Dec 182017
 
Sign language word processor.

Full Description of File


SignWriter v4.2: Sign-language word processor
Word processor for writing signed languages,
displayed in Sign Writing, a graphical
alphabet which can write the signed languages
of the world. Includes an online sign
dictionary containing more than 1300 ASL
signs. Requires at least 640K bytes of memory
and CGA, EGA, or VGA graphics. Supports
Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Postscript printers.


File SIGNWR42.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category Word Processors
Sign language word processor.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
DICT.EXE 70240 28822 deflated
FILE_ID.DIZ 393 261 deflated
GRAMMAR.SGN 16896 10740 deflated
KEYBOARD.SGN 1536 897 deflated
MANUAL.DOC 117089 27124 deflated
NORWAY.SGN 7680 4976 deflated
README.DOC 5159 1885 deflated
SW.EXE 99456 42907 deflated
SW.SYM 174044 53562 deflated
SW001.DIC 87384 30186 deflated
SW001.DIN 16460 7590 deflated
SW001.KEY 14572 2767 deflated
SW001.MSG 3690 1287 deflated
SWBODY.SGN 22016 10082 deflated
SWCONT.SGN 4608 2478 deflated
SWFACE.SGN 12288 5220 deflated
SWHAND.SGN 26624 12521 deflated
SWINFO.TXT 5644 2176 deflated
SWINTRO.SGN 6144 3638 deflated
SWMOVE.SGN 25600 15194 deflated
SWMOVE2.SGN 18944 7017 deflated
SWPUNC.SGN 4096 2237 deflated
WELCOME.SGN 2048 883 deflated

Download File SIGNWR42.ZIP Here

Contents of the README.DOC file


SignWriter v4.2: Sign-language word processor
Word processor for writing signed languages,
displayed in Sign Writing, a graphical
alphabet which can write the signed languages
of the world. Includes an online sign
dictionary containing more than 1300 ASL
signs. Requires at least 640K bytes of memory
and CGA, EGA, or VGA graphics. Supports
Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Postscript printers.


- 1 -







Welcome to SignWriter!


SignWriter is a word processor for writing signed languages.
Signs are written in Sign Writing, a graphical alphabet
designed to write the signed languages of the world.



SignWriter Features


-- Signs, fingerspelling, and English can be typed into
the same file.

-- A built-in sign dictionary gives you quick access to
previously typed signs. The sign dictionary provided
with SignWriter contains over 1300 ASL signs.

-- Sign dictionaries can be printed out in publication-
quality formats.

-- Sign Writing files can be exported to other programs
as PCX graphics files.

-- International versions of SignWriter are available for
eleven different countries: Belgium, Denmark, France,
Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Norway, Sweden, UK,
and US. (Available separately)

-- SignWriter runs on any IBM PC-compatible computer with
640K bytes of memory, a hard disk, and CGA graphics
support. It also works on Macintoshes with SoftPC.

-- SignWriter supports Epson-compatible printers, Hewlett-
Packard printers, and PostScript printers.



- 2 -



Using SignWriter


The SignWriter program is shareware. You don't need a
license to use it. You can make unlimited copies of the
program and give them to other people.

You also don't need to pay anything to use SignWriter; it's
free. However, if you find yourself becoming a regular
SignWriter user, you might also find it worthwhile to send
$25 to the software publisher: the Deaf Action Committee for
Sign Writing (DAC).

The DAC is a group of native Deaf signers, sign language
linguists, and software developers. It is sponsored by the
Center for Sutton Movement Writing, a non-profit educational
organization. Your $25 is a tax-deductible donation: it
supports the continued development of SignWriter, and also
the development of educational materials for Sign Writing.

You also get:

-- SignWriter technical support

-- The Sign Writer, a biannual newsletter which reports
on Sign Writing activities around the world.

-- A one-year Sign Writing membership ($10 value), which
entitles you to discounts on Sign Writing books and
software.


To support Sign Writing and receive the items listed above,
please send a check or money order for $25 (US dollars only),
made out to the Center For Sutton Movement Writing, to:

Deaf Action Committee for Sign Writing
P.O. Box 517
La Jolla, CA 92038-0517
USA



- 3 -


Getting Started


The first thing to do is check that the following files are
on your disk:

README.DOC the file you're now reading
MANUAL.DOC SignWriter user's manual

SW.EXE SignWriter program
SW.SYM symbol file
SW001.KEY keyboard file
SW001.MSG message file
SW001.DIC dictionary file
SW001.DIN dictionary index file
DICT.EXE dictionary manager program

KEYBOARD.SGN keyboard card
WELCOME.SGN welcome message
NORWAY.SGN Sign Writing in Norway
GRAMMAR.SGN ASL grammar lessons

SWINTRO.SGN Lessons in Sign Writing...
SWHAND.SGN 1: Hand symbols
SWCONT.SGN 2: Contact symbols
SWMOVE.SGN 3: Movement symbols
SWMOVE2.SGN (continued)
SWFACE.SGN 4: Face symbols
SWBODY.SGN 5: Body symbols
SWPUNC.SGN 6: Punctuation symbols


To print out the SignWriter user's manual, type the following
command at the MS-DOS prompt:

COPY MANUAL.DOC PRN

and then press the Return key.

The user's manual is 64 pages long, and takes a while to
print; but you'll need it to get started.

After you print it out, turn to the beginning of the user's
manual. It first explains how to set up SignWriter; then,
it leads you through a tutorial that teaches the basic
SignWriter commands.

- - -

SignWriter and Sign Writing are registered trademarks of the
Center For Sutton Movement Writing. All other brand names
and product names are registered trademarks of their
respective companies.



Contents of the MANUAL.DOC file


SignWriter v4.2: Sign-language word processor
Word processor for writing signed languages,
displayed in Sign Writing, a graphical
alphabet which can write the signed languages
of the world. Includes an online sign
dictionary containing more than 1300 ASL
signs. Requires at least 640K bytes of memory
and CGA, EGA, or VGA graphics. Supports
Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Postscript printers.


- 1 -







Welcome to SignWriter!


SignWriter is a word processor for writing signed languages.
Signs are written in Sign Writing, a graphical alphabet
designed to write the signed languages of the world.



SignWriter Features


-- Signs, fingerspelling, and English can be typed into
the same file.

-- A built-in sign dictionary gives you quick access to
previously typed signs. The sign dictionary provided
with SignWriter contains over 1300 ASL signs.

-- Sign dictionaries can be printed out in publication-
quality formats.

-- Sign Writing files can be exported to other programs
as PCX graphics files.

-- International versions of SignWriter are available for
eleven different countries: Belgium, Denmark, France,
Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Norway, Sweden, UK,
and US. (Available separately)

-- SignWriter runs on any IBM PC-compatible computer with
640K bytes of memory, a hard disk, and CGA graphics
support. It also works on Macintoshes with SoftPC.

-- SignWriter supports Epson-compatible printers, Hewlett-
Packard printers, and PostScript printers.



- 2 -



Using SignWriter


The SignWriter program is shareware. You don't need a
license to use it. You can make unlimited copies of the
program and give them to other people.

You also don't need to pay anything to use SignWriter; it's
free. However, if you find yourself becoming a regular
SignWriter user, you might also find it worthwhile to send
$25 to the software publisher: the Deaf Action Committee for
Sign Writing (DAC).

The DAC is a group of native Deaf signers, sign language
linguists, and software developers. It is sponsored by the
Center for Sutton Movement Writing, a non-profit educational
organization. Your $25 is a tax-deductible donation: it
supports the continued development of SignWriter, and also
the development of educational materials for Sign Writing.

You also get:

-- SignWriter technical support

-- The Sign Writer, a biannual newsletter which reports
on Sign Writing activities around the world.

-- A one-year Sign Writing membership ($10 value), which
entitles you to discounts on Sign Writing books and
software.


