User Manual

User Manual

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Introduction

Welcome to Verbo! This manual will run you through everything you need to get started with the software, including downloading and installing it on your computer, tablet or smartphone, the interface, modifying the style of cells and pages and adapting the communication mode and access type to the user's preferences and needs.

If you are looking for a step-by-step guide on how to create a communication board or an educational activity from scratch, you should check our tutorials out.

Download and install

Verbo

To start using Verbo, visit the download page and get the version matching your operating system (Windows or Android).

  • On Windows: Run the .exe file you downloaded and follow the instructions.
  • On Android: Run the .apk file. You may need to enable the "Allow apps from unknown sources" option on your device.

Once you launch Verbo, follow the instructions to create an account (if necessary), activate your license, and you will be all set to start working. In Windows, the first time you run the program it will download some additional components, such as voices and symbol libraries. If you want to skip this step to continue later you can do it, but keep in mind that some resources will not be available until the download is complete.

Concepts

Verbo

Before you start using Verbo you should become familiar with its nomenclature: each project (be it a communicative resource, a learning activity, a game, an interactive story or any other piece of content) will be a board, containing one or more pages with custom cells in which you can include images, text, sounds and commands.

In your PC or tablet, a board is just a file with .verbo extension. Just like any other file, you can give it a name. For instance, if you create an AAC board you could call it "Core communicator", "Basic communication at home", "AAC at school", "How I feel" or "Free time". If it is an activity, you might call it "Find the intruder", "Reading syllables" or "Complete the sentence".

Verbo for Windows and Verbo for Android

Verbo is available for Windows and Android. You can purchase one or more licenses for each platform and assign them to the same account or to different accounts. Even though the look-and-feel and functionality of the boards in both applications is the same, both programs are different:

  • Verbo for Windows is an editor and a player. That is, you can create new boards or modify those created by others.
  • Verbo for Android is a player. That means that you can use those boards that you created with Verbo for Windows or that someone shared with yout (e.g. at the Verbo Community), but you will not be able to create new boards or modify them. You will find more information in the Verbo Android section of this manual.

Editing and playing

When you launch Verbo for Windows, the program first runs in edition mode. That means that all the options to create a new board or modify an existing one will be visible. You can enter play mode at any time to use the board or see how it looks by pressing F5 or by clicking the play icon at the toolbar.

Pages

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In Verbo, boards can be divided into pages (and usually are). The best way to see it is to picture a notebook in which you can add or remove pages and jump from one to another. There are several reasons why it is a good idea to split a board into pages:

  • In a communication board, each page can represent a semantic category or situation (places I go to, people I know, feelings, clothing, colours, animals, etc). This helps organize the content in a more coherent way, and allows for many different messages or concepts to be included without clustering them all in the same view.
  • If you create an educational activity or game (e.g. find similar images among a group), each page can be one of the levels or stages. When the user successfully completes the activity in a page, Verbo jumps to the next one.
  • If you design a story, instructions, or any other piece of content meant to be read or listened to step by step, each page can be one of its chapters or sections.

Cells

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Cells are each of the boxes within a page, and they are arranged in a grid. A cell may represent a message, a concept, an action or simply display a picture or text without any associated action.

You many add as many (or as few) cells at your board as you want, change their appearance, and make them run one or more commands in any order you choose.

User interface

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Verbo's user interface (UI) has been designed to make it as intuitive and simple as possible to create and use boards. Each window displays only the most relevant information, and the most common tasks have been simplified to require no more than one or two steps.

Toolbar

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The toolbar includes icons for the most common actions:

  • Create, open or save a board.
  • Undo and redo.
  • Copy, cut, paste and remove cells.
  • Insert a new cell or edit the selected one.
  • Insert and delete rows and columns.
  • Edit the style (appearance) of the board.
  • Play the board.

Page list

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Below the toolbar, each page in the board is displayed as a tab. Initially there will only be one page, "Home", but you can add as many as you want to by clicking the "+" button at the right.

The board

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The board currently under edition takes most of the window so you can focus on its content and appearance, without many elements around making it difficult to picture what the final result will actually look like.

There are two distinct sections in every page:

  • The top box is the message bar. This bar is used in play mode to display the messages that the user has selected. These messages are grouped in an orderly fashion as a sentence, which can be read out load once completed. This is completely optional, since it will only be useful for some users, so later we will see how to create a board without a message bar.
  • The lower part is occupied by the cells. You can insert more rows (above or below) or columns (right or left), or remove them, using the six icons in the toolbar. The more columns and rows you include in a page, the more cells you can show, but the board will become more complex and hard to see. Remember that if you want to include more content you can also split your board into more pages.

You can also change the size of the cells by stretching them using the handles at their sides. By doing so, you can achieve the ideal size of the cells for the visual and attentional needs of each user.

To start inserting content, just double-click on an empty cell. You can find more information in next section.

