Frequently Asked Questions

What are Photosymbols?

Photosymbols are pictures for Easy Read information - this is a kind of information for people with a learning disability, using easy words and pictures together.

What’s in the Photosymbols Library?

There are over 4000 pictures in the library covering a wide range of topics relevant to people with a learning disability. There are also Easy Read templates with great layouts for booklets, forms, posters, invites etc.

What is Easy Read?

Easy Read is a kind of accessible information for people with learning disabilities. By using easy words, bigger fonts and pictures together, information can be much clearer. Photosymbols are specially designed for use in Easy Read information.

What are the differences between the subscription packages?

The Single User package can only be used by one person. It's designed for someone working on their own or if one person in your organisation puts together easy read information.

Do subscriptions auto-renew?

No. You can see the date your subscription ends displayed when you log in. We will notify you a month before it ends to remind you. Then you can order another year’s subscription in our shop and we will seamlessly extend your licence.

How can I pay?

Go to our online shop to choose your subscription. We accept card payments as well as Purchase Order, Bank Transfer and Cheque. Alternatively you can send us a Purchase Order and we'll place the order for you and deal directly with your Finance Department.

Is Photosymbols classed as Digital Goods?

Yes. Consumers living in the EU must pay VAT on digital goods at the rate applicable in their own country. This will show in your cart when you place an order.

Is there a limit on use of images?

No, you can use as many pictures as you like, as many times as you like - as long as your subscription is up-to-date.

What format are the pictures?

The pictures are in PNG format. You can download or copy and paste these straight into documents. They have transparent backgrounds so you can place them on colour backgrounds or make your own combination of pictures - without a white box showing.

There is a black background behind the pictures...

If you use Google Chrome as your web browser, you may have noticed a change - pictures now have a black background instead of white. This doesn't affect the picture if you download it or copy and paste it into your document.

You can also install an extension for chrome that changes things back to a white background here.

I keep getting logged out or asked to prove I'm not a robot

This may be to do with a firewall or similar blocks on a network you are using, for example at work, your network may restrict certain sites. This situation can usually be resolved by asking your IT department to make sure these domains are given permission:

This can also happen if too many attempts are made to log in to the same account in a short period of time. If you think someone else may have your login details do get in touch as we can reset your account. 

What format are the templates?

The templates are in MS PowerPoint (.ppt) format. You can open these in MS PowerPoint, Apple Keynote and Google Slides. It’s easy to combine pages and add your own words and pictures. Finished documents can be output as a PDF file to print or send by email.

Where are the Easy Read Templates?

Just below the search box you can click on the text 'View Templates' and you will see thumbnail previews of each page. The templates are also in the pull-down ‘Categories’ menu. Or you can just type ‘template’ into the search box.

How do I log in to Photosymbols?

The easiest way is to click next to our logo in the top left of this website - where it says 'Sign In' with a small key icon. You can also click on the 'Person Icon' to the right of the main menu. Next enter your email address and password then click on 'Go to the Photo Library'. You'll only see this link if you have a valid subscription.

Can I log in from any computer?

Yes. As long as you have a current subscription.

Can I share my login?

No. Each user must have their own account. Get in touch with us if you need an extra account.

I can't seem to log in...

Get in touch with us using the green ‘Contact Us’ button below or send an email to

Is Photosymbols for Windows or Mac?

You can use Photosymbols on a Windows PC or a Mac. It runs in your web browser - we recommend Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer 9 or higher. If you are running Internet Explorer 7 or 8 we recommend you upgrade to Internet Explorer 9 or higher. This is because our website uses HTML5 and some old web browsers have problems with it.

How do I credit Photosymbols?

There is a graphic badge in the library you can use - just search for 'made with photosymbols'. Alternatively, you can just use the text 'Pictures by Photosymbols' or something similar.

Is there a discount for charities?

We don't offer a discount for charities, as many of them are much bigger than we are. But if you are a small group run by disabled people / people with a learning disability then please get in touch.

Do I need a Commercial Design licence?

We offer a Commercial Design licence which gives you permission to sell products or services that include embedded Photosymbols imagery. There is an annual fee to maintain the licence. Any work already produced remains licensed if you choose not to renew but you will no longer be able to charge for future products or services if they include Photosymbols imagery. The licence includes 5 accounts to allow easy teamworking.