Engage - Comparing the Old and New eReader

This document compares Unizin’s old eText reader with the new eReader.

Unizin adopted a new eReader tool in 2022. All new courses since 2022 use the new eReader ("Redshelf"), and earlier courses use the old eReader. This document explains the differences, and how to differentiate between the two.

Note: These readers are specific to eText-only; DLTs are not accessed through eReaders (e.g., Connect, Achieve, MindTap). More information about the differences between the two can be found in the Engage Overview document.


Identifying the old eReader

This is the old eReader. eTexts purchased before Summer 2022 will appear in the old eReader.

  • This is how the Menu Bar looks in the old eReader:
    This image shows the menu bar in the old eReader. The menu bar stretchess across the top of the eText.
  • This is how the menu looks in the old eReader when expanded:
    This image shows the expanded menu in the old ereader. It has two tabs for chapters (which lists the chapters vertically) and bookmarks.

Identifying the new eReader

This is the new eReader, powered by RedShelf. eTexts purchased in Summer 2022 and beyond will appear in the new eReader. 

  • This is how the Menu Bar looks in the RedShelf eReader:
    This image shows the menu bar in the new ereader. The menu bar is separated into sections on the left and right side of the etext. It does not stretch across the top of the etext like the old ereader.

  • This is how the menu looks in the RedShelf eReader when expanded:
    This image shows the expanded menu in the new ereader. It lists features vertically.

Comparing Functionality

Old eReader features vs new eReader features

Old eReader Features

New eReader Features



(not available)


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Text to Speech

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Display Options

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Screen Reading

Create a Note

Create a Note

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Create Study Guide

(not available)

Create Flashcards





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Create Citations

Flag Note as Question

(not available)

Share Notes

Share Notes


Zoom (in menu bar)

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Change Font

Offline Access

Offline Access

Uploads and Course Copies

  • RedShelf does not have a course copy function because instructor uploads are not supported.

  • BUT, annotations follow the user across each course/section. 

  • Therefore, no action is required for instructors to see their notes from a previous term once their content is in the RedShelf eReader.

  • Instructors are not able to author content in the RedShelf eReader.


Redshelf (new eReader) Documentation

Unizin (old eReader) Documentation

For more documents about the Unizin eReader, see the Unizin KnowledgeBase.

Known issues for the old eReader

The Unizin eReader has the following known issues:

Note exports only include first 50 entries

  • When exporting notes, some annotations and questions may be missing (the .csv file only includes student questions). 

  • To export all notes from an eText, submit a ticket to Unizin by emailing support@unizin.org. 

    • Include the course name, the course section, and the name of the text.

Offline reading download stalls

  • Keep on device only works for files under 14mb. If you select keep on device for a large eText, the book will stop downloading after a few minutes. 

  • To read a large eText offline, use the print feature to create a PDF. 

    • You can print up to 50 pages of the eText at one time, but you can print pages 1-50, 51-100, 101-150, etc, to save the whole eText offline

    • You cannot sync highlighting, annotations, and questions with Engage if using this PDF workaround.

Some roles cannot create Instructor Notes

  • Canvas roles whose annotations display as instructor notes:

    • Teacher

    • Principal Instructor

    • Auxiliary Instructor

    • Course Coordinator

  • All other Canvas roles do not show as instructor notes, including:

    • TA

    • Supervisory Instructor

    • Co-Teacher

    • Guest Instructor

    • Grader

    • Course Tutor

    • Staff

To leave instructor notes, your Canvas role in the course must match one of the appropriate roles above.