Instant Text V Pro Presentation Notes

Contents:

1 Major New Functionality

2 Other Improvements

3. Major Components

4. Options

5 Interface

 

1. Major New Functionality

 

1.1 The New Glossary Viewer

The original Glossary Viewer was designed at a time when "includes" were not yet part of Instant Text. Consequently, it offered little help to resolve questions such as finding out from where a given entry comes - from what include.

The new viewer has been designed to reflect these needs as well as to provide more convenient access and faster ways for editing glossary entries.

The New Viewer Reflects Includes

The new Glossary Viewer reflect the full functionality offered by glossary includes:

  • The viewer now work from the current glossary as it exists in memory - not from the glossary text file, as the original viewer did. This means that it shows all entries, those of the glossary as well as those of included glossaries.
     
  • The viewer makes it very easy to find out the origin of an entry, that is, which glossary contains it. Entries from Includes are shown with a color background and the name of the glossary containing the entry is highlighted in an Include List.

Previewing Entries

Pressing F6 (or a right-click) allows previewing the highlighted entry in a popup editor.

This is especially useful for previewing long entries as well as for formatted entries (stored in RTF code).

Faster and Easier Searches

The Search function has been made easier and faster to use. The search string can be typed directly into a search editor that is always there - there is no longer any need to open a dialog. You can also select a search string by clicking on a word from a line of the Viewer or by highlighting a part of a line.

A history of previous searches is maintained. The history is available in a drop-down list which opens with F5 or with a click on the search list button.

Accelerators are provided for faster access. Ctrl+S sets the focus on the search editor and F3 (or Alt+S) searches for the next match. Searching for the previous match is obtained by holding the Shift key while pressing the search button or with Shift+F3.

If you start thinking that this makes a loft of shortcut keys to remember, just place the mouse on the Help button and the hint shown below will display for a few second.

Two-Letter Group Search

The Group search button and its attached two-letter editor offer a fast way to display the group of phrase entries whose short code start with the two letters.

Accelerators help. For example, to get the tt two-letter group, you can use the accelerator Ctrl+G to set the focus on the group editor. Then type tt and the accelerator Alt+G.

To display the start of the word section, click on "Words" on the status bar or type Alt+W. To show the start of the phrase section, click on "Phrases" or type Alt+P. Here too, you can place the mouse on the status bar to see what these shortcuts are.

Adding an Entry With 2 Keystrokes

The new version of Instant Text allows adding a new entry with a minimum number of keystrokes. Assuming you have selected the text of the new entry, here are the steps:

  • Alt =
  • Enter

Two keystrokes! That's all that is needed, and this is certainly a world record for adding a glossary entry.

Alt = opens the Add dialog and automatically prefills it with the selection. In addition, it prefills the short form with the initials of the expansion. Then, Enter closes the dialog.

(Gone is the prompt for whether to save the entry or not! In 99% of all cases, the answer was invariably yes. In fact, the prompt is not really useful because if you make a mistake, you can still edit or delete the entry.)

Part of what makes this economy possible is that Alt = now opens only the Add dialog and not the Viewer dialog itself. This means that upon closing, you only have to close the Add dialog itself.

The shortcut Shift Alt = is now used in the cases when you want to open the Viewer itself. This shortcut will also focus on the Viewer if it is used when the Viewer is already open.

Note that this shortcut offers an easy solution for opening the glossary viewer When a combo list is used instead of the tabular glossary list.

Open Viewer With a Right-Click

You type aa and the first line already contains what you want... But the third line really hurts the eye of a professional with the uppercase B and it would be nice to correct it immediately.

With version V, you just right-click on the faulty entry and this opens the Viewer with the entry at the top.

Now you can edit it. And if it is an entry from an included glossary, just press F7 to open the included glossary, again with the entry on the first line.

Note that if an advisory phrase is highlighed, you can also use Shift Alt = to open the Viewer with that phrase at the top. If there are no phrases but a word entry is highlighted, the Viewer opens on the word entry.