To support Sign Writing and receive the items listed above,
please send a check or money order for $25 (US dollars only),
made out to the Center For Sutton Movement Writing, to:

Deaf Action Committee for Sign Writing
P.O. Box 517
La Jolla, CA 92038-0517
USA



- 3 -


Getting Started


The first thing to do is check that the following files are
on your disk:

README.DOC the file you're now reading
MANUAL.DOC SignWriter user's manual

SW.EXE SignWriter program
SW.SYM symbol file
SW001.KEY keyboard file
SW001.MSG message file
SW001.DIC dictionary file
SW001.DIN dictionary index file
DICT.EXE dictionary manager program

KEYBOARD.SGN keyboard card
WELCOME.SGN welcome message
NORWAY.SGN Sign Writing in Norway
GRAMMAR.SGN ASL grammar lessons

SWINTRO.SGN Lessons in Sign Writing...
SWHAND.SGN 1: Hand symbols
SWCONT.SGN 2: Contact symbols
SWMOVE.SGN 3: Movement symbols
SWMOVE2.SGN (continued)
SWFACE.SGN 4: Face symbols
SWBODY.SGN 5: Body symbols
SWPUNC.SGN 6: Punctuation symbols


To print out the SignWriter user's manual, type the following
command at the MS-DOS prompt:

COPY MANUAL.DOC PRN

and then press the Return key.

The user's manual is 64 pages long, and takes a while to
print; but you'll need it to get started.

After you print it out, turn to the beginning of the user's
manual. It first explains how to set up SignWriter; then,
it leads you through a tutorial that teaches the basic
SignWriter commands.

- - -

SignWriter and Sign Writing are registered trademarks of the
Center For Sutton Movement Writing. All other brand names
and product names are registered trademarks of their
respective companies.

















|
|
|
|
|
| S I G N W R I T E R
|
| A word processor for writing signed languages
|
|
|



- i -


Publisher:

The Deaf Action Committee For Sign Writing (DAC)
P.O. Box 517 La Jolla, CA 92038-0517 USA
Voice: (619) 456-0098 TDD For Deaf: (619) 456-0010
FAX: (619) 456-0098 Compuserve: 72410,2300


Sponsor:

The Center For Sutton Movement Writing, Inc.
A non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) educational organization
P.O. Box 517 La Jolla, CA 92038-0517 USA
Voice: (619) 456-0098 TDD For Deaf: (619) 456-0010
FAX: (619) 456-0098 Compuserve: 72410,2300




SIGNWRITER USER'S MANUAL

Version 4.2 USA

Copyright 1993 The Center for Sutton Movement Writing, Inc.



SignWriter program and manual by Richard Gleaves

Special thanks to Torrey Pines Software



Sign Writing was developed by Valerie Sutton




Trademarks

SignWriter and Sign Writing are registered trademarks of
The Center for Sutton Movement Writing, Inc. All other
brand names and product names are registered trademarks of
their respective companies.


Disclaimer

The Center For Sutton Movement Writing makes no warranty,
express or implied, with respect to this software, its
quality, performance, or fitness for a particular purpose.
This software is offered "as is", and the entire risk as to
its quality and performance is assumed by you.



- ii -

CONTENTS


1 Welcome To Sign Writing


2 PART 1: LEARNING SIGNWRITER

3 Getting Started
6 Your First Sign

8 Opening a File
9 Typing Symbols
11 Changing Symbols
14 Getting the Cursor
15 Typing Signs
16 Saving Your Work

17 What To Do Next


18 PART 2: USING SIGNWRITER

19 Moving Around in a File
20 Typing Fingerspelling
21 Typing English
22 Moving Symbols in a Sign

23 Selecting Signs
24 Copying and Erasing Signs
25 Copying Signs From Another File
26 Finding and Replacing Signs
29 Using the Dictionary
31 Fixing the Margins

32 Printing
33 Working With Files
34 Exporting Files
35 Changing Directories
36 Leaving SignWriter

37 Things You Should Know About


49 PART 3: SETTING UP SIGNWRITER

50 Setting Up Printing
51 Setting Up Print Options
53 Setting Up Pathnames
54 Setting Up the Country
56 Setting Up the Dictionary

57 Using the Dictionary Manager
64 Macintosh Notes



- 1 -


WELCOME TO SIGN WRITING


What is Sign Writing? Sign Writing is an alphabet - a set of
visually designed symbols which can write the movements of
any signed language in the world.

The Sign Writing alphabet can be compared to the alphabet we
use to write English: the Roman alphabet. The Roman alphabet
is used to write many different spoken languages. While each
language may use a few special symbols, the same basic
symbols we use to write English are used to write Danish,
Italian, and Swedish. The Roman alphabet is international,
while the languages it writes are not.

In the same way, the symbols in the Sign Writing alphabet are
international: they can be used to write American Sign
Language, Danish Sign Language, Italian Sign Language,
Swedish Sign Language - or any other signed language. And
with the SignWriter program, you can now type Sign Writing on
your computer.

If you would like to learn more about Sign Writing, please
feel free to call or write.



About This Manual

This manual is about SignWriter, a word processing program
for writing signed languages on the IBM PC and compatibles.

Part 1, Learning SignWriter, shows you how to type and print
your first sign. It explains the basics of typing and
editing with SignWriter.

Part 2, Using SignWriter, tells how to perform most of the
word processing tasks you will do. Be sure to read the
section named Things You Should Know About.

Part 3, Setting Up SignWriter, shows you how to set up
the SignWriter program. It also explains how to print
SignWriter dictionaries.

This manual assumes you are familiar with MS-DOS. If terms
like --file--, --directory--, and --backup disk-- are
unfamiliar, you should read the MS-DOS User's Guide for an
introduction to these and other basic concepts.



- 2 -


PART 1: LEARNING SIGNWRITER


This part of the manual leads you step-by-step through typing
and printing your first sign. It then explains the
operations you performed.

When you finish part 1 of this manual, you will know how to
do basic things like typing and editing symbols. For more
advanced editing tasks, see part 2.



- 3 -


GETTING STARTED


To start SignWriter from MS-DOS, type:

SW

and then press the Return key.

NOTE - On some keyboards the Return key is labeled "Enter".


After a few moments, SignWriter should start up:


__________
| C:\ |
|----------|
| keyboard | S i g n W r i t e r
| welcome |
| grammar | 4.2 (c) 1993
| ... |
| | The Center For Sutton
| | Movement Writing
| |
| |
| |
|__________|


| Open New Print File Directory Setup Quit


NOTE - If this does not appear on your screen, turn to part 2
of this manual and read the section named Things You Should
Know About.

The tall box that appears on the left side of the screen is
called the --file box-- . The file box displays the name of
the current file directory, along with a list of all the Sign
Writing files stored in the directory.

NOTE - Because it displays the file box, this part of the
SignWriter program is sometimes called the --file screen--.

Along with the file box, a line of words appears across the
bottom of the screen; this is called the --command line--.
The words are the names of commands available at this point
in SignWriter.



- 4 -


First Time Setup

If you just installed SignWriter on your computer, there are
a couple of things you need to do at this point:

>> Set up SignWriter to work with your printer
>> Print out the SignWriter keyboard card

This section explains how to do these things.

NOTE - If someone has already set up SignWriter for you, go
ahead and skip to the next section.

NOTE- If you don't have a printer, you can skip ahead to the
next section; however, remember that you'll eventually need
to have a printed copy of the keyboard card in order to use
SignWriter properly. See if you can borrow someone else's
computer to print it out.


1. Hold down the Alt key and press the 'S' key (for
'Setup'). The command line is replaced by the following
message:

Setup | Printing Country Dictionary

2. Press the 'P' key (for 'Printing'). The Setup command
line is replaced by the Printing command line:

Setup | Printer Interface Format Numbers Lines

3. Press the 'P' key again. The following command line
appears:

Setup | Epson *Hewlett-Packard PostScript

4. Press the 'E' key if you have an Epson-compatible
printer. Press the 'H' key if you have a Hewlett-Packard
printer. Press the 'P' key if you have a PostScript printer.

After you do this, SignWriter's original command line
reappears.

NOTE - You just set up SignWriter to work with your printer
model. The next thing to do is to set up SignWriter to work
with your computer's printer interface.



- 5 -


5. Hold down the Alt key and press the 'S' key again. Then
press the 'P' key. The Printing command line appears as it
did before:

Setup | Printer Interface Format Numbers Lines

6. This time press the 'I' key. The following command
appears:

Setup | 1--COM1 2--COM2 *3--LPT1 4--LPT2

7. Press the number key which corresponds to the printer
interface your printer is connected to (COM's are serial
interfaces, LPT's parallel interfaces). Check your printer
manual if you don't know which interface to choose.

