[Blindapple] textalker review commands
joseph.norton at gmail.com
joseph.norton at gmail.com
Thu Oct 15 16:09:01 EDT 2020
Also, if you are in review and want to read the screen, or a portion
thereof, press a letter from A to X, then press the comma, "Echo says "to:",
then type the line letter you want to read to.
So, if you wanted the whole screen, type the letter A, press Comma, press X
and it'll do it.
Thanks to CiderPress, Here is some text from the DOSTalk disk which seems to
do a good job:
Typing a CTRL-L (not preceded with a CTRL-E) puts the Echo into
line review mode. This feature allows the blind user to access
any line of material on the screen through speech. The CTRL-L
may be entered either while the computer is waiting for input
from the user or while text is being spoken.
Line review mode employs a special "audio review cursor" which
keeps track of the last place the user read material from the
screen. This audio review cursor moves along as material is
reviewed. The following commands provide means of controlling
the audio cursor.
Selecting the line to Review
There are two steps required for using the review feature.
One must first enter review with the CTRL-L then he must select
the line on which he wants to begin reviewing. After pressing
the CTRL-L, the user hears "REVIEW." This is TEXTALKER's way
of informing him that it has, indeed, entered the review mode.
The user then selects which line is to be reviewed by typing a
letter from "A" to "X". The letters "A" through "X" are the
first 24 letters of the alphabet. Each one represents that
line on the screen. In other words, pressing "A", the first
letter, selects the top line of the screen and pressing "X",
the 24th letter, selects the bottom line. (The Apple's display
contains 24 lines.)
When the user presses a letter from "A" to "X", TEXTALKER
reads that line and then positions the audio cursor at the
beginning of that line.
The user may, in addition to selecting a line from 1 to
24, after entering review, press the "Z" key. Pressing "Z"
immediately after entering review selects the current place
where the cursor rests. In other words, if the cursor were
located on line "P", the 16th line from the top of the screen,
and the user pressed the "Z", the audio review cursor would be
placed on line 16. The "Z" command also maintains the
horizontal cursor position.
Moving the Audio Cursor
When the user selects the line to review (by pressing a
letter from "A" to "X"), TEXTALKER reads the selected line.
One may use the up arrow and the down arrow keys to move the
audio review cursor up and down the screen. Note that earlier
versions of TEXTALKER also required the user to press the
RETURN key after selecting the line. TEXTALKER version 3.1.1
does not require the RETURN key to be pressed but, instead,
reads the line immediately.
Older versions of TEXTALKER used the ";" to move up and
the "/" to move the audio cursor down the screen. These two
old commands have been retained for compatibility.
Once a line has been selected or moved to, the user may
have the currently selected line repeated by pressing RETURN.
Moving the Cursor along a Line
While in review mode, the user may hear the lines on the
screen in several different ways. Pressing the RETURN key
indicates that he wants the entire line spoken. One may also
read each line word by word, by using the left and right arrow
keys to move the audio cursor along the line.
Reviewing Character by Character
Using the right and left arrows permits the user to review
a line word by word. He may also read a line of material
letter by letter. Pressing "L" selects letter mode. Once
letter mode is selected, pressing the left and right arrows
read and move the audio cursor letter by letter along the
selected line. To return to word mode, press the "W" key.
Experienced TEXTALKER users will recognize that the
process of switching between letter and word mode was
accomplished, in earlier versions of TEXTALKER, by pressing the
"T" key to toggle between the two modes. This command has, for
compatibility, also been preserved. One may, in short, either
use the "L" and "W" or the "T" to toggle between letter and
Determining the Cursor Position
While in review, pressing the space bar makes the Echo
announce the current line and column of the audio cursor. This
information is provided by announcing the line as a letter and
the column as a number. If the audio cursor were in the top
left corner of the screen, for instance, Echo says "A,00" when
the space bar is pressed.
Reviewing a Group of Lines
One may command TEXTALKER to review a group of lines on
the screen. This command is executed by pressing the ","
(comma) followed by the ending line to read. If, for instance,
the user wishes to read the lines from "G" to "L", he would
move the audio cursor to line "G" then press the "," and the
"L". This command reads lines "G" through "L" and leaves the
audio cursor on line "L".
