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Using Read & Write Gold to Create Study Guides, Glossaries, and Support Your Study Skills

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Using Read & Write Gold to Create Study Guides, Glossaries, and Support Your Study Skills


You can watch an instructional video at:


Getting Started

  • Open Read & Write Gold.
  • The floating toolbar will appear.  For most users, the Reading Tools will show up by default on the toolbar.

Reset Your Toolbar to display the Study Skills Tools

  • On the far right of the toolbar, you will see the “rw” icon, which looks like a puzzle piece. To the right of that, at the end of the toolbar, is a small white arrow pointing downwards. 
  • Click on the arrow and a drop-down menu will appear. Hover your mouse over the first item on the menu “Current Toolbar.”
  • A second menu will appear. Select the last option, “Study Skills Features.”

The icons on your toolbar should change to display the Study Skills Tools. 

Highlighter Tools

At the left you will see 4 different highlighter colors you can use when reading.  For example, you might use yellow to highlight definitions, blue to highlight important concepts, green to highlight information you don’t understand yet and want to work on with a tutor, and pink for terms you need to know for your next exam.

  • How to highlight text. To highlight text in yellow, first select the text with your mouse, then click on the yellow highlighter in the toolbar.  Do the same for each color.
  • How to erase a highlight. The icon with a brush an all four colors underneath will clear your highlights in the event you want to make changes.  To erase highlighting on a block of text, select that block, then click on the erase brush icon.  Only the highlighting you have selected will be erased. You can clear more than one block of highlights at a time, by selecting multiple blocks of text, then clicking the brush icon.
  • You can also change the color of a highlighted block.  Suppose I mistakenly highlighted a definition in pink, but my color for definitions is yellow.  I can just select the pink block of text and click on the yellow highlighter and bingo, the definition is now highlighted in the correct color, yellow.

Using Your Highlighting to Create Study Guides, Glossaries, and More

Okay, highlighting is a great study strategy, for promoting active reading and keeping track of important information and questions, but you need to actually use those highlights to make the process worthwhile.  Here is what makes using Read & Write Gold for highlighting so much cooler and more useful than highlighting in your hard copy text.

With a few clicks of your mouse, Read & Write Gold can pull or collect all of your highlights into one or more separate documents, to create glossaries of definitions, lists of important terms or concepts, and a record of the questions you had while reading.  These can be used to create terrific study guides.

Using a hard copy textbook and highlighter pens, you would need to go back through a chapter page by page and copy down everything you had highlighted either by hand or word processor.  While some people find the process of manually transcribing information a helpful memory strategy, it is useful to have an alternative that is less time-consuming.

How to extract highlighted text:

  • With your mouse, hover over the icon that shows four curved arrows in a circle- this is your “Collect Highlights” icon. Notice that white shading will appear around the circle of colored arrows and the down-arrow to its right. You may also see the words “Collect highlights” underneath.
  • Click on the Collect Highlights icon.  A window will appear that asks you which highlights you want to extract and how you want them to appear.
  • Keep in mind that each time you extract (or collect) highlights, those blocks of text will open up into a new document.
  • At the top of the window, place a checkmark in the color highlights you to want to collect, then remove the check from other colors.
  • You can also tell Read & Write Gold how you want the highlighted blocks to be displayed.
  • When you are happy with your selections, click “OK” and a new Word document will open with the highlighted text you have told the program to collect.
  • Be sure to give the file a name that makes sense (ex. Definitions) and save it to a place on your computer you will be able to find. 
  • You can print out your glossary, study guides, or list of questions, or just review them on your computer.

Tip: For many students, it is most useful to collect one color of highlighted text at a time, so you can have a separate document for each type of highlighted material you have selected. For example, you can collect definitions in one document and questions for your professor or a tutor in another, important terms to remember in another document, etc.

Using Read & Write Gold to Create Study Guides, Glossaries, and Support Your Study Skills

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