The dropdown menu displays the current user and the rest of rogram options:

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  • Create, open and save boards, or save them with another name.
  • Import pages from another board.
  • Export pages to PDF.
  • Edit the user preferences.
  • Manage the users of the program.
  • Change the program settings.
  • Access online help.
  • Download boards from the Internet.
  • Download other symbol libraries.

Inserting and editing cells

Inserting cells

You can add a new cell in two different ways:

  • Double-click on an empty cell in the board.
  • Click the "insert cell" icon in the toolbar.

In any case, Verbo show a popup dialog to choose the type of cell to add. All you have to is answer the question: what do I want this cell to do?

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Say something

In a communication board, most cells will be of "Say something" type (that is why this option appears first). This type of cell launches a message that, depending on the user's preferences, will either be directly played back or written into the message bar to read it leter. You can also insert a cell to "Read" the message bar, "Clear" it completely or "Delete" the last added message.

Jump to a page

Insert a jump cell to move from one page to another within the board. You can choose one of five cell types that jump to a different page, back to the page it jumped from, to the home page or to previous or next page as shown in the page list.

Music

A cell that plays music from a computer folder, or a specific song that you have selected. You can also add cells that pause or stop the music, skip to another track or control the volume.

Notes

Notes are a way for the user to save a message in order to retrieve it later. As you will see, this functionality has many applications in communication to arrange a conversation and reuse content.

Prediction

If you create a keyboard-type page (alphabetic, syllabic, or whatever), you can use text prediction cells to make Verbo recommend words as you type to speed up writing.

Answers

Answer management makes it easier to create activities and games. You can make Verbo remember what answers the user selects in order to evaluate them, save them, or just display them at the end.

Misc.

These cells are rather specific. You can include, for instance, cells for gaze control calibration, or cells without commands, in which only and image or text is shown.

Editing cells

In most cases you will never need to edit a cell once it has been added to the board. When you insert a cell that says a message, jumps to another page, clears the message bar, or any other, Verbo will take care of setting all its parameters so that it performs and looks as expected. For instance, a "Message" cell will verbally play whatever message you configure, and a "Home" cell will take you to the first page in your board.

However, it is also quite simple to edit a cell in order to change its content, its style, or extend its functionality (e.g. to make it execute more than one command). Just double-click on it and a window will pop up showing all its options.

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As you can see, a cell is composed of:

  • Contents: Text and image (both optional).
  • Style: Colors, shapes, font, etc.
  • Commands: What the cell does.

Cell contents

The cell contents include its text and its image. There are several types of text depending on itr objective:

  • Fixed text (in most cases)
  • Text prediction
  • Notes
  • Answers
  • Date/time

A regular cell will use fixed text. To change the text, just type on the box the word or sentence that you want to say. At the same time, some symbols will be suggested.

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If none of the symbols displayed suit you, just click on ellipsis button at the right to see options from all the symbol libraries yoy have installed or use images or photos from your own computer.

It is important to mention that any text written in this space will be the reference used by "Scanning sound feedback", so you should pay attention to it if you are going to use this method. For further information see the "Scanning preferences" section.

Below the text you may find the grammar category of the cell: Name/Pronoun, Verb or Ignore grammar. Verbo will use this information to conjugate the verbs of the board automatically in person, number and tense, if the option has been configured in preferences. In most cases Verbo will detect the word type automatically, but if you need to change it you can do so by clicking the pencil icon to the right of the grammar category.

Cell style

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A Verbo board always contains a number of preset styles. As you will see later, when you create a new board you get to pick which set of cell styles you want to use, and you can edit them, remove them or create on styles.

Using styles helps you maintain a consistent and coherent look on the entire board, and it makes it easier to modify any aspect in the future. For instance, if every cell that jumps to a page is given the "Jump" style (this happens automatically), when you decide to change its background color, its outline thickness or the text font, you will just need to edit the style and all those cells will update automatically.

To use a preset style, click on the selected style from the dropdown list at the center of the dialog. If you want to create a unique cell with a specific style just choose "Custom" and then click on the pencil icon to edit its appearance in as much detail as you like.

When editing the style, you can change the shape of the cell, the background and outline colours, the ouline thickness, the font, size and position of text and the image adjustment. You can also have the text displayed in uppercase or lowercase letters, regardless of how it was originally written.

Commands

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Commands define the behavior of the cell when activied. For instance, a message cell will use a "Say message" command, and a jump cell will use a "Jump to page..." command.

To insert additional commands, click on the "+" icon at the right of the command list. The order in which the commands are displayed is the same order in which they will be executed when the user activates the cell. You can add as many commands as you want.