Instantaneous Glossary Updates

The new version allows instantaneous glossary updates when you add, delete, or edit a glossary entry. This is not going to be noticed by users of relatively small glossaries and there is actually an option to turn off the optimized loading.

On the other hand, some users have very large glossaries that take up to 10 seconds to load. With the new version, adding an entry does not force a full glossary reload and is therefore instantaneous.

More complex operations such as Move and adding or deleting an include still require a full glossary reload.

 

1.2 Much Improved Continuations

Continuations have always been one of the strongest contributions to keystroke reduction with Instant Text. The new version makes continuations even more effective with a new patent-pending technique.

One difficulty with existing continuations was when there were too many of them. In such situations, the new technique displays continuations of larger contexts first. Then, continuations of smaller contexts are shown only if there are enough advisory lines to display them.

As an example, continuations for a context such as the lateral side of the are now listed before those for the smaller context of the. This means that the continuations that are the most relevant appear first.

The second major improvement is that continuations are now much more predictable. Assume for example, that you start typing and the advisory shows the following phrases:

    the patient was brought
    the patient was brought to the recovery room

With the new technique, you can safely select the first sentence as you can now count on getting to the recovery room as one of the continuations offered. This was not necessarily the case with the original technique, which therefore required more knowledge of what works and what doesn't.

Continuations are expected to be very important for casual users of Instant Text who may not want to ever use abbreviations but are likely to be very happy when they see in the advisory what they intend to type next.

 

1.3 Linking On Demand

Linking on Demand addresses the needs of a growing category of Windows users who use larger screens and more powerful machines and who tend to run several applications simultaneously.

The consequences of this new mode are now reviewed:

Automatic Linking - Link upon Start

There are applications with which we always want to use Instant Text. For others it can be rarely or never. To address these situations, the new Link dialog allows you to specify whether Instant Text should link automatically to a given application.

If Link Automatically is selected, linking to the application no longer requires using the link dialog. As soon as that application is active, Instant Text is automatically linked. This happens when you start the application or when you activate it, whether it is with the mouse or with Alt+Tab.

The application dictates its size and place

Now that Instant Text links to the application, it makes sense to have it resize itself to match the size of the application. This means that IT follows the application. It also means that if you have carefully arranged several windows on your screen, IT is not going to change the arrangement.

So with Version V, if you resize an application, this resizes IT. Similarly if you move an application to another place, IT follows. And you will see Instant Text moving and resizing itself as you switch to different applications. There are other aspects of this adaptability:

The application dictates the glossary and the advisories

Pressing Link Options displays a panel with more options: You can now specify the number of advisory lines to use for an application. For example, you may want 6 lines in Word for heavy text entry and only one or two for an email application. Below we specified 3 lines for UltraEdit:

In addition, you can specify the current glossary for the application, either by a file name as shown in the example, or by a number.

You can also specify the Word advisory, the Phrase advisory, or both advisories appear for a given application.

Finally, for some applications such as Meditech, you may want to uncheck the box "Instant Text Follows Application Automatically" and have Instant Text at the bottom of the screen for that application.

Conclusion: More flexibility with linking on demand

A significant advance of Linking on Demand is that it makes Instant Text much more flexible and less invasive. The original linking model made sense for heavy text entry, for users who used Instant Text all the time and always with the same application.

It was less appealing to occasional users because it took possession of the complete screen and resized client applications. For the same reason, it was difficult to use with several applications open at the same time.

With Linking on Demand, we can still satisfy heavy usage with a single maximized application. But we have made it much easier to use with multiple open applications. And it will make it more appealing to occasional users... who may take advantage of continuations on the fly.

 

1.4 Commands in glossary entries

Version V offers an ability to embed commands in glossary entries. For example, with function keys and Ctrl or Alt keys.The syntax is very similar to what has been used in many macro languages and in PRD. For example, we can write commands such as such as {F10} and {Backspace}.

