Point-and-Chat® Instant Messaging -- Quick Reference Guide

This guide is to be used as a quick reference. You will find a copy in the Point-and-Chat ("PnC") Help menu, along with the software's current version number (the About window) and licensing information. You will also find a copy of the most current version online at www.simtalk.com/PnC/UserGuide .

Point-and-Chat runs on a desktop or laptop computer that uses either the Microsoft Windows XP or the Microsoft Vista operating system. Point-and-Chat may come bundled with DesktopChat, but DesktopChat is actually a separate program from Saltillo Corporation. You do not need DesktopChat to run Point-and-Chat.

In some versions the two programs come on one disk, in other versions they come on separate disks. You also may be able to download some versions of one or both programs from the Internet. (If available for download, the download website will contain download and installation instructions.)

You can use your computer keyboard or DesktopChat to create written messages that you can send using Point-and-Chat Instant Messaging. However, if you are already using another stand-alone Alternative/Augmentative Communication Device, you may be able to use that device to create written messages for Point-and-Chat, and perhaps even operate Point-and-Chat. An Alternative/Augmentative Communication Device is often called an "AAC device" or abbreviated as "ACD".

We have created detailed instructions for using several AAC devices to control Point-and-Chat. We call these "integration kits". When completed and tested, Integration Kits will be posted online at www.simtalk.com/PnC/integration.

If you will be operating Point-and-Chat only from a stand-alone AAC device, then you will not need to install DesktopChat on your computer. Also, if you already have DesktopChat on your computer, in most cases you do not have to install it again (but you may want to update it).

Installing Point-and-Chat (first time only):

Installation instructions will differ depending on whether you install Point-and-Chat from a CD or download it from the Internet. You can find installation instructions for both types of installation on the Internet at www.simtalk.com/PnC/UserGuide. We suggest that you print out the appropriate Quick Installation Guide. Then follow the instructions.

The installation process will install one or more pieces of software including Point-and-Chat ("PnC"). Each piece of software may have its own installation wizard. Follow each wizard. After a wizard or program installation, the process may pause up to 30 seconds before the next wizard or program installation begins. The installation wizard may give you choices to check or uncheck during installation. Select the appropriate checkboxes. Be careful, different versions may have different options. If you are a beginning user, do *not* check the AIM or AOL Start Page option.

The installation will place an icon on the computer desktop (if not already there). This is a picture of a smiley face talking with the title Point-and-Chat Instant Messaging ("PnC IM").

After installation, you can start Point-and-Chat by double clicking on its desktop icon.

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Turning off the AIM Start Page:

Sometimes an AIM web page will pop up all by itself when you log into Point-and-Chat. To prevent this from happening, go to the menu heading labeled "Settings" and uncheck "Launch AIM Page". This setting will be saved, so that the next time you log in, the AIM Page will not start. If you have several screen names (or users), you may have to change this setting the first time each user or screen name logs in.

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Installing Point-and-Chat on several computers:

You may install Point-and-Chat on up to three computers. If you want to then install it on another computer, you will have to first uninstall it from one of the first three. See below for instructions on how to uninstall Point-and-Chat.

If your Point-and-Chat came from a pre-activated CD, you can install Point-and-Chat on a new computer just by following the installation instructions for installing from a CD.

If your Point-and-Chat came from a 30 Day Free Trial CD or you downloaded a 30 Day Free Trial from the Internet, you are allowed to use the software for free for 30 days. After that, you must purchase a license to use the software, or it will stop working. (You do not need a new disk.) You can purchase a license by clicking the menu heading Help > Purchase/Activate, and following the instructions on the web site. Alternatively, if you wait until the license expires, a popup box will appear when you try to log in. You can click the hyperlink on that box and follow the instructions on the web site. Alternatively, you can also visit the activation web site at www.simtalk.com/PnC/activation.

If your Point-and-Chat came from a 30 Day Free Trial CD, and you then purchased a license to continue using it, you can still use your license on up to three computers. However, you must do several things.