To help you find all the commands, they are divided into categories:

Communication

In this category you will find commands to say a voice message, conjugate the verbs in the board, write on or read the message bar, delete the latest message or clear the bar. If you insert a message, you can decide whether it will be read with a synthesized voice or with a message recorded with a microphone or from an audio file, thus creating a much more natural communicator. You can also use these commands to play sounds which are not necessary a voice, such as animal sounds, effects, etc.

The difference between "Say a message" or "Type letters" is that when you use the former Verbo will assume that you are writing entire words or sentences, whereas with the latter they will be treated as single lletter or syllables and Verbo will group them together in the message bar.

Pages

These commands jump to a specific page, back to the previous one or back home. The user may use them to jump from a part of the board to another, or skip through a story or activity

The commands "Jump to a page" and "Jump back" are common in communication boards, whereas "Jump tothe next page" and "Jump to the previous page" are more common in activities and games. That is because jumps in an activity are typically linear (next level, next story page, etc), but in a communication board it is common to jump from a category to another with no specific order.

Multimedia

This set of commands add music to your board and let you control it.

Keep in mind that, while you may add sounds with the "Say a message" command from the Communication setcion, the behavior or the "Play music" command is rather different. Any music that you add with the latter will be played back in the background while the board is in use, whereas any sound added with the former will block the action until they are done. For example, you might use "Play music" to add a background sound to a story, and "Say a message" to have a dog bark sound when the user activates the image of a dog.

Notes

Saving a message as a note allows the user to retrieve later in order to say it. This can be used e.g. to prepare a conversation or a speech in advance, or to add content to the board without editing it.

In this section you will also find commands to delete all the notes or a specific one, or to navigate through all the saved notes.

Android

These are specific commands for Android smartphones or tablets, such as sending an SMS message or sharing the contents of the message bar with another application.

Answers

These commands make Verbo remember all or some of the cells that the user selects and display them later. Use them to create evaluating or self-evaluating activities, such as exams or games that indicate the number of hits and errors at the end.

Misc.

This section includes commands that do not belong in any specific category:

  • Switch user: switch to a different user without leaving the board, and load their preferences, dictionaries, notes, etc.
  • Show more text prediction: display words in the available prediction cells as suggested by the text predictor. It allows the user to access as many dictionary results as needed even if there are not enough prediction cells in the page.
  • Disable cell: mark the cell so that it cannot be activated again. You can use it, for instance, to create a selection activity in which the user is not supposed to choose the same option more than once.
  • Launch application: open files, web pages or other programs.
  • Export to PDF: save a copy of the current page in My Documents/Eneso Verbo/Captures/ (in Windows) or in the Verbo data folder (in Android) with the date, time, user, board and page name. This command is perfect for keeping a record of the evolution of a user when performing a certain activity, or to save the results of, e.g., an exam.
  • Copy to clipboard: copy the content of the message bar to the system clipboard, in order to paste it elsewhere. You can copy the content as text or as an image.
  • Calibrate gaze control: if an eye-tracking system is used, start the calibration process again.
  • Pause gaze control: Disregard the eye tracker until activated again.
  • Open board: load a different board without leaving play mode. Note that it is usually a better idea to import pages from other boards in order to group the content of several boards into one, than to jump from one to another.

Styles

Preset styles

As you have seen, cell styles define how it looks: its background color, outline thickness and color, font, size, where the text will be placed, etc. But you can also edit the pages style.

When you create a new board, you can first choose the style set (for cells and pages) that most fits your objectives:

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AAC, AAC borders and AAC children styles

They categorize the vocabulary into six colors based on the function of the word (people, verbs, descriptive, nouns, miscellaneous and social), following the Fitzgerald key. This modality can be represented with the entire color, only the borders (AAC borders) or by contrasting the color of the background with the outline and using a wider message bar (AAC children).

Verbo style

Clean, rounded cells for a board in which content stands out over appearance.

Minimalist style

Borderless and without colour, except to to slightly contrast the background.

High contrast style

Very dark pages, and cells with striking colours and bold letters, so it is more convenient for users with low visual acuity.

Text only (light) and Text only (dark) styles

These styles are intended for people who use only literacy for communication.

Edit the style

Remember that, regardless of the style that you have chosen, once you are editing your board you are free to change every single detail of the cell and pages style in your board. That is, the style you pick gives you a base to start working on, but that does not mean that you have to restrict yourself to it.

Say that you have chosen e.g. the AAC style, but now you would like your message cells (People, Verbs, Descriptive, etc.) to have an outline to make them contrast more with the background:

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To do that, click on the Edit style icon in the toolbar to show the Style dialog. This window has two sections: Cell styles and Page style. Select "People" in the list on the left, and click on the "Medium" outline thickness icon. Note that when you select the new outline thickness, all cells using the Person style in the board will update automatically. This allows you to immediately see the result of any change to the style. Remember that, if you do not like how it looks, you can always configure the style back as it was before using Undo.

Cell styles

In this dialog you can modify the shape, outline, text and picture adjustment of the cell.