There is no need to remember a syntax of commands as you can use the command dialog to type a key or key combination:

And after typing, the dialog automatically shows the command you typed:

Commands are expected to be used for simple formatting such as bolding or italics. This is actually a lighter solution than current formatted entries since it does not record other information such as the current font. For example, a bold title can be entered as the following entry (note that {Command} is automatically added):

    {Command}{Ctrl B}History and Physical: {Ctrl B}

Commands allow you to use all the shortcuts of a Word Processor - with the risk of creating glossaries that are word-processor dependent. For example, a subscripted entry for H2O in Word may be entered as follows:

    {Command}H{Ctrl =}2{Ctrl =}O

Another powerful use of commands is to call macros. The following example calls a WordPerfect macro with the Alt F10 shortcut:

    {Command}{Alt F10}GotoHeader.wcm{Enter} Voila!

Alt F10 opens the WordPerfect macro selection dialog and this selects the macro GotoHeader.wcm. Then the Enter key closes the macro selection dialog and executes it. Finally, "Voila!" is typed at the current place.

 

1.5 Enrich Enhancements

The new Enrich command now works from the text currently selected in the client application. Then it opens a dialog with the words and phrases found in the selection:

Then buttons of the Enrich dialog can be used to delete entries. The Words and Phrases buttons are used to retain only words or only phrases.

 

1.6 New Glossary Merge Dialog

The new Merge Glossary dialog makes it easier to merge several glossaries in a single operation:

The Up and Down buttons can be used to order the merged glossaries. The Change Folder button allows adding glossaries from another folder.

 

1.7 Productivity Dialog

Instant Text V provides productivity statistics on the current session as well as cumulative statistics for past sessions. The dialog offers information such as the keystrokes typed, keystrokes saved, percent saved:

 

2. Other Improvements

 

2.1 Glossary Compilation

Removal of glossary limits

The new version allows glossaries of unlimited size.

Glossaries produced by compilation of documents have up to 120,000 entries but larger glossaries can be produced by merging and multiple Includes. These glossaries are accepted by the new Instant Text.

Parameterize list of sentence starters

The list of words that are usual starting words at the start of sentences is now in the Option folder and can be edited. This list is used to make sure that these words are not entered capitalized in glossaries.

This makes it easier to provide lists for other languages.

 

2.2 Glossary backups

Glossaries are now automatically backed up upon the first change in a given session, where a change is adding, deleting, or editing an entry.

This new backup strategy has allowed a simplification of the Enrich function: Enriching no longer creates the special "+" glossaries of version 3. This is no longer necessary as it is always possible to go back to the state of the glossary at the start of the session.

 

2.3 Abbreviation Handling

Automatic spacing improvements

Automatic spacing is now taking advantage of more context knowledge to achieve better decisions.

When you expand tp into "the patient " the expansion adds a tentative space at the end, as a space is most likely to be needed. This tentative space is automatically removed if you add a punctuation. For example, you will obtain "the patient," or "the patient."

In addition, Instant Text V also handles correctly many other situations such as the following ones:

Parenthesis:(the patient)
Double quote:"the patient"
Single quote:the patient's
As the examples show, the tentative space is automatically removed before a parenthesis or a quote.

Option to Optimize Autospace

With automatic spacing on, a "tentative space" is automatically added after a comma. Should you forget about automatic spacing and type a space after the comma, you end up with two spaces. If this happens frequently, you may want to use the option to Optimize Autospace. With this option, an explicit space typed after tentative spacing absorbs the tentative spacing.

Using Expanders for Singles

For those who want to use Instant Text as PRD, Instant Text V adds the possibility to expand single-letter abbreviations with the Phrase expanders selected in the Markers dialog.

Note that cases like I'd, don't, I'm, and patient's are handled properly, that is, without expanding the single letter after the apostrophe. In addition, the letters a and i are special-cased and do not work with expanders.

With this change, the "Classic Options" of Instant Text now completely emulate the way PRD works.

Quotes in Contractions

Single quotes in contractions such as you're are now treated as letters. (For those using the space bar for expansion, this avoids unintended expansions like "you'repeat evaluation." )

Backspacing Restores Advisories

Backspacing restores advisories. This is especially important for space-bar users. For example, you type "different ". Then you backspace the space and the t and type "ce " to make "difference ". This works correctly because advisories are restored by backspacing. Otherwise, you would get whatever expansion is produced for "ce " — an unintended expansion.

