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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!

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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!


New guides to help with Penfriend

Last week we received some excellent high frequency word lists from Andrew Lysley at the Ace Centre that are available for you to download and use.

This week, thanks to Maudie Riley, Support for Learning at the Education Centre in Dingwall, we have some new informative guides on setting up Penfriend and maintaining lexicons.

Easy-to-follow guides

Maudie provides succinct and easy-to-follow guides on setting up Penfriend and lexicon maintenance for learners, particularly those learners who have spelling difficulties and require customised lexicons. Moreover, Maudie also explains how it is possible to add word lists to create new lexicons, ban words to delete misspellings and to monitor and track wrongly spelled words.

As Penfriend continues to develop its bank of resources, led by you the community, we welcome further contributions – keep them coming!

Download the Resources

To guides are in PDF format. To download the guides ‘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.

Download the Penfriend Initial Setup Guide

Download the Penfriend Maintaining Lexicon Guide


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!


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!


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!


Getting started

In Penfriend you can create Abbreviations by selecting ‘View’ on the Prediction window and  ‘Abbreviations’ on the drop down menu. In Penfriend Version 4 you can also create Multiple Expansions for a single abbreviation.

Abbreviation examples

The Abbreviation expansion might be your full name, your address, phrases used in letters or formal documents. It can also be instructions to a carer. The Abbreviation feature in Penfriend can be very useful for people who have impaired mobility and want to improve typing accuracy and speed.

If you wish, you can create abbreviations which are in fact corrections of misspelt words. The abbreviation should be the misspelling (with a separate entry for each likely misspelling) and the expansion should be the correct spelling, i.e., a misspelling such as ‘hte’ will be corrected to ‘the’ and so on.

Penfriend will expand the abbreviations when you type them as a word or as a selection of letters in your word processor, so long as the prediction window is open. The abbreviations will also be predicted if there is room in the window, so you can use them by pressing a function key or clicking on the word or finishing the abbreviation and pressing the Spacebar key.

Penfriend will expand the abbreviations when typed as a word or selection of letters
Penfriend will expand the abbreviations when typed as a word or selection of letters

How to create an abbreviation expansion

The Abbreviation Window lists the abbreviations that can be expanded as you type. One example of a customised abbreviation is ‘pfcontact’ which will expand into the full address of Penfriend.

Abbreviation list

Adding and deleting Abbreviations

To ‘Add’ or ‘Delete’ an Abbreviation select ‘Entries’ and then choose an option from the drop down menu.

Adding and deleting Abbreviations

Adding and deleting Abbreviations

Alternatively if you click on one of the existing Abbreviations, or below the last one, the Abbreviation Dialogue Box will open allowing you to edit or create an Abbreviation.

Adding a new Abbreviation

Click on the Abbreviations list to bring up the New Abbreviation panel.

 

This tells you how to create an abbreviation, however we suggest that using the two letter abbreviations described in Multiple abbreviation expansions is the best way of using this function.

 

 


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!


Abbreviation Expansion

Abbreviation Expansion has always been a powerful tool in earlier versions of Penfriend but in Penfriend version 4, it’s even better.

Abbreviation Expansion can help with repetitive and mundane tasks such as writing names, addresses, phone numbers, your favourite internet addresses etc. Abbreviation Expansion can be particularly beneficial for people who have limited mobility or find typing difficult or tiresome.

While Penfriend’s prediction can help overcome these problems the Abbreviation Expansion feature takes it a stage further.

Multiple sentences

Below is an illustration of how Abbreviation Expansion can now be used.

The abbreviation set up window

The ‘qa’ abbreviations are all multiple addresses for some of Penfriend’s agents.  When you type qa  these addresses all appear in the prediction window.

Abbreviation address

Prediction window showing the expansions generated when typing qa

If you then click on the one you want, in this case Inclusive Technology, this will be put into your document.

address

The text created when clicking on the Inclusive address

 

Video example of ‘qa’

The short video below provides an overview of the abbreviation ‘qa’ in action.

When you type ‘qa’ you get 11 addresses in the prediction window and left clicking on one will put it into your document. In English ‘qa’, ‘qb’ and ‘qc’ are good as abbreviations as there are no words beginning with these combinations.

Video example of ‘tv’

The short video below provides an overview of the abbreviation ‘tv’ in action.

If Penfriend is set to speak on a ‘right click’ then the phrase will be spoken when it is clicked.

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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