Point-and-Chat® Twitter -- 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, the Microsoft Vista, or the Microsoft Windows 7 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.

Saltillo's TouchChat (Windows Editor) is a newer version of DesktopChat. TouchChat works with Point-and-Chat in similar ways as DesktopChat. TouchChat does not come with Point-and-Chat but must be purchased separately from Saltillo. For more information about TouchChat contact Saltillo.

In some versions Point-and-Chat and DesktopChat 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, DesktopChat, or TouchChat to create written messages that you can send using Point-and-Chat Twitter. 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. We have not created any integration kits specifically for the Point-and-Chat Twitter software, but you can adapt some of the kits created for Point-and-Chat Instant Messaging.

If you will be operating Point-and-Chat only from a stand-alone AAC device, then you will not need to install DesktopChat or TouchChat on your computer. Also, if you already have DesktopChat or TouchChat 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.

The installation will place an icon on the computer desktop (if not already there). This is a picture of a blue bird, with the title Point-and-Chat Twitter ("PnC Twitter").

After installation, you can start Point-and-Chat by double clicking on its desktop icon. YOU MUST CREATE AND CONFIGURE YOUR IDENTITY BEFORE YOU CAN SEND ANY TWEETS (see below).

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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, read tweets, or send tweets. 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 Twitter
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 Twitter 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 Twitter
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 Twitter 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, 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 when you log in or try to compose a 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 Twitter. 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 Twitter, but it will also remove the license from this computer so you will be free to install and use Point-and-Chat Twitter on a different computer.

This action will not remove DesktopChat. If you installed a special version of DesktopChat that sometimes 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 may 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 log in, 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 > Using Desktop Chat, and uncheck “Use DesktopChat”.

If you use a keyboard to write, and do not need DesktopChat to create text and sentences for Twitter, 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 "Sending Tweets" for more.

 

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Starting Point-and-Chat Twitter:

Double click on the Point-and-Chat Twitter icon. It is on the computer desktop with the other program icons. The icon will have the caption "PnC Twitter". It looks like a blue bird. Point-and-Chat may 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. YOU MUST CREATE AND CONFIGURE YOUR IDENTITY BEFORE YOU CAN SEND ANY TWEETS (see below).

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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 Twitter" or "PnCTwitter.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 Twitter or simply PnCTwitter. 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 Twitter. Click on the symbol that appears for Point-and-Chat Twitter under the Access Internet column. Select Allow from the dropdown menu that is presented. If Point-and-Chat Twitter 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 Twitter. Click on the dropdown list to the right of it and select Allow. Finally, click the Close button.

YOU MUST CREATE AND CONFIGURE YOUR IDENTITY BEFORE YOU CAN SEND ANY TWEETS (see below).

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Creating or importing an identity:

When PnC Twitter starts, a small window will pop up that requires you to select an identity. An identity is similar to a Windows user; it is a collection of an individual person's preferences, twitter accounts, and contact lists. Identities allow multiple people to share the same PnC Twitter program and still keep all of their personal items separate.

The first time this screen is displayed, there will be no identities shown.

Creating a new identity

Click on menu heading: Edit > Manage identities. Then click on the "Create New" button.

On the "Identity Setup" screen, check the box "Available to all Windows users" if you don't want to restrict other users of this computer from using this identity. Uncheck the box if you want only the current Windows user to have access to this identity. You can change this setting later.

In the "My Real Name" text box, enter your real name, for example, "Jane Smith". This is the name that will appear to people who read your tweets, and it will also appear on the login screen when the program starts. You can change this setting later.

You may choose two icons. A Public Icon that will be sent over the Internet to help others identify you and a Private Icon that will be private and only used on this computer to help at login when choosing among identities. This Private Icon image will *not* be sent over the Internet.

IMPORTANT: Click the button called "Change Login Over Web". Your web browser will be opened and show a page on the Twitter web site. Here, enter your Twitter login information and confirm that you want to allow the Point-and-Chat software to access your account. On the next web page, you will be presented with a sequence of numbers in a large font. Select and copy these numbers to the Windows clipboard (you can do this by holding the mouse button and dragging across all of the numbers, then right-clicking the selected area and choosing "Copy"). Finally, return to Point-and-Chat Twitter, which will have found the numbers in the clipboard. To confirm that this was successful, you should now see your login name in the textbox to the right of the button.

You can view or make changes to any of these identity settings later by going to the menu heading: Edit > My Identity Setup.

Importing an identity

Close all instances of Point-and-Chat.

On the computer where the identity is, locate the folder on your computer where identity data is stored. On a Windows XP computer, this will either be in "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Point-and-Read\identities" or "C:\Program Files\Point-and-Read\Point-and-Chat Twitter\identities". On a Windows Vista computer, this will be in "C:\Program Data\Point-and-Read\identities".

Find which identity you want to import. It will have its own subfolder, which are numbered 001, 002, 003, etc. Copy the numbered folder to the computer that you want to move the identity to, by placing it in the appropriate "identities" folder (see above paragraph for finding it). If there already exists an identity folder with the same number, you can rename one of them.