After you press a number key, SignWriter's original command
line appears again.

NOTE - SignWriter is now set up for printing. The next thing
to do is print out the keyboard card.

8. If your printer isn't already on, turn it on.

9. Hold down the Alt key and press the 'P' key. The command
line is replaced by the following message:

Print | Print what file?

10. Type the word KEYBOARD and press the Return key. The
file box disappears from the screen, and is replaced by Sign
Writing symbols. The keyboard card should start printing out
on your printer.

NOTE - If you encounter printing problems, turn to part 2 of
this manual and read the section named Things You Should Know
About.

11. When the file is finished printing, the file box
reappears on the screen. You have now printed out the
SignWriter keyboard card.

NOTE - If you want to leave the SignWriter program now, hold
down the Alt key and press 'Q'; then press the 'Y' key.

12. Keep the keyboard card next to your computer for easy
reference. It shows you where the Sign Writing symbols are
on your keyboard.

Now you are ready to type your first sign.



- 6 -


YOUR FIRST SIGN


This section leads you step-by-step through typing and
printing your first sign. Your job here is to just do the
commands and watch what happens; you don't need to understand
everything that's going on.

1. Hold down the Alt key and press the 'N' key. The command
line is replaced by the following message:

New | Name of new file?

2. Type the word HELLO and press the Return key.

NOTE - If you make a typing error, use the Backspace key to
backspace over the error.

The screen changes to show three large blank lines, with a
new command line across the bottom. A small, blinking angle
symbol appears on the first line; this symbol is called the
--cursor--.

3. Press the '7' key. A row of boxes appears across the
bottom of the screen. The boxes contain Sign Writing
symbols.

4. Press the 'A' key. The boxes now show eight different
rotations of the same head symbol.

5. Press the 'D' key. The key boxes disappear and the
symbol appears on the screen where the cursor was. The
cursor is gone, and the symbol is shimmering.

6. Press the 'M' key. The cursor reappears to the right of
the symbol, and the symbol stops shimmering.

NOTE - You just typed your first symbol.

7. Press the 'G' key. Next press the 'K' key. Then press
the 'S' key. A hand symbol appears to the right of the head
symbol.

8. Press the 'N' key once; then press the 'M' key three
times. The cursor now appears above the hand symbol.

9. Press the 'R' key. Then press the 'A' key two times. A
movement symbol appears above the hand symbol.

10. Press the space bar and the cursor reappears to the
right of your first sign.

NOTE - This is the ASL sign for "hello".



- 7 -


The next thing to do is save your work.

11. Hold down the Alt key and press the 'Q' key. The
command line is replaced by the following message:

Quit | Save Write Backup Exit

12. Press the 'S' key. The word Saving appears on the
command line. Then the screen changes back to show the file
box. The word HELLO now appears in the file box; this is the
name of the file you just made.

The next thing to do is print your sign.

13. If you have a printer connected to your computer, turn
it on. If you don't have a printer, skip ahead to step 16.

14. Hold down the Alt key and press the 'P' key. The
command line is replaced by the following message:

Print | Print what file?

15. Type the word HELLO and press the Return key. The file
box disappears, and the sign you just typed appears at the
top of the screen. The sign should start printing out on the
paper.

NOTE - If you encounter printing problems, turn to part 2 of
this manual and read the section named Things You Should Know
About.

16. When the sign is finished printing, the file box
reappears on the screen. You have now typed and printed your
first sign.

NOTE - If you want to leave the SignWriter program, hold
down the Alt key and press 'Q'; then press the 'Y' key.

The next few sections explain the commands you just used.



- 8 -


OPENING A FILE


The Open and New commands are used to open files for typing
and editing. New creates new files; you just used it to make
a file named HELLO. Open is used to choose an existing file
for editing.

1. To see how the Open command works, press Alt-'O'.

NOTE - This means to press the 'O' key while holding down the
Alt key.

The command line is replaced by the following message:

Open | Open what file?

2. Press the Escape key. The message disappears, replaced
by the command line.

NOTE - You can escape from any SignWriter command message by
pressing the Escape key.

3. Press Alt-'O' again, and type the word SAILBOATS. Note
that the last letter does not appear; SignWriter does not
allow file names longer than eight characters. Press and
hold the Backspace key until all the characters are gone.

4. Type the word HELLO and press the Return key. The screen
now shows the sign you just typed.

The next thing to try is typing more symbols.



- 9 -


TYPING SYMBOLS


Before you type any more symbols, try moving the cursor
around on the screen. The cursor is controlled by four keys:

-- the Left arrow key moves the cursor left
-- the Right arrow key moves the cursor right
-- the Up arrow key moves the cursor up
-- the Down arrow key moves the cursor down

To make the cursor move continuously, hold down the arrow
key.

1. Use the cursor moving commands to move the cursor to the
right of the sign for "hello".

2. Now choose a symbol key on the SignWriter keyboard card
and press it. As before, the row of boxes appears across the
bottom of the screen; these are called --key boxes--.

3. Press the Escape key. The key boxes disappear, replaced
by the command line.

NOTE - Whenever you press the wrong symbol key, use the
Escape key to make the key boxes disappear.

4. Now press the 'E' key.

The key boxes display a Sign Writing symbol and its
variations. The symbol on the left is the --base symbol--;
note that it appears on the 'E' key of the keyboard card's
sign keyboard. The other symbols displayed are
--variations-- of the base symbol.

The ten boxes correspond to ten keys on the keyboard:

A S D F G H J K L ;
_______________ _______ _______________
| | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | |


5. To choose the symbol in the 'A' box, press the 'A' key.

The key boxes now show the eight --rotations-- of the symbol
you just chose. The symbol rotations are chosen the same way
as the variations. Choosing a rotation causes the key boxes
to disappear and the chosen symbol to appear on the screen
where the cursor was.

6. Press the 'J' key. The symbol rotation you just chose
appears on the screen.



- 10 -


7. Now press the Delete key (this is called the Del key on
most keyboards). The symbol disappears, and the cursor
reappears in its place.

NOTE - Pressing the Delete key removes the symbol you just
typed. To get back a deleted symbol, press the Undo command
(Alt-'U').

The symbols you have typed so far display symbol variations,
then rotations. Some symbols, however, do not have any
rotations; pressing the symbol key causes the symbol to
appear on the screen immediately.

8. Pick a few symbols from the keyboard card and try them
out to see what happens. Press the Delete key to remove
them.

Sometimes, the symbol you choose will not fit on the screen
at the current cursor position. When this happens, the
--alert box-- blinks at the bottom of the screen. To fix
this problem, use the arrow keys to move the cursor away from
the edges, then choose the symbol again.

9. Move the cursor to the top of the screen and try typing a
symbol. The alert box blinks to show you that the symbol
won't fit on the screen. Move the cursor back down and try
again.

When you type in a symbol, it appears to shimmer on the
screen; this means it is --selected--. Selected symbols can
be changed a number of ways. The next section explains how.




- 11 -


CHANGING SYMBOLS


To change a symbol on the screen, it must first be selected.

If you've just typed in a symbol, the symbol is already
selected. The symbol shimmers to show that it is selected.

To select a symbol that you typed in earlier, move the cursor
until its corner is touching the symbol, then press the
Select command (Alt-'S'). The symbol starts shimmering to
show that it is selected.

Once a symbol is selected, there are many ways you can change
it:

Arrow keys - move the symbol around
Change key - changes the symbol's appearance
Mirror key - changes the symbol to its mirror image
Size key - changes the symbol's size
Rotate key - changes the symbol's rotation
Copy (Alt-'C') - copies the symbol
Erase (Alt-'E') - erases the symbol

Be sure to learn these commands; they are used all the time
when you type Sign Writing. The keyboard card shows you
where they are on the keyboard.

NOTE - Sometimes, when you try to change a symbol, the alert
box blinks at the bottom of the screen. When this happens,
use the arrow keys to move the symbol towards the center of
the sign, then try changing the symbol again.