1. Go to the menu heading Help > About Point-and-Chat IM
2. Click on the button labeled "Share License To Another Installation".
3. A window will pop up. Copy the "Share Code" - write it down.
4. Close this window; close the About Point-and-Chat IM window, and exit Point-and-Chat.
5. Install Point-and-Chat on the new computer using the trial CD according to the installation instructions for installing from a CD.
6. On the new computer, start Point-and-Chat and go to the menu heading Help > About Point-and-Chat IM
7. Click on the button labeled "Share License from Another Installation".
8. A window will pop up. Type in the "Share Code."
9. Click OK. Then click OK in the About Point-and-Chat IM window. Now you are ready to go.

If your Point-and-Chat came from a 30 Day Free Trial download, and you then purchased a license to use Point-and-Chat, you can still use your license on up to three computers. First write down the "Share Code" from the first computer (see above). Then download Point-and-Chat to the new computer and install it according to the download installation instructions. Then type the "Share Code" into the new computer (see above). Now you are ready to go.

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Installing DesktopChat from a CD (first time only):

Insert the DesktopChat CD into the computer. For most computers the installation will begin automatically (this may take a few moments). You will be given on-screen prompts for the rest of the installation. If installation does not start automatically, you will need to navigate to your CD through Windows Explorer and then choose the file: autorun.exe.

The CD will install one or more pieces of software including DesktopChat. Each piece of software may have its own installation wizard. Follow each wizard. After a wizard or program installation,the process may pause up to 30 seconds before the next wizard or program installation begins. The installation wizard may give you choices to check or uncheck during installation. Select the appropriate checkboxes.

The installation will place an icon on the computer desktop (if not already there):the Saltillo logo with the word "DesktopChat".

After installation, you can start DesktopChat by double clicking on its desktop icon. When you are using DesktopChat with Point-and-Chat, Point-and-Chat will start DesktopChat automatically the first time you indicate that you want to create a text message.

With some versions of DesktopChat, when you are installing DesktopChat, or later when you first use DesktopChat, the program may ask you to enter a Registration Code that can be found on the outside of the CD jewelcase that came with it. In some versions, Point-and-Chat will automatically install the registration number the first time that Point-and-Chat accesses the Internet.

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Uninstalling Point-and-Chat:

Click on the Windows Start menu in the lower-left corner of your screen. Then click on Control Panel. Depending on your computer, you will either see an Add/Remove Programs icon, or a Programs and Features icon, or a link called Uninstall a Program. Double-click whichever of these you see. Wait until the list is complete. Then, scroll down and find Point-and-Chat IM. Click on this item, and then click either an Uninstall button or a Remove button, whichever you see. Follow the onscreen wizard for removing the program.

This action will not only remove the files associated with Point-and-Chat IM, but it will also remove the license from this computer so you will be free to install and use Point-and-Chat IM on a different computer.

This action will not remove DesktopChat. If you installed a special version of DesktopChat that comes with Point-and-Chat, DesktopChat will not work when Point-and-Chat is uninstalled, or when the free trial for Point-and-Chat runs out. If you have a different version of DesktopChat, then uninstalling Point-and-Chat may return DesktopChat to unregistered mode. You can, if you have one, enter a valid DesktopChat license key by clicking its Help...Registration menu item. You can also uninstall DesktopChat by following the same procedure as for Point-and-Chat, except look for the DesktopChat item in the control panel list.

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Using DesktopChat:

When you run DesktopChat, it makes your computer act like an AAC device. When you click on or activate one of the buttons in the DesktopChat window, the computer will speak the word out loud and place the text for the word in the text box at the top of the DesktopChat window. When you end a sentence with a punctuation mark (from a DesktopChat button), the computer will repeat the entire sentence. You can use certain buttons to erase the last word in the DesktopChat text box and other buttons to erase all text in the DesktopChat text box.

You can create your own screen layouts and vocabulary files using DesktopChat editing features, or you can use the vocabulary files included with DesktopChat. These vocabulary files include the PalmChat screen layouts and vocab files developed by Nancy Inman. You can load other screen layouts and vocab files too.

DesktopChat can be used to export screen layouts and vocab files to Saltillo's ChatPC, a handheld AAC device. For more information, start DesktopChat and look at the Help file at the menu heading Help > Help Index.

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DesktopChat functions within Point-and-Chat:

When you run Point-and-Chat, and first try to enter text for Instant Messaging by clicking on the text editing box in the bottom half of the Point-and-Chat window (or when the computer first focuses on the text editing box), the computer will look to see if DesktopChat is running on the computer. If not, the computer will launch DesktopChat. In this case, the computer is expecting all text to be entered through the DesktopChat interface.

