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Archive for the ‘www.penfriend.biz’ Category


A significant benefit of Penfriend is that you can start using it without any prior knowledge – “it works straight out of the box” as one happy customer recently commented.

This tutorial explains how you can start improving spelling and grammar by simply starting Penfriend – without making any adjustments.

To view the complete list of video tutorials select this link.

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Penfriend Version 4.1

Penfriend is delighted to announce that Version 4.1 is ready to download. Penfriend 4.1 offers new innovative features including:

•    A Homophone option in the prediction window to support literacy,
•    ‘Type on hover’ to help mobility for the on-screen keyboard,
•    ‘Speak on hover’ to support typing with the on-screen keyboard,
•    A transparency option so you can discretely use Penfriend without anyone knowing!

Penfriend's homophone support

 

Homophone Support

 

Homophones, sometimes known as ‘confusables’, are words which have a similar sound but differ in spelling and meaning. Examples of homophones include ‘there’ and ‘their’, ‘where’ and ‘were’ and so on.

With over 400 homophones in the English language, similar sounding words add depth to a language but they can also be the cause of great frustration.

Spell checkers can’t be relied upon where these troublesome homophones are concerned. Confusables are often highlighted by people who experience dyslexia as a source of annoyance and confusion as you could accidentally end up with a properly spelled word, but the wrong word!

With Penfriend’s new option ‘Confusable word hints’ (go to View and Preferences) you can now see and even hear the difference between confusable words, so there’s no excuse to get ‘pair’ and ‘pear’ or ‘bear’ and ‘bare’ mixed up anymore.

On-Screen Keyboard

Penfriend’s on-screen keyboard has always been a favourite feature with our customers, particularly those who use an alternative mouse such as a trackerball. With features such as ‘hover to click’ the on-screen keyboard has been greatly improved, offering increased accessibility and usability to our customers.

In Version 4.1 we improved the on-screen keyboard which now has an option to allows individual letters and function keys to be echoed or read back.

This is a particularly useful feature for individuals who are leaning to type such as early years or even those who are new to a computer and are learning to type. Speech feedback on the on-screen keyboard is also very beneficial to those who are struggling with literacy and require audio feedback to help scaffold their learning.

Transparency

And for those of you who’d rather be discrete about using Penfriend we’ve included a new transparent feature which means you can use your favourite assistive technology without anyone else knowing….but you!

Penfriend's transparency option

Penfriend's transparency option

 

Get in touch

Visit the Penfriend website to download the latest versions of Penfriend.

We also have some new exciting products in the pipeline – so keep checking the blog to find out more or alternatively follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

And don’t forget, the Penfriend blog looks great on the iPad!

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Using Penfriend’s Screen Reading with Word’s Look Up, Synonyms and Spell Checking features

This tutorial explores the powerful screen reading feature in Penfriend. Penfriend’s screen reader will read out dictionary definitions and synonyms in Microsoft Word without any additional expense – no need to buy 3rd party software.

The tutorial also explores how the screen reading feature can support spell checking with audio feedback.


Get in touch

Visit the Penfriend website to download the latest versions of Penfriend.

We also have some new exciting products in the pipeline – so keep checking the blog to find out more or alternatively follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

And don’t forget, the Penfriend blog looks great on the iPad!

Read Full Post »


Penfriend prediction windows

Using Drag and Drop Lexicons in Penfriend

The following video screencast tutorial shows you how to save a personalised lexicon which can be used in different contexts, such as colour background, speech or a lexicon which contains a specific word list.

Easy-to-use and Accessible

With Penfriend it couldn’t be easier to change the lexicon you want. Penfriend’s easy-to-use interface makes is user friendly and very accessible.

Tutorial

As this tutorial shows, it’s just a case of selecting the lexicons you want to use then simply drag and drop each lexicon into the Prediction window.

I’ve used Penfriend NA with the Katherine (East Coast America) voice to demonstrate but as you will see, you can change the style of voice by simply changing the lexicon.

As well as Penfriend NA, Penfriend is available in French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Italian, Portuguese as well as UK English and Scottish Gaelic.