Arrow Keys

You can move the selected symbol around by pressing the arrow
keys. To move the selected symbol in bigger jumps, hold down
the Alt key when you press the arrow keys.

>> Type a symbol and try the arrow keys to see what happens.
Press the Delete key when you are done.



- 12 -


Change Key

You can change the appearance of a selected symbol by
pressing the 'N' key; this is called the --Change key--. On
hand symbols, you can change the palm facing. On movement
symbols, you can change the arrowhead. On face symbols, you
can often change the expression.

NOTE - Pressing Shift-Change displays the symbol changes in
the opposite order.

>> Type a hand or movement symbol and press the Change key
(the 'N' key) several times to see what happens. Press the
Delete key when you are done.


Mirror Key

You can change the selected symbol to its mirror image by
pressing the ',' key; this is called the --Mirror key--. The
Mirror key is used for doing things like changing right hands
to left hands.

NOTE - The Mirror key does not change some symbols, since
they look the same either way.

>> Type a symbol and try the Mirror key (the ',' key) to see
what happens. Press the Delete key when you are done.


Size Key

If the selected symbol is a movement symbol, then it may have
more than one size. You can change its size by pressing the
'.' key; this is called the --Size key--.

NOTE - Not all movement symbols have different sizes.

>> Type a movement symbol and try the Size key (the '.' key)
to see what happens. Press the Delete key when you are done.



- 13 -


Rotate Key

If the selected symbol has more than one rotation, you can
rotate it by pressing the '/' key; this is called the
--Rotate key--.

NOTE - Pressing the Rotate key rotates the symbol
counter-clockwise; pressing Shift-Rotate rotates the symbol
clockwise.

>> Type a symbol and try the Rotate key (the '/' key) to see
what happens. Press the Delete key when you are done.

NOTE - On some symbols, the Change, Size and Rotate keys will
reveal hidden symbol variations.


Erase Command

You can erase the selected symbol by pressing the Erase
command (Alt-'E').

NOTE - To erase any symbol, first use the Select command to
select it, then use the Erase command to erase it.

>> Type a symbol, then press the Erase command to see what
happens.


Copy Command

You can copy the selected symbol by pressing the Copy command
(Alt-'C').

NOTE - Copy is useful because many signs contain two of the
same kind of symbol.

>> Type a symbol, then press the Copy command to see what
happens.


Now that you have tested each of these commands, you should
try them with symbols on the keyboard card; it's a good way
to learn the Sign Writing symbols.



- 14 -


GETTING THE CURSOR


After you type a symbol, you may wonder how to get the cursor
back so you can type the next symbol. There are two ways to
do this.

One way is to press the Select command (Alt-'S'). The cursor
reappears on top of the symbol, and the symbol stops
shimmering to show that it is no longer selected.

A better way to get the cursor is to press the 'M' key; this
is called the --Cursor key--. The Cursor key lets you choose
where to type the next symbol.

1. To see how the Cursor key works, type a symbol onto the
screen and then press the 'M' key. The cursor reappears to
the right of the symbol, and the symbol is no longer
selected.

2. Press 'M' again. The cursor moves to the upper right of
the symbol. Press the key a few more times; each time, the
cursor moves to a new place around the symbol.

Note that the cursor changes shape as it moves around the
symbol; this shows you where the next symbol will go when you
type it.

3. Press the Cursor key (the'M' key) until the cursor is to
the lower right of the symbol. Now type a new symbol. The
new symbol appears on the screen at the lower right of the
old symbol.

As you have seen, pressing the Cursor key moves the cursor
around the symbol; by holding down the Shift key while you
press the Cursor key, you can make the cursor move in the
opposite direction.

4. Press the Cursor key to make the cursor reappear. Press
it a few more times; the cursor moves around the symbol as
before. Now press Shift-Cursor (Shift-'M') a few times; the
cursor starts moving in the opposite direction.

When a symbol is selected, pressing the Cursor key makes the
cursor reappear to the right of the symbol. If you press
Shift-Cursor instead, the cursor reappears directly below the
symbol.


5. Try this out for yourself.



- 15 -


TYPING SIGNS


When you finish typing a sign, press the space bar. The
cursor jumps to the right, and a small mark appears at the
bottom of the line. This mark shows the left-hand boundary
of the new sign you are about to type.

NOTE - Pressing Delete removes a space you just typed.

You can type a number of spaces in a row to indent lines or
to make lots of space between two signs. Each space is
actually an empty sign you can type symbols into.

If the idea of an empty sign seems confusing, try thinking of
each sign on the screen as an imaginary box containing Sign
Writing symbols. The line boundaries show the box top and
bottom. The small marks along the bottom line (made with the
space bar) show the boundaries between signs:


___________________________________________________
. . .
. . .
Sign 1 . Sign 2 . Sign 3 . Sign 4
. . .

___________|_______________|__________|____________


To type a new sign, you first create a new box by pressing
the space bar, then you type symbols into it.

When you reach the right side of the screen (either by typing
or changing a symbol), SignWriter moves the sign you are
working on down to the next line. This gives you more room
to type in symbols.

If you make an existing sign longer (either by typing or
changing a symbol), SignWriter splits the line you are
working on, moving any signs on the right down to the next
line. This gives you more room to edit the sign.

NOTE - To fix up any split lines in your file, use the Margin
command. For details, see the section named Fixing the
Margins in part 2.

To add a blank line (or split an existing line), press the
Return key. Because of SignWriter's automatic "sign wrap",
you don't need to use the Return key at the end of each line.

>> Try these commands out in the file named WELCOME.



- 16 -


SAVING YOUR WORK


When you finish working on a file, press the Quit command
(Alt-'Q'). The command line is replaced by the following
message:

Quit | Save Write Backup Exit

To save your work, press the 'S' key (for 'Save'). Your file
is saved on the disk, and the screen changes to show the file
box.

NOTE - From the file screen, you can now print the file, or
open another file, or use the file screen's Quit command to
leave SignWriter.

If you decide to not save the work you have just done, press
the Quit command and then press the 'E' key (for 'Exit').
The following message appears:

Quit | Exit without saving changes? (Y/N)

Pressing the 'Y' key changes the screen to the file box
without saving your file on the disk. Pressing 'N' (or the
Escape key) cancels the Quit command and returns you to
editing the file.

Files are normally saved under the same name they started
with; the new version of the file replaces the old version.
If you decide to save your work under a different file name,
press the Quit command and then press the 'W' key (for
'Write'). The following message appears:

Quit | Write to what file?

Type the new file name and press the Return key. The file is
written to disk with the name you typed, and the screen
changes to show the file box.

If you spend a long time working on a file, you should save
your work every 15 minutes or so. To quickly save a file,
press the Quit command and then press the 'B' key (for
'Backup'). After the file is saved, the original command
line reappears, and you can continue working on the file.



- 17 -


WHAT TO DO NEXT


You've now finished the tutorial part of this manual.

There's still a lot to learn. The rest of SignWriter's
commands are described in the next part of this manual.
These are fairly easy to learn; however, to make full use of
SignWriter, you need to learn some other things too: namely,
the Sign Writing symbols, their placement on the keyboard,
and the grammar rules for writing ASL.

To make all this a little easier, here is a list of things
to do with SignWriter. Things at the top of the list are
easier to do; things at the bottom are harder.

>> Use SignWriter to print out the Lessons in Sign Writing
files: SWINTRO, SWHAND, etc. (Use print format 3 if you
can.) These files will serve as your main reference to Sign
Writing. Please note that they will not teach you American
Sign Language; you should already know ASL, or at least be
learning it.

>> Browse through SignWriter's built-in sign dictionary.
This gives you the chance to look up signs you already know,
and to see how they are spelled in Sign Writing. You might
want to print out the dictionary; it's useful to have around
if you're learning ASL vocabulary.

>> Type fingerspelling. This is easy, because all you have
to do is type as if you were typing English, and finger-
spelling appears. Reading and writing fingerspelling is a
good way to learn the Sign Writing hand symbols.

>> Read the Sign Writing file named GRAMMAR. It contains
lessons on writing ASL grammar. Note that the lessons
themselves are written in ASL, with the English translation
appearing beneath each paragraph.

