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Special Words User Guide - Extra Actions

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Special Words - import profile on iOS

On iOS: Tapping the Actions button at the top right in the Word List view reveals a choice of extra actions.

On Android: Tapping the Sharing button in the main menu from the Word List view reveals a choice of extra actions.


Tap the Settings button to inspect or change the app's settings. Refer back to Chapter 4 for details of all the settings options.

View Online Documentation

This displays the current online documentation for Special Words, from the Special iApps website. If you are not running the latest version, we suggest you update the app, otherwise the documentation may not exactly describe the version you are using. You will need to have an Internet connection (using Wi-Fi or cellular data) in order to access the documentation.

Manage Profiles

It is possible to have more than one list of words, each is referred to as a profile. Each profile can have a different set of words, pictures and sounds, and each profile can use a different language. Tap this button to show the Profile Manager: how to use this is explained in Chapter 6.

Export Word List and Import Word List

These 2 buttons allow you to transfer your customisations between devices that have Special Words installed. If you've added, deleted or re-ordered any words, or changed the text, picture or sound for any words on one device, your changes can be exactly replicated to other devices. So you could, for instance, export from a phone and import to a tablet. From here you can also open any word list as a story in Special Stories.

If you have created additional profiles, exporting will offer you a choice of which profile to export: see Chapter 6 for an explanation of this.

Special Words - import profile on Android

Tapping Export Word List on iOS presents you with 3 choices: Use EmailUse Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and Copy to .... Tapping Export word list or on Android presents you with 3 choices: Use EmailUse Wi-Fi and Use Bluetooth, and if Special Stories and Special Spelling are installed on the device, there will be an option to Open In “Special Stories” and Open In “Special Spelling”. If your device doesn't have Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi, the associated choices are not offered.

With Import Word List the choices are Use EmailUse Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and Download from Special iApps.

Opening in Special Stories

This option only appears if you have both Special Words and Special Stories installed on your device.

When you choose this option, your device switches to the Special Stories app, to import your word list as a new story. You can choose to add this story into an existing collection or to create a new collection, and after that you should select Add new story. Each word in the original profile in Special Words is transferred as its own page in Special Stories, and the title of the story is taken from the name of the profile: you can make changes to the story after importing it, as you would with any other story in Special Stories.

It is also possible to transfer words, pictures and sounds in the opposite direction, from Special Stories to Special Words, as explained in the Special Stories User Guide.

Opening in Special Spelling

This option only appears if you have both Special Words and Special Spelling installed on your device.

When you choose this option, your device switches to the Special Spelling app, to import your word list. You can choose to add this as a new profile, or to replace an existing one. Usually you would want to add a new one.

The following 2 options are available only on iOS devices

Copy to another device using AirDrop

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

Copy to certain cloud-storage apps

If you have installed the DropBox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive app on your device, you can copy the profile to these cloud services. You may like to use this to create cloud backups of important words and photos, or to share with other people who have Special Words.

If your device runs iOS 10, and you have enabled the iCloud Drive app, you can copy the profile to iCloud Drive by using the Copy to ... button and selecting the option Add To iCloud Drive. This is not possible at iOS 9 or earlier. In iOS 11 and later, Add To iCloud Drive is replaced by Save to Files.

Please Note

Content and settings in Special Words are not automatically synchronised between devices connected to the same iCloud account: it is left to you to manually export and/or import on each device, on a profile-by-profile basis.

Exporting using Email

You can use this to send all your customisations to yourself or somebody else, as an email attachment. To export, simply choose this option, add the recipient to the otherwise already completed email message, and send.

You may want to use this as a backup facility, if you've carefully added lots of new words, or made other changes, that you want to be sure you won't lose (e.g. if the device is damaged or lost).

Special Words - export on iOS     Special Words - export on Android

Importing using Email

To import customisations 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 Extra Actions view on iOS devices and the Sharing view on Android devices in Special Words and ask you to confirm importing the data.

Tapping the Import Word List 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 word lists between Special Words running on Android and Special Words running on an Apple mobile device, in either direction.

Exporting and Importing using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi

You can use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to transfer your customisations 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, if both devices are Apple and 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 Extra Actions view visible on both devices, tap 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.

Bluetooth on Android: Please ensure you have already paired the devices using their Bluetooth settings. 

With the Sharing view visible on both devices, tap Export word list and choose Use Bluetooth on the source device, and tap Import word listand 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.