Altering Speech Characteristics
If the user wishes to switch to another punctuation mode
from within review, he may do so by pressing the command
character exactly as if he were issuing one of the CTRL-E
commands except without the CTRL-E. In other words, to change
to all punctuation mode from within review, the user presses
the "A". To change to some punctuation mode, he may press the
"S". To select most punctuation mode, press the "M". The
speech rate may also be controlled from within review mode.
Simply press "E" to select expanded rate or "C" for compressed
The TEXTALKER review mode now supports reviewing material
displayed on the screen in columnar format. The user may
select one of nine different columns in which to review. The
columns are selected by pressing one of the number keys from
"1" to "9". Pressing the "0" reverts back to the normal full
line review mode. When the user has selected a column from "1"
to "9", he may hear the entire contents of that column by
pressing the RETURN key. If he wishes to hear the entire line,
while in a column, he may press the "R".
Altering a Column's Boundaries
The user may change the boundaries of a column in one of
two ways. To extend the current boundaries, he should hold
down the open apple key, to the left of the space bar, while
pressing the arrow key in the direction to extend the edge. In
other words, to extend the right edge of a column, he would
move to the right edge of the column with the right arrow key
then, when he reaches the edge, hold down the open apple key
and press the right arrow until he reaches the desired new
To reduce a column's edges, the user simply moves the
cursor to the new desired edge and presses either the "-"
(dash) to set the new left edge or the "=" to set the new right
Columns may overlap each other and even be contained
within another column. TEXTALKER remembers the last column
used upon an exit from review mode so that same column is
selected the next time review mode is entered. If, however,
the user uses the "Z" to select the current position of the
cursor, TEXTALKER automatically reselects the normal full line
There are three ways to exit the review mode and return to
the work at hand. If one presses the space bar immediately
after entering review mode (without selecting a line to
review), the synthesizer announces the position of the cursor
and exits review automatically. One may also exit the review
mode, if he has already selected a line, by pressing the escape
key. When he does, Echo announces, "EXIT." When one exits
review,in this fashion, the real cursor will be in the exact
place the user left it when he first entered review mode. The
new TEXTALKER program also allows one to exit review in a very
special way. If he presses "x" to leave review, the real
cursor will be moved to the position of the audio cursor.
TEXTALKER will announce "EXIT" and then confirm the position of
the cursor by adding "AT" and the new cursor position to the
message. This feature lets the blind user take full advantage
of the Apple's built in editing features. One may, for
instance, use it when examining a catalog of the disk. When he
sees a file he wants to load, he needs simply move the review
cursor up to that file name, exit with the "x" command, and use
the right arrow to copy the file name onto the input line.
Changing the Command Character
One needs to be careful not to press another control
character after typing the CTRL-L. If he does, the command
character to enter review is changed to the second control
character typed. This feature permits the user to temporarily
redefine the command character so he may type a CTRL-L for
another purpose. If the command character is altered, it may
be changed back to the CTRL-L by typing the new command
character then typing the CTRL-L.
Overview of Review Commands
A selects all punctuation mode.
C selects compressed speech rate.
E selects expanded speech rate.
L selects letter mode.
M selects most punctuation mode.
R repeats the entire current line even if in column mode.
S selects some punctuation mode.
T toggles between letter and word mode.
W selects word mode.
X exits review mode with the real cursor moved to the position
of the audio cursor.
, (followed by another letter) reads all lines from the current
line to the selected line.
1-9 selects columns 1-9.
0 reselects full line review mode.
- resets the left edge of a column.
= resets the right edge of a column.
ESC exits review mode.
SPACE announces the position of the audio cursor.
RETURN repeats the current line.
UP ARROW moves the audio cursor up one line and reads the new
DOWN ARROW moves the audio cursor down one line and reads the
LEFT ARROW moves the audio cursor left one word. If the user
has selected letter mode, the left arrow moves left one
RIGHT ARROW moves the audio cursor right one word. If the user
has selected letter mode, the right arrow moves the audio
cursor right one character.
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