Monday, 18 January 2010

18. Writing aids - word prediction

Word prediction is good, but not always. Recently I mentioned on this blog a really great little piece of free software called TypingAid. The beauty of this is that you can decide what you want in the predictor. That is, you have a text file, and put in the phrases you wish to have appear. At the moment, I have just three in there, which are common things I want to get right each time. If I type "ian", it provide "". If I type "Dys" (note the capital) it offers me the my full definition of dyslexia (I use it quite a lot!). And if I type "htt", it offers this blog. (I know this looks sad, but I do it for illustration.

However, the same company is now looking to extend this with BlitzType, which has similar features to TypingAid, namely
* Auto-complete words and phrases in any window.
* Automatically learn from typing.
* Hide or always show suggestion.
* Different ways to auto-complete, including 'text expand'.
* Add words and phrases to database with shortcut key.
* Portable.

Coming features:
* Support European languages with accents.
* Read user-defined phrases from an external word list
* multiple suggestions in the tooltip.
* improve usability

But to me the most exciting part is that TypingAid can now handle many more scripts, such as Bosnian. If this is the case, then simple, dyslexia-friendly word prediction can be made available in far more languages than previously. I would welcome feedback of test languages.

BiltzType and TypingAid

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