This is the default setting, but it can be changed. Just go to the menu heading Settings and uncheck "Use DesktopChat".

If you use a keyboard to write, and do not need DesktopChat to create text and sentences for instant messaging, you can turn off the DesktopChat functions of Point-and-Chat. If you are using a stand-alone AAC device to create written messages and transmit them to Point-and-Chat, you should also turn off the DesktopChat functions of Point-and-Chat.

Keeping Point-and-Chat in focus:

If you use DesktopChat to control Point-and-Chat using command buttons within the DesktopChat interface, you may wish to enable the setting "Keep PnC in focus when using DesktopChat" found in the menu heading: Settings>Using DesktopChat. This will ensure that Point-and-Chat is always ready to receive your keyboard text even though you've clicked on DesktopChat. If this option is unchecked, clicking on DesktopChat will, by default, take keyboard focus away from Point-and-Chat.

Changing the way text is received from DesktopChat:

See the section in this document called "Writing and sending an Instant Message" for more.

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Before you start Instant Messaging - choosing a screen name:

You need a screen name - and you need to register it with the AOL Instant Messaging network (also known as the "AIM" network). There is no charge for this. It enables you to exchange instant messages with anyone using Point-and-Chat *and* anyone using AOL Instant Messaging, as well as anyone using other IM software that is compatible with the AIM network.

To get a screen name, you need be on a computer with an Internet connection. (It does not have to be the computer where you have installed Point-and-Chat.) Go to http://www.aim.com/. Click on the "Get a Screen Name" link near the top. Follow the instructions. Write down your new screen name and password. You can also go to this website from Point-and-Chat. Just click on the menu heading File > Get a Screen Name.

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Starting Point-and-Chat IM:

Double click on the Point-and-Chat Instant Messaging icon. It is on the computer desktop with the other program icons. The icon will have the caption "PnC IM". It looks like a yellow smiley face talking. Point-and-Chat can also be started from (and controlled by) some stand-alone AAC devices, including the DynaVox Series 4 (DV4).

The first time Point-and-Chat starts, your computer's firewall will present you with a choice. Select the option that will always grant Point-and-Chat access to the Internet. For more information, see the next section.

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Allowing Point-and-Chat to access the Internet:

Your computer's firewall helps protect the computer from harm. One way it does this is by only allowing known programs to access the Internet. When your computer's firewall presents you with a choice to let a program access the Internet, you should only allow it if you trust what the program does. Point-and-Chat needs to access the Internet, and will cause this choice to be presented to you. When you are presented with this choice labeled "Point-and-Chat IM" or "PnCIM.exe", select the option that will always let Point-and-Chat have access to the Internet. The appearance of the choice will vary by your brand of firewall, but here are some common ones:

Windows Firewall: You will receive a Windows Security Alert with the question, "Do you want to keep blocking this program?" Click on the Unblock button.

ZoneAlarm: You will receive a ZoneAlarm Security Alert. Check the "Remember this setting" box and then click the Allow button.

Norton: You will receive a Norton 360 Alert saying, "A Program is attempting to access the Internet Should Norton 360 allow this access?" Click the Allow button.

IF YOU MADE THE WRONG CHOICE, Point-and-Chat will not be able to function correctly. If the choice was only temporary, you may be able to resolve this by closing and restarting Point-and-Chat, which will trigger your firewall to present you with the choice again.

However, if you made the wrong choice permanent, you won't be presented with the choice again, and you must adjust your firewall's settings manually. The procedure to do this varies by brand of firewall, but here are some common ones:

Windows Firewall: Click on Start, then click on Control Panel. Find the Windows Firewall icon and click on it. (To find it, you may have to first click on the category called Network and Internet.) Click on the Exceptions tab. Scroll down and find the entry called Point-and-Chat IM or simply PnCIM. Make sure the box next to it is checked. If there are multiple entries for this program, make sure they are all checked. Finally, click the OK button.

ZoneAlarm: Double-click the ZoneAlarm (ZA) icon in the system tray. On the left side of the window that pops up, click Program Control, and then click on the Programs tab at the top. Scroll down the list of programs until you find Point-and-Chat IM. Click on the symbol that appears for Point-and-Chat IM under the Access Internet column. Select Allow from the dropdown menu that is presented. If Point-and-Chat IM appeared more than once in the program list, select Allow in the same manner for each line where it appears. Finally, close the window by clicking the X in the upper-right corner.

