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Special Sentences User Guide - Sharing

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Special Sentences includes facilities to transfer topics between devices. So you could, for instance, export from an phone and import to a tablet. You can also open your topics in Special Stories, and print or email them in a choice of formats.

These features are available in the Actions view in Special Sentences, which you can access by tapping the Options or Menu button in the main view and choosing Actions.

Tapping Export Topic first presents you with a list of the topics you have created: tap the title of the one you would like to export. If you have more than one collection, you will be prompted to choose a collection, and then to choose from the topics in that collection. An alternative to exporting a single topic is to export the whole collection: to do this, select All topics in collection at the top of the list of topics.

On iOS: You are then presented with a choice of Use EmailUse Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and Copy to...

On Android: You are then presented with a choice of Use emailUse Wi-Fi and Use Bluetooth. You get the same choice immediately if you tap Import Topic. When exporting, there is an extra choice Open In “Special Stories, if Special Stories has been installed on the device. If your device doesn't have Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi, the associated choices are not offered.

Special Sentences - export options iOS     Special Sentences - export options Android

Exporting using Email

You can use this to send an individual topic, or a whole collection, to yourself or somebody else, as an email attachment. You will be presented with a choice of formats for the attachment:

  • Special Sentences

    This sends the topic in Special Sentences format, including text, pictures and sounds. The recipient will only be able to read and edit it if they have installed Special Sentences on their device. This is the only format that can be imported directly back into Special Sentences.

  • Special Stories

    This choice is only offered if you also have Special Stories installed on your device. This converts the topic or topics into sentences in Special Stories format, with text, pictures and sound. The recipient will only be able to read and edit it if they have installed Special Stories on their device.

  • PDF

    This sends the topic as a PDF attachment, with text and pictures but no sounds, with each sentence laid out on its own page, similarly to a page in Special Stories. At Android 4.4 and later, the PDF file will use the same font as set in the app's settings, and can include any characters. At earlier versions of Android, the PDF file always uses Helvetica font, and can only include Western European characters.

To export, simply choose the desired format. If you have more than one email app on your device, you will be presented with a choice. In the email app, add the recipient to the otherwise already completed message, and send. When exporting a whole collection of topics, the PDF option is not available.

You may want to use this as a backup facility, if you've carefully added topics that you want to be sure you won't lose (e.g. if the device is damaged or lost). In this case, we recommend selecting Special Sentences format, as this is the only option that allows for directly re-importing into Special Sentences and updating subsequently.

Exporting to Special Stories

If you have our Special Stories app on your device, selecting Special Stories will allow you to copy the topic or collection of topics to Special Stories, which will open automatically to allow you to import the data. In this case, each sentence in a topic is transferred as its own page in a corresponding story, with the corresponding text, picture and sound. You can make changes to a story after importing it, as you would with any other story in Special Stories.

Unless you are intending to overwrite existing content in Special Stories, you should choose Add new collection when importing, and if you exported a single topic, choose Add new story.

Using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi

You can use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to transfer your content directly between two devices, without having to go via email. The devices must be physically close to each other, and either (a) have Wi-Fi enabled and be connected to the same Wi-Fi network, or (b) have Bluetooth enabled. Alternatively on Apple, if both devices have a Lightning connector (as opposed to the older 30-pin connector), and are not connected to a Wi-Fi network, but have Wi-Fi turned on, this will still work. Use the Settings app to turn these on as necessary, before trying to export and import.

On iOS: With the Actions view visible on both devices, Export Word List and choose Use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi on the source device. Then tap Import Word List and choose Use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi on the destination device.

Each device will prompt you to allow a connection with the other. Once the data has all been transferred, you will be asked to confirm importing it into the app on the destination device.

Wi-Fi import and export can also be used between Apple and Android devices running Special Sentences, provided both are connected to the same network. This is not possible with Bluetooth.

On Android using Bluetooth: Please ensure you have already paired the devices using their Bluetooth settings. With the Sharing view visible on both devices, tap Export topic and choose Use Bluetooth on the source device, and tap Import topic and choose Use Bluetooth on the destination device.

The source device will prompt you to allow Bluetooth to be turned on if not already on, and to allow the device to be discoverable. The destination device will prompt you to allow Bluetooth to be turned on if not already on. The destination device will then present a list of devices with which it has been paired: select the source device by tapping the >right arrow next to it.

Data transfer will then start. If the source device is not shown on the destination device, go back and pair the devices, then start again. Once the data has all been transferred, you will be asked to confirm importing it into the app on the destination device.

This option cannot be used to transfer data between Android and Apple (iOS) devices: use email or Wi-Fi instead.

On Android using Wi-Fi: This option behaves similarly to using Bluetooth, except their is no need to pair the devices, and the transfer is usually quicker. Unlike with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi can also be used between Android and Apple devices. In all cases, both devices must be on the same Wi-Fi network (e.g. connected to the same home broadband router). Wi-Fi Direct (where there is no router) is not supported.

The following option is availabe for iOS only

Copy to...

This option allows you to copy a single topic or a collection of topics to another app on your device, or to Special Spelling on another device via AirDrop. The choice of formats is the same as when exporting using email, but in this case you are able to choose any installed app that is able to open the format you choose.

If you have another device with Special Sentences installed, and both devices support AirDrop, you can AirDrop the topic or collection to the other device. When you accept the file on the other device, Special Sentences will automatically launch, and allow you to import the topic or collection.

If you have cloud service apps on your device, such as DropBox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, you can upload the a topic or collection as a file, by selecting the relevant app when using Copy to.... You may like to use this to create cloud backups of important topics, or to share with other people who have Special Sentences.

Backing Up to iCloud

Content in Special Sentences is NOT automatically synchronised with iCloud. You can upload manually by via copying to Apple's Files app (on recent versions of iOS) or iCloud Drive app (on older versions). Use Copy to..., and choose Special Sentences format.

Importing using Email

To import a topic or collection previously exported via email, you need to view the email in an email app on the importing device, and tap on the attachment in the email message.

This will automatically open the Actions view in Special Sentences, and ask you to confirm importing the data. If you exported a whole collection, you will be offered the choice of creating a new collection or replacing any existing one (which will delete its existing topics).

Special Sentences - import iOS     Special Sentences - import Android

If you exported a single topic, you have the choice of creating as a new collection containing just that topic, or adding the topic (or replacing an existing topic) in any of your existing collections. If the attachment is in Special Stories instead of Special Sentences format, then the Special Stories app will be opened instead (assuming installed). If the attachment is in PDF format, and you have a PDF reader installed on your device (e.g. Apple Books) you will be able to open it in that.

Tapping the Import topic button directly and choosing the Use email option, will pop up a message reminding you to use an email app instead.

Using email export and import, it is also possible to transfer topics and collections between Special Sentences running on an iPad or iPhone and Special Sentences running on an Android device, in either direction.