>> Add signs to the dictionary. To do this, you need to
have some idea of how to spell a sign; one of the best ways
to learn is to study the signs already in the dictionary.
You also need to know how to type Sign Writing symbols.

>> Write your own ASL text. This is a lot easier to do when
the signs you need are already stored in the dictionary;
however, you still need to know the grammar rules in order to
write correct ASL sentences.



- 18 -


PART 2: USING SIGNWRITER


In part 1, you learned how to do basic things like typing and
editing symbols. Part 2 tells you how to perform more
advanced editing tasks.

When you finish part 2, you will know how to use all the
SignWriter commands. To learn more about setting up
SignWriter, see part 3.



- 19 -


MOVING AROUND IN A FILE


The arrow keys are good for moving around between symbols,
but they are too slow for moving from sign to sign. To move
the cursor more quickly, hold down the Alt key when you press
the arrow keys.

To move the cursor in even bigger jumps, use the following
commands:

Tab key - moves cursor from sign to sign
Home key - moves cursor to the start of the line
End key - moves cursor to the end of the line
PgUp key - shows the previous three lines of text
PgDn key - shows the next three lines of text
Next (Alt-'N') - moves cursor to the line below
Previous (Alt-'P') - moves cursor to the line above

When you are editing a long file, you can only see part of it
on the screen at any one time. To see the rest of the file,
just move the cursor off the top or bottom of the screen;
Sign Writer changes the screen to show the text that was
hidden before.

NOTE - The alert box blinks if you try to move the cursor
past the beginning or end of a file.

To move to the front of a file, press the Jump command (Alt-
'J'). The command line is replaced by the following message:

Jump | Beginning End Marker

Press the 'B' key. The screen changes to show the beginning
of the file. To move to the end of the file, press the Jump
command and then press the 'E' key (for 'End'). To move to a
marker that marks a selected sign, press the Jump command and
then press the "M' key (for 'Marker').

NOTE - For more information about markers, see the section
named Selecting Signs.

NOTE - Press Alt-'?' to see the Jump, Next, and Previous
commands on the command line:

Undo Get Jump Next Previous Adjust Type Dictionary ?

Press Alt-'?' again to see the original command line:

Select Copy Erase Find Replace Margin Quit ?



- 20 -


TYPING FINGERSPELLING


SignWriter lets you type fingerspelling as well as signs.
Typing fingerspelling is just like typing English; the only
difference is that as you type, hand symbols appear on the
screen instead of alphabetic characters.

1. To type fingerspelling, press the Type command (Alt-'T').
The command line is replaced by the following message:

Type | Sign Fingerspell Alphabet

2. Press the 'F' key. The original command line reappears,
but an 'F' handshape symbol appears on the lower left corner
of the screen. This symbol shows you that SignWriter is
ready to type fingerspelling.

3. Type "This is my first sentence in fingerspelling." As
before, press the space bar when you want to start a new
word.

Note that you don't have to press the Return key when you get
to the end of a line; just keep typing, and SignWriter moves
the word down to the next line for you.

NOTE - Pressing the Backspace key deletes the last
fingerspelling symbol you typed. To get back a deleted
symbol, press the Undo command (Alt-'U').

4. To change back to typing signs, press the Type command
again and then press the 'S' key (for 'Sign'). Note that the
'F' handshape symbol disappears from the screen.

NOTE - The keyboard card shows where the fingerspelling
symbols are on the keyboard.



- 21 -


TYPING ENGLISH


SignWriter also lets you type English. This is useful for
typing the English translation underneath signs and
fingerspelling.

NOTE - SignWriter is not designed for typing a whole sentence
of English underneath a sentence of signs; it works best when
you type a few words under each sign. For example, see the
Sign Writing file named WELCOME.

1. To type English, press the Type command (Alt-'T'). The
command line is replaced by the following message:

Type | Sign Fingerspell Alphabet

2. Press the 'A' key. The original command line reappears,
but the letter A appears on the lower left corner of the
screen. This letter shows you that SignWriter is ready to
type English.

3. Type "This is my first sentence in English." As before,
press the space bar when you want to start a new word.

NOTE - Pressing the Backspace key deletes the last letter you
typed. To get back a deleted letter, press the Undo command
(Alt-'U').

After you type a few English words, you can see that the
space bar now puts an English-sized space between each word;
it does not start a new sign. What if you want to start a
new sign while typing English?

Try pressing Alt-space instead of just space; Alt-space
starts a new sign while you are typing English.

4. To change back to typing signs, press the Type command
again and then press the 'S' key (for 'Sign'). Note that the
letter A disappears from the screen.

NOTE - For information on typing paragraphs of English, see
the section named Things You Should Know About.



- 22 -


MOVING SYMBOLS IN A SIGN


When you are typing a sign, sometimes you'll need to move all
the symbols in the sign by a certain amount: either to make
room for typing a new symbol, or to center the completed
sign.

To move symbols in a sign, use the following commands:

Ctrl-Home - centers the sign
Ctrl-left arrow - moves all symbols to the left
Ctrl-right arrow - moves all symbols to the right
Ctrl-up arrow - moves all symbols up
Ctrl-down arrow - moves all symbols down
Adjust (Alt-'A') - moves some of the symbols

1. To use the Adjust command, first move the cursor so it is
above and to the left of the symbols you wish to move.

NOTE - If you're going to move symbols up or to the left, be
sure the cursor is above and to the left of where you want
the symbols to end up.

2. Press the Adjust command (Alt-'A'). The command line is
replaced by the following message:

Adjust | Press Return to finish.

Note that the cursor changes shape; this helps you to see
which symbols will move. Imagine two lines extending out
from the ends of the cursor: one stretches down to the bottom
of the sign; the other extends to the right. These two lines
form the upper left corner of an imaginary box.

All symbols that are completely inside the imaginary box will
move as a group. Symbols outside the box will not move.

NOTE - If the wrong symbols move, press the Escape key, then
reposition the cursor and press Adjust again. You can also
use the Undo command (Alt-'U') to undo the adjust.

3. To move the symbols, press the arrow keys. Each time you
press an arrow key, the group of symbols moves in the
specified direction.

When any of the moving symbols reaches one of the imaginary
lines, the alert box blinks to let you know that you cannot
move the symbols any further in that direction.

4. When you are finished moving the symbols, press the
Return key. The original command line reappears, and you can
continue with editing.



- 23 -


SELECTING SIGNS


You have already seen how the Select command is used to
select symbols. It is also used to select signs for copying
or erasing.

1. To select signs, move the cursor to the front of the
signs and press Select (Alt-'S'). A large bracket symbol
appears on the screen.

2. Move the cursor to the end of the signs and press Select
again; a second bracket appears. The signs between the
brackets are now selected.

NOTE - The Tab key is the best way to move the cursor from
sign to sign.

When you press Select, the cursor must be positioned in
between signs; if it is inside a sign, Select either selects
a symbol or does nothing. The cursor will always be
positioned properly if you use the Tab, Home, and End keys.

There are a few restrictions you need to know about. You
cannot put a right bracket at the beginning of a line, a left
bracket at the end of a line, or a right bracket in front of
a left bracket. To get rid of brackets, move the cursor on
top of them and press Select (Alt-'S').

NOTE - A quick way to move the cursor to the brackets is to
press the Jump command and then press 'M' (for 'Marker').
This is useful when the brackets are many lines apart.



- 24 -


COPYING AND ERASING SIGNS


Signs are copied and erased the same way as symbols: first
you select, then you copy or erase.

To erase signs, first select them, then press the Erase
command (Alt-'E'). The screen is updated showing the
selected signs removed from the file.

NOTE - You can restore the erased signs by pressing the Undo
command (Alt-'U').

To copy signs, first select them, then move the cursor to
where you want them copied and press the Copy command
(Alt-'C'). The screen is updated showing the selected signs
copied into the file.

NOTE - You can erase the copied signs by pressing the Undo
command.

When the Copy command finishes, the original signs remain
selected, so you can make multiple copies just by pressing
Copy over and over. (Remember that Undo undoes only the last
copy.)

To move signs from one place to another in a file, copy them
to the desired location, then press Erase to erase the
originals.