Norton: Double-click the Norton icon in the system tray. Under the PC Security heading, click Manage Firewall. Then click on the Program Rules tab. Scroll down in the list of programs and find Point-and-Chat IM. Click on the dropdown list to the right of it and select Allow. Finally, click the Close button.

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Logging on to Point-and-Chat and the AIM network:

The first time PnC IM starts, a small window will pop up that requires you to enter your screen name and password. (An Instant Message screen name is often called a "buddy name".) This window includes a "Remember Me" checkbox. We recommend that you check this box - especially if only one person is using Point-and-Chat on this computer. If this box is checked, the next time you start Point-and-Chat IM, the program will automatically log you on as this screen name (and the small window will *not* pop up). If the box is not checked, the small window will pop up each time you start Point-and-Chat Instant Messaging, and you will have to type in your screen name and password each time you start up Point-and-Chat Instant Messaging. (This "Remember me" option can also be useful when using some stand-alone AAC devices. Some of these devices may automatically capitalize or add spaces to text that they send to a computer. This may interfere with the computer recognizing your screen name or password.)

When you first log on, you can also tell the computer how to pronounce your screen name. This can be helpful if you use the computer to read back Instant Messages to you. Often screen names have words squeezed together with numbers. The computer might not read them correctly unless you separate them. You do not need a pronunciation guide to log on - and you can change it later. To enter or change your screen name just go to the menu heading: File > Log In As. You can also go to File > Log In As to uncheck the Remember Me checkbox.

If your attempt to log in is unsuccessful, the computer will tell you (using the computer synthesized voice), "Please try again."

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Before you can chat with someone - adding a contact's screen name:

To chat with a someone (often called a "buddy" on instant messaging networks), you must first add the person (your "buddy") to your contact list. And, if your buddy is using Point-and-Chat Instant Messaging, he or she must add you to his or her contact list.

Here is why we do this. Some of the people for whom Point-and-Chat is designed are members of vulnerable populations, so we do not allow them to receive messages, advertisements, or spam from strangers.

How to add a person to your contact list. Go to the menu heading: File > Add Contact. A small window will pop up. You type in the person's screen name. Then choose a category from the drop down menu: Buddies, Family, Co-worker or AIM Bots. This allows you to group similar types of contacts together on the contacts pages. The Co-worker tab will only appear if you have categorized at least one of your contacts as a Co-worker

You can always edit this contact information by going to File > Edit my contact list… and then clicking on the name of a particular contact. The screen will then show you the contact information you can change or edit.

What is an AIM Bot. An "AIM Bot" is a computer program on the Internet that will have instant message conversations with you. "Bot" is a shortened form of the word robot or chatterbot. Most bots do not really engage in conversations. Some give out useful information, like headlines, stock quotes and movie times. Others let you play trivia quizzes. You can find out more about AIM Bots at http://www.aim.com/.

How to remove a person (or a bot) from your contact list. Go to the menu heading: File > Remove Contact. Then enter the person's (or bot’s) screen name and click OK.

You can also go to the menu heading: File > Edit my contact list… then click on the contact name. The screen will show the person's contact information. You can then click the delete button.

Making all AIM Bots disappear. If you are not going to use any AIM Bots, you can remove the AIM Bot tab,by going to the menu heading “Settings” and uncheck "Show AIM Bots."

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Using an SMS text messaging phone number as a contact:

With Point-and-Chat (using the AIM network), you can send and receive text messages to and from cell phones capable of SMS text messaging. Most cell phones already support SMS text messaging. Many cell phone networks will receive text messages from and send text messages through the AIM network. There is no fee for you, the Point-and-Chat user, but there may be fees involved for the subscriber of that cell phone service.

To use this feature, add a contact the same way as usual. Click on menu heading: File > Add Contact. Then, enter the phone number using the following format. A plus sign, followed by a number 1, followed by the 3 digit area code, followed by the 7 digit number. Don't use spaces, dashes, or any other symbols. For example: +17175551212

The first time you send a message to another person on a cell phone, that person will receive a prompt asking if the person wants to allow messages to be sent in this manner through AIM. The person must allow it in order to write back and for you to send messages in the future.

