2001 Conference Proceedings

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Dan Clark
Freedom Scientific Blind/Low Vision Group
11800 31st Court North
St. Petersburg, FL 33716-1805
800-444-4443 extension 1016
Email: danC@hj.com 


Many new features have been added to OPENBook, the world's most popular scanning and reading program. The author will demonstrate and discuss many of these new features and will hold a question and answer period at the end of the session.

There are many new features in the latest version of OPENBook. The author will demonstrate and discuss these with the audience. A question and answer period will follow the general presentation.
  1. Email. Find it on the Tools menu. It has message storing boxes, an address list, and other nice features. Functionality is pretty standard, but note that in addition to arrow key navigation, you can use Shift plus the Up and Down arrows in the message list to jump to the next or previous unread message. Before you can use Open Book's email feature, you must already have Dial-up Networking or a network connection installed and working in your system; Open Book does not do that. You should use Open Book's Email Settings property sheet to provide information about the incoming and outgoing mail servers that you want the email client to use. You must have your SMTP and POP3 account addresses, in addition to your email address, user name, and password.
  2. Page Layout Description and Navigation. It is often useful to know the layout of the elements on a printed page, such as how many columns and headings there are. Open Book can now collect that information and report it to you. We call that Page Layout Description. Several Open Book functions exist to help analyze and describe the different elements on a page. In addition, you can navigate from element to element. If you have the Logitech WingMan Force Feedback Mouse connected, you can also get tactile feedback about each page element.
  3. Support for Logitech WingMan Force Feedback Mouse. This exciting, reasonably priced mouse gives you tactile feedback during computer operation. Open Book's new page layout feature is enhanced when used with the WingMan mouse, because each type of page element has unique tactile feedback associated with it. The WingMan mouse requires Windows 98, a USB port, and ActiveX. We have created a utility that you can use to test your computer to see if it has the appropriate items. The utility is called TESTMOUS.EXE, and it is located on the Open Book CD.
  4. OCR Engine Selection. In the Advanced Settings property sheet you can select from 3 OCR engines: Caere MTX, Recognita, and FineReader.
  5. More OCR Languages. There are now 12 recognition languages. You can also designate a primary and a secondary OCR language.
  6. Automatic Scanner Detection. You no longer have to define your scanner and scanner driver during the installation. Open Book now does this automatically.
  7. Separate Speech Settings Files. Your speech settings are now saved separately from the rest of the settings. You won't notice this unless you switch synthesizers in the middle of a work session: now the appropriate speech settings will automatically load along with the synthesizer.
  8. New Help System. We have implemented a new Help system that has two types of Help: a Table of Contents list, and a Key Word Search index.
  9. File Open and Save As. These are new dialogs, custom-built to function the way standard Win98 dialogs do. These dialogs have replaced all other variations of File Open and Save As dialogs in Open Book, too, such as when you scan in Image Only mode and it asks you to name your image file.
  10. More Text File Formats. We have added new text file formats for saving documents. There are now four formats: Text Files, Text Files with Line Breaks, DOS Text Files, and DOS Text Files with Line Breaks. DOS Text Files uses ASCII format; Text Files uses ANSI format, which is more common in Europe.
  11. Save Range of Pages. You can now save just the current page or a range of pages in your document. If you scan many pages of mail, but only want to keep some of them, you can use this feature. It's a new item, Save Pages, on the File menu.
  12. Renumber Pages. You can designate different page numbers for the pages in your document. This is valuable if you want the document page numbers to correspond to the original text page numbers.
  13. Scan Preview. This is a quick scan of just the first couple of inches of your page. This will help you decide if you really want to scan that piece of junk mail.
  14. Scan Hotkey. Ctrl+Alt+S is the default hotkey to scan a page from outside Open Book (in another application).
  15. Read Word in Context. You can now read the sentence that contains a misspelled word in Spell Check. This function has also been added to the Find, Find and Replace, Dictionary, and Thesaurus dialog boxes.
  16. Pronunciation Dictionary. This is a new feature in the Tools menu. Use the Pronunciation Dictionary to change the way Open Book pronounces a word or series of characters.
  17. OCR Correction. This is also found in the Tools menu. Use this feature to correct words and characters that Open Book identifies incorrectly. You can apply corrections to your current document, or you can have Open Book automatically apply OCR corrections when it scans and recognizes each page.
  18. Low Vision menu and dialog. We have added a new menu item called Low Vision. Its selections take you to a Low Vision dialog, a pane at the bottom of the screen that has buttons to instantly change the size, color, font, and spacing in the document. You can cycle through the settings for each item by clicking the mouse or pressing the Spacebar. A Customize button takes you to the Visual Settings property sheet if you want to fine-tune the visual display.
  19. Zoom Settings. We have added additional zoom settings for Exact View.
  20. Scrolling Hotkeys. We have added hotkeys for functions using the scroll bar. However, you should be aware that scrolling to a new screen display in Open Book always moves the cursor with it, which is not Windows standard behavior. Here are the hotkeys:
    NumPad PageUp: Move (cursor and display) up one page.
    NumPad PageDown: Move (cursor and display) down one page.
    SixPack PageUp: Move (cursor and display) up one screen.
    SixPack PageDown: Move (cursor and display) down one screen.
    Alt+UpArrow: Scroll up (display only, unless cursor/spotlight moves off screen) using arrow button on scroll bar.
    Alt+DownArrow: Scroll down (display only, unless cursor/spotlight moves off screen) using arrow button on scroll bar.
    Alt+RightArrow: Scroll right (display only, unless cursor/spotlight moves off screen) using arrow button on scroll bar--applies only to Exact View.
    Alt+LeftArrow: Scroll left (display only, unless cursor/spotlight moves off screen) using arrow button on scroll bar--applies only to Exact View.
  21. Announce Capital Letters. You can have Open Book announce upper case letters during typing. It's on the Speech Settings property sheet.

  22. Discard Blank Pages. You can configure Open Book to keep or discard blank scanned pages. It's on the Scanning Settings property sheet.
  23. Announce Dialog Controls. You can configure Open Book to tell you what type of control has the focus. Examples of control types are button, edit box, and list box. You will find this option in the General Settings property sheet.
  24. Hide Spotlight for Braille Tracking. This item improves cursor tracking for refreshable Braille displays by hiding the word spotlight that Open Book uses to identify the cursor location in a document. You will find this option in the General Settings property sheet.
  25. Use Numeric Keypad for Open Book Functions. This can now be turned on or off. When you turn it off, you can give the numeric keypad control to another program, such as JAWS.
  26. Advanced Settings. We have moved some of the Scanning Settings to this new property sheet, and added some items.

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    Reprinted with author(s) permission. Author(s) retain copyright.