Dolphin Newsletter - April 2004
Dolphin is pleased to announce that their new version 6 software suite has just been released in UK & US English. Other European languages will follow.
This major new upgrade contains lots of exciting new features for both screen reader and magnification users and for a limited period includes some important extras: an EaseReader DAISY player and DAISY book for every new and upgrading customer, and 12 months SMA (Software Maintenance Agreement) for all new Supernova and Hal customers. Upgrading customers and Lunar/LunarPlus customers are welcome to purchase an SMA separately - this represents great savings on upgrades over the year.
Overall the V6 software suite look great with a professional new look, and is much easier to use. Having taken account of user feedback we have dramatically reduced the number of dialog boxes and made the system much more user friendly.
Screen reading is much more powerful with a huge number of new screen reading features in Microsoft Office and improved performance on the Internet.
New Focus Highlighting sets Dolphin screen readers apart from the competition and will please all those magnification users who have been asking for something extra from their magnifier.
All products: Supernova, Hal, LunarPlus & Lunar
New Control Panel
Version 6 has been redesigned with a stylish new control panel making all the most common controls easy to find and more advanced features no more than two clicks or key presses away. There are 3 choices - the Dolphin control panel can now be run in either full view mode, menu mode or from the system tray so whether you are a new or experienced computer user, partially sighted or blind, you can find a style to suit you. Whichever display choice you choose, key presses, shortcuts and controls are identical.
New focus highlights make it easy to see where the mouse, the cursor, the live focus or the virtual focus are at any time, and include cross hairs, bar highlights and pointers with a huge selection of colour, size and shapes to choose from. At the request of our beta testers, many of whom have some peripheral vision, focus highlighting will be available in Hal as well as in Supernova, Lunar and LunarPlus. No other screen reader offers this feature!
Online Help is easier and more useful than ever! A self-playing DAISY book is now included so you can also listen to your manual on your DAISY hardware or software player and find just what you're looking for. New Users will also appreciate the Getting Started Guide.
Fully Configurable yet easy and automatic
Making settings files is now easier than ever. With a minimum of clicks or key presses, Supernova can automatically remember your speech, magnification and Braille preferences for every program you use. A settings file matches your preferences to the current application; you can also match your preferences to the current window or dialog with a situation setting.
EaseReader DAISY Player
As an introductory offer, every copy of Dolphin v6 software will come with an EaseReader DAISY Player so you can listen to your DAISY books on your PC or laptop. The DAISY format takes audio books to the next level by connecting text with recorded audio. Now, instead of searching by track or chapter as with a traditional audio book, you can search by word or phrase with just a few key presses. When you find what your looking for, make margin notes or record your ideas on your PC. What's more, you can fit 20 hours of audio on a single CD so no more searching for the right CD! Your Dolphin product manual is now available in DAISY format and includes the EaseReader DAISY player installation - contact your local library for the blind for more DAISY titles.
Screen readers: Supernova & Hal
Advanced screen reading for MS Office 2000, XP and 2003 Speech and Braille users will find it easier than ever to create, read and format MS Office documents. Version 6 can now tell you more about your documents including spelling and grammar errors, formatting and alignment, headings and style information, table headings and layout, protected document controls, and spreadsheet formatting, formulas, comments and chart objects. (Not available in Office 97 and earlier versions.)
Faster, accurate Internet performance
Web pages now load much faster, screen reading is more accurate & automatic, and web pages are easier to navigate than with any other screen reader! Now including quick navigation keys, full spelling and attribute announcement, accurate column detection, focus tracking, page scrolling, easy form filling and much more. We recommend Internet Explorer v6 for best performance.
Not just for Internet links, headings and frames - the list utility now helps you manage links and headings in MS Office documents, including Excel worksheets, comments and chart items. The List Utility makes it easy to review large amounts of information quickly and find exactly what you're looking for. In just 2 key presses you can quickly review a long document or web page by reading all the headings. If you want the detail, another key press will jump you directly to the correct section heading. (Not available in Office 97 and earlier versions).
Key Describe Mode
It's easy to learn new hotkeys - Key Describe Mode will tell you what each key does as you press it, which is also beneficial for new typists learning their way round the keyboard.
Use Drag & Drop in Virtual Focus to select text on the Internet without using the mouse. Cut & Paste selected text, or read it with Document Read. In MS Word, Supernova and Hal will now announce how many lines you are selecting.
Virtual Focus movement can now be restricted to a particular control area or selection, making it easier to explore specific areas e.g. using floating toolbars with no keyboard access.
Magnification & Speech at Login
Hal now offers speech and Supernova offers magnification and speech at login with Orpheus v2 (not supported with other synthesisers).
Orpheus v2 Multilingual Speech Software Synthesiser is now included with Supernova, Hal and LunarPlus. With 18 languages, Orpheus is one of the most clear and responsive synthesisers available and is designed for high listening speeds. The new skim reading option allows users to quickly review key words within long documents. It also comes with an exceptions dictionary, which can be personalised, allowing users to adjust pronunciation or add new words and acronyms. Orpheus v2 also supports speech at the Windows login prompt.
Free Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA) for screen readers
Buy a new copy of any Version 6 screen reader (Supernova or Hal) and keep up to date for the next 12 months at no extra charge. Like any software developer, Dolphin is constantly working on bringing you the best developments in access. Customers upgrading from a previous edition of Dolphin software may purchase SMA's separately.
For further information on availability and prices for version 6, please contact the Dolphin Sales Department.
The next major international show that Dolphin will be exhibiting at is Sight City, in Frankfurt, which runs from 12-14 May. We will be demonstrating all of the version 6 product improvements, as well as our latest DAISY book creation and reading software tools.
If you plan to visit Sight City, please come along and see us on stand F12.