Don Johnston Inc., the creator of the popular reading and writing support software Co:Writer, has taken the plunge into the world of Google Chrome extensions. This is not surprising, considering other reading and writing software such as Read&Write by texthelp and Microsoft Office have done the same. Extensions are a trend that are not going anywhere. As more and more professionals and students (including those with disabilities) are writing and researching on web-based platforms, they are looking for tools to help become more proficient writers on those platforms.
Along with offering Co:Writer for Chrome, Don Johnston Inc. has introduced another extension with some unique features, its called Word Bank Universal.
Word Bank Universal’s Outstanding Features
- Find the Important Words! While the extension is open, it will automatically create a word-bank consisting of the words on the opened webpage. For a more customized word-bank, users simply highlight the portion of the webpage of their choosing. Depending on their importance to the topic, the extension will make words appear larger or smaller.
- Separate Words in Parts of Speech! Users can seperate words in the word-bank depending on if they are a noun, verb, or adjective.
- Save, Download, or Print! Any word-bank can be saved, downloaded, or printed for future use.
- Hear and Insert a Word! By simply clicking on a word in the word-bank, users can both hear the word spoken and insert it into their document.
Check out a video of how it works here: http://donjohnston.com/word-bank-demo-video/
How Can This Extension Help Reluctant Writers?
It creates a visual break-down and starting place to help writers identify what is important to the topic at hand. Like a wedge to up-heave a writer’s block, Word Bank Universal is a brainstorming assistant. If the writer is stuck on trying to remember an important name or idea, it serves as a guide to spark thoughts and move forward. It helps people find a word, person, or idea specific to a topic the individual is writing about.
My Hopes for the Future of this Extension
The price of the app varies depending on if you are buying it for yourself or an organization. For individuals, the extension is available for $3.99 a month. I hope in the future this app will be available at a one-time fee or at no price (I would be okay with an occasional ad to make a free version possible). I’d love to see a dictionary feature for this extension as well.