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Shape

Pick one from rectangle, with rounded corners, circle or folder. Rectangle or rectangle with rounded corners works well for almost any type of cell, whereas folder works best with jump cells because it transmits the idea that they contain more pages. Round cells are perfect for children's boards or action cells as Read or Delete.

Outline

Change the outline thickness to increase the constrast between the background and the outline, or to achieve more subtle effects.

Text

Text is one of the most important parts of how a cell looks. If the font you choose is not right, or the size is too small, the message can be difficult to read for some users. On the other hand, making it centered, aligned at the bottom or even completely hidden can help differentiate one type of cell from others. For example, if a cell says an individual letter (instead of a full message), it may be a good idea to give it the appearance of a typewriter key.

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Use the three buttons on the right to configure whether the text should be displayed as it was written, or convert it to uppercase or lowercase.

Picture

You can choose how much space it will occupy within the cell, from making it fit the space that the text leaves free (with more or less margin) to filling it completely.

Add new styles

In addition to preset cell styles, you can add your own in accordance with your objectives and needs.

For example, say you want to make all cells referring to members of my family have a certain look. The best way to do it is creating the "Family" cell style and editing it to your liking. Just click on the "+" icon below the cell style list and type "Family". A new style will be added, which will initially look like the first of all, People. Now, you can edit it to make it look just like you need.

Once the style is added, it will be available for any new cell that you create.

Page styles

Just like with the cells, you can edit the appearance of pages.

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Background

You can choose the background color of the page and whether the cells and the message bar project shadows or not. If you choose a very saturated background colour you should make sure that cells clearly contrast against it.

You can also choose how to adjust the background image, if you use one. If you enable "Stretch image", it will occupy as much space as possible, maybe clipping some of its content. An interesting option is "Adjust board to the background image". If you activate it, the board will keep the aspect ratio of the image, meaning that cells will always occupy the same position relative the background regardless of how the windows is resized.

Message bar

You can choose the size of the message bar from three sizes available, or even hide it completely. In general, it is a good idea to use a medium or large bar if you want to display text and/or pictograms, and use the smaller size if only text is displayed.

You can also choose the font used to display messages on the bar. If the board is going to be used by someone who is starting to learn how to read, it might be a good idea to choose a hand-written font. If, on the contrary, it will be used by someone with a good reading level, they may feel more comfortable with a small bar and print letters.

Spacing

It is possible to independently assign the spacing between rows and columns, and to the page edge. Reducing spacing generally allows you to insert more cells, but it may make it more difficult for some users to tell one cell from another.

Saving the style

If you modify the board style to suit your needs (maybe with new cell styles, message bar size, page color, etc), you will probably want to save it in order to use in other boards that you create in the future.

To do that, click on the "Save style" icon at the upper right corner of the dialog window. Type a name (that does not match any of the preset styles or a style that you saved before), and done. The new style will be available later when you create new boards.

In the settings dialog you will find the list of all available styles, predefined or created by you, and you can delete them if you no longer need them.

Custom styles

Both cell and page styles help you achieve a uniform appearance on your board. By making all cells referring to people use the "People" style, you can just modify that particular style to change all corresponding cells at once. The same applies to pages: if you decide you want to make all cells lie further apart from each other you can modify the page style, and all pages in the board will change.

But sometimes it is interesting to give a particular cell or page a unique style of its own, without modifying at the same time every cell of the same type. For example, if you want to add an image just as a reference (i.e. it does nothing when pressed), that image could be a cell with a custom style.

To assign a custom style to a cell, just edit it (double-click), and in the "Style" section select "Custom". Then click on the pencil icon at the right to edit it, just as any other style.

Editing a page

To edit a page (e.g. to assign it a custom style), first open the Pages dialog by clicking the ellipsis button at the right of the pages bar. Once there, click the pencil icon on the relevant page.

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In this dialog you can rename the page, choose a background image and assign it a custom style.

In the example below, we changed the look of the "Food" page giving it a custom style. We changed the background color and extended the border and the size of the message bar. We have also assigned a custom style to the "Back" cell. Neither of these changes will affect the look of the other pages of the board or other "Back" cells that there may be.

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Users

With Verbo, different users may use the program on the same computer. Each user can set their own preferences, such as the way in which messages are displayed or the access method.

Click on Users in the dropdown menu to access the list of all users that have been configured in the program. You can add and delete users, rename them or even assign them a profile picture.

At any given time there will be an active user in the program. This only means that Verbo is using that user's preferences, and that any changes made to those preferences will only affect that user. To change the active user just click on "Switch to this user".

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Preferences

Use the preferences dialog to configure how each user sees and uses the program. You can access it through the dropdown menu.

It is very important to understand what each of the parameters means in order to ensure that the program meets the needs, taste and methodology of each user.

