Ally: Alternative Formats


Ally is a tool integrated into D2L Brightspace at Metro State University that allows students to download course materials in a format that best meets their learning needs.

For example, students who prefer to listen to material can download an audio file or they may use Immersive Reader to visually follow along while the material is read out loud.

Instructions to Download Alternative Formats

  1. Select the Alternative Format icon next to course content

Screenshot of a content module in D2L, two topics are visible with their names and to the right of there names are the alternative format icons which is an Ally 'A' with an arrow down (indicating downloads).

  1. A download menu will open with a list of available formats. The options will depend on the format of the original content.
  2. Select the radio button next to the desired format then select the Download button at the bottom of the menu.

Screenshot showing the options available for an document topic: Tagged PDF, HTML, ePub, Electronic braille (brf), Audio (mp3), and BeeLine Reader.

  1. The download will begin, for larger files it may take some time.
  2. When complete the file may open automatically or it can be found in your computer’s downloads folder.
    • Take a moment to move the file to a course specific folder so it can be easily located in the future.

Types of Formats Available

Ally provides different formats based on the document type in D2L.

To download, select the radio button next to the format you wish and select download. Ally will begin to compile and download the file format chosen. (With larger documents that are to convert to mp3, this may take some time.)

Word or PowerPoint

  • Tagged PDF
  • HTML (web page)
  • ePub
  • Electronic Braille
  • Audio (MP3)
  • BeeLine Reader
  • Immersive Reader


  • OCRed PDF
  • HTML
  • ePub
  • Electronic Braille
  • Audio
  • BeeLine Reader
  • Immersive Reader

Web Page

  • ePub
  • Electronic Braille
  • Audio
  • BeeLine Reader
  • Immersive Reader

Alternative Format Descriptions

Choose the format that works best for your learning style.


Converts scanned images of text into actual text that can be read out loud by text to speech tools. This works best with a high-quality scan, there may be inaccuracies with low quality scans.

HTML (web page)

Creates a web based version of the document that may be easier to view on a mobile device.

Tagged PDF

Converts a Word or PowerPoint file to PDF and creates tags based on the structure of the original document. The quality will depend on whether the original document used built-in styles for headings, lists, paragraphs, etc.


Produces a file that can then be transferred to an eReader (Kindle, Kobo) or opened in an eBook reading app.

Electronic Braille (BRF)

Converts the document into a file that can be read on an electronic braille display.

Audio (MP3)

Creates an audio only version of the file that can be downloaded for offline listening.

BeeLine Reader

BeeLine Reader is an HTML-based document with a color gradient designed to improve the reading experience on screens. Visit the BeeLine Reader website for more information and to try it out.

Immersive Reader

Immersive Reader combines read aloud functions with a customizable display to visually follow along with the spoken content. Users can select their preferred text size, spacing, color, and font. An internet connection is required for this format. Learn more about the Azure Immersive Reader on their webpage.

Additional Resources

For more information, please refer to the resources on Ally's Alternative Formats.

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Article ID: 137431
Wed 9/1/21 10:41 AM
Tue 6/20/23 10:41 AM

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