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University of York Library
Library Subject Guides

Learning Technology - Practical Guide

Introduction to OrbitNote

Available resources to assist with students during their time at University.


Introduction to OrbitNote

Orbitnote logo

OrbitNote allows you to transform and interact with PDFs in a completely different way.

Download OrbitNote

The best way to start playing around with OrbitNote is to add the browser extension to your Chrome browser. Follow the link below to install the extension.

How to use OrbitNote

OrbitNote makes PDFs accessible and actionable. You can use OrbitNote to access its useful tools, such as text to speech, highlighting and vocabulary support with the PDF.

Once you have installed the OrbitNote Chrome extension,

  1. Open a PDF in the browser - the OrbitNote button will appear on the left hand side. Click this button.Open with OrbitNote button appears when you open a PDF in the browser.
  2. The familiar Texthelp reading toolbar will appear so you can have the PDF read out to you, highlight text to save, screen mask and annotate the PDF. See Features at a glance if you have not used this toolbar before.texthelp reading toolbar


OrbitNote Training


See Texthelp Read&Write for information about monthly meetups.


Features at a glance

OrbitNote includes many features that can assist you with your learning using PDFs:

  • Text to Speech: Reads words, passages, or whole documents aloud with easy-to-follow dual colour highlighting.

  • Text: Lets you type text on top of the PDF

  • Pushpin: Ideal for making notes or adding instructions or other helpful hints to a PDF assignment

  • Freehand Drawing: To scribble and draw on your PDF to complete assignments or highlight important information.

  • Shapes Drawing: For creating circles, rectangles and lines with customised lines and fill colour.

  • Text and Voice comments: For collaboration, showing understanding and giving feedback

  • Highlighters: Collect highlights from text in documents or the web for summarising research and to create bibliographies.

Watch this short video of these features in action:

Some useful links