready to write.
2.   How can I use the speech to text for a word that I cannot spell?  Click on the microphone icon in the choice list to activate your microphone and speak your text.  An alternative for longer dictation is to activate the voice typing tool in Googledocs directly .  
3.  I have a hard time spelling so the program is not recognizing my attempts.  Go to the options by left clicking (Windows or Mac) or two finger clicking (Chromebook) on the Co:Writer icon.  Left click or single finger tap on Options.  Scroll down to Flexible spelling and make sure it is turned on.
4.  I am trying to use the word prediction but my microphone is picking up my voice.  Go to the three dots on the upper right corner of your browser.  Select Settings, Show advanced settings, Content settings, Microphone, Do not allow sites to access your microphone, Done.
5. My speech bubble is not showing up on my page.  My icon is purple. Refresh your page.  If that does not work, close the googlechrome browser and start it back up again.  That should take care of the issue.
6. Co:Writer is not reading my document. Check your volume (options, keyboard and tray of display).  If volume is up you should be able to do "Control A", to select the text OR highlight with the mouse.  Right click or  two finger tap (Chromebook) the trackpad.  Select "Co:Writer.:...."Speak".  Or, you can bring up Snap and Read and use that to read your document without having to select text. 
Snap and Read
1.  My tool bar does not show up.  Look at your Googlechrome extensions.  Ensure that the icon is blue.  If it is not blue then click the icon 1 time and wait for the program to load.  If it prompts you, log in using your credentials for the account that is linked to the program (Googleschools e-mail).  If you have navigated to a new website and the toolbar does not show up but the extension is on then hit the refresh icon.
2.  The speaker icon will not read my document.   First check that your volumes are turned on in the program and on the computer.  You should be able to just select the speaker icon and then insert the mouse where you want it to start reading. If that does not work, try selecting the OCR tool (crosshairs) on the toolbar and capturing the text that way.
3.  The program is not reading my OCR text accurately. Look at your font.  If it is very graphic or fancy the reader may have trouble because the OCR is having to convert the image to text.  Try increasing the size or decreasing the complexity of the font. You can convert the file using Googledocs and change the font.  Use keyboard command Ctrl A to select all and then select a simple font like Ariel and/or change the font so that it is 11 point or larger. Try again. You might also try just selecting smaller chunks of text.
4.  I took a picture of a worksheet but the program is not reading it.  Make sure that your picture or scan is as clear as possible.  Try to eliminate any shadows or curves.  Remember, the program is trying to convert what is seen as a picture to text for reading.  Any deviations make it more likely that you will not get an effective translation. 
5.  I am a second language learner but I can't see the translation tool in my sidebar. Left click (mouse) or two finger tap (Chromebook) on the Snap and Read icon.  Left click or single finger click on Options.  Scroll to the bottom of the options and Primary Language Translation.  Select your language from the dropdown box.  Once you have done that your translation tool should show up on the sidebar.
6.  My translated text is not being read.  Check in the options (left click mouse or two finger tap chromebook)  Some of the language translations do not have a voice file.  While they can be translated they cannot be read.  New voices are continually added.
7.  My speech options are grayed out in the menu.  You probably have selected an "online" speech engine.  These are not adjustable in rate and pitch.
8. My program is reading but the highlight is not keeping up. Make sure you have the most recent version of Google.  Your extensions should refresh when you log in.  
9. My outline highlighter is not showing up but I have an outline started.  First make sure you have opened the outline topic.  Check to make sure that the outline tab in the sidebar is active, not the sources tab.
10. I am on the desktop version and all I see is the OCR tool.  I am reading a text document.  Select the text with the mouse or trackpad.  Wait an instant and you will see the speaker icon appear.  Click on the speaker to have it start reading.
11. I am trying to read a document or web page written in a language other than English.  It sounds terrible. Make sure that the language in the options under Speak is the language of the document being read.  You do not have to use the mouse or trackpad to select the text if the document is text-based. Just click on the speaker tool and then in the text.
12. My math formulas are not being read correctly  Snap and Read was not developed to read math formulas or equations.  The easiest way to avoid confusion is to add formulas and equations using the equation tool in GoogleDocs.  See guidance for this on the following handout: .  A hard copy can also be downloaded from the "Handouts and Cheatsheets" section of the assistive technology webpage.
Both Co:Writer Universal and Snap and Read Universal
1. The extension icons are not showing up in my extension bar. Make sure you are logged in to the Google Chrome browser with your Tomballschools account.  Your name should appear in the upper corner next to the minimize icon (-).  If you just see a person icon, click on that icon.  Then click on "person". You may have to then choose the back arrow next to "edit person"  Then you will see the log in screen.  An alternative is to go to the three dots in the upper right corner of the browser.  Left click on that, left click on Settings, and you will see the log in command there as well.  Remember to link your data.  You must log out and clear once you are finished if you are using  a public computer such as in a lab.    Just follow the same steps.  If you are a teacher, you may need to download the extensions from the GoogleChrome store.  Just go to the GoogleChrome store and search for Co:Writer Universal and Snap and Read Universal and add them to your extension bar.  They are free to our faculty, staff and students.
2.  The choices are not showing up in the dropdown boxes. Make sure you are using the most recent version of Googlechrome. Try refreshing your page first.  If no change, restart your browser and log back in.
3. My reading voice sounds funny (too fast, too slow, too accented, too high, too low): Go into options by left clicking mouse or two finger tapping the pad on a chromebook.  Select options (left or single finger click) Make the desired changes in the Speak options.  (voice, speed and pitch)
4.I want to be able to see how much my students are using the tools.  Go to and/or  You also may access them by going to the educator dashboard ( and selecting Monitor.  Then click on the program you want to view data from.  Click on the name of the program again.  Select "Manage Students" To add students individually just type in their ID#@elem or   To add a whole class, select "Import CSV file".  A master Goodlesheet is available but the directions will be provided when you click on the import CSV button.  Create and upload that file.  You will then be associated with those students.  If they have other teachers, the other teacher can also add them to their CSV and see their data.  
Link to CSV format-Elementary
Link to CSV format-Secondary
5.A student has moved and I no longer need them on my list.  Go to and/or  Select "remove" and then remove the student you no longer need to track.