Communication

Communication mode

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The communication mode refers to how the messages are displayed in the message bar:

  • Symbols and text. Each message is a combination of image (pictogram) and text.
  • Symbols only. Only the image is displayed, even if the cell has a text.
  • Text only. Only text is displayed, even the cell has an image.
  • Direct. The message bar is hidden, and every time a cell is activated it is read directly. Read, Delete and Clear cells stop working. This transforms the board into a more classic communication board.

You can also choose if you every message added to the bar should be read or if, on the contrary, the user will construct their sentences privately and only read them when activating a "Read" cell on the board. If you choose the former option, you can make Verbo ready only entire words, and not half-built words when spelt with a keyboard.

In any case, you can enable the bar to behave as a cell to read the entire message, avoiding having to add an additional cell.

Voice

In this section you can also select the synthesized voice that Verbo will use to verbally play the content of the cells. By configuring its speed, tone and volume, you can adapt Verbo's voice to the taste and personality of each user. Remember that you can also record your own voices to customize the sound of each cell, if you prefer.

Conjugation

Additionally, in this section you can configure whether Verbo will automatically conjugate the verbs in the board when the user selects a name or a pronoun, using its person and number. For example, the verb "try" will change to "tries" when the board says "he" or "my friend". This option is enabled by default.

To change the tense (past, future, conditional, etc) you can use the action Conjugate. For example, you could add a cell to the board that transforms all the verbs to future tense, or even make this happen automatically when the user says the word "tomorrow". If when the user selects a noun or a pronoun the verbs are in infinitive, the program will automatically set them to present.

Verbo conjugates regular and irregular verbs in English, Spanish and Catalan, and implements all tenses in indicative, subjunctive and imperative mood as well as impersonal forms (infinitive, participle and gerund), including some tenses that only exist in certain languages.

In this section you can also configure whether Verbo should automatically conjugate back to infinitive after selecting a verb.

Access

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Configure here what access system will be used to control the program. Verbo supports a very wide range of devices and access methods to suit absolutely any user, regardless of their mobility, cognitive level or visual acuity.

  • Switches, via USB adapters like enCore or enCore Mini.
  • Conventional or adapted mice, head mice like enPathia, or trackballs.
  • Touchscreens.
  • Joysticks, gamepads or game controllers.
  • Keyboards.
  • Eye tracking systems.

Depending on the selected device, Verbo can be used in the following ways:

Direct selection

In this mode, you pick the cell you want to activate directly. It is the right access mode if you are using a conventional mouse, a head mouse, an eye-tracking system or a touchscreen. Just select the desired cell, and "activate" it. Within this method, two variants can be used:

  • Activate the cells by clicking on them.
  • Activate the cells by hovering over them. Instead of manually activating the cell, just dwell on it for a while. It is an interesting option when using a head mouse or an eye tracker because it reduces the number of different actions that the user needs to perform. Delay refers to the time since the pointer enters the cell until the activation indicator shows up, and time configures how long it will take for the cell to activate since said activator appears.

Scanning

The most common way if switches or keyboards are used. Scanning makes the cells, one by one or in groups, highlight in one way or another giving the user the opportunity to indicate when the desired cell is reached. In the following section, Scanning, we will see the settings options for this mode.

The selection is moved up, down, left and right, and once selected, the user activates the desired cell. This mode can be used with switches or keyboards if the user is able to activate 5 different switches, but the most common way is with a joystick.

Scanning

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Scanning is one of the most popular types of access, and in this section you will see how to configure it.

Scan order

  • Cell by cell. The cells of the page are highlighted one by one until the desired one is activated.
  • Rows-columns. The user first selects a row, and then a cell within it.
  • Columns-rows. Just the opposite. These last two modes allow for a generally faster selection of a particular cell.

You can choose the left-right and up-down direction of scanning, e.g. to match the user's reading direction.

Scanning mode

  • Manual. The user presses (the switch, the keyboard key, the joystick button, etc.) both to jump to the next cell, row or column and to activate it. Note that this mode requires that the user be able to activate at least two different switches: one to jump to the next element, and another one to activate it.
  • Sequential. Cells, rows or columns are automatically highlighted at a rate that can be configured. When the desired cell is highlighted, the user activates the button. This mode only requires access to a single switch.

In sequential mode you can define the time until next item is selected, and you can choose whether it should start automatically. In addition, and regardless of the selected mode, you can choose how many cycles must pass for the scanning process to be cancelled if no cell has been selected.

Sound feedback

Scanning can be configured so that, at each step, Verbo plays a sound. It is the best mode for people with low attentional skills or low visual acuity, and it can also be used in auditive perception activities.

In this mode, it is possible to incorporate any sound from your computer as a feedback, or select "Say cell text" to have Verbo read the text in the cell.

Appearance

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In this section you can select the thickness and colour of the outline that is drawn around the cell in a number of situations:

  • When hovering the mouse pointer, or when looking at the cell while using an eye-tracking system.
  • During scanning.
  • When using the navigation access mode.
  • When activated.