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Adding your own picture or a buddy icon:

CAUTION: FOR SAFETY REASONS, MANY PEOPLE DO NOT LIKE TO PUT THEIR PHOTOGRAPH ON THE INTERNET. However, there are two ways that Point-and-Chat can use photos. One of these ways does not involve showing your picture to strangers.

You can send people a picture of yourself when you send them an Instant message. (This picture is often called a "buddy icon".) When you send them an instant message, the picture will show up on their computers to help them know who you are when they look at their contact lists. This doesn't have to be a photograph, and can even be just a graphic design that you want people to recognize as yours. To choose a picture, go to the menu heading: File > Choose my Buddy Icon.

1. Click on Browse Local Files and select the picture from your computer that you want to use as your public face.
2. If you are happy with the way it looks, click Save to upload the image to AOL.
3. You also can use this method to change your picture, and upload a new one. But if you change your picture, then want to go back to the way it was, just go to File > Choose my Buddy Icon and click the Previous button.

You do not have to have a picture or buddy icon to have IM conversations.

A SAFER WAY TO USE YOUR PHOTOGRAPH.

Many people will not want to send their pictures through the IM software. (AOL computers store copies of the buddy icons.) Instead, you can give your friend your picture (or email it to your friend). Your friend can then attach that picture to the contact list on your friend's computer. (See below about "Adding a picture to a contact listing.")

You can create your own buddy icon on your own computer. Many different companies make illustration and photo editing software that can help you do this.

You can also create a buddy icon on the AOL website. For example, you can create cartoon-like pictures of yourself called WeeMees. If you create or choose a buddy icon from the AOL website, it will automatically be broadcast over the AIM network as your buddy icon.

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Changing your own buddy icon:

You can always change your own buddy icon. Go to menu heading File > Choose my buddy icon… Then follow the directions above for adding your own picture or buddy icon.

You can also change how your name is displayed and pronounced on your computer. Go to menu heading File > Choose my visible name.

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Adding a picture to a contact listing:

If someone has chosen a buddy icon, it will automatically be sent to you and show up in the Contact list. This is the person's default buddy icon. If this picture or graphic does not remind you of the person, you can change it to one you have on your computer. (This will not change the picture for any other contact listed on your computer, and it will not be sent over the IM network.) Just go to the menu heading: File > Edit my contact list…, then click on the contact's name. The screen will show the contact information. You can click on the "Browse" button to find and use a picture that is on your computer. This will put a new picture in the "preferred" icon that will show on your contact list page. Click on the "Use Default" button to return to that contact's public buddy icon.

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Changing other aspects of a contact listing:

Changing Visible Name: You cannot change anyone else's screen name, but you can change how Point-and-Chat will display the name and pronounce it.

Changing Pronunciation: You can use this editing function to change how the computer pronounces the person's screen name. You can even use this function to have the computer not speak the person's screen name, but instead pronounce the name you associate with that person, such as "Uncle Bob", instead of a screen name like "bob52341".

Changing grouping: You can use this editing function to move a contact from one grouping to another, such as from "buddies" to "family".

Deleting contacts: You can use the editing function to delete contacts. You can also remove contacts by going to the File menu: File > Remove contact ... Then, when the new screen opens, type in the screen name of the contact you want to remove.

Showing that the contact is for text messaging: If you check the checkbox called "Show that the contact is for SMS Text (cell phone)", then an icon of a cell phone will appear over the contact image. This checkbox will be chedked by default if the contact name appears to be an SMS text phone number.

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Beginning an Instant Messaging conversation - choosing someone to chat with:

1. Click on the Contacts button. This will show your contacts by name and screen image. Some people choose a screen image from images offered by the AIM network. Some people choose an image from their own computer, maybe even their own photo. Point-and-Chat lets you associate an image of your choice with the contact, even if the contact uses a different image for AIM. For example a relative may choose a smiley face, but you might want to associate that relative's photo with the screen name. If the contact's picture is covered by a red circle with a line slashed through it, this means that the contact is not online, and cannot receive messages. You can only start a message with someone who is already online.
2. Click on the tab for the group of contacts of interest - buddies, family or AIM bots. Each group has one or more pages of contact information.
3. Click on the contact. This will open a conversation window with a tab containing the name and picture of the contact.

