Usage Tips from Instant Text Users

Suggestions for Using Instant Text
Part 1 - Basic Screen Layout and Settings

by Jon Knowles

These are the basic screen settings I have been using in Instant Text. Perhaps other IT users could compare their arrangements and post to so people can try out different set ups.

Screen Layout: Word Advisory on left,
Phrase Advisory on right.

Screen Elements: Words, Glossaries, Phrases
(all of these on)

Usage Options: Horizontal Layout, view Continuations

Marker Selections: Phrases = ; (semi-colon)
Words = ` (grave¹)
¹ The key to the left of the numeral 1 key

Advisory Options: Advisory Lines = 9 lines
Single-letter Abbreviations = 3 lines
Minimum number of letters per word:
– in Word Glossary = 2
– in Word Advisory = 2

Preferences: Automatic Capitalization: On
Automatic Spacing: On
Spaces after Dot = 0

Comments on the above:

I put the Word Advisory on the left and use a marker which is typed with the left hand. I put the Phrase Advisory on the right and use a marker typed by the right hand (;). This feels more natural to me than putting both markers on one side.

I put phrases on the right because my marker (semi-colon) is a home key and I use phrases many, many more times than words. The markers available to the left hand are not as attractive (close to home keys/reachable) as those for the right hand. I use only 2 markers but you can set more if you want more choices.

I use 9 lines of Advisories rather than say 3 or 15 because from initial tryouts this seems best to maximize Continuations. I seldom use all three choices in Single-letter Abbreviations, using mostly only the top choice, but I list 3 anyway.

You may want to try setting minimum number of letters in Word Glossary and Word Advisory to 6 or 7 rather than 2 or 3 if you are just starting to work with Instant Text. This will allow you to focus on the longer words.

I have suggested to Jean Ichbiah that they include a Preferences option for Space after a Comma in the next version. It is hard to get used to the extra space being put in after the comma, which happens when you have Automatic Spacing on.

Set Up With the Word Processor

I open my Wordprocessor first, which is WP6.1 for Windows 95. I then open IT. I link IT to the WP using Alt+/. The screen then shows a reduced WP screen at the top and a reduced IT screen at the bottom. The list of open Glossaries is located between the two Advisories – Word Advisory on the left, Phrase Advisory on the right.

I leave two lines of Reveal Codes visible between WP and IT. I have three of the WP feature bars visible on three sides of the text. Since I have a 17" screen there is plenty of room. Not sure how it looks with 9 lines of Advisories on a smaller screen. If the screen is too crowded, I would suggest trying 5 or 6 lines of Advisories, but the more Advisory lines you can have, the better.

You can drag the boundary between WP and IT up and down to try out different looks, then go back and set the Advisories the way you want.