Symbols

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In this section you can see all the symbol libraries that you have installed, and arrange them by order of preference.

When Verbo searches for images, whether in the symbol selection dialog, or automatically when inserting or editing a cell, the symbols that belong to the first library on this list will appear first. To change the order of the libraries, just drag them with the mouse to the desired position.

Remember that, besides the default library SymbolStix, you can download ARASAAC and Bliss symbols from the resources page.

Multimedia

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In this section you can select the folder from which the "Play music" command will read music files. You can also adjust the default volume.

To play music from your board, just add a new "Play music" cell. There also exist cells to pause it, skip to the next song or change the volume.

Notes and dictionary

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You can check the notes saved by the user, delete them all or only some on them. You can also export your notes for use on another device (Windows or Android). This is very useful, for instance, if you have been working on a computer and would like to switch to a tablet without losing your saved messages.

In addition to the standard language dictionary, each user has a personal dictionary with common expressions. This dictionary is referred by the text prediction engine, if used. In this section you can add or delete words to it. You can find boards using text prediction in the Verbo Community.

Settings

The Settings dialog, in the dropdown menu, gives you access to a number of global program parameters, while the preferences dialog contains the configuration for each user. You can find Settings in the dropdown menu.

General

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Besides choosing the program language, in this section you can configure whether the program should automatically run when the operating system starts up, and if it should load a particular board automatically when started. These two options together allow a person to use Verbo independently, without having someone start the program and load the board for them.

You can also type a password to stop the user from switching to edit mode, thus preventing the user from leaving the board intentionally or accidentally.

Styles

It shows every available board style, both preset by the program and created by the users. You can delete those that are no longer needed.

Updates

If the option to check for updates automatically is enabled, Verbo will periodically check whether an update is available for the program and will offer to download and install it. You can also check manually, if you want to.

License

A Verbo license is linked to a specific computer, tablet or smartphone. When you started Verbo for the first time and entered your email address and password, your license was linked to that machine. But if you want to start using the program on another computer, you can do so. You can revoke the license and take it somewhere else. The only limitation is that the license cannot be active on two computers at the same time.

Commands

Communication (AAC)

Use commands in this category to create, play, and delete messages. How these messages are played (with synthesized or real voice, using the message bar or not, with pictograms or text, etc) will depend on your board and your preferences, so make sure you use the best combination of options to get the most out of the software!

Say a message or play a sound

This is the basic command for communication boards. When you create a cell of "message" type, Verbo includes this action automatically, but you can also add it to any other cell if you want to.

By default, this command adds the contents of the cell (text and image) to the message bar and reads it with a synthesized voice, but you can configure it to behave differently. For example, you can have it reproduce a different message than the one written in the cell, or record your own voice message.

If your board displays a message bar, the chosen message will be drawn as an image, a text or a combination of both according to your preferences. It can also be read immediately, or when a cell is activated with the command "Read message bar".

  • Message. If you activate the "Use cell text" option (this is the default), Verbo will use whatever the text you have typed in the cell contents. If you disable it, you can enter a different custom message, other than the one in the cell.
  • Symbols. Use the image you have selected for this cell, or choose a different one.
  • Voice. By default, Verbo will use the synthesized voice that you have chosen in your preferences to play the message, but you can disable this option if you want to use another sound. You can choose a file from your computer or record a voice message with your microphone.

Type

By inserting this command you can add a letter or set of letters to the message bar (in principle, without image). It works like "Say a message or play a sound", but it allows you to spell instead of writing full words.

  • Letters. Like in the previous command, you can use the text you have written in the cell, or choose another custom text.
  • Symbols. Use the image you have selected for this cell, or choose a different one.

Read message bar

This command reads all the messages that have been added to the message bar with the command "Say a message or play a sound" or the "Write letters" command. If you use a message bar, it is a good idea to have this cell on every page of the board.

Delete message bar

Add this command to a cell in order to delete the last message added to the message bar. If you want to delete them all, use the "Clear the message bar" command.

Clear message bar

Deletes evey message in the message bar. If you just want to delete the last added message, use the "Delete the message bar" command.

Conjugate

Change the verbs on the board to the selected person, number and/or tense.

Use this action if you want to change the tense (present, past, conditional, etc) of the verbs or if you want to force a certain person or number, but remember that it is not necessary to use it in every cell of name or pronoun type ("I", "you", "my family", etc. If the option "Conjugate verbs according to the cell grammar" is enabled in preferences, Verbo will automatically conjugate all the verbs on the board when a Name/Pronoun cell is activated.

Pages

These commands jump from one page to another on the board.

Jump to a page

Use this command to jump to a different page. With it, you can divide your board into categories or contexts, or create activities with different levels.