Erasing Spaces

To quickly erase a space, move the cursor on top of the space
and press the Delete key.


Erasing Lines

To quickly erase an entire line, move the cursor onto the
line and press Alt-Delete. You can restore an erased line
or space with the Undo command.



- 25 -


COPYING SIGNS FROM ANOTHER FILE


SignWriter lets you copy signs from other files into the one
you are working on. You can copy a whole file or just part
of it.

1. To copy signs from another file, first move the cursor to
where you want the signs copied.

2. Press the Get command (Alt-'G'). The command line is
replaced by the following message:

Get | Get text from what file?

3. Type the name of the file and press Return. The words
"Getting text" appear on the command line. Then the screen
is updated showing the other file's signs copied into the
file you are working on.

NOTE - You can erase the copied signs by pressing the Undo
command.

If you want to copy only part of a file, you must first open
the file, select the signs you wish to copy, and then save
the file. The signs remain selected after the file is saved.
The Get command will then copy only the selected signs into
the file you are working on.



- 26 -


FINDING AND REPLACING SIGNS


SignWriter can search through a file and find all the places
where a certain sign or symbol appears. It can also search
for a sign and replace it with a new sign.

1. To search for a sign, press the Find command (Alt-'F').
A window appears on the screen and the command line is
replaced by the following message:

Find | Enter search sign and press Return.

2. Type the sign into the window. A few SignWriter commands
work differently in the window: Erase erases the contents of
the window, Copy copies a previously selected sign into the
window, and Undo undoes both.

NOTE - To escape from the Find command, press the Escape key.

3. When you finish typing the sign, press the Return key.
The window disappears and the following message appears on
the command line:

Find | Next Part Stop

4. To find the sign, press the 'N' key; the screen changes
to show the cursor on the next occurrence of the sign in the
file.

NOTE - Since SignWriter's search method ignores the relative
positioning of symbols, it will stop at signs which have the
same symbols as the search sign, but in a different
arrangement. In practice, this happens very rarely.

5. To stop searching, press the 'S' key; the original
command line reappears, and you can continue with editing.



- 27 -


Finding Symbols

The Find command normally searches for whole signs, but it
can also search for specific symbols. To do this, enter the
symbols into the window, press Return, then press the 'P' key
(for 'Part'). The Find command message changes to look like
this:

pFind | Next Part Stop

The little "p" next to the word "Find" shows that SignWriter
will perform a "partial" search the next time you press 'N';
it will stop at any sign containing the symbols you typed
into the window. You can turn off partial searching by
pressing 'P' again.

NOTE - Sometimes you may need to use Part to find all the
occurrences of a sign, since the normal search will miss
signs containing extra symbols (such as punctuation or
English).



- 28 -


Replacing Signs

1. To replace signs, press the Replace command (Alt-'R'). A
double window appears on the screen and the command line is
replaced by the following message:

Replace | Enter search sign and press Return.

2. Typing into the window works the same way as in Find.
When you press Return, the cursor moves to the bottom window
and the following message appears on the command line:

Replace | Enter replace sign and press Return.

3. When you press Return the second time, the double window
disappears and this message appears:

Replace | Change Next All Stop

4. To find the next occurrence of the sign, press the 'N'
key. To change the sign, press the 'C' key. To stop
searching, press the 'S' key.

If you want SignWriter to automatically change all the
occurrences it can find, press the 'A' key (for 'All').

The command line is replaced by the following message:

Replace | Replace all? (Y/N)

Pressing the 'Y' key replaces all occurrences. Pressing 'N'
(or the Escape key) cancels the All command.

NOTE - The All command should be used with caution; since
SignWriter's search method ignores the relative positioning
of symbols, there is a remote chance that you will
accidentally replace a sign which has the same symbols as the
search sign, but in a different arrangement.

NOTE - The Replace command replaces whole signs only; it
cannot replace specific symbols in a sign.

NOTE - The Undo command does not work with Replace, so be
careful when you use the Replace command.



- 29 -


USING THE DICTIONARY


SignWriter has a built-in sign dictionary. To get a sign
from the dictionary, you type in the sign name, then copy the
sign into your file. You can also add new signs to the
dictionary.

1. To get a sign from the dictionary, press the Dictionary
command (Alt-'D'). A double window appears on the screen,
and the command line is replaced by the following message:

Dict | Enter name of sign and press Return.

2. Type the name of the sign you want and press Return. If
the name you typed matches an entry in the dictionary, the
sign appears in the top window. To copy this sign into your
file, press Return; the sign is then copied into your file at
the current cursor position.

NOTE - To leave the dictionary, press the Escape key.

3. If the name you typed does not match an entry in the
dictionary, the top window remains blank. You can then
browse through the dictionary.


Browsing Through The Dictionary

To browse through the dictionary, use the PgUp and PgDn keys;
they display the next and previous signs stored in the
dictionary. If you find a sign you want, press Return to
copy it into your file.


Adding New Signs

If the sign you want is not stored in the dictionary, you can
type it directly into the empty window. A few SignWriter
commands work differently in the dictionary window. Erase
erases the contents of the window, Copy copies a previously
selected sign into the window, and Undo undoes both.

When you finish typing the sign, press Return to copy it into
your file, or press Escape to leave the dictionary. In
either case, the sign you typed will be added to the
dictionary.



- 30 -


Deleting Old Signs

To delete a sign from the dictionary, use the Erase command
to clear the top window. The sign will be deleted from the
dictionary.


Changing Existing Signs

To change an existing sign in the dictionary, use the normal
symbol commands to add, change, or delete symbols in the
sign.

To change the name of a sign, use the Window command
(Alt-'W') to move the cursor to the bottom window. In the
bottom window, you can type in text and use the following
edit commands:

arrow keys - move the cursor
Home key - moves cursor to the start of the line
End key - moves cursor to the end of the line
Backspace key - deletes letter to the left of the cursor
Delete key - deletes letter under the cursor
Undo (Alt-'U') - undoes the last Backspace or Delete

When you are finished editing a sign name, you can use the
Window command (Alt-'W') to move the cursor back to the top
window.

NOTE - The edit commands listed above can also be used when
you first enter a sign name in the Dictionary command.

NOTE - For more information on dictionaries, see the sections
named Things You Should Know About, and Using the Dictionary
Manager.



- 31 -

FIXING THE MARGINS


While you are editing a sign, SignWriter will sometimes split
the current line to make room for your changes. When you
finish editing, your file contains a broken line: the two
parts reach only halfway across the screen.

1. To fix a broken line so it reaches the right margin,
first place the cursor anywhere on the line.

2. Press the Margin command (Alt-'M'). SignWriter
rearranges the signs on the screen to fix the broken line.

The Margin command actually fixes as many broken lines as it
can find; it starts rearranging signs on the line under the
cursor, and goes until it hits a blank (or indented) line.

NOTE - The Margin command only fixes right margins. To fix a
left margin, use the Erase command to erase any leading
spaces.



- 32 -


PRINTING


SignWriter prints out files just as they appear on the
screen.

1. To print a file, first save it, then press the Print
command (Alt-'P'). The command line is replaced by the
following message:

Print | Print what file?

2. Type the name of the file and press Return. The word
"Reading" appears on the command line. Then the screen
changes to show the first few lines of the file, and the word
"Printing" appears on the command line.

SignWriter displays the file on the screen as it prints.
When the file is done printing, the screen changes back to
the file box and original command line.

NOTE - If you are using a printer that requires you to
manually line up the paper before you print, be sure to align
the paper so that printing begins at the very top of the
page. (You don't need to worry about this if you're using
a laser printer, which automatically feeds the paper while
printing.)

NOTE - You can cancel the Print command by pressing the
Escape key. This is very useful when something goes wrong
while a file is printing. When you press the Escape key,
there's often a short delay before the printing actually
stops: don't worry if something doesn't happen right away.

NOTE - For more information on printing, see the sections
named Things You Should Know About, and Setting Up Print
Options.



- 33 -


WORKING WITH FILES


SignWriter lets you perform basic file management: you can
copy, rename, and delete files. (For more advanced file
management, use the MS-DOS file commands.)


