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Getting Started

TapSpeak Choice is designed to adapt to meet your needs and not force your child or student to adapt to a communication app. It’s also designed to grow with your child so that you don’t spend inordinate amounts of time re-programming different apps or devices to meet growing communication needs. 

Getting Started: Two-Choice Communication Boards

Many children will start with small and simple communication boards for simple choice selection like choosing between playing and eating, or more and finished. TapSpeak Choice lets you quickly create these simple boards. As you create more boards you can easily organize them by creating a home page and adding links on your home page to the communication boards that you make.

The four most important buttons in the toolbar are the page list button (the book icon), new button button (the plus sign icon), and the back and home buttons. The page button displays a page list where you can navigate to pages and create new pages. The new button button lets you add buttons to a page, and the back and home buttons lets you easily navigate all your pages.

Tap the page list button to display the page list. Navigate the page list by tapping a page name or tapping a folder to go to the pages in that folder. Add a page by tapping the plus sign button at the top of the page list. The edit button at the top of the page list lets you reorder pages in the page list and delete pages. The Edit Board Info button at the button will let you change the page’s grid, title, read-only, and home board attributes.

In the new board view, enter a board name, select a page grid  dimension, and make sure the modifiable switch is set to on. 

There are two types of page grids, a dynamic page grid and many static page grids. The dynamic page grid automatically resizes the page grid based on the number of buttons on a page. A page can have one to 56 buttons and page grids vary  from a 1x1 to a 7x8 grid. There are also some keyboard-specific grids for use when creating keyboard pages. 

When you add a new page with a dynamic page grid, the new page is blank. The first time you add a button it will be as a 1x1 grid with one large button on the page. A new page with a static grid starts off with blank buttons. Adding a button to a page with a static grid will fill in a blank button. When a page with a static grid no longer has blank buttons you have to delete a button to add a button or you can increase the page grid size.

Let’s add a new button to a new dynamic grid page. As you can see the new page is blank. Tap the plus button in the tool bar to show you the new button options. The New option places a new button on a page, the Navigation option opens the button picker with all your current navigation buttons from the navigation library, and the last option will open the button picker with the buttons from your most recently viewed library. Note that as of TapSpeak Choice 4.0 you don’t need to add buttons to a library before using them on a page.

Go ahead and tap the New option. This will add a new button to your page and put your page into edit mode. With the page in edit mode you can use the button editors to set the button image, change the button title, set the speech options and other button attributes.

Most of the time, the first thing to do after adding a button is to set its image. When you set its image, and use a symbol, the button title and text-to-speech messages are automatically set for you. In most cases, all you’ll need to do is set the button’s image to a symbol and you’re done. If you use a photo for the button’s image, you’ll need to set its speech options before you can really use the button.

Tap the Image Editor item in the editor list to bring up the image editor. Tap Pixon to search for Pixon symbols (PCS is available to pre 4.0 customers. contact help@tapspeak.com to re-enable PCS if you’ve lost access to your PCS symbols). Enter a search term in the search text field and hit your enter key. You’ll see a list of symbols at the bottom of the image editor. Swipe left or right to see all the found symbols. Tap a symbol to select it. Tap the Done button (the editor list will still be showing) and tap anywhere outside the editor list to dismiss the editor list. Tap the button and it will speak the button’s title text.

Now let’s add a second button to the page. Tap the plus button on the toolbar and tap the New option. The new button is added after the first button. New buttons added to dynamic grid pages will be added as the last button on the page. New buttons added to static grid pages will be placed in the first blank button on that page.

In the image editor, select Pixon and enter “play” in the search text field. You’ll see a number of symbols. Select the playground button and exit the image editor and close the editor list. You’ll see that the button has the title “playground”. Let’s change that to “play”.

The page is currently in play mode. In play mode you can tap buttons, navigate pages, etc., and you can add buttons to a pge. In edit mode you can change button attributes and delete buttons. Put the page into edit mode by tapping the edit button in the toolbar (the pencil) or tapping the page title. Long-press the playground button (tap and hold for a half-second) to bring up the editor list. 

Tap on the speech editor item and the speech editor will appear. In the speech editor you can change the button title, set a text-to-speech message separate from the button title, record a button’s message, and set a completely separate scanning prompt message. 

Tap the title text field and change the button title from “playground” to “play”. You can change the spoken message to a recording or separate text-to-speech message by tapping the Spoken item. If you do so, you’ll a screen where you can set the type of message and record a message if you desire. The Spoken and Scanning items show you how the button’s message is currently configured. Now tap the Done button and dismiss the editor list. Tap the button and you’ll now hear play spoken.

That completes a two-choice communication board! As you can see, it’s very quick to add new pages and set them up in TapSpeak Choice. Next we’ll look at the accessibility options