Once you have started an IM conversation with a person, if that person logs off and goes off-line, the conversation window will still remain open. However, Point-and-Chat will tell you (using the computer synthesized voice) that the person has logged off.

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Writing and sending an Instant Message:

1. Enter some words in the text editing box. You can use either DesktopChat or the computer keyboard. In some cases you can use a stand-alone AAC device such as the DynaVox Series 4 DV4. For a list of stand-alone AAC devices that work with Point-and-Chat, see www.simtalk.com/PnC/integration. That website includes instructions for using them with Point-and-Chat. (If you are using a stand-alone AAC device to control Point-and-Chat, you should turn off the DesktopChat functions of Point-and-Chat.)

a. Entering text with DesktopChat (the default setting). AAC users can use the DesktopChat interface to enter the words and sentences they want to send to their friends. First, click on the text editing box in Point-and-Chat; this will open DesktopChat. Wait until it is open, then use DesktopChat to choose words and sentences. These words and sentences will appear at the text box at the top of the DesktopChat window. Point-and-Chat will automatically copy the text from the DesktopChat text box at the top of the DesktopChat window to the text editing box in the lower section of Point-and-Chat.

b. Enter text using the computer keyboard. To do this, you must uncheck the "Use Desktop Chat" option in the "Settings" menu heading. (See DesktopChat functions within Point-and-Chat.)

2. Edit the text. You can erase any sentence in the Point-and-Read text editing box using the Erase button. This is the button with a picture of a pencil's eraser.

a. After you have entered new text, clicking on the Erase button will erase the last sentence (or partial sentence) in the text editing box. Clicking on the Erase button again, will erase the new last sentence. You can continue erasing one sentence at a time until all sentences are erased.

b. If you use Point-and-Chat to read part of the text in the text editing box (see below about hearing and reading a message), clicking on the Erase button will erase the sentence that was last read aloud by the computer.

c. You may also be able to edit the text before it leaves DesktopChat if DesktopChat has a Clear button or a Delete Word button. There are 4 special options for how words produced in DesktopChat are transferred and "locked in" to Point-and-Chat. These affect how much the Clear button will affect text transferred to Point-and-Chat. You can find these options in the Settings menu: Settings > DestkopChat text mode.

i. Lock in all new text when cleared. Using the Clear button will lock in new text into Point-and-Chat, but clear the DesktopChat text box.

ii. Lock in all new text when cleared -- if punctuated. Using the Clear button will only lock in to Point-and-Chat the portion of the new text that has an end-of-sentence punctuation mark. The remaining sentence fragment will not be locked into Point-and-Read. The DesktopChat text box will be cleared.

iii. Lock in all new text when cleared -- add missing punctuation. Using the Clear button will lock in all new text into Point-and-Read, but add an end-of-sentence punctuation mark to any last fragment of a sentence. The DesktopChat text box will be cleared.

iv. Lock in all new text as soon as it's punctuated. As soon as an end-of-sentence punctuation mark has been entered into the DesktopChat (and echoed on the Point-and-Chat text editing box), that sentence will be locked in. Of course, locked in sentences can still be erased by using the Erase button.

3. Send the Instant Message. Click on the Send button - with a picture of a smiley face talking. The message will be sent to the contact whose picture appears on the tab to the left of the window. The message will also appear in the message box above the text editing box.

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Receiving an Instant Message:

1. Receiving an Instant Message in the currently active conversation. New instant messages will appear in the message box of the currently displayed conversation.
2. Receiving an Instant Message in a conversation that is not on top. When a conversation receives a message, the tab for that conversation (with the screen name and image of the contact) will be highlighted in green. Click on that tab to see or hear the message.
3. Receiving an Instant Message that starts a new conversation. A tab with the screen name and image of the contact that sent the Instant Message will appear, and will be highlighted in green. Click on that tab to see or hear that message.

There is a setting that will insert extra whitespace (blank lines) in between the sent and received messages of your conversation. You can enable or disable this by going to menu heading: Settings > Add space between IMs.
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Hearing (and reading) an Instant Message:

By default, the computer reads out loud the first part of a new Instant Message -- automatically. (This might be just the name of the message's sender or the entire first sentence of the message, depending on the message's punctuation.) The user can have the rest of the message read using the Previous, Next and Repeat buttons. (See below for more information.) The user can also use the computer mouse to read messages (see below).

