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Why does nothing happen when I tap the padlock button on an Apple device?

This button is intended to be child-proof: you need to press and hold it for 3 seconds.

In Special Words, why are some of the buttons disabled?

This is the intended behaviour if you have disabled editing in the app's settings. If you re-enable editing, these buttons will be enabled again. This and other settings are described in the User Guide.

How can I prevent my child from accidentally deleting and rearranging things?

In the Settings app on iOS, in General > Restrictions, you can set a passcode, and then prevent operations including installing and deleting apps. In the Special Words, Special Stories and Special Numbers settings, you can disable editing, so the app's words, pictures and sounds can't be rearranged, deleted or overwritten.

You can also make use of Apple's Guided Access facility for iOS devices, for example, to disable all the physical buttons.

We also strongly recommend you use the export facilities in our apps to regularly save copies of your personalised stories or word lists, and that you regularly backup your device to iTunes on your PC or Mac.

For more information about the export facilities in our apps, read the User Guide for the app in question: you can find these from our Site Map.

Where can I find the settings for the apps on an Apple device?

In Special Stories, tap the action button at the top left in the main view, or in Special Words tap the Word List icon at the bottom right and then the action button at the top right. In either case, you are then looking at the Extra Actions view, and the Settings button is at at the top right. In Special Numbers or Match & Find, tap the Settings button at the top right in the opening view. 

Note: please don't use Apple's Settings app to view the settings for these apps, as some of the options may not be available there. You can read more about the available settings in our User Guides: you can find these from our Site Map.

Where can I find the settings for the apps on an Android device?

In Special Stories, select Settings from the device's physical menu button or the overflow button at the right of the action bar. In Special Words, from any of the activities, select Word List from the device's physical menu button or the overflow button at the right of the action bar: then select Settings from the same menu in the Word List view.

You can read more about the available settings in the Special Stories and the Special Words user guides.

Can I disable the child safety gate in Special Words?

A child safety gate (also referred to as parental lock) is included in Special Words for iOS, starting at version 3.3.0. It appears by default whenever you tap the action button (at top right) from the Word List, and guards access to the Extra Actions view.

To permanently disable the gate, open it by answering the arithmetic question, e.g. for 7 - 3 + 4 = enter 8. Then open Settings (at top right), scroll down to Child Safety Gate and tap the switch. You will be asked an arithmetic question one last time in order to turn it off. To re-enable the gate subsequently, turn back on in Settings.

Why can't I print from Special Stories?

On iOS, first check whether you can print from Apple's apps, such as Mail and Safari: if you can't print from these, you won't be able to print from Special Stories. If, when you try to print, your device displays Looking for printers and then No AirPrint Printers Found then you don't have any suitable printers within Wi-Fi range, or your device isn't connected to a Wi-Fi network.

On Android, you must be running Android 4.4 or later, or the Print story button in Special Stories will not be present. Also check whether you can print from standard Android apps, such as Chrome: if you can't print from these, you won't be able to print from Special Stories. You will also need an Android-compatible printer (e.g. using HP ePrint or Google Cloud Print).

A workaround, if you have no compatible printer, is to use the Email as PDF option in Special Stories, and then print the attachment from a Mac or PC. Alternatively, there are programs available to turn a PC or Mac into an AirPrint server, so that Apple mobile devices can then print via that: we have successfully used Printopia 2 for Mac.

How can I organise stories into collections in Special Stories?

To manage collections in Special Stories on iOS, tap the action button (at the top left) to display the Extra Actions view, and then tap the Manage Collections button, to reveal all the collections you currently have. On Android, select Collections from the menu in the main view.

From there you can add, delete and reorder collections: on iOS tap the Edit button; on Android tap the padlock icon.

To change the title of a collection, tap the arrow button to the right of its name. To copy or move a story from one collection to another, select the collection it's in, and then go back to the main view and tap the story's arrow button. On iOS, tap the story's Edit button, to reveal the Copy button, and use that: on Android tap the copy icon. You can also copy individual pages between stories (in the same or different collections), by using the Copy button or copy icon in the page editor.

The Export Story and Import Story options will allow you to export and import stories either individually or as whole collections.

For more details, read the User Guide. Ready-made Free Resources are also available to download into Special Stories.

When I add a new word in Special Words, it always appears at the start of the Word List: how can I move it?

If you tap an existing word in the Word List (to highlight it in blue) before tapping + to add a new word, then the new word will appear directly after that word, instead of at the beginning.

If you've already added a word, and want to move it, tap the Edit button (on iOS) or padlock button (on Android) at the top of the Word List, and then drag the word up or down the list using the icon that appears next to it on the right. When you've finished, tap Done (iOS) or the padlock (Android).

I'm using these apps on a single iPad with several children: how can I have different content for each child?

In Special Words, you can have more than one list of words, each referred to as a “profile”, and switch easily between them. Refer to the User Guide for a detailed explanation of how to use this.

Likewise, Special Numbers has profiles.

In a similar way in Special Stories, you can arrange stories into “collections”, as explained in the User Guide.