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World class word prediction, speech feedback, and on-screen keyboard for Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP.
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Site Licences for Penfriend XP are priced at £400.00 for Primary Schools and £600.00 for Secondary Schools. Further Education Colleges and Universities, please phone for site licence prices.
Penfriend XP combines terrific performance with a range of well chosen features and surprising ease of use. Version 3 has new lexicons, improved prediction and numerous other enhancements. As with all Penfriend Ltd products, it brings dyslexic and physically disabled users benefits including the confidence to write more, the accuracy to write what they mean, and the speed to write more in the time available. It can be used with almost any word processor, as it intercepts and simulates messages from the keyboard to the application.
Penfriend XP's core strength is in predicting the next word you want to write. It does this using a dictionary of known words, along with detailed knowledge of when they are likely to be used, their grammatical type, words you have used before, and so on. Every time you type a letter, it comes up with a new list of the most likely words which fit your letters. Choosing one is a simple matter of pressing one more button, or clicking on the word with the mouse. If you're not sure how to read it, you can hear it spoken before you choose a word.
Penfriend comes with speech feedback; the ability to read aloud the words on your screen, including words that you haven't written yet! Penfriend XP uses Microsoft SAPI5 to produce clear words, and to allow the installation of other 'third party' voices.
It can be configured to speak each letter as it is typed, each word as it is completed, and each sentence. It can read words from the prediction list when you point at them, when you choose them, or automatically when they change. It can also read back whole paragraphs (or more) of text from other applications using the clipboard. This might be your document, a web page, an email, or almost anything else.
While speaking text from the clipboard, a window can be shown which follows the voice, highlighting each word as it goes. You can click on a word to hear it again, or to speak a fragment of the text.
For people either with physical disabilities affecting their use of a keyboard, or for those who do not want to glance repeatedly between the screen and keyboard. Penfriend XP's on-screen keyboard is straightforward, mirrors key features of a conventional QWERTY layout, and uses colours of the user's choice.
For people with a more specialised on-screen keyboard, Penfriend can work with Clicker to predict with custom-designed on-screen keyboards which support switch access.
A major feature of Penfriend is the ability to edit lexicons.
Penfriend doesn't claim to know all the words you want to write in advance, but it is very good at learning them. Every word you type is analysed, and Penfriend can learn those it doesn't recognise. Depending on your spelling, you might ask for new words to be predicted immediately (as appropriate), or perhaps just to be remembered and then checked by a teacher.
Penfriend holds new words in a specially marked list, so that you can easily review the ones it has learnt recently. There are various tools for manipulating these, such as approving only those used several times. If you have a pupil that has bad spelling you can switch off 'Predict new words' and then see the wrong spellings that have been made. These can then be 'Banned' if you never want them to be predicted.
As well as learning new words, Penfriend keeps track of the ones you've used, and your style of writing. This all helps to predict the right words next time!
Penfriend XP makes its options easy to understand. There are enough to give you the choices you need for the people you work with, but each makes sense, giving you flexibility and comprehension.
The colours of text, in the prediction window and the on-screen keyboard, can be adjusted. The colour of highlighted words, both text and background, can be controlled separately from the normal words. Whether Penfriend learns new words, predicts them immediately, applies 'smart punctuation', or speaks as you type, can all be decided by you. A document included when you buy the system explains which options would help most.
Further, the options are stored per user rather than for the whole computer. This means you can have several people with different special needs using the same system, but each one gets it configured especially for them.
For a detailed explanation of the options, download the free demonstration and read the on-line help.
An abbreviation expansion system which reconstructs full words or sentences from abbreviated typed text can be a very important benefit to people who suffer from motor difficullties or dyslexia. Reliable abbreviation expansion reduces the number of keystrokes that users need to input in order to communicate in full and rich language
As well as predicting words using the letters you type, Penfriend can store phrases or other words, assigned to special codes. For example, 'pfl' might be an abbreviation for 'Penfriend Ltd'. When you type the short code and press Space, Penfriend can automatically replace it. This can speed up writing of commonly used phrases or even sentences.
Penfriend's abbreviation expansion function is under user control. So, naturally, you can control the abbreviations and their associated phrases yourself, adding and removing them at will.
Below is an example of how Abbreviations can now be used. – Here a disabled person is using abbreviations to communicate with a carer. By typing one abbreviation tv up to 12 related expansions can be shown and either entered into a document or spoken. Here by typing tv they have 12 requests to a carer for help with the TV. Below is abbreviation window when the 12 abbreviations have been created.
When they then type ‘tv’ in their document, the 12 instructions all appear in the predictor window. Note that tv does not appear as it has been banned in the lexicon.
If they have set Penfriend to speak on a right click then the phrase they want will be spoken when they click on it.
The same system can be used for common phrases, email addresses, URLs, postal addresses, to be read, entered or both. In English one could use qa, qb, qc as abbreviations as there are no words beginning with these combinations. So you could use qa as the abbreviation for 12 addresses. If qa is banned then it will not appear.
When you finish a sentence, or use almost any punctuation mark, Penfriend can help you to get it right. Although it normally puts a space after predicted words, it moves that to after the punctuation, and capitalises your next letter. Little things like this give writers the confidence to put their thoughts on paper.
As well as predicting words directly in to your word processor, Penfriend XP can work with Clicker including Clicker 5.2, from Crick Software and other applications to provide its prediction engine without the user needing to interact with Penfriend directly. It also provides an excellent way of making Penfriend switch accessible. It integrates fully with Clicker 4 and Clicker 5.2. To use with Clicker 5.2 you will need Penfriend XP version 184.108.40.206 or later and if you already have version 3 log onto the Penfriend web site via the 'Web Site' link in the program and go to customer downloads and download and install the upgrade patch.
Penfriend XP is also available as a hand-held Portable version for carrying between computers, and easy use without installation.
Version 4 of Penfriend XP is now available, with great feature enhancements, higher performance and even easier to use.