Firefly can only read .kes and .txt files. If the document you wish to upload is in some other format, first open the file in Kurzweil and save it as a .kes file.
Next, log in to Firefly. On your home screen, choose either your Private or Public folder. Documents uploaded to the Public folder will be visible to all Carleton Firefly users, while documents uploaded to your Private folder will be visible only to you.
Finally, click the orange “Upload A File” button. Select the .kes file, and click “Open” to begin the upload.

Yes! If you put a file in your private or public folder in Firefly, that file will also be available through desktop Kurzweil. In addition, you can access files placed in other folders in the Universal Library through Kurzweil.
PC:   To access files saved in Firefly folders through Kurzweil, select  File , “Open From Library.” A pop-up window will appear showing all accessible Firefly folders. Use this to navigate to the file you wish to open in Kurzweil.
Mac:   In the Mac version of Kurzweil, select the  File  menu, then “Open From Universal Library.” A pop-up window will appear showing all accessible Firefly folders. Use this to navigate to the file you wish to open in Kurzweil.

Advantages :

  • Firefly can be accessed anywhere with a web browser and an internet connection. This makes it a potentially more convenient and portable tool than Kurzweil.
  • The reading voices in Firefly are, as a whole, superior to those in the Mac version of Kurzweil.
  • Firefly is comparable to Kurzweil (both Windows and Mac versions) in its ability to translate text. Unlike Mac Kurzweil, Firefly can also intelligibly read text in Spanish.


  • Firefly is not a text editor, and it has limited annotation capabilities (Firefly only supports text highlighting).
  • Firefly can only read .kes files. If you wish to upload a file of a different format, you must first create a .kes file using Kurzweil.
  • As an online tool, Firefly is slightly slower than Kurzweil – it takes Firefly a moment to load text and move between pages.

The reading voice can be changed under the “Options” menu in the toolbar. We personally recommend Paul.
Note :  Violeta is intended to be used only when reading documents in Spanish.

Firefly can be used in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

There is no tool within Firefly to block headers, footers, and other extraneous text from being read. However, previous changes made to the .kes file in Kurzweil will carry over to Firefly. When first creating the .kes file in Kurzweil, reading zones can be edited as described  here . Zones which are deleted in this way will not be read aloud in Firefly.

In order to translate text, highlight the passage you want translated. Click the “Translation” button in the top right-hand corner of your screen and choose the desired language from the drop-down menu. Firefly can translate to and from:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Finnish

While the text translations seem accurate, only Spanish can be read proficiently by Firefly. If translating text into languages other than Spanish, we recommend using the desktop PC version of Kurzweil, which can both translate and read foreign languages much more fluently.