As with most commands, there is a shortcut to create a jump cell. Simply double-click on an empty cell on the board, and select the "Jump to a Page" option. But you can also add the command to a previously created cell.

Jump back

Use this command to jump to the previous page (the page from which you last jumped).

Jump home

Jump to the first page of the board.

Jump to the next page

Jump to the next page, in the order shown in the page list.

Jump to the previous page

Jumps to the previous page, according to the order shown in the page list. Note that this is different from the "Jump back" action, because the latter jumps to the page from which the current one was reached, which can be any page on the board.

Multimedia

Commands to play and control music.

Play music

With this command you can play background music on any board from the user's music folder, a file or a recording:

  • From my music folder. The song will be played from the folder selected in preferences.
  • A specific song. Use this option to play a music file from a location other than the one saved in preferences, or record a voice message to play it.
  • If music is playing, pause. If you activate this option, pressing the cell again will pause the music being played.
  • If music is paused, resume. If you activate this option, pressing the cell again resumes the paused music.

As you know, with the command "Say a message or play a sound" you can also play music files from your computer or sounds that you have recorded with the microphone. So how is that command different from this?

  • Sounds inserted with "Say a message..." will be played back in the order they are pressed, one after the other. Those inserted with the "Play music" command will play in the background, without affecting the message bar. A good example is an interactive story in which the user has to discover the sound of different animals on a farm. You can use "Play Music" to play a background song in the activity, and "Say a message..." in each animal cell with the sound of the corresponding animal.
  • With "Say a message..." you always have to indicate the sound file you want it to play, or record it yourself. This sound will be saved in the .verbo file and will be available to anyone you share the board with. With "Play music", on the other hand, you can choose to play songs from the user's music folder on their computer or tablet.

Stop music

Stop the music playing.

Pause music

Pause the music playing. To continue playing, use the "Resume music" command.

Resume music

Keep playing the music if you had previously paused it,

Previous track

Skips to the previous track in the music playlist.

Next track

Skips to the next track in the music playlist.

Increase music volume

Turn up the volume of the music during this playback. To set a permanent value, use Preferences.

Lower music volume

Turn down the volume of the music during this playback. To set a permanent value, use Preferences.

Increase voice volume

Turn up the voice volume during this playback. To set a permanent value, use Preferences.

Lower voice volume

Turn the volume down during playback. To set a permanent value, use Preferences.

Notes

Save message as a note

Users can store as many messages as they want to use them later. Notes are saved as text and/or pictogram (as they were generated), and preserved even when moving from one board to another. This action allows the user to save note the message that currently appears in the message bar (even if it is hidden) as a note.

Show more notes

Notes will appear on the page in the cells reserved for it. If the user has more notes than available cells, the newest ones will not be displayed. With this action you can go through all the existing notes sequentially, without inserting more cells.

Delete note

Delete a note on the page. This action is modal: when executed, only a cell containing a note (to erase it) or the cell that initiated the action (to cancel it) can be activated next.

Delete all notes

Remove all user notes

Android

These commands will only be available when the tablet is used on an Android tablet or smartphone.

Send an SMS

You can include this command in a cell to offer a new channel of communication when using Verbo for Android. It sends an SMS message with a fixed text or with the contents of the message bar.

For this action to work, the phone or tablet must have a SIM card and connection to the mobile phone network.

  • Message. Type a custom message, or use whatever was written in the message bar.
  • Phone. Enter the number to which the message will be sent.

Share

Share the content of the message bar with another application on Android. You can choose whether it should be shared as an image or as a text.

Answers

Remember answer

Remember the cell contents (text and/or image). Unlike notes, answers are saved only during board playback, not after leaving the board or quitting the program. They make it easier to evaluate the results in an educational activity or in a game.

Show more replies

Saved answers will be displayed on the cells reserved for that purpose. If the board remembers more answers than available cells, the last ones will not be displayed. This action allows the user to skip through all the existing answers sequentially, without the need to add more cells.

Delete all answers

Delete all remembered answers

Misc.

Switch user

Jump to a different user without leaving the board, and load their preferences, notes and dictionaries. This is useful for, e.g.:

  • Create two similar profiles that differ in some way that the user may want to change, such as access mode or scanning speed. By using one profile or the other, the user can modify this parameter from the board itself.
  • On a shared computer, such as an interactive whiteboard in a classroom, create an initial board displaying the users' photographs, so that they can access their profile and their content from within the application.

Show more text prediction

Just like the "Show more notes" and "Show more answers" actions, this action provides access to as many dictionary results as desired, regardless of the number of prediction cells contained in the page.

Disable cell

If you add this command to your cell, it will be disabled when you activate it. The cell will no longer be available. This can be useful, for instance, to cancel wrong answers in activities or to set up visual agendas with information about time, so that what has already been done is marked out and cannot be pressed again. Disabled cells can be drawn in two ways:

  • Fade. The cell is still displayed, but slightly transparent.
  • Hide completely. When disabled, the cell disappears visually from the page.