Copying Files

1. To copy a file, use the Open command (Alt-'O') to open
the file you want to copy.

2. Use the Write option in the Quit command (Alt-'Q') to
copy the contents of the original file to a new file.


Renaming Files

1. To rename a file, press the File command (Alt-'F') on the
file screen. The command line is replaced by the following
message:

File | Delete Rename Export

2. Press the 'R' key. The following message appears:

File | Rename what file?

3. Type the name of the file and press Return. This message
appears:

File | to what name?

4. Type the new name and press Return. The file box is
updated to show the file with its new name.


Deleting Files

1. To delete a file, press the File command (Alt-'F') and
then press the 'D' key (for 'Delete'). The following message
appears on the command line:

File | Delete what file?

2. Type the name of the file and press Return. This message
appears:

File | Delete NAME? (Y/N)

3. Pressing the 'Y' key deletes the file. Pressing 'N' (or
the Escape key) cancels the Delete command.



- 34 -


EXPORTING FILES


SignWriter can translate Sign Writing files into graphics
files that you can use in other programs. This translation
process is called --exporting--.

For instance, to include a diagram of Sign Writing in a word
processing document, first type the signs into a Sign Writing
file and use the Export command to export the file
(SignWriter exports graphics files in the commonly-used "PCX"
format.) Then use a paint program (such as Microsoft Paint)
to resize the graphics file before you use it. Finally,
start your word processing program and copy the graphics file
into your document.

1. To export a file, press the File command (Alt-'F') on the
file screen. The command line is replaced by the following
message:

File | Delete Rename Export

2. Press the 'E' key. The following message appears on the
command line:

File | Export what file?

3. Type the name of the file and press Return. The word
"Exporting" appears on the command line. The screen changes
to show the lines of the file as they are exported.

When the file is finished exporting, the screen changes back
to the file box and original command line.

The exported file is written to the current directory. Its
file name is the same as the Sign Writing file, but it ends
with ".PCX".

NOTE - If a Sign Writing file is longer than one printed
page, it is exported as a series of graphics files. For
instance, exporting a file named LONG creates graphics files
named LONG.PCX, LONG2.PCX, LONG3.PCX, and so on.

NOTE - For more information on exporting files, see the
section named Things You Should Know About.



- 35 -


CHANGING DIRECTORIES


SignWriter lets you change the current MS-DOS file directory
without having to leave the SignWriter program itself. This
allows you to keep your Sign Writing files in separate
directories, which is useful when you have a lot of files.

1. To change the directory, press the Directory command
(Alt-'D') on the file screen. The command line is replaced
by the following message:

Dir | Change to what directory?

2. Type the path name of the directory you want to change
to, then press Return. The file box is updated to show the
contents of the new directory.

The path name you type can include a drive prefix; for
instance, typing just B: as a path name changes the current
directory to the root directory on the disk in drive B.

NOTE - Changing the directory may cause the sign dictionary
to become unavailable. For more information, see the section
named Things You Should Know About.



- 36 -


LEAVING SIGNWRITER


1. When you are done using SignWriter, save your file and
then press the Quit command (Alt-'Q') on the file screen.
The command line is replaced by the following message:

Quit | Leave SignWriter? (Y/N)

2. Pressing 'N' (or the Escape key) cancels the Quit
command. Pressing 'Y' terminates the SignWriter program and
causes the MS-DOS prompt to reappear on the screen.

WARNING - Do not turn off the computer while you are editing
a file. If you do, your work will be lost, and you may
damage the sign dictionary. Always use the Quit command when
you are done using SignWriter.

NOTE - For more information on damaged dictionaries, see the
next section.



- 37 -


THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT


This section describes various things you should know about
SignWriter. Some are helpful hints, some general
information; the rest have to do with things going wrong.


Blank Screen at Startup

If your computer screen goes blank when you start the
SignWriter program, this means that your computer cannot
display CGA graphics. SignWriter requires the CGA graphics
display mode to work properly. Fortunately, you may still be
able to use SignWriter.

Virtually all IBM PC's and compatibles support either CGA
graphics or Hercules graphics. If your computer supports
Hercules graphics, you can purchase a special program named
SIMCGA which will allow you to run SignWriter (or any other
CGA graphics program) on your computer.

SIMCGA (short for "Simulate CGA graphics") loads into memory
when you start your computer; it automatically translates all
CGA graphics commands into Hercules graphics. This program
has been used with success by SignWriter users.



Error Message at Startup

SignWriter requires a computer with at least 640K bytes of
memory. If there is not enough memory to start SignWriter,
the following message will appear on the screen:

Not enough memory to start SignWriter.

If a SignWriter program file is damaged, one of the following
messages may appear while SignWriter is starting up:

Error reading key file
Error reading symbol file
Error reading message file
Error reading dictionary
Invalid message

If one of these messages appears, you will need to reinstall
SignWriter.



- 38 -


Missing File at Startup

If the SignWriter program cannot find all of the files it
needs, one of the following messages may appear:

Key file not found
Symbol file not found
Message file not found

This problem may be caused by one of two things. First,
SignWriter may not be properly installed on your computer.
If this is the case, you will need to reinstall the
SignWriter program onto your hard disk.

Second, you may have changed the current DOS directory to
somewhere other than where the SignWriter program files are
stored. There are two ways to deal with this problem. The
first (and easiest) way is change the current directory back
to the directory containing SignWriter; everything should
then work OK.

The second way to deal with this problem is to modify the
MS-DOS PATH command. For information on how to do this, see
the section named Setting Up Pathnames in part 3 of this
manual.


Missing Dictionary

If the SignWriter program cannot find the current dictionary,
the following message appears on the screen while SignWriter
is starting up:

Dictionary not found...

After a few seconds, SignWriter will start up anyways;
however, the dictionary will not be available.

If the "Dictionary not found" message appears while you are
using the Setup Dictionary command, this means that
SignWriter could not find both of the required dictionary
files. You may need to reinstall SignWriter (or at least
find out what happened to the dictionary files.)

If the message "Dictionary not available" appears after you
use SignWriter's Directory command, this means that
SignWriter could no longer find the current dictionary files.
For details on how to fix this problem, see the section named
Setting Up Pathnames in part 3 of this manual.



- 39 -


Duplicate Dictionary Entry

If you change the name of a sign so it matches another entry
in the dictionary, the following message appears:

Duplicate entry created. press Return

This means that the dictionary now contains two entries with
the same name. This is not actually a problem: SignWriter
will continue to work properly with a dictionary containing
duplicate entries. However, it is a good practice to
maintain unique names for each sign in a dictionary.


Empty Dictionary Entry

If you discover a permanent dictionary entry with an empty
sign, this means the Delete key was used to delete all of the
sign's symbols. You can delete an empty dictionary entry by
using the Erase command to erase the (empty) sign window.


Damaged Dictionary

If you discover that one or more signs in a dictionary have
mysteriously changed, your dictionary file may be damaged.

Another symptom of a damaged dictionary is the appearance of
"linked" dictionary entries; that is, two entries which seem
to share the same sign. When you change the sign in one of
the linked entries, the same change appears in the other
entry.

Dictionary files can become damaged if you (or someone else!)
turns off your computer in the middle of editing a Sign
Writing file.

Normally, if a computer program's data file becomes damaged,
you have to delete the file, and then reconstruct any lost
data from a backup copy of the damaged file. However,
SignWriter's Dictionary Manager program includes a special
command which may be able to repair a damaged dictionary file
with a minimum of data loss. See the section named Using the
Dictionary Manager in part 3.



- 40 -


Dictionary Alphabetic Order

SignWriter dictionaries are alphabetized according to rules
defined for each country. Since these rules differ slightly
from country to country, different dictionaries are
alphabetized in different ways.

A dictionary's alphabetic order is defined when the
dictionary file is first created. SignWriter assigns the
current country code to a newly created dictionary, and this
country code determines how the dictionary will be
alphabetized, regardless of what country SignWriter is
currently set to.

NOTE - To see what a dictionary's country code is, use the
Dictionary Manager's Info command.

You can change the alphabetic order of an existing dictionary
by merging it into a dictionary that has the right country
code. To do this, first start up SignWriter, switch to the
country code you want, and use the Setup Dictionary command
to create a new empty dictionary file. Then leave the
SignWriter program and start the Dictionary Manager. Use the
Merge command to merge the old dictionary into the new
dictionary. The resulting dictionary file will contain all
of the signs from your old dictionary, but in the new
alphabetic order.

