Help File for Tar Heel Typer
- Braille - This mode allows the user to enter in a combination of symbols that
represent the six possible Braille dots. In the default
configuration, "f" represents dot 1, "d" represents dot 2, "s"
represents dot 3, "j" represents dot
4, "k" represents dot 5, and "l" represents dot 6. The spacebar produces a space. To enter a
symbol, press the combination of buttons corresponding to the desired
symbol, and then release all of them.
For information regarding the Braille system, see here. For a table of Braille symbols and their corresponding dot configuration, see here.
This system utilizes the Grade 2 contractions, allowing the user
to enter strings of two, three, or four letters with a single key
- Cycle - This mode requires only a single switch.
The pressing of any button starts cycling through the
symbols, and pressing any button selects the current
the default configuration, the letters switch every 1100 milliseconds.
If any sounds are enabled, this switch time will be added to the
time required to make the symbol's corresponding sound. This is
to ensure that the sounds do not overlap one another.
- ScrollAndClick - This is a two-switch mode.
The pressing of one button ("z" in the default configuration) or
the left mouse button causes the next symbol in the list of symbols to
be selected, and the pressing of another button ("x" in the default
configuration) or the right mouse button selects the current symbol.
Keyboard - This mode simply allows the user to enter values with the keyboard.
Features and Options:
- ASL - ASL stands for American Sign Language.
A picture of a hand performing the ASL representation of the
current symbol is shown for each letter. For other symbols, such
as punctuation or multi-letter symbols, the symbol is simply printed.
CustomPix - This mode is designed for offline use. When the THT.zip
file is downloaded and unzipped, the user can insert whatever pictures
he or she likes into the "custom" folder, and by giving them the proper
name, they will be displayed on the screen just like the ASL pictures.
Recommendation: make the pictures relatively small so they fit on the screen well.
- BigText - This output mode prints the current symbol
in large font. When a symbol is selected, the entire string
of selected symbols is shown.
- Text - This output mode prints the following string
for the current symbols: "The current letter is (symbol)".
When a symbol is selected, the entire string of selected symbols
- Speech - If this option is
symbols are spoken as well as printed onscreen. This is
especially useful for blind users. The Custom option, similarly
to the CustomPix output mode, allows the user to insert whatever sound
files he likes into the "custom" folder (offline use only), and these
sound files will be played at the appropriate time.
Recommendation: make the sound files short.
View - This option is available only for the One-Switch (Cycle) and
Two-Switch (ScrollAndClick) modes. This mode shows the entire
list of symbols in a table and highlights each letter as it is
selected. In this way, the user can watch as the current symbol
comes closer and closer to his desired symbol. This is especially
useful for users with motor planning difficulties. In the table,
space is represented as "_", capitalization is represented as "^", and
backspace is represented as "<". Groupings are unavailable in
this mode, as is word prediction. If you are on a slow connection, the table screen may fail to come up at first. If you encounter this problem, refresh the page and it should come up.
- Changing the font size/color - The user can choose
the size and color of the output font from a list of possibilities, or
he/she can use the default size and color.
- Email - This feature allows the user to send an email message containing
entire message that he or she has entered into the application.
The email function does not work correctly when the program is
run locally (from a downloaded copy rather than the online copy) due to
unalterable security settings in Flash.
- Speak - This feature allows the user, by pressing the Speak button, to hear
his entire message. If the user is running the application
locally, he may have to change his local Flash settings to allow the program
to communicate with the internet.
- Music - This option enables the user to play background music during the
execution of the program. If
you are on a slow connection, it may be best to not use background
music, because the music files are large and may take a long time to
download. In order
to use your own music, download the program here
and place the song in the "custom" folder and name it "song.mp3".
Then, at the start page, you can select "Custom Song" and it will
play in the background.
- This feature allows the user to
complete the words as he is typing them.
- To use this feature with the Braille or Keyboard input mode,
press the right arrow after entering one or more letters. If
there is a matching word in the database, it will show on the screen.
To select it, press the down arrow. To cycle to another
matching word (if possible), press the right arrow again. To
discard it, keep entering in data as before.
- To use this feature with the One-Switch (Cycle) or Two-Switch
(ScrollAndClick) input modes, the matching words will appear at the
front of the cycle of symbols. If groups are enabled, there will
be a group called "Use word prediction" that the matching words are placed in.
Select that group, and then select the desired word.
- The default list of words that may be predicted can be found here.
- The user may also upload a custom list of words for word prediction. This feature will work if the user is online or if he is running a downloaded copy. There is a window in the Start Page where the user can enter the words that he wants. The format used should be "this,is,a,list,of,my,words" (without the quotation marks). There is also a place for the user to enter a username. After entering the words and the username, the user must click the "Submit" button to save the data! By entering different usernames for different lists, multiple lists can be saved on the same computer. The user can specify which list he wants to access by entering the desired username at the top of the Start Page.
- This page is best viewed with Mozilla Firefox.
Alternatively, Internet Explorer can be used, but all features may not be available.
- A standalone application can be downloaded here
(unzip the directory and open index.html in Mozilla
- On slower connections, the user may want to download a minimal version that does not contain the background music files.
- This project is open source, all source code can be downloaded here.
- This program was created as a summer project
by Daniel Parker (homepage) in collaboration with Professor Gary Bishop of the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- This project is dedicated to my beautiful fiancée, Jamie Richardson.
- Sally Fletcher (www.heavenlyharpist.com) provided two of the available background tracks, Ave Maria and Greensleeves. Please visit her site!
- Send an email to Daniel Parker