Launch application

You can add this command to a cell to open an application, document, web page, or external link.

  • If it is a program or a file on your computer, use the folder icon to select it.
  • If it's a web, write the URL as "http://..."

"Parameters" is an advanced option to pass arguments to the external application. In most cases, just leave it blank.

Export to pdf

Save current page, including selected/disabled cells and message bar, as a pdf file. These files are saved in My Documents/ (on Windows) or in the app data folder (on Android), in path containing the user name, board and page in use, current date and time, etc. So they can easily be used as a log. They are also very useful to create exams, homework or activities that users can do on their own, because their answers will be saved and can be reviewed later.

Copy to clipboard

This command copies the contents of the message bar to the system clipboard so it can be pasted into another application. You can choose to copy the content as an image or as a text.

Run gaze calibration

If you add this command to a cell of your board, the calibration process of the gaze control system will be launched. It is very useful for anyone who uses this access system, since at any time the calibration process can be started autonomously.

Pause gaze control

If you add this command to a cell on your board, activating it will pause gaze control temporarily. This allows the user to rest with the assurance that no cell will be activated accidentally.

To reactivate gaze control back, just look for a few seconds at the box that will appear at the bottom of the board.

Open board

Jump to a different board, without leaving playback. Note that it is often preferable to combine the content of several boards using the "Import board" option than to jump from one to another during playback.

Notes

Notes are a way to save a message so you it can be retrieved later. This, naturally, is a very useful tool for advanced users of communication boards since it allows them to organize their speech, reuse content and plan a conversation.

Some of the most interesting applications are:

  • Prepare messages beforehand when planning to meet someone.
  • Write a speech or a presentation.
  • Increase the vocabulary of a communicator without editing it.
  • Save reminders or to-dos.

Create a communicator with notes

Using notes in a communicator involves two things: allowing the user to save and delete notes, and displaying the saved notes. Fortunately, both are very easy to do because Verbo includes a shortcut in the Insert cell dialog, under the category "Notes":

  • The options "Save", "Delete", "Delete all" and "Show more" simply insert a cell with that action.
  • Using the option "Note" creates a cell in which a note will be displayed. As with text prediction, these cells are empty while the board is under edition, they only show content in playback mode.

You can add as many note cells as you like. For example, you can create a page that only contains notes, so the user can jump to it in order to manage their saved messages. Another option is to reserve one or two note cells on the home page or in the most commonly used categories, and use the "Show more notes" command to find the desired one.

Answers

"Answers" allow Verbo to remember all or some of the cells that the user activates in play mode. This is especially useful in educational activities and games, where it can be used to show partial or total results and evaluate whether the activity objectives have been met.

Use this feature to:

  • Save the user's answers on each page, and display the hits and misses at the end. This idea can be combined with the "Save page as PDF" action to store the results of an activity.
  • Ask the user to choose an option (e.g. the character's name) at the beginning, and use it later.

Create an activity with answers

As with notes, Verbo makes it very easy to use answers within a board. Just open the Answers section in the Insert cell dialog, and select the options "Remember answer", "Delete all" or "Show more" to add a cell with that action, or the "Answer" option to add a cell that shows an answer when in play mode.

Verbo Community

Verbo Community is a collaborative website where Verbo users can share their boards and activities and download those shared by others.

This can be especially interesting for beginners who use Verbo for first time, since they can use communication boards and activities from the website as a starting point to get to know the software. You can just download some boards from the Community, edit them (or not) and use them. It is that easy!

Visit the Verbo Community to find a great variety of communication boards and activities arranged by objectives and users.

  • Early care
  • Adults
  • Activities for all

You can also find a direct link in the Verbo software to the Verbo Community, just click on "Get boards online" in the dropdown menu.

Verbo for Android

Verbo for Android is a player. That is, you can use it to carry any board that you create on Windows (or that others share with you) at all times, and use it anywhere and with any interlocutor.

Verbo for Android supports almost every access system available on Windows: touchscreen, various scanning modes, switches, mice, keyboards, etc. You can also combine it with mounting systems in order to fix it to a wheelchair or desk. The look and feel of the boards is also identical to that of Windows.

In the school environment, Verbo Android offers a multitude of learning opportunities. Adapting (physically or cognitively) the curricular content in Verbo is very simple, as well as creating motivating activities and games to acquire new knowledge, abilities and skills, not only in one's own and foreign language but in all educational areas.

You can transfer your Windows boards to Android by connecting your phone or tablet via a USB cable as a mass storage device or multimedia device and copying the files to any location, sending them by email, or just synchronizing them through of a cloud storage service. When you open Verbo again, the boards will be available and ready to use. On the other hand, you also have a direct link to download boards from the Verbo Community.

More information

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