Getting Started

Starting with OSEO

Full help text is available from anywhere on the site, or you can watch our quick how to videos. This Getting Started guide highlights the main ways to find, read, and use OSEO's content. 

OSEO is designed both to complement the print editions (you can find any edition and go to any page in them; significant lineation is preserved; none of the content of those editions has been edited; and you can see a pdf of any page in them) and also to present their content in a less print-orientated way (you can find any work without knowing what edition it is in; text and notes appear side by side on screen).

  • You can see all the included editions by choosing Browse Editions—click on an edition to go to the page for that edition.
  • You can see all the included authors by choosing Browse Authors—click on an author to go to a page listing all the works by that author on the site
  • You can see all included high-level works by choosing Browse Works. (Many of these high-level works contain multiple subworks: for example, Donne's Elegies appears on this list, and not each elegy separately.) Clicking on a work text will take you to the beginning of that work—such as the title page of a play

Once you are inside the full text of a work you can...

  • Move through the play with the arrows  at the top of the page. The size of the pages you move through will vary according to the nature of the work and the architecture of the edition.
  • Customize your reading experience by shrinking the left-hand navigation bar by clicking the little arrow at its top. See screen shot below, or watch our quick video on how to change the way you view the text.

  • Hide the notes if you prefer by unchecking the notes box on the title bar; or resize the panels until the content properly fits the screen.
  • Click on the note symbols at the ends of the lines to scroll the notes pane to the right place. Watch the video on how to easily find and view notes directly alongside the text.

The three little tabs on the left help you navigate around the work or edition. The magnifying glass tab lets you search, jump to a print page, see the pdf of that original print page, or jump to a location in the text. Use our video to find out how to download a PDF of the original print page.

  • In the Location box, enter 3.3.57 if you want to go to Act III Scene iii line 57

At the top right of the tool bar you'll find pdf and printer icons for saving or printing out the chunk you are looking at. Discover more about generating a PDF using a short video.

  • If you highlight some text and choose ‘Copy and cite’ from the pop up menu, you’ll be able to automatically add a citation and the URL to the text you highlighted, so you can copy the lot: convenient for note-taking.

Return to the home page by clicking anywhere on the top bar, on the little home icon at top right.


The home page also features, at top right, the search functions:

  • The quick search on the home page searches works, titles, authors, and full text
  • Advanced Search enables more precise text and date searching
  • Find Location in Text enables you to resolve references: it supports the jump to a precise location in a text, such as "Shakespeare / Winter's Tale / 3.3.57", or "Shakespeare / Sonnet 18". Discover how to jump straight into the content you need by watching a short video.

Jump in

Here are some scenes, poems, letters, and speeches that you may or may not know.
Please note: you must be a subscriber to OSEO to view this content - find out how to subscribe.

The classics:

And, of course, Shakespeare …

Or try searching:

Quick search; “to be or not to be” or “no man is an island”


Find Location in Text: “Marlowe / Faustus / 12.81”