1. This automatic reading ("auto read") can be turned off or on. Go to the menu heading Settings, then uncheck (or check) the "Auto read incoming IM" option.
2. All text to speech can be turned off as well. Go to the menu heading Settings, then uncheck the "Speech On" option. This will turn off text to speech for Point-and-Read, but not other programs on the computer.

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Using the top row of buttons to read Instant Messages:

The buttons can be used to have the computer read sentences out loud from any text box in Point-and-Read that has a blue border (i.e. that has the computer's focus).

1. Previous. The button shows a blue arrow pointing to the left. Clicking or activating this button will use computer synthesized speech to read the previous sentence aloud.
2. Next. The button shows a blue arrow pointing to the right. Clicking or activating this button will use computer synthesized speech to read the next sentence aloud.
3. Repeat. The button shows a blue arrow pointing in a counter-clockwise circle. Clicking or activating this button will use computer synthesized speech to read the currently highlighted sentence again, or re-read the sentence that the computer just read aloud.
4. Toggle. The button shows a white arrow that loops down and then to the right (like a backwards "J"). Clicking or activating this button will move the focus of the computer (for purposes of text-to-speech reading) between the two text boxes. More specifically, the focus will move from the current box to the other box. A blue border will show which box has the focus.
(Also, when viewing the Contacts table, the Toggle button will advance through the contact category tabs, and read the tab aloud.)
5. Close. The button shows a big red "X". If you are in a conversation window, clicking or activating this button will close the current IM conversation. If you are on the contacts window and there are still active IM conversations, clicking or activating this button will hide the contacts window and show the conversation with the lighted tab. However if you are in the contacts window and there are no active IM conversations, then clicking or activating the big red "X" will close the Point-and-Chat Instant Messaging program. The Close button will also close a pop-up log-in window. (This is the same as cancelling the window.)

You can also close the whole IM program by going to the menu heading File > Exit.

ALSO: When viewing the Contacts table, the Toggle button will advance through the contact category tabs (buddies, family, AIM bots, etc.), and read the tab aloud. Within a particular contacts tab, using the Previous, Next, and Repeat button will navigate through the Contacts table and read the contact's name out loud.

If you want to close out the current IM session, but log in under another screen name, you can go to the menu heading File > Log out. This will log you out of the AIM network, but not close the Point-and-Chat program. Then you can sign in again under another name by going to the menu heading File > Log In As.

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Using the keyboard or DesktopChat to control Point-and-Chat:

The Point-and-Chat software can respond to keystroke combinations from your keyboard, or from keyboard emulators such as DesktopChat. By default, this behavior is enabled. To change it, click on menu heading: Settings > Accept keystroke commands. You will see four choices. You can select either from keyboards, from emulators (such as DesktopChat), both, or none.

You may be able to connect a stand-alone AAC device to your computer and use it to control Point-and-Chat or enter text into Point-and-Chat. Some stand-alone AAC devices connect using the USB port and act as if they were keyboard emulators. Other stand-alone AAC devices connect using a serial connection. To enable the automatic launch of software that can listen for an AAC device through a serial connection, click on the menu heading: Settings > AAC Serial cable connection. You may be prompted to download special software.

See the Integration Kit for more information about connecting AAC devices, and how to program stand-alone AAC devices to control Point-and-Chat.

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Changing the way buttons are highlighted:

To change the way buttons are highlighted when you move the mouse over them, click on the menu heading: Settings > Button highlighting. You will see two choices. If you select "standard", buttons will change slightly in appearance when the mouse moves over them, as determined by your computer's system defaults. If you select "yellow", buttons will change to a bright yellow color when the mouse moves over them.

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Using the computer mouse to read Instant Messages:

The Point-and-Chat software knows what a sentence is. When you move the computer mouse over text in the message box or the editing box, the computer will highlight any sentence that the mouse travels over. When the mouse stops over any part of a sentence for about a second, the computer will read that sentence aloud. We call this "Point-and-Read" technology, and it is patented.

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Changing the maximum number of allowed conversations:

You can change the number of Instant Message conversations that Point-and-Chat can show at the same time. The best setting may depend upon your screen size and screen resolution. Go to the menu heading: Settings > Maximum IM tabs, and select the number you want to use as the maximum limit.

You will not be able to open a new conversation when the maximum number has already been reached.

