v6 Symbolate tutorial
Symbolate buttons are very similar to normal buttons. You can change the colors, border thickness, and corner setting. You can also change the font and font color. You can even drag Symbolate buttons around. To draw a Symbolate button do the following:
- Select the Symbolate Tool from the toolbar.
- Drag out the outline of a button or simply click on the background where you’d like the button to appear. A Symbolate button’s height is automatically determined by its font and symbol sizes, so you’ll only be able to specify it’s width. Use the Pointer Tool and drag the left or right border.
- A new Symbolate button will extend from that location to the right edge of the board. You’ll be able to adjust the width of the button later.
Typing in the Symbolate Button
- As you start typing in the new Symbolate button, a symbol will appear as each word is completed.
- If you reach the right edge of the board, another line will be added to the button so you can continue typing. You can force a new line by hitting the Enter (or Return) key.
Idea: Try importing text from online or from a document! It’s awesome!
- To edit the text of an existing Symbolate button, select either the Symbolate Tool or the Text Tool.
- Click on the text you’d like to edit. You can delete text by using the Backspace or Delete keys. To insert text, simply type!
- As you insert text anywhere, but at the end of a Symbolate button, you’ll notice that the text is resymbolated as you type each letter. If you want to stop the symbolating, hold down the Alt key as you type. Using this technique you can change the text in a text/symbol pair without changing the symbol. Also, this can be used to insert spaces into a text/symbol pair.
- To treat two or more words as a single word, hold the underscore (_) key while you press space in between each word. For example, “Christopher_Columbus”
When you enter a word into a Symbolate button, the system is generating an ordered list of candidate symbols to represent that word. The first symbol on this list is automatically displayed in the Symbolate button.
- To step forward through the other symbol candidates hit the F2 key. With the F1 key, you can step backwards through the list. (With F1 the first option will always be no symbol.)
- You can always adjust the candidate symbol list for each symbol. Either hit the Esc key while the text block is selected or if the Symbolate Tool is selected, double click on the Symbolate button symbol, you’d like to change.
- You can double click on any of the symbols in the window to use that symbol, this will result in a one-time change.
- If you want to change the default word-symbol association, select the new symbol and then click on the Make Default button.
Adding New Symbols
To add a new symbol to a word’s candidate list:
- Click on the Add New Symbol button in the Symbolate Candidates window.
- A slightly modified version of the Symbol Finder will appear. Find the symbol you want, using standard Symbol Finder search methods, and then click on OK. The new symbol will appear in the candidate list.
- If you want to make this symbol the default for the word, you can click on Make Default.
- To change the word part of a word-symbol pair without also changing the symbol, edit the word within the Label text box in the Symbolate Candidates window and click on OK.
Symbolate Right Click Menu
You can access the the right click menu when either the Pointer Tool or the Symbolate Tool is selected.
- The Symbol Size menu item offers Make Smaller and Make Larger options. Make Smaller will decrease the height of the symbols by 25% while Make Larger will increase the height by 25%.
- By default, the text on Symbolate buttons appears underneath the symbols. The Text Position menu item allows you to set the text to be on the Top or Bottom. The Justify menu allows you to set Left, Center or Right justification for the Symbolate button.
- When you create a new Symbolate button, it stretches to the right margin of the board. If you want to fit the Symbolate button borders so that they leave a consistent margin around the text and symbol contents, you can use the Autofit Border menu item.
Symbolate Properties Window
You can access the the Symbolate Properties Window from either the right click menu or from the Edit-Symbolate Properties menu. If you access it via the right click menu, it is used to adjust the currently selected Symbolate button. If it is accessed from the Edit-Symbolate Properties menu, it is used to adjust the default properties of any subsequently created Symbolate buttons.
- Note: There are no font settings on the Edit-Symbolate Properties window, this is because the default Text Tool settings are also used for Symbolate buttons.
- By default, the width of each individual text/symbol pair is determined by which two of the pair is wider. If the Make all symbols the same width option is checked, the width of every text/symbol pair is the same. This width is equal to the widest text or symbol in the entire Symbolate button.
- If you select the Use My Default Settings button while editing the properties of the current Symbolate button (through the right click menu), your personal defaults will be restored. If you select Use Factory Default Settings while setting your default Symbolate button properties, you’ll restore the settings to the “factory” default.
Read with Highlighting
A new Read with Highlighting action is available for Symbolate buttons only, for use in Boardmaker Plus and Speaking Dynamically Pro.
- Double click(with the Pointer Tool) in a Symbolate button.
- From the action menu select Read with Highlighting.
- As the text is spoken, it and its corresponding symbol are highlighted using the current button highlighting method.
- By checking Highlight Text Only in the Read with Highlighting action detail, you can specify that only the text itself will be highlighted.
Idea: You can combine the Use Button Text option of the Speak Message action in conjunction with Read with Highlighting. This effect will read the contents of a symbolate button slowly followed by the entire message being spoken more naturally.