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Configuring Hal

This information is specific to the Hal screen reader. It is impractical to track all versions of the product and if you find that this information is out-of-date please inform SpeakOn's author. Note that there are specific instructions if you use SpeakOn with the TouchScreen further down the page.

Configuration when using SpeakOn with the Standard keyboard, NumPad or TouchPad

In Hal, stopping the speech and releasing the numerical keypad are two separate configurations.

Releasing the Numerical keypad

You can release the Numerical keypad for use in any application; for example, for controlling SpeakOn or numerical data entry.

Proceed as follows:

Call up Hal's control panel (left Ctrl + Space).

Press Alt + C to bring up the Configuration menu.

Press the down arrow until you reach the Miscellaneous sub-menu and press the right arrow to enter this menu.

Scroll down until you reach the second menu item 'NumLock on' to enable the Numerical keypad keys. If this is not selected, press Enter to select. The NumLock key is now toggling whether Hal uses the Numerical keypad as its 'Speak' keys or is released for other purposes.

The contributor is not aware of any way to automate this toggling of the state of the Numerical keypad.

Turning Hal's speech off when running SpeakOn

Start SpeakOn and make sure it has the focus.

Once in SpeakOn, bring up Hal's control panel as described above.

The next steps involve creating a Settings file for SpeakOn and instructing Hal to turn off its speech when the Settings file is loaded; this occurs when SpeakOn is run.

Note: a Settings file is a series of speech parameters that can be applied on an application basis.

Press Alt + F to bring up Hal's File menu.

The first menu item should be 'Create or choose a Settings file'. Press Enter to select this option, a dialog box appears.

You are placed in a two item list box. Scroll down to the item 'Create a new Settings file' and when it is highlighted, tab to the 'OK' button and press Enter to confirm.

In the edit box, enter the name for the Settings file. A name will be automatically filled in here derived from the name of the application in focus (in this case, SpeakOn). You can edit this if you wish.

You now have the option of creating a new empty Settings file. In practice however, you cannot have an empty Settings file as all values have to be set to something. Leave this unchanged as it is easier. However, you can scroll down to base your Settings file on another set of configurations. This could be useful if you have more than one application where speech should be muted. You can then base SpeakOn's Settings file on that one which will mean that less adjustments have to be made to the file you are creating.

Next you have a check box to associate the application in focus with this Settings file. This simply means that when SpeakOn is in focus, Hal will use the Settings file you have just created. This is checked by default, which is what is required and therefore tab to the 'OK' button and press Enter to confirm.

You should now be back in Hal's control panel.

The final step is to turn speech off. This is achieved by pressing left Ctrl + zero (on the top row of keys). Finally press Escape to exit Hal's control panel.

Try out your Settings file by switching between applications by pressing Alt + Tab. When the focus is on SpeakOn, Hal should be muted; when the focus is on another application, Hal should speak again.

Thanks to Malcolm Parfitt and Adrien Collins for the above information.

Configuration when using SpeakOn with the TouchScreen

SpeakOn handles its own TouchScreen support; it does not rely on TouchScreen support by the screen reader.

At the time of writing this manual, the author understood that Hal did not offer TouchScreen support. If this is still the case, just follow the above instructions for 'Configuration when using SpeakOn with the Standard keyboard, NumPad or TouchPad'.

When Hal starts to offer TouchScreen support, you might have no option but to switch off Window-Eyes when SpeakOn is running to enable SpeakOn to work with the TouchScreen.

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