YSpeak User Guide
YSpeak Version ■1.00. User Guide Revision 4
About YSpeak ....
─ An Apple iBook or iMac, or ..
─ Any Apple Macintosh computer or Powerbook running System 7.6 or later
─ An 800 x 600 colour display (256 or more colours) or larger.
─ At least 5Mb free Ram
─ MacinTalk Pro Text-to-Speech software
If you do not have MacinTalk Pro on your computer, you will not be able to run YSpeak.
Visit Apple╝s Web site at http://www.apple.com, then find and download the English
Text-to-Speech software, indexed under äPlaintalkż. This software is now standard with
MacOS 8 and 9.
YSpeak is a free computer program for speech-disabled users. It is designed to assist in
communicating in a variety of ways, reducing the input from the user to the minimum.
YSpeak is designed to run on the Apple iBook laptop (see Figure #1), which is both inexpensive
and ideally suited for the task. YSpeak will also run on any Macintosh Laptop, iMac, or Desktop
computer with a minimum screen resolution of 800 x 600 pixels.
Out of the box, the iBook comes complete not only with everything required to run YSpeak, but
also full Internet access and a full load of software.
It is thus not only an aid to communication for the speech-disabled - it is a powerful computer in its
own right. It may therefore be preferred to a device which is limited to one task.
At its simplest, YSpeak will speak typed input, in any one of 25 different voices. Both male and
female voices are provided.
As the user types, YSpeak will speak the typed text either word-by-word, by line, by sentence, or
when requested by the user.
YSpeak will display the input text in any font, size, style, or colour.
To allow someone else to read the text, YSpeak can also display the text inverted at the top of the
screen, so that with the iBook display folded back, someone sitting opposite the user can read the text
as it is input. To allow for a limited viewing angle, the text can also be displayed in negative.
YSpeak has two user-selectable built-in Dictionaries, one of the 1000 most-commonly used words
in the English language, and one of over 25,000 words. In either Dictionary, as soon as the user
types the first two letters of a word, YSpeak will invoke the Dictionaries to look up words starting
with those letters, and display possible words in a separate window. The user can then select the
word from this list to save typing the whole word.
YSpeak also tracks words as they are entered, and will attempt to predict the next word when one is
entered. In doing this, it älearnsż from the user.
YSpeak also has 5 separate word lists, each of which allows up to 35 words to be entered by typing
a single key. Changing key lists is again invoked with a single key.
To cater for users who may have difficulty with a standard keyboard, YSpeak also has an on-screen
keyboard, which can be accessed with any pointing device.
A separate window also allows the user to click on any one of 42 on-screen buttons, each of which
speaks a user-defined phrase. These phrases can be input phonetically, allowing any language to be
YSpeak can save all input text to a Disc File, in a format that can be read by all Word processing
YSpeak also shows the current time and date on screen as and when required.
When YSpeak is not in use, a screen saver is invoked after a variable period of inactivity.
YSpeak is compatible with Energy-saving devices on both desktop and laptop computers.
Ease of Use
YSpeak has been designed from the outset to be easy to use. All functions can either be invoked
either by pull-down Menu, by on-screen button, or by Function key.
YSpeak stores previous settings, and loads these on start-up. Previous settings can be cleared by
pressing one key.
YSpeak is designed to be customised by each user. The Dictionaries, Word lists, and Button speech
are all editable by the user to meet their own requirements.
There is no charge for YSpeak, which can be downloaded from the Internet. As the program is
updated, new versions will be made available, and previous customisation can be carried forward into
YSpeak is continually updated as a result of user feedback - users are encouraged to put forward
suggestions for improvement.
YSpeak is fully compatible with Apple╝s disability extensions to the Operating System. More
information on this is available at :