Get in touch

Visit the Penfriend website to download the latest versions of Penfriend.

We also have some new exciting products in the pipeline – so keep checking the blog to find out more or alternatively follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

And don’t forget, the Penfriend blog looks great on the iPad!

Read Full Post »


Penfriend’s powerful Screen Reader

Penfriend features a powerful screen reading option which reads text in documents and other Windows applications such as email, web pages etc. When the mouse is placed or hovered over text, icons or menus Penfriend will read the information back to the user.

Although Penfriend’s Screen Reader is a very empowering tool, when combined with the Clipboard Reader and set up to meet individual needs, Penfriend can be extended into a tool that can benefit users with a visual difficulty.

Video tutorial

The following video tutorial explores how Penfriend can be set up to read text and other elements using the Screen Reader, the Clipboard Reader in combination with a high contrast viewing style.

Save your lexicon

If you would like to try this out for yourself, remember to select ‘File’ and ‘Save Lexicon’ or ‘Save As’ to save your settings.  This means that you only need to set your preferences once as Penfriend will automatically save your personal settings including the words in the lexicon.


Get in touch

Visit the Penfriend website to download the latest versions of Penfriend.

We also have some new exciting products in the pipeline – so keep checking the blog to find out more or alternatively follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

And don’t forget, the Penfriend blog looks great on the iPad!

Read Full Post »


Penfriend would like to thank Andrew Lysley at the Ace Centre for kindly allowing us to use and distribute five high frequency word lexicons.

Emergent literacy

The lexicons are high frequency core wordlists that primary schools teach children to support emerging and developing literacy, in particular language, vocabulary and word syntax. The lexicons are designed to support children at Key Stage 1 & 2 (in England) and Primary 1 – 3 in Scotland.

Developing word relationships

Autumn landscapeAndrew suggests that the best way to use the lexicons would be to add keywords associated to the wordlists. For example, as we head into autumn keywords could revolve around ‘harvest’ in which case a teacher or teaching assistant would take one of the core wordlists, save it as ‘en.kids core reception words plus harvest words’ and then add keywords associated with harvest time, e.g., harvest, fruit, corn, pick, apples, pears, leaves etc.

For those children who are working with developmentally (or chronologically) older children, the wordlists can be taken to a higher level with more complex, richer and topic vocabulary; gather, wheat, maize, festival etc.

Download the lexicons

To download a lexicon ‘right click’ on each of the download links and choose ‘save as target’ then simply save the lexicon to the desktop or a location of your choice.

To load the lexicon into Penfriend either drag and drop the lexicon into Penfriend’s Prediction window or select ‘File’ and ‘Open Lexicon’.

en.kids.reception high frequency words

en.kids.reception and years 1 and 2 high frequency words

en.kids.reception and years 1 2 3 4 high frequency words

en.kids.reception and years 1 2 3 4 5 high frequency words


Get in touch

Visit the Penfriend website to download the latest versions of Penfriend.

We also have some new exciting products in the pipeline – so keep checking the blog to find out more or alternatively follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

And don’t forget, the Penfriend blog looks great on the iPad!

Read Full Post »


Get online with Penfriend!

As well as standard word processors and text editors such as Microsoft Word, Wordpad and Notepad, Penfriend will also work alongside online word processors and text editors, in particular Google Docs, Microsoft SkyDrive, Twitter and Facebook.

Social Media logos

Penfriend will work alongside online apps and social networking sites

So if you want to get in touch with friends via Facebook, or post a tweat on Twitter or even share a Google or SkyDrive document, then Penfriend will make the process so much more easier, particularly if you have dyslexia or a motor difficulty and find typing difficult of impossible to do.

This short video highlights how Penfriend can work alongside a range of online applications.

Get in touch

Visit the Penfriend website to download the latest versions of Penfriend.

We also have some new exciting products in the pipeline – so keep checking the blog to find out more or alternatively follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

And don’t forget, the Penfriend blog looks great on the iPad!

Read Full Post »

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