To access the settings in Special Words on iOS, 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.
The settings for Special Words on Android can be accessed from the main menu in the Word List view.
Note: When you tap the Actions or Settings button, you will have to open the Child Safety Gate in order to proceed. This is explained in more detail below.
Adjust to suit your child's ability and concentration.
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.
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.
Turn this OFF if you don't want each word spoken after it is matched.
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 4 sound settings.
If you turn this ON, then the device's text-to-speech (TTS) engine will be used to synthesize audio for any words with no recorded sound. This applies to words that were added while Record New Sounds was OFF, and to words in imported word lists that did not include sound. Refer to our FAQs for further information about sound, including TTS.
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. On Android, you can use and of the standard Android Sans Serif and Serif fonts
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).
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. 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.
On iOS, 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.
On Android, it disables adding, deleting and reordering words in the Word List, removes Sharing and Resetoptions from the main menu in the Word List view, and prevents profiles from 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.
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.
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, 3, 6 or 8 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.
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 on iOS and version 3.7.0 of the app or later on Android.
In version 4.0.0 and later on iOS, and version 3.4.0 and later on Android, there is an additional Registration option at the bottom of the settings screen. By registering, you are then able to download a number of additional lists of words from the free online library at Special iApps, as described in Chapter 5.
You register the app once, using your email address, and receive a product key, which you can use to activate on up to 5 devices. Only activated devices have access to the online library.
If you haven't registered and activated directly from the app's settings, you will be prompted to do so the first time you download a word list. For help, watch the video below or refer to our FAQ.
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.
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.
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.
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. An option to disable the gate completely was removed from the app's settings at version 4.3.2, in order to comply with Apple's guidelines.
On iOS, whenever you tap the Actions button in the Word List, or on Android when you select the Settings, Sharing or Help from the main menu in Word List, you are required to enter the answer to a calculation to continue, for example:
9 - 3 + 4 =
In this case, the answer would be 10. 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.
There is a Reset option in the main menu when viewing the Word List. This will undo all changes you have made to Special Words since you installed it on the device. This includes undoing any modifications you made to the set of original words, pictures and sounds, removing any you have added, and restoring the app's settings to their default values. If you have added additional profiles, they are all removed. You cannot undo this once you've done it.
After confirming that you wish to reset the app, you have to reconfirm by typing the word “Reset” into the box that appears. This is to reduce the chances of a child resetting the app unintentionally. To further prevent accidental use of the Reset button, turn the Editing option off in the Settings, as described above.