NOTE - For this procedure to work properly, in the Merge
command you must enter the name of the new empty dictionary
first, and the name of the old dictionary second. Type 'Y'
to the "Skip duplicates?" question.


Gray Box in Printed Dictionary

If in a printed dictionary you discover a sign that has a
gray box printed next to it, this means that the sign was too
long to fit on the page.

NOTE - Sometimes it is quite obvious when a too-long sign
sticks into the next column; other times, however, parts of a
sign may quietly disappear off the edge of the page.

To fix this problem, either go into the SignWriter dictionary
and edit the sign to make it shorter, or use a different
dictionary print format to allow more room for the sign to
appear in the printed dictionary.



- 41 -


Exported File Contains Distorted Symbols

SignWriter exports graphics files that are created with CGA
graphics. If you try to work with these files in a paint
program set up for VGA graphics, the Sign Writing symbols
will appear distorted.

There are two ways to deal with this problem. The first is
to set up your paint program to work with CGA graphics. The
second is to use your VGA paint program to stretch the
symbols back into shape: in particular, applying a vertical
scale factor of 200% to the symbols should fix the problem.


Exported File Missing

If you export a large Sign Writing file named BIGFILE2,
SignWriter creates a series of graphics files named
BIGFILE2.PCX, BIGFILE3.PCX, and so on. These names are
created by adding a digit to the end of the file name.

However, since the original name BIGFILE2 is already eight
characters long, SignWriter has to delete the last character
in the name in order to add the digit. This means that both
the first and second graphics files are named BIGFILE2.PCX.
The end result is that the first graphics file gets
accidentally deleted by the Export command.

To avoid this problem, do not export large files with long
names ending in numbers. Change their file names before you
export them.


Current Printer Settings

The Setup Printer and Setup Interface commands both display
an asterisk character '*' next to their current settings.
To preserve the current settings in these commands, press
the Escape key.



- 42 -


Nothing Prints Out

If nothing comes out of your printer when you use the Print
command, SignWriter may not be set up to work with your
printer interface. For more information, see the section
named Setting Up Printing in part 3.


Garbage Prints Out

The current version of SignWriter requires a Postscript,
Hewlett-Packard, or Epson-compatible printer to print out
Sign Writing files. Attempts to print with an incompatible
printer model will most likely produce garbage.

What the garbage usually looks like is one or two alphabetic
characters printed on each page of paper; note also that the
paper may start coming out of the printer at an alarming
rate! If this happens, check your printer manual to see
whether you have to set switches on your printer to make it
compatible with one of the printers listed above.


Gaps Print Out

Another problem that can arise during printing is when Sign
Writing files seem to print out perfectly, but with gaps of
white space breaking up the symbols on each line. If this
happens, you will have to change the setting on one of your
printer's switches; specifically, the "Line feed after
carriage return" ("LFCR") printer switch must be changed to
its "off" setting. See your printer manual for details.


Printer Error

If the message "20 ERROR" appears in the status window of
your Hewlett-Packard printer while you are printing out a
file using page formats 4 or 5, the problem is caused by your
printer not having enough memory to print a full page of 300
dots-per-inch graphics. See your printer manual for details.

There are four ways to deal with this problem. The first
(and easiest) way is to avoid using page formats 4 or 5. The
second is to only print files containing 40 lines or less
(this gives you one or two columns of text, but never a full
page). The third is to use the Lines command to set a short
enough page length that no more than 40 lines will be printed
on a single sheet of paper (this gives you the full number of
text columns, but they are shorter than usual). The fourth
way is to buy a memory upgrade for your printer.



- 43 -


Alternate Cursor Commands

SignWriter contains a few commands which have not yet been
described; they can speed up your typing a lot.

For instance, instead of the arrow keys, you can use the
following commands to move the cursor or selected symbol:

Ctrl-'I' - moves up
Ctrl-'J' - moves to the left
Ctrl-'K' - moves to the right
Ctrl-'M' - moves down

Ctrl-'J' means to press the 'J' key while holding down the
Ctrl key.

NOTE - When used with the Shift key, these commands let you
move the cursor or selected symbol in bigger jumps.


Alternate Dictionary Commands

In the Dictionary command, the Next and Previous commands
(Alt-'N' and Alt-'P') work as alternate versions of the PgUp
and PgDn keys. You can use Next and Previous to browse
through the dictionary.


Alternate Find & Replace Commands

In the Find and Replace commands, the Return key works as
an alternate version of the Stop command. You can use the
Return key to stop searching.


Type Command Shortcuts

To quickly change between typing signs, fingerspelling, and
English, use the Alt-'X', -'Y', and -'Z' keys. These allow
you to change the typing style without having to go through
the Type command.


Typing Paragraphs of English

When you are typing English, press Alt-Return to start a new
line of English text in the current sign. This command is
useful when you are typing short paragraphs of text into a
file; for example, see the Sign Writing file named NORWAY.

NOTE - Alt-Return only works in signs already containing some
English. It will not cross a sign boundary; the alert box
flashes when you reach the bottom of the current sign.



- 44 -


Keyboard Auto-repeat

Be sure you know about your keyboard's "auto-repeat" feature
when you use the cursor-moving commands. By holding down the
keys, you can go a lot faster.


Automatic Deselect

Most cursor-moving commands (space, tab, Jump, etc.)
automatically deselect a selected symbol when you press them.
This means you don't have to get the cursor back to move to
another sign.


Undo Command

The Undo command works after the Backspace and Delete keys,
and after the Copy, Erase, Get, Dictionary, and Adjust
commands. It does not work after the Margin or Replace
commands.


Window Command

The Window command, which moves the cursor between windows in
the dictionary, does not appear on the command line. It is
defined as Alt-'W', regardless of what country SignWriter is
set to.


Delete Key

The Delete key is normally used to delete the last symbol you
just typed, but with care it can be used as a fast erase
command.

The Delete key is defined to erase the last symbol typed into
the current sign. Thus, if you move the cursor onto a sign
that was typed in earlier and press Delete three times, the
last three symbols typed into that sign will be automatically
erased without having to be selected first.

This feature is useful only when you know which symbols in a
sign were typed in last (for instance, the English
translation typed in under a sign). To find out, press the
Delete key once and see if the "right" symbol gets deleted;
if the wrong one gets deleted, press the Undo command to put
it back, and use the Erase command to manually delete the
symbols.



- 45 -


SignWriter Files

The SignWriter disk files include the SignWriter program file
SW.EXE, the SignWriter symbol file SW.SYM, the SignWriter key
file SWxxx.KEY, and the SignWriter message file SWxxx.MSG.
The key and message file names contain a three digit number
representing the country code. For example, SW001.KEY is the
United States key file, and SW045.MSG is the Danish message
file.

NOTE - For more information on country codes, see the section
named Setting Up the Country in part 3.

SignWriter dictionaries are stored in two separate files:
SWxxx.DIC and SWxxx.DIN. The dictionary file names contain
the (up to six characters long) dictionary name used within
the SignWriter program. For example, a dictionary named 001
in SignWriter appears in MS-DOS as the two files SW001.DIC
and SW001.DIN.

SignWriter data file names end with .SGN; for example, a data
file named HELLO in SignWriter appears in MS-DOS as
HELLO.SGN.


File Size

If a Sign Writing file gets larger than SignWriter can edit,
one of the following messages will appear on the command
line:

No more room for entering symbols
Not enough room to copy
Not enough room to get text

When this happens, you will have to split the file into two
separate files if you wish to continue entering new signs.
(To split a file, make a copy of it, then erase the
appropriate half of the text from each file.)

SignWriter displays a "fuel gauge" to show how much room is
left when you are editing a file. The short vertical line
that appears on the command line has a small mark on it: the
mark is at the top of the line when the file is empty, and at
the bottom when the file is full.



- 46 -


Disk Errors

If a disk error occurs while SignWriter is reading or writing
a file, one of the following messages appears on the command
line:

Disk full
Error opening MYFILE
Error closing MYFