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Special Words User Guide - Managing Profiles

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Special Words supports the use of multiple profiles. Each profile has its own list of words, pictures and sounds, and you can switch between profiles, add and delete them, copy words between them one at a time, and export and import profiles individually. Initially, the app has just one profile, containing its standard 96 words.

The 4 matching games use whichever is the currently-selected profile and, except where noted, the app won't change which profile is currently selected. If you don't need more than one profile, you can largely ignore this feature, unless the written and spoken words are not appearing in the desired language.

As well as its list of words, pictures and sounds, each profile has:

  • A name

    The initial built in profile is named Profile 1, and additional ones you add are at first named Profile 2, and so on. However, if using more than 1 profile, we strongly recommend you change the names of the profiles to something more meaningful to you, as explained below.

  • A language

    By default, built in words and sounds for any profile are displayed and spoken in the matching games using whichever language the tablet or phone itself is configured to use. On most Android devices, you change the language from Language & input in the Settings app. Special Words comes with built in words and sounds in many languages, but if the device's language isn't one of these, then US English is used instead.

    However, you can explicitly set the language for any individual profile, to override this default by any one of the languages supplied with Special Words. For instance, if working with a bilingual child, who is learning written words in both English and Spanish, you could have one profile set to use English, and another to use Spanish.

    Words and sounds you add yourself are not translated for you: if, in the above bilingual example, you added the word “Daddy” to the English profile, you could use the same picture in the Spanish profile, but would need to replace the text and sound by e.g. “Papá”.

    For some languages, a choice of voices is available for built in words. Currently: child, female or male in British English, and female or male in German and Norwegian.


To manage profiles, tap Profiles from the main menu in the Word List view. You will see a view something like on the right. Initially, there will be only one profile shown, Profile 1, and there will be a check (tick) next to it to indicate that it is the currently selected profile.

To add a new profile, tap the + button. You will be presented with a choice of 3 options, which determine the initial list of words in your new profile:

  • Default

    Tap this to create a new profile containing the standard list of 96 words.

  • Empty

    Tap this to create a new empty profile with no words. You can add new words or copy them from another profile later.

  • Copy “Profile 1”

    This will create an exact copy of the existing profile, including any words, pictures and sounds you have previously added to it. If you already have more than 1 profile, there will be an additional option to copy from each one.

Once you have more than 1 profile, you can at any time tap the checkbox for the one you want to be used subsequently in the matching games. In the screenshot above, we have set At School to be the currently selected profile. When you create a new profile, it is automatically selected for you.


To change a profile's name, or to inspect or change its language, tap its > arrow button to the right. You will then see a view like the one shown on the left.

Here you can enter a new name, and select any one of the available languages. You may need to scroll the list of languages up and down to see them all. The first language in the list is always named Default: selecting this means the profile will use the device's current language, as described above. Selecting any other language will use that regardless of the language the device itself is set to use. In this example, the profile named Words in Spanish has been set to always use Spanish.

You can change the name or language of any profile at any time, whether it is the currently selected profile or not. Changing these does not change which profile is currently selected in the matching games.

When you have made your changes, tap the Save button at the top right to return to the list of profiles.

Note to English speakers outside the US: there are 3 English voices built into Special Words: Australian, British and American. If your device doesn't allow you to select the one you want in its Settings app, you must set it explicitly in Special Words.

Note to Flemish speakers: to hear Special Words (Speciale Woorden) in Flemish (Vlaams), change your device's Language (Taal) in the Settings app (Instellingen) to Nederlands (België), if this is an option. If it's not, set each profile's language in Special Words to Vlaams.

Note to Afrikaans, Albanian, Hindi, Icelandic, Luxembourgish and Welsh speakers: To use any of these, you must explicitly select it on a per-profile basis in Special Words, not from the Settings app. Hindi characters will only be displayed correctly if your device includes Hindi in its default fonts.


Once you have more than one profile, there are a number of other things you can do:

  • Rearrange and delete profiles

    Tapping the padlock button at the top right when viewing the list of profiles allows you to move profiles up and down in the list, and to remove any you don't need. Once you have only one profile left, removal is disabled and you cannot delete it: you must always have at least one profile.

    Deleting the currently selected profile will select the nearest one left in the list and make it current.

  • Edit the contents of each individual profile

    Which ever profile is currently selected is the one you're working on when you make any changes from the Word List view, and other profiles are unaffected. So, for example, deleting a word from one profile doesn't delete the same word from any other profiles it may be in.

  • Copy words between profiles

    In the Word List view, if you tap the > arrow button to the right of any word, you'll see a Copy button in the action bar at the top, as shown. Tap this to copy the word (text, picture and sound): you'll be presented with a list of all the existing profiles, and can choose which one to copy the word to (this includes the currently selected profile - choosing this will mean you'll get 2 copies of the same word in the word list for that profile).

    The word is copied to the end of the requested profile, which automatically becomes the currently selected profile. If you copy a built in word (not one you have added yourself), the copy will assume the language of the profile you copy it to.

  • Export individual profiles

    In the Sharing view (as described in Chapter 6), you can choose which profile to export. If you use exporting as a backup mechanism, note that you need to explicitly backup each individual profile separately.

    Exporting a particular profile does not change the currently selected profile in the matching games.

  • Import individual profiles

    When importing a word list (see Chapter 6), you get a choice of replacing any one of the existing profiles on the device or adding as a new profile. In cases where you had the same edited profile on 2 devices, but then made different changes to its word list on both, the option to import as a new profile means you can then manually reconcile your conflicting changes (e.g. by copying new words from one to the other).

    When you import a profile, it automatically becomes the currently selected profile.

Please Note:

Using the Reset button from the main menu in the Word List view deletes all profiles, not just the currently selected one, and reinstates the original standard profile with default language. A warning alert is displayed before this happens, in case you tapped the button accidentally. To prevent your child accidentally deleting all the profiles when they are playing the matching games, turn the Editing option off in the app's Settings, as explained in Chapter 4: this will also prevent profiles being edited, but it will still be possible to select different ones.

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