If someone writes to you when the maximum has already been reached, he or she will receive an automatic reply that states:

" (your user name) could not receive your message because they have no more room on their screen. Please try again later."

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Positioning the Point-and-Chat window on the screen automatically:

In the default setting, the Point-and-Chat window will be positioned on the left side of your computer screen automatically when you log in. It will use the maximum available height.

You can turn off this default behavior by going to the menu heading: Settings > “Position with EZ-Fit when I long in” and uncheck that setting.

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Closing an IM conversation:

Make sure the conversation that you want to close is "on top" and is showing on the screen. (You can do this by clicking on the tab with the contact's picture or name.) Then click on the Close button with the big red "X".

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Using the SWITCH button to switch between Point-and-Chat programs:

In some versions of Point-and-Chat you will see a button labeled "SWITCH", located below the "Toggle" button. This SWITCH button makes it easier to switch between different Point-and-Chat programs that are running on the same computer. If the button is visible but "greyed out", it means that there are no other Point-and-Chat programs running to which it can switch. If the button is clearly visible, it will have a picture of a small green arrow laying on top of two overlapping windows.

The entire SWITCH button will turn green when another Point-and-Chat program has an incoming message. This could be a new email in a Point-and-Chat email program or a new Instant Message in a different instance of the Point-and-Chat Instant Messaging program.

If you click on the SWITCH button, you will be taken to the other Point-and-Chat program that is running. If there are more than two Point-and-Chat programs running, a drop-down list will appear from which you can select which program you want to use.

Switching to a different Point-and-Chat program will not close the program you are currently using, but merely hide it. You can return to the first Point-and-Chat program by clicking the SWITCH button in the second Point-and-Chat program.

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Quitting, closing or exiting Point-and-Chat:

1. After exiting all IM conversations, you can go to the contacts page and click on the Close button with the big red "X".
2. You can click on the little "X" button in the upper right corner of the Point-and-Chat Window.
3. You can click on the menu heading File > Exit.
4. You can also log off as this user by clicking on the menu heading File > Log off. Then you can sign in under the same or another name.

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Dealing with SPAM:

AOL prohibits people from sending Instant Messenger-delivered SPAM (sometimes called "SPIM") over their networks.

You are not allowed to send SPAM. If you send SPAM, AOL may stop you from using their network, and Point-and-Chat will stop working. Do not give your screenname and password to people who you don't know.

If someone sends you SPAM you can remove that person's screen name from your contact list. For instructions see above. You can also report SPAM to AOL by sending an email to ReportDevAbuse@aol.com.

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AOL Attribution:

Point-and-Chat is for use with the U.S. based version of the AOL Service exclusively. You can find more information at the "AIM® Enabled" webpage at http://developer.aim.com/aimenabled.jsp.

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Activating Point-and-Chat on your computer:

Pre-activated CD. If you installed Point-and-Chat from a pre-activated CD, the Point-and-Chat software is activated automatically. (The CD will have the words "Pre-activated" displayed prominently.) You may install Point-and-Chat on up to 3 computers. In order to use it on another computer, you have to UN-install it from one of the first 3.

Activation from Free Trial. If you installed Point-and-Chat from a 30 Day Free Trial download or a 30 Day Free Trial CD, you are allowed to use the software for free for 30 days.(The CD will have the words "30 Day Free Trial" displayed prominently.) After that, you must purchase a license to use the software, or it will stop working. (You do not need a new disk.) You can purchase a license by clicking the menu heading Help > Purchase/Activate, and following the instructions on the web site. Alternatively, if you wait until the license expires, a popup box will appear when you try to log in. You can click the hyperlink on that box and follow the instructions on the web site. Alternatively, you can also visit the activation web site at www.simtalk.com/PnC/activation.

To share this purchased license with another computer, you must run Point-and-Chat on the first computer and go to the Help menu. Go to menu item labeled “About Point-and-Chat IM”. A window will pop up. Click on the “Share License to Another Installation” button and write down the share code. Then install Point-and-Chat on the new computer and run it. Then go to Help menu item labeled “About Point-and-Chat IM” and click on the “Share License From Another Installation”. Then enter the share code where directed and click “OK”. You may share the license among up to 3 computers. In order to share it with still another computer you must UN-install Point-and-Chat from one of the first 3.

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Copyright © 2008-2009, Point-and-Read, Inc.