Installing SpeakOn and getting started >


Getting started with SpeakOn using the Numerical keypad

This page gives you very basic instructions to get started with SpeakOn using the numerical keypad. Note that for brevity the name NumPad is used instead of 'numerical keypad'.

If you are new to SpeakOn, this page assumes that you read the 'Getting started with SpeakOn using the Standard keyboard' page in this section and you understood and practised the basic concepts of working with SpeakOn; this information is therefore not repeated here.

Page index:

1. Introduction and important settings

2. NumPad keys in use

3. Long press actions

4. Basic operations, finding and playing media

1. Introduction and important settings

Using the NumPad you can operate SpeakOn with one hand using only 10 keys.
The operation of the Up, Down, Left, Right, Select, Menu and Focus keys as located on the NumPad is exactly the same as their equivalents on the Standard keyboard.
Using function keys' operations, applying modifiers such as Ctrl or Shift, and Home or End navigation is done differently as explained further down the page. Using the NumPad you can perform virtually all operations possible with the Standard keyboard but you cannot enter text; text entry is not required for common operations.

SpeakOn is self-voicing. To prevent SpeakOn and your screen reader from talking at the same time, depending on the screen reader you are using and its settings, you may need to either mute your screen reader when the focus is on SpeakOn or shut down your screen reader altogether. For example with NVDA, when the focus is on SpeakOn, press Desktop: [Shift + NVDA + s] or laptop: [Shift + NVDA + z] to switch NVDA to a sleep mode; this mode lasts until SpeakOn is shut down and needs to be applied again when SpeakOn is restarted. This is done automatically if you install the SpeakOn MediaSuite NVDA add-on which you can download from:
here

Some screen readers such as JAWS can be configured so that they mute automatically when the focus is on self-voicing applications such as SpeakOn. There is more information about how to do this with popular screen readers in the Tutorial section of this manual: here

2. NumPad keys in use

To use the NumPad with SpeakOn, the NumLock key must be On.

SpeakOn uses only the numerical keys on the NumPad; other keys are ignored. Unlike a telephone keypad, the numerical keys are numbered from bottom left to top right with the (0) key at the bottom left of the first row, the (1) (2) (3) keys on the second row from the bottom, (4) (5) (6) keys on the third row from the bottom and (7) (8) and (9) keys on the fourth row from the bottom.

Each key is given a name which relates to its functionality and the key numbers are enclosed in round brackets ( ).

There are two groups of keys used by SpeakOn: Main and Context keys. Main keys perform the same actions anywhere in SpeakOn and the Context keys are used to navigate and operate individual controls and menus.

The Main keys are: Function (7), Menu (9), Focus (3).

Context keys include the four arrow keys which conveniently form the imaginary sides of a square; the 'Up' (8) key, the 'Down' (2) key, the 'Left' (4) key and the 'Right' (6) key. The 'Select' (5) key is in the centre of this imaginary square. The Home, End and Escape key actions are performed using long press actions - see further below.

The (0) key provides the Cancel action.

The (1) key provides the modifier action.

The modifiers that can be set are None (No modifier), Shift, Ctrl and Shift + Ctrl

One of these modifiers is set first using the Modifier key followed by the key itself.

A function group contains one or more related functions. The function groups that can be set are None (No function group), Info, Clock, Speech, Audio, Find and Custom.

Each of these function groups is set first using the Function key followed by one of the context keys to perform the action required.

The actions of the most common keys are described further below.

3. Long press actions

A long press action is performed by holding a key down for more than one second. Long press actions provide the functionality of missing keys or a way to perform common operations that can usually be done using a sequence of keys.

A long press action is specified by its name followed by the key number followed by the word 'long' enclosed in round brackets as follows:

Escape (0 long) - Aborts or closes tasks, resets the Modifier key to none.

'Function Reset' (7 long) - Resets the Function key to None.

Home (4 long) - Home action for relevant controls.

End (6 long)- End action for relevant controls.

'Where am I?' (3 long) - With each successive long press action, cycles between the announcement of the current item, control and task in focus.

Content (9 long) - Repeat last message content and spell it if no longer than 20 characters. This content usually includes a Control or media information.

Favourites (8 long) - Opens a media task if necessary and moves the focus to the favourites directory in the library.

Help (1 long) - Brings up the Help Context Menu.

4. Basic operations, finding and playing media

In this short introduction, you will learn how to perform some basic operations as well as how to find and listen to podcasts using the NumPad. These instructions assume that you followed the same example in the 'Getting started with SpeakOn using the Standard keyboard' page in this section of the manual. As you should be already familiar with the SpeakOn concepts introduced, the following will just briefly guide you to achieve the same goals using the NumPad.

As mentioned above, a key is specified by its name followed by the key number enclosed in round brackets.
A long press action is specified by its name followed by the key number followed by the word 'long' enclosed in round bracketss. The operation of most of these is explained below. As you become familiar with SpeakOn, you will know many of these keys and their associated operations by heart but you can always remind yourself of the actions available and invoke the actions directly by using the 'Main keys' sub-menu and the 'Keys available for the current control' sub-menu. These and other help features are available from the Help context menu which acts as a central point for all help functionality.

To get to the Help context menu, press the Help (1 long) key which means that you need to hold the (1) key for 1 second.
You can scroll the list of the Help context menu by using the Up (8) and Down (2) keys.

The first item in the Help context menu is the 'Turn Input Help On'. When the Input Help mode is 'On' you can explore the actions of all the keys. Simply press the various keys on the NumPad; the key's name, number and a short explanation of the action are announced. Similarly, when you apply a long press action, the action's name, key number and a short explanation of its action are announced.
To turn the Input Help mode 'Off', press the Help key or the Escape (0 long) key.

