System Access Preferences

System Access preferences allow you to configure System Access to work just the way you want. To enter the Preferences menu, press Modifier+F, then press P for preferences. If you are using SAMNet, simply press alt+P.

You will be presented with the options of General Preferences, Text-to-Speech Preferences, Screen Magnification Preferences, Braille Preferences, Startup Preferences, Manage My Home Server, and Manage Machines. If you are running SAMNet, you'll see Some additional options. These are Font and Color Preferences, Password Manager, Sync Preferences, Socializer Preferences, and Personalize your SAMNet Home. These options will be covered separately in SAMNet's help documentation. The last item is the Close button. Choose the option of interest and press the Enter Key to configure its corresponding settings. See each option below.

General Preferences

Check the Key Echo checkbox if you wish to have every character spoken as you type it. Check the Word Echo checkbox if you wish to have each word you have typed spoken when you press the Spacebar, any punctuation, or the enter key.

The Alert Type option lets you set how web links are spoken when they are encountered. This is a drop-down box. All drop-down boxes require that you press Alt+Down Arrow to make your selection. The choices are Tone, which lets you hear an audible tone before each link is spoken; Word will speak the word link before each link is spoken; and nothing will disable this feature.

Read Tool Tips lets you decide how you will be notified of special announcements presented on the screen, either by Windows or other software. Your choices are Off, which disables this feature; In Virtual Mouse only, speaks items only when using the virtual mouse to review the screen by first pressing Modifier+M; or Always, which always speaks on-screen announcements as they appear, regardless of what you are doing.

The Simplified User Interface is specific to SAMNet. When checking this box, SAMNet items are displayed in a simple list view, allowing you to press the first letter of each item to quickly move to that item. If unchecked, you can either tab to each item in SAMNet Home, or press the Down Arrow Key and hear a number associated with each item.

Text-to-Speech Preferences

Text-to-Speech Preferences allow you to select the speech synthesizer that you want System Access to use. The default engine is DECtalk, but you can change it to other speech engines you have installed on your computer. Other voices that may be purchased include: Eloquence, Neospeech Kate, Paul, and Julie, any one or more of twelve voices from RealSpeak, or any one or more of six voices from Ivona. Other possible free voices that may or may not show up, depending on your configuration, may include: SAPI5 voices from Microsoft which will vary, depending on your version of Windows, the family of free voices from eSpeak, and possibly other SAPI5 and SAPI4 voices you may have installed.

Press Alt+Down Arrow to open the Text-to-Speech Engine drop-down, make your selection and press Tab to choose among the available voices that come with that speech engine. Tab once again to the Faster button. Each press of the Faster button will slightly increase the speaking rate, and will read the sentence "This is a test of your speech settings." Tab once more to the Slower button, and press this button to slow the voice until you find the rate that is comfortable for you. Next is the Higher button, which will increase the pitch of the voice. Tab again to the Lower button to lower the pitch. The same sentence will be read each time you adjust a setting to help you get the sound you desire.

The Punctuation option specifies how much punctuation you hear, and includes: None, Some, Most, or All. This varies depending on the voice you are using; therefore, you will need to play with this setting a bit until you find what's right for your needs. The final three checkboxes let you choose what happens when you encounter a capital letter. You can have the word "Cap" spoken before each capitalized letter, have the pitch of your voice raised before each capital letter, have a tone played before each capital letter, or any combination of these. Please note that all speech synthesizers support complete customization for speaking capitalized text.

Screen Magnification Preferences

Magnification preferences allow you to enlarge the screen in .25X increments from 1.25X to 6X. Just check the box to enable screen magnification. Use the button labeled "Larger" to increase the magnification by .25X increments, or use the button labeled "Smaller" to decrease the magnification by .25X increments. The next checkbox allows you to invert colors in the magnified image, and the final option is a checkbox allowing you to turn off magnification in the SA browser, used for viewing SAMNet content.

Braille Preferences

Braille preferences contain two options. The first allows you to set which translation table you want to use. The default is English 8-Dot Braille. the second and final option is a checkbox, allowing you to have speech while your Braille display is connected. Uncheck this box to turn off speech once your display is connected. Don't worry, once your display is disconnected, speech automatically returns, so you are not left with no access, or thinking your computer has crashed.

Startup Preferences

Startup preferences allow you to make two very important decisions about whether System Access will automatically begin when Windows is restarted. The first checkbox asks if you want System Access to begin speaking once you have logged on to Windows. Uncheck this if you prefer to have another screen reader as your default. The second checkbox asks if you want System Access to load on the logon screen so you have speech to choose which user will be logging on, and to enter your password. Uncheck this if you use another screen reader to log on to Windows.

Manage My Home Server

The home server allows you to access your computer from a remote location. This is handy for retrieving files when you are away from home, or if you lose speech, you can use another computer to get your sound back. In remote server options, you can either stop the server, or remove the home server from your computer entirely.

Manage Machines

Manage Machines options allow you to determine which of your machines are licensed. That's right, do it yourself, any time of the day or night, 24/7, without having to explain why you need a machine reset. If you need help, you can always call the friendly Serotek support staff weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time at (612) 246-4818.

First you will see a list of registered machines. Next to this is a Rename button. This allows you to change the name of each machine to something more meaningful to you, like Dan’s Laptop, or Windows 7 at Work. Next is a button to Set as Primary. You should set the computer you use the most as your primary machine. Finally is the Unregister button. Do this only to a computer on which you no longer wish to use a license of System access. You might use this option, for example, if you plan not to use a specific machine anymore, or if you are selling it or giving it away, or if you are upgrading to a newer version of Windows or reinstall Windows to a newly reformatted hard drive. Note that if you want to unregister the machine that is marked as your primary machine, you will first need to set another system as primary if you have more than one registered.

When finished, press Escape to exit.

Last modified December 10, 2014

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