2000 Conference Proceedings

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ZoomText Xtra: Beyond the Basics Tips to Help Your Clients, Students and Yourself

Ben Weiss
Ai Squared
Manchester Center, VT

This session is intended for counselors, trainers, teachers and end-users that have a basic knowledge of ZoomText and some experience using the product. The following topics will be covered, with hands-on exercises for attendees to try:

The ZoomText dialog boxes contain the advanced features of the product. We will cover how to access these dialogs boxes, including shortcut methods for the ZoomText toolbars. We will also discuss the purpose of each dialog box.

Even with magnification, many people have trouble viewing screens with white background and often have trouble finding the cursor. The ZoomText color filtering and cursor enhancement options specifically address these problems. We will cover all color filter options, including gray scaling and boosting contrast. We will also show you how to change the size and color of the cursor and enhance the caret (the text entry point).

In addition to the primary zoom window, ZoomText has 5 special purpose zoom windows, referred to as secondary zoom windows. We will show you how to set up each of these zoom windows and discuss uses for each of these windows.

We will discuss some of the advanced features in DocReader, the ZoomText reading module. This will include how to select a window to be read and how to restrict DocReader to read only certain areas within a window. We will also cover all of the DocReader display options, including DocReader display modes, foreground and background colors, fonts and character spacing.

If you want to read a large document, but don’t want to use DocReader, ZoomText can read text directly from the clipboard. We will show you how to copy text to the Windows clipboard and how to get ZoomText to read it.

Targets are used to monitor various areas on the screen. We will show you how to set both regular and talking targets and how to jump to a target. We will also cover how to delete and modify existing targets.

ZoomText supports multiple speech synthesizers, including SAPI and SSIL speech devices. We will show how to switch synthesizers and how to change the voices and other settings of a synthesizer. We will also cover how to get SAPI and SSIL synthesizers to work together on a system.

The ZoomText screen reader has three pre-configured verbosity settings, which control the amount of description that occurs when an item on the screen is read. We will show how to change verbosity and how to customize these settings for additional fine-tuning.

When ZoomText is running, it installs an icon in the system tray. We will show how to access the tray icons and the settings that can be accessed from the tray.

ZoomText has a vast array of hotkeys, which give the user access to almost all controls from the keyboard. We will show how to configure hotkeys, including reassignment and deactivation. We will also discuss the logic behind the grouping of hotkeys.

ZoomText allows you to save all users settings in a configuration file. Multiple configurations can be saved and loaded at any time. We will show how to save configurations and how to load them by using a hotkey.

ZoomText Level 2 is a combined magnifier and screen reader, but it can be run as either a magnifier only or a screen reader only. We will show how to set up both of these configurations.

Ai Squared developers spends a lot of time and effort modifying and fixing problems in ZoomText. We will demonstrate how to get free updates for end users and also the differences between FTP updates, CD updates and upgrades.

Should you need to remove ZoomText from a system, you’ll need to know how to uninstall it. We will cover the un-installation of ZoomText and how to prevent ZoomText from running automatically when you boot your system.


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