Another consequence of this improvement is that if you make a mistake, you can backspace to restore advisories and select an expansion that you missed before.

Diacritical Marks

Instant Text is now compatible with the Portuguese (Brazilian) keyboard convention for the US International keyboard. This allows using the Brazilian convention for accented letters, for example, using ^e for and "u for .

 

3. Major Components

 

3.1 Importer

Several additional import formats are included in the revised Importer:

  • Abbreviate
  • AutoText, imported from Word templates
  • QuickScript
  • Shorthand
  • Shortcut
  • Dictaphone
  • DBF data bases
  • Outlook addresses

Combined with the existing import formats, this covers practically all important expanders on the market. Some other formats can already be handled by the formula capability.

Importing of addresses has been improved significantly. It now allows specification of short forms according to several possible rules. In addition, importing CSV and DBF files of addresses is now possible.

 

3.2 Glossary Workshop

The revised Importer has a tabbed dialog with the Import functions on one page and various techniques for working on glossaries on a Glossary Workshop page. These include the older Condense function as well as powerful new techniques to transform a glossary.

After each step, it is possible to view what has been done and to go back to any prior step.

The above example illustrates what can be done in the workshop. It starts with Medbase.glo, removes digits in short forms, then it removes words of less than 7 characters, converts words to lowercase, converts words to phrase entries using the first two and the last letter, converts short forms for two word-phrases by taking the first two letters of each word, and finally condenses the resulting glossary. After each step it is possible to view the glossary obtained.

Glossary cleanup and pruning

The Transform panel provides various methods for cleaning up and pruning a glossary:

  • Condense: the current Condense function is one of these methods
  • Eliminate word entries that are shorter n characters
  • Lowercase word entries using a percentage of occurrences similar to the one used in compilation
  • Remove digits from short forms of phrase entries

Convert Two-Word Phrase Entries

Glossaries created by compilation often contain a number of two-word entries that have the same two-letter short form. Various systems are often used to provide distinct short form and these systems can be formulated using the dialog shown below:

In this example, following a popular system, the first two letters fa of the first word, and the first two of the second word hi are selected. This produces the four-letter short form fahi.

It is possible to apply this transformation to all two-letter entries or only to those that have duplicate short forms.

Convert Word Entries to Phrase Entries

The Words panel provides ways to convert Word entries in entries of the Phrase section. The following dialog is used to specify a choice of front and end letters to be used for the short form:

In this example, the first two letters bi and the last two rs are selected and produce the four-letter short form birs.

In addition, it is possible to take advantage of a user-modifiable prefix list. If this option is chosen, the first two letters for a word such as hyperinflation will be hi, taking the first of the prefix hyper and the letter i that follows.

Similarly, for the end letters, it is possible to use endings from a list. Selecting this option and using the ending j for tion, the two end letters for inflation become aj. Combining the two options gives hiaj for hyper inflation.

Other Conversions

Other glossary conversions include:

  • Convert phrase entries into word entries.
    This is sometimes used by those who want to take advantage of the full subset logic of word abbreviations.
  • Convert to ABCZ.
    This function is offered to licensees of Jon Knowles' ABCZ glossaries and it combines in one pass transformations that otherwise require a word conversion followed by a phrase conversion.

Glossary Exports

Some Instant Text users want to use its powerful glossary compilation to produce vocabularies to be used with voice-recognition systems such as Dragon and Via Voice. The Export panel offer various ways of exporting the contents of an Instant Text glossary for these products:

  • Export words and phrases
  • Export phrases only
  • Export words only
  • Export as equal formulas

 

3.3 Line Count

Instant Text V supplements the already available Line Count with a powerful report writing capability called the Line Reporter. In addition, several improvements have been made to the Line Count, the most important being the introduction of named configurations.

