Special Words User GuideBack Next
To access the settings in Special Words, tap its Actions button at the top right in the Word List, and then tap the Settings button. Using the Actions button also provides access to managing profiles, and exporting and importing data: these additional facilities are explained in Chapter 5.
Note: In version 3.3.0 and later, unless you have disabled the Child Safety Gate, then when you tap the Actions button, you will have to enter the answer to a simple calculation in order to proceed, but you can then disable this if you prefer.
Adjust to suit your child's ability and concentration.
Advancing to Next Page
Set Automatic to ON to make the next page of cards appear automatically as soon as you have matched all the ones on the current page.
Play Before Match
When this is ON, the word for each matching card is spoken when it appears. This can help children who are just starting to use the activities, or who are struggling with picture matching. Once you have moved on to matching words to pictures or pictures to words, you may want to turn it OFF: otherwise the sound may provide too much help, so you're not testing your child's visual recognition of words at all.
Play After Match
Turn this OFF if you don't want each word spoken after it is matched.
Record New Sounds
When this is ON, you must record a sound for each new word you add, before you can save your changes. If you turn it off, the sound recording and play buttons don't appear, and you only need to add the text and picture for each word you add. If you don't want to use sounds at all (e.g. for a child who is profoundly deaf), turn off all 3 sound settings.
You can change the font used to display the text on the cards in the activities and in the Word List. By default, the Special Letters font included with Special Words is used. The app also includes two OpenDyslexic fonts, designed to increase readability for users with dyslexia. You can also choose any font that's provided by Apple's iOS.
Starting with iOS 7.0, you can also install additional TrueType (.ttf) or OpenType (.otf) font files on the device and use these. If you have additional fonts you wish to install, we suggest using the AnyFont app to do this, and recommend that you use TrueType fonts (OpenType fonts may not display as intended in stories in our Special Stories app when printed or if emailed as a PDF file).
Note: To see this setting, you must view the settings from within Special Words, not from Apple's Settings app.
If you turn this ON, the text on the cards and in the Word List will be displayed in CAPITAL LETTERS.
If you turn this ON, the text on the cards will be 50% larger. This setting is only available in version 3.3 and later. Regardless of this setting, if text for any particular card is too long, it will be automatically shrunk to fit as one line.
Turn this OFF to prevent accidental changes to the words, especially if you have added your own words and have left your child to play on their own. It sets the lock to activity padlock to be closed by default, and disables the Edit, + and Action buttons in the Word List view. It also disables the Export Word List, Import Word List and Reset buttons in the Extra Actions view, and prevents profiles being edited.
By default, after each page of cards is matched, the cards wiggle back and forward and an applause sound is played, as a reward for completing the page. Turn OFF if you want to disable rewards.
Child Safety Gate
The child safety gate (also sometimes called a parental gate, parental lock or parental control) is designed to protect children against navigating out of the app and visiting websites with unsuitable content, etc. The gate was added to Special Words in version 3.3.0.
The gate is enabled by default, so that whenever you tap the Actions button in the Word List, you are required to enter the answer to a calculation to continue, for example:
9 - 3 + 4 =
You can disable the gate, so that access to all actions is unrestricted. To do this, turn this switch OFF. You will at that point be presented with one last calculation to perform, in order to confirm your intention. You can re-visit this setting and turn the switch back ON to re-enable the gate.
Note: The gate cannot prevent the child from leaving the app by pressing the device's home button and then opening another app. To lock the user temporarily into any app, we recommend making use of Apple's built-in Guided Access facility.
When this is Off (the default), the baseboard cards for each page are always placed in the same order: the first in the Word List at the top left, the second at the top right, the third at the bottom left and the fourth at the bottom right. To make it harder to cheat by remembering the positions, switch this to Page or All: the baseboard cards will then be placed in a random order each time, as if shuffled. The Page option only shuffles the cards within each page, whereas the All option also shuffles between pages.
The shuffling between pages happens when you start an activity, then as long as you stay in that activity, the cards on each page stay the same (but are shuffled within each page each time you turn to that page). If you select a different activity, or look at the Word List and return to the original activity, all the cards are shuffled again.
Cards Per Page
By default, each page in an activity presents 4 baseboard cards, in a rectangular arrangement. You can use this setting to work instead with 1, 2 or 3 baseboard cards. Reducing the number of cards is usually helpful for younger children or those new to the app. It also increases the size of the cards, which may benefit the visually impaired. Starting from version 3.3.0, you can also increase the number of cards to 6 or 8.
With 3 baseboard cards or less, these are laid out side-by-side in the upper half of the screen, except in portrait orientation with 3 cards, where they form a vertical column in the right-hand half of the screen.
If Shuffle Cards is set to All, changing cards per page causes each activity to rewind to its first page. Otherwise, each activity's current page is set so that the first card visible before the change was made is still visible afterwards.
Use this setting if you want to use your device with 1, 2 or 3 Bluetooth switches: change the number of switches here as appropriate. Please refer to Chapter 7 for further details. Using 3 switches requires version 3.3.1 of the app or later.
Other Settings in the Settings App
If you want to use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to transfer pictures and sounds between copies of Special Words on 2 devices, you will need to have Bluetooth or Wi-Fi enabled. See the next page for more details.
If you have an iPad, there is a Multitasking Gestures toggle switch in the General section of the Settings app, and we suggest you switch it off when playing Special Words. Otherwise, if your child puts several fingers on the screen, they can inadvertently make the app disappear from view.
Using with Switches
You can use Bluetooth and USB switches with Special Words. For information on how to configure the app for use with these, and to watch a demonstration video, please refer to Chapter 7.
Using with External Keyboards
On devices running iOS 7 and later, Special Words supports dual control, using an external Bluetooth or USB keyboard. Starting at version 4.0.0, this facility is only available in Special Words Pro. There are no specific settings to enable or configure this, but from the keyboard you can quickly change many of the settings above, without leaving the current activity. Chapter 8 explains this in detail.