The next time you run Point-and-Chat Twitter, the new identity will appear for you to select. All of the preferences and contact lists will be there.

 

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Logging on to Point-and-Chat Twitter with your identity:

When Point-and-Chat Twitter starts, a screen will appear that requires you to select from the available identities by clicking on its button. 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 Twitter, the program will automatically log you on as this identity (and the identities screen will *not* appear).

You can always go to File > Select Identity to uncheck the "Remember Me" checkbox or switch to a different identity.

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Support for users with non-English text-to-speech:


At this time, the only version of the software is written with English in mind, but it can be accessible to users whose computers "speak" other languages using non-English text-to-speech.  Both DesktopChat and Point-and-Chat can use text-to-speech software of another language, so that pronunciations will be correct,  if you already have it on your Windows computer.
 
DesktopChat: The vocabulary files that come with DesktopChat are in English.  You can modify them by adding words of another language.  You can create new vocabulary files for a different language.
 
If you already have the Saltillo ChatPC with vocabulary files in  the language of your choice, you can use those files with DesktopChat.
 
The menu headings are in English.  They are for editing.  Most end users do not need to work with them.  However, the person setting up the pages and vocabulary files probably needs to use them.
 
Point-and-Chat:  This software will take text from DesktopChat.  If DesktopChat produces words in another language, then that is what will be taken.
 
The labels of the buttons are in English.  But, all buttons have large images that show what the buttons do.  So the labels are not so important for many users.
 
The menu headings and preference settings are in English.  They are for setting up the software.  Most end users would not need to use them.  However, the person setting up the software for the end user probably needs to use them.

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Basic Twitter (1)- sending a Tweet versus receiving Tweets from someone else (following someone):

Sending a tweet is like posting a short public notice to the world about what you are doing. (It cannot be longer than 140 characters.) It will appear in the message box for the tab with a blue bird.

In order to receive the tweets that someone else posts, you must decide to "follow" that person.

Receiving a tweet - how to follow someone - following. Click on the menu heading File>Follow Twitter User. A popup box will appear. Enter the Twitter name of the person you want to follow in the text box. Click OK.

All of the tweets from everyone you follow will also appear in the message box for the tab with the blue bird.

Everyone that you follow is shown in your address book. To see your address book, click on the Contacts button. Clicking on the Following tab will show a grid of all of the people you follow.

If you no longer want to receive a person's tweets, you "unfollow" them.

To unfollow someone, click on the menu heading File>Unfollow Twitter User. A popup box will appear. Enter the Twitter name of the person you want to unfollow in the text box. Click OK.

You can also unfollow someone by clicking on the menu heading File>Edit my Twitter friends..., then clicking on the person's button, then clicking the Unfollow button.

Followers. Just as you follow people to receive their tweets, other people may follow you to receive your tweets. You can see who they are - just go to the address book, and click on the Followers tab. This will show a grid of all the people who follow you.

You do not have to follow someone just because he or she follows you -- AND -- just because you follow someone, it does not mean that person follows you. However, you will not see the tweets of a follower unless you also folllow that person.

Buddies. If you follow someone, and that person follows you, then that person shows up under the Buddies tab in the address book. Just as importantly, you can send that person a direct message (discussed below).

Blocking someone. You may want prevent someone from following you or sending you messages. To do that you have to "block" that person. Click on the menu heading File>Edit my Twitter friends. A grid will come up. Then click on the icon of the person you want to block. In the popup box, click on the block control.

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Basic Twitter (2)- sending a Tweet versus sending a Direct Message to a Buddy:

Sending a tweet is like posting a short public notice to the world about what you are doing. It will appear in the message box for the tab with a blue bird.

Sending a Direct Message is a short private message sent to a specific person in your contact list - someone that you follow and who follows you. It is like a private tweet sent to a buddy. It is like a mini-email, because it can not be over 140 characters. The direct messages exchanged with this buddy will appear in the message box for the tab with that person's icon.

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Basic Twitter (3)- tabbed Twitter streams:

There are one or more tabs on the left side of the Point-and-Chat interface. Clicking on a tab will show the twitter stream (or exchange of messages) associated with that tab.

The first tab shows a blue bird. This tab is always present. This is the basic Twitter stream of your tweets and the tweets of the people you follow.

Each of the other tabs shows the direct messages you have exchanged with the buddy whose icon and name show on the tab. To display this tab, you first have to go to the buddies tab in the address book, and click on the icon of one of your buddies. Then a tab with that buddy's icon will appear. There is not enough space for an unlimited number of tabs. So you may have to close some tabs to open others.

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Basic Twitter (4)- sending Tweets:

Sending a tweet in Point-and-Chat Twitter is almost idenitical to sending an instant message on Point-and-Chat IM. Here is how you send a tweet to the world

First bring up your main Twitter stream. If only the blue bird tab is showing, you are there and can start entering text. If several twitter stream tabs are showing, click on the blue bird tab.

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. AAC users can use the DesktopChat interface to enter the words and sentences they want to tweet. 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-Chat. 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-Chat, 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 Tweet. 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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Editing your contacts:

The address book or contact list was discussed above, with its following, followers, and buddies tabs. How to follow a person was discussed.

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

How to remove a person from your following list. Go to the menu heading: File > Remove Contact. Then enter the person's twitter name and click OK.

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

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Adding a picture to a contact listing:

Go to the menu heading: File > Edit my Twitter friends…, 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 default buddy icon.

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Changing other aspects of a contact listing:

Go to the menu heading: File > Edit my Twitter friends…, then click on the contact's name. The screen will show the contact information. When you are done making changes, go back to the menu heading: File > Edit my Twitter friends…, then click on the big red "X" on the upper right side of the interface.

Changing Visible Name: You cannot change anyone else's Twitter name, but you can change how the program will display it and pronounce it. For example, if their Twitter name does not contain their real name, you can type their real name in the field, and the real name will be shown instead.

Changing Pronunciation: You can use this editing function to change how the computer pronounces the person's name. This can be useful if the computer does not say the name correctly. You can even use this function to have the computer not speak the person's name, but instead pronounce the name you associate with that person, such as "Uncle Bob", instead of a name like "Robert Jones".

Blocking: You can use this function if you want to prevent someone from following you and sending you messages.

Unfollowing contacts: You can use the editing function to unfollow a Twitter user. You can also unfollow contacts by going to the File menu: File > Unfollow Twitter user... Then, when the new screen opens, type in theTwitter name of the contact you want to unfollow.

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Beginning a Direct Message - choosing someone to write to:

1. If your buddy's tab is showing on the left, click on it.
2. Otherwise, you must open a tab for this message. (If there is not room for another conversaion/message tab, close one of the open ones.)

i. Click on the Contacts button. Click on the Buddies tab. This will show your buddies by name and screen image. There will be one or more pages of buddy information..
ii. Click on the contact. This will open a message box for exchanged messages with a tab containing the picture of the buddy.

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Writing and sending a Direct Message:

This is the same as sending a tweet, but your buddy's message text boxes have to be on top. (Clicking the buddy's conversation/message tab will do that)

1. Enter some words in the text editing boxes for Subject and Body. 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 a 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 of Point-and-Chat that is in focus.

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-Chat. 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-Chat, 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 Direct 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 a Tweet or Direct Message:

1. Receiving a Tweet or Direct Message in the currently active message stream. New tweets or direct messages will appear in the message box of the currently displayed message or twitter stream (the tab on top).
2. Receiving a Tweet or Direct Message in a message stream that is not on top. When a message stream receives a message, the tab for that message stream (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 a Tweet or Direct Message that starts a new message stream. A tab with the screen name and image of the contact that sent the Direct 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 Messages.
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Hearing (and reading) a Tweet or Direct Message:

By default, the computer reads out loud the first part of a new Tweet or Direct 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 tweet" 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-Chat, but not other programs on the computer.

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Using the top row of buttons to read a Tweet or Direct Message:

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) among the various text boxes. More specifically, the focus will move from the current box to the box below it. (If the bottommost text box has the focus, activating the Toggle button will move the focus back to the top text box.) A blue border will show which box has the focus.
5. Close. The button shows a big red "X". If you are in a Direct Message stream tab, clicking or activating this button will close the current message stream. If you are on the contacts window, clicking or activating this button will hide the contacts window and show the main Twitter stream (with blue bird tab). If you are in the main Twitter stream tab(with blue bird tab), clicking or activating this button will close the whole Twitter program.

You can also close the whole Twitter 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, following, 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.

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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 keyboard commands, 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 messages:

The Point-and-Chat software knows what a sentence is. When you move the computer mouse over text in a text 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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Positioning the Point-and-Chat window on the screen automatically:

In the default setting, the Point-and-Chat window will be positioned automatically when you log in. If you are using DesktopChat, then by default, the Point-and-Chat window will be located on the left side of the screen and use the maximum available height - and DesktopChat will be positioned on the right side of the screen. If you are not using DesktopChat, then by default Point-and-Chat Mail will be positioned on the right side of the screen. (This will allow Point-and-Chat IM to fit on the left side of the screen for easy access to both Point-and-Chat programs.)

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

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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 Instant Message in a Point-and-Chat IM program or a new e-mail in a different instance of the Point-and-Chat Mail program, or a new Tweet or Direct Message in a Point-and-Chat Twitter 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.

In some versions, instead of a button labeled "SWITCH" , there, several buttons labeled with a Point-and-Chat program. Pressing that button will switch to that program.

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Quitting, closing or exiting Point-and-Chat:

1. After you've closed any direct message conversations, you can go to the Twitter 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 switch to a different identity by going to the menu heading File > Select Identity. Then you can choose another identity.

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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 Twitter”. 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 Twitter” 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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