Count configurations

A configuration name can be associated with a set of current options: the current Count options and Report options.

Initially, Instant Text offers a "base" option which represents the current settings. Thereafter, you can modify some settings and save them under a different configuration name as shown in the example below:

Here, the configuration is called "Dr. Jones", named after the current client, and selecting this configuration name automatically sets the values currently shown in the options pages. This includes the client name, the company and typist, the template, the Unit cost used for this doctor and and all other count options.

The configuration combo box is actually duplicated at the bottom of the line count dialog, at the right of the buttons. This provides a fast way to select a current configuration from any page of the line count dialog.

Improved dialog for adding or deleting

Adding or deleting new items to the combo boxes is now done with dialogs similar to the one shown below:

Manual Entry

For most applications, the document file name is automatically set by Instant Text. If this does not work or if you want to change the document name, you can now enter a document name from the "Counts in Detail" panel.

Another case where manual entry can be used is for a gross line count. Instant Text does not automatically calculate a gross line count but you can obtain it from MS Word or WordPerfect and then enter it manually. Then default numbers for characters and words are calculated on the basis of the gross line count.

Entering gross line counts manually for those accounts that ask for it has the advantage that entries are entered in the Journal data base in the same was as accounts that are automatically handled by Instant Text. Consequently, producing reports with the Line Reporter becomes possible.

 

3.4 The Line Reporter

The Line Reporter is a new separate utility to manage the Journal data base created by the Line Count capability of Instant Text Pro.

The Line Reporter allows the creation of reports in many ways:

  • Specification of which columns to print
  • Choosing the period covered by the report
  • Choosing the client covered by the report
  • Choosing the columns to sum
  • Creation of an editable report file
  • Saving report configurations

Reports can be instantly viewed, very much in the same way as in programs such as Quicken and QuickBooks. They can also easily be printed or exported in a form that allows them to be merged with Word or WordPerfect documents.

In conjunction with the Line Reporter, the Journal becomes a real data base of line counts. In this spirit, the Line Reporter also contains functions to edit records and to backup Journals for certain periods of time or by other user-defined criteria.

The Line Reporter Main Screen

The main screen of the Line Reporter shows the information from the Journal that will be included in the report.

The Report Dropdown Box allows the selection of an existing report. (The Line Reporter comes with several sample reports.) When you select a report, the results are shown in a table. The table displays the columns and the data that will be included in the report. You can switch between the report data and the full Journal data by using the Current Rows/All Rows button.

The Preview Button shows what reports will look like when they print. The Line Reporter automatically adjusts the widths of the columns in the printed report so that they all fit on the page. You can print the report from within the Preview screen, and you can also save the report to a text file for further editing. From the main screen, you can print a report with the Print button.

The Report Settings Button opens the Report Settings Screen, where you can manage your reports.

The Define Reports Screen

The Define Reports Screen allows you to create, modify, and save reports. It opens to the currently selected report or to the last report used. You can select a report using the dropdown box, just as you can on the Line Reporter main screen.

The Selection Area is where you specify what the report should contain. Using the buttons on the left, you can change which part of the report you want to work on and what appears in the selection area. The first two buttons have alternatives to work with related parts of the report.

Clients, Companies, and Typists are selected with the top button . You indicate which one you want to work on by clicking the small arrow next to the button, and choosing from the list that appears. Your current selections appear in the box below the button, so that as you change the selection area, you can see at a glance what choices you've made.

Columns, Titles, and Totals are selected with the second button on the left in a similar manner. You can select the columns that will appear in the reports, assign titles to appear at the tops of those columns, select the columns that will be totaled in the report, and add text to the report.

The Time Period is selected with the third button on the left. This can be by day, week, month, quarter, year, and so on.

Apply and Save. Once you have made all your selections, you can press Apply and see the results in the table on the main screen. When the report is the way you want it, press Save to save it. You can also save it with a different name to create a new report.