Wi-Fi on Android: This option behaves similarly to using Bluetooth, except the transfer is usually quicker, and it 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.

This option is not available unless you have Android 4.1 or later, and Special Words version 3.1.0 or later. When transferring to or from an Apple device, you can use either Special Words or Special Words Pro on the iPad or iPhone, whichever you have installed.

Please Note

Devices running Special Words 3.1.0 and later cannot connect using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi with devices running earlier versions. Devices running iOS 6 can only use this feature over Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth.When using email or Wi-Fi, you can transfer to/from Android devices running Special Words. This is not possible when using Bluetooth, because iOS and Android have incompatible Bluetooth implementations.

Downloading from Special iApps

Selecting Download from Special iApps will present you with a list of collections in our free online library at Special iApps, from which you can download various word lists. This option is only available on devices running Android 4.4 or later.

The first time you do this on a particular device, you will be prompted to register or activate. You need to register once, and then use the product key you will receive by email to activate the app on each device where you'd like to use this feature. Answers to common questions about product registration can be found in our FAQ

The collections available depend on which edition of Special Words you have - standard or professional. The screenshot on the left shows the lists in the Annual Events collection (available in both editions).

Simply select the list you would like, and once downloaded choose Add new profile when prompted.

This facility was introduced at version 4 on iOS and version 3.4.0 on Android. Some lists contain text, images and audio. Others only include text and images, or just images: the intention in these cases is that you add your own written words and/or voice to suit your needs.

Special Words - download resources on iOS     Special Words - download resources on Android

Importing from a Website or Cloud Service

An exported profile can be hosted on a website, as a file with a .siasw suffix. This can then be imported into Special Words as a profile by visiting the website in a web browser such as Safari or Chrome, and tapping the link to the file.

On iOS: This will open the Extra Actions view in Special Words to import it, just like when importing from an email attachment.

You can also import a profile from a cloud service such as Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, or from the iCloud Drive app (iOS 10) or Files app (iOS 11 and later). If you don't have the relevant app on your device, but you have a shared web link for a Special Words .siasw file on one of these services, you can import by visiting the link in Safari, as in the previous paragraph.

On Android: This will download the file: once complete, open your Downloads app, and tap the file. This will automatically open the Sharing view in Special Words to import it, just like when importing from an email attachment.

In order for this to work, the website must identify files with a .siasw suffix as having MIME type application/vnd.specialiapps.siasw. Consult your website administrator about this.

Please Note

When importing (using email, website, AirDrop, cloud service, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, or downloading from Special iApps) you will be offered the choice of replacing any existing profile or adding as a new profile. If you haven't created any additional profiles, i.e. if you only have one list of words, and you want to completely replace this list by the list you're importing, select the replace option, e.g. Replace “Profile 1”. If you want to keep your existing list of words, and import as a new separate list (profile), select Add new profile. The use of profiles explained further in Chapter 6.

When using email to transfer a profile, be aware that there are limits on attachment sizes. Sending the recipient a link to download from a cloud service will avoid these limits.

For iOS users: Using iCloud will NOT automatically backup or restore your content: you must use the iTunes program on a PC or Mac, or the export facilities described here.

For Android users: When using email to transfer a profile, be aware that there are limits on attachment sizes. Also, owing to limitations in how a number of email apps on Android send attachments with custom MIME types, you may find that you cannot import an email attachment on Android sent from an Android device, because the email app will say that there's no suitable app to handle the attachment. This is more likely if you are using a version of Special Words earlier than 3.1.0. If you also have an iOS device with Special Words, a workaround is to email from Android to iOS, import on iOS, and then export back to Android.

Another workaround for the MIME problem is to email the file to a Windows PC, save the attachment to disk there, and send on from there in a new email (not by forwarding the original email). However, before doing this, you must first register the MIME types for Special iApps attachments with your PC. To do this, download to your PC our Registration Entries File, and run it. If Windows prompts you whether to allow Registry Editor to make changes to the computer, click Yes, and if it asks Are you sure you want to continue?, click Yes again: this file will not harm your PC.


The Print button is only present in the Pro edition. You can use it to print:

  • Picture Cards
  • Word Cards
  • Assessment Form

In each case, you can choose to send directly to a printer, or to email as a PDF to use or print elsewhere. When printing cards, the currently selected profile and language are used, as well as the cards per page, font, large text and shuffle settings. The assessment form also uses the current profile, language and font, and has 3 blank columns for you to record the child's progress.

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