If you forget where you are in SpeakOn, choose the fourth menu item in the list, 'Where am I?', which you can select by pressing the Select (5) key. You will be told the name of the current task and control. If you select this menu item now you will find that you are in the Manager main task, Available Media list control. You can also access this 'Where am I?' feature by pressing the 'Where am I?' (3 long) key. With each successive long press action, it cycles between the announcement of the current item, control and task in focus. The various help features available in the Help context menu are explained in detail in the Tutorial section.

To change the speech volume and rate do the following:

Press the Function (7) key a few times until you get to the speech function group.
Press the Up (8) and Down (2) keys to change the speech volume higher or lower respectively.
Press the Right (6) and Left (4) keys to change the speech rate higher or lower respectively.

Press the Function (7) key a few times until you get to the Audio function group.
Press the Up (8) and Down (2) keys to change the audio volume higher or lower respectively.
Press the Left (4) and Right (6) keys to change the audio speed higher or lower respectively.

To resume normal operation you need to select the None function group. You can either:
Press the Function (7) key a few times until you get to the None function group.
or:
press the (7 long) key which will take you directly to the None function group.

After starting SpeakOn, you are placed in the Manager task and the focus is on the 'Available Media list' control. For the example here, first you need to start the Podcast task. Press the Up (8) or Down (2) keys until the Podcast media is chosen, then press the Select (5) key to start and switch to the Podcast task. The task will announce itself and after trying to access previously used media, will confirm that it is loaded with the message 'Ready'.

Usually every media task has two controls; the Player control enables you to play and navigate media and the Library control enables you to find media on the internet or on your computer.

When you start the Podcast task, you are always placed in the Player control which is the first control. Immediately after installation, the Player has nothing to play so you must first find some media to play. To do this, press the Focus (3) key to move the focus to the Library control.

As an example, you will now find and play a BBC Radio 1 podcast of a show.

Make sure you are in the Library tree control of the Podcast task by pressing the 'Where am I?’ (3 long) key. The first long press will tell you the item in focus. The second long press will tell you in addition the control in focus which should be the Library tree control. The third long press will tell you in addition the task in focus which should be the Podcast task.

Press the Left (4) key a few times to make sure you are in level 0 (the Media Directories level) of the tree. You are placed in the Podcast directory.

Press the Right (6) key and you are placed in the 'All Feeds' directory. This directory enables you to find thousands of podcast feeds on the internet. Press the Right key and you are placed in the 'BBC' directory. Press the Right key again and you are placed in the 'BBC station list' directory. Another Right press and you are in the 'Radio 1' directory which contains all the feeds offered by BBC 'Radio 1'. Press the Right key again and you are placed at the first media item which at the time of writing this tutorial is a feed of a program called 'Scott Mills Daily'. You can listen to this feed or find another one by using the Down and Up keys.

To start streaming a podcast, press the Select (5) key. The focus moves automatically to the Player control. The first episode (podcast audio file) in the feed starts to play. To stop the file playing, press the Select key again.

The feed is presented to the Player as a list of one or more episodes which are MP3 streamed files. Although the BBC feed contains only one episode, most other feeds contain more than one episode and you can navigate between these (if they exist) with the Up and Down keys.

Using the NumPad you don't need to use modifiers such as Shift and Ctrl often, but the following is such an example.
Sometimes you might want to restart to play from the beginning of the current media (in our case a Podcast episode). To do this press the Modifier (1) key to set the modifier to Shift. Then press the Select (5) key; the podcast episode should restart to play from the beginning.

To select another feed, press the Focus (3) key to move the focus to the Library Tree control. Navigate between feeds and choose another one.

You can always move the focus between the Player and Library controls using the Focus (3) key. Note that when you return to the Player control, you will continue from where you left off.

Occasionally you may come across one of the following problems:

As stated above, the feed files normally contain one or more episodes. Sometimes however, a provider may choose to leave the feed empty meaning that no episodes are available - SpeakOn will inform you about this problem which you can do nothing about - choose another feed.

The quality of these podcasts varies enormously; not all feeds are active or formed properly (there are many amateurs who create their own podcasts), and in this case, after pressing the Select key you will hear (after 20 seconds or so) that the feed or that the server cannot be found. If you find that for some reason nothing happens for a while, it is possible that there is some other problem and you can press the Cancel (0) key to cancel the operation which may take up to 20 seconds to take effect.

Please note that sometimes the connection with the server can be slow and this can result in intermittent sound. There is usually little you can do about it, so please choose another feed or try the same feed later.

The sequence of finding and playing media is the same as described above no matter what type of media it is. Navigating media in the Player is not covered in this section and depends on the media played. You can read more about it in the Tutorial section of this manual.

To end the Podcast task, press the Menu (9) key. You are placed in the ‘End task’ menu item and to apply it press the Select (5) key.

After you end the Podcast task, you are switched back to the Manager task. To shut down SpeakOn press the Main (9) key. You are placed in the 'Shut down SpeakOn’ menu item and to apply it press the Select (5) key.

This is a very simplified guide. Only the simplest operations have been described. However some keys have multiple actions and to get the most from SpeakOn and understand its operation, you should read the Tutorial section and other relevant parts of this manual.
Complete reference which includes everything you need to know about NumPad use including comparison of user interaction with the Standard keyboard is provided
here


[ Next - Getting started with SpeakOn using the TouchPad ]

[ Previous - Getting started with SpeakOn using the Standard keyboard ]

[ Up - Installing SpeakOn and getting started - Section ]

[ Up 2 - SpeakOn MediaSuite Manual and Tutorial - Main Index ]