A new report is always created by modifying an existing report and saving it and you can define a full hierarchy of useful reports. Here are a few examples:

  • Start with Standard Report
  • Select the columns you want and save it as Cost Report
  • Use Cost Report to define Cost Report Yearly
  • Use Cost Report to define Cost Report Monthly, and then
  • Define Cost Report Monthly - Dr. Jones
  • Define Cost Report Monthly - Marblehead
  • ... as you need them ...

Define Favorite Buttons

The Favorites button, at the top left of the Define Reports screen, lets you associate a report with up to six "Favorite" buttons of the main screen. Favorite buttons are hidden until you define them. Once defined, they allow you to quickly select and run a favorite report.

 

3.5 Built-in Editor

While the Built-in Editor remains an occasional editor, its general appearance has been updated to reflect modern look and feel. The toolbar now uses the style of that of the Internet Explorer tool bar with hints for all the buttons.

The File menu now offers a history list of most recently opened files. A similar list is provided for the Glossary menu.

 

4. Options

This option dialog has been restructured, eliminating the difference between Options and Preferences. The revised dialog provides control on all aspects of Instant Text.

All options that affect the visual appearance are on the row of tabs starting with Advisory. The options affecting the way Instant Text performs expansion are on the row starting with Markers.

 

4.1 Advisory Details

One of the most important function of Instant Text is provided by the advisories and the new Details page allows a customization of fine details.

You can customize the Phrase advisory and the Word advisory separately and specify whether Line Numbers are shown and what size to use for the Short column. For Words you can even decide not to show a short column, as it is not that informative.

Finally, you can adjust advisories with the mouse and record current advisory sizes. This has the effect of recording the relative sizes of the two advisories. The memorized proportions are maintained when Instant Text is resized.

 

4.2 Advisory Colors

Instant Text version 3 already offers a way to customize colors but many users stay with the initial setting given at installation time. To make it easier to experiment with alternatives, the new dialog provides default color schemes.

 

4.3 Start Instant Text in Lower Layout

In version 3, this was done with the /W command line parameter. Version V makes it easier to specify and this is the default option upon installation.

 

4.4 Markers and Expanders

Instant Text allows punctuation marks to be "expanders" that cause expansion - as markers do - but stay after the expansion - unlike markers. The set of allowed markers and expanders covers all keys used by PRD, and actually more.

The dialog makes it easier to select a package of options for a PRD-like user and those for an IT user. Selecting the Classic options also sets the use of expander keys for Single letter abbreviations.

 

4.5 Automatic capitalization after a colon

The Automatic Capitalization dialog allows specification of whether automatic capitalization should apply after colon.

 

4.6 Continuations options

Option - Continuations allow the specification of three levels of continuations as well as of the minimum length for a continuation.

 

4.7 Dynamic sorting

The Advisory page provides an option to do dynamic sorting of phrase entries with shortest short code first (as is always done when the space bar is used).

(This option will become the default option used when installing Instant Text.)

 

4.8 Special Keys

An option is provided to allow or disallow Shift+Space. It is anticipated that additional options regarding the treatment of special keys might be added in the future.

 

4.9 Options Sets

It is now possible to use alternate sets of options for different contexts or different users.

 

5. Interface

 

5.1 Windows Aspects

Windows conventions

The most relevant aspect related to Win 98 logo requirements have been checked. (Bearing in mind that some of them are not always reasonable and that not even Microsoft follows them all.)

Dialogs are fully accessible without the mouse and Instant Text is now aware of the presence (or absence) of a taskbar.

Systematic Hints

Systematic Hints are provided for all buttons and dialogs.

Task bar interaction

Instant Text now detects whether the Task bar is in automatic hide or not and take this into account when resizing.

Dialogs

All existing dialogs have been reworked and simplified.

 

5.2 Word 2000 integration

The new version is fully integrated with Word's single-document interface. This means that linking to one Word document is sufficient to be linked to all open Word documents

This integration comes as a consequence of Linking on Demand.

 

5.3 Help Improvements

The revised online Help uses the latest version of Winhelp. It is much more complete — more than twice the size of the help of the previous version — and makes systematic use of image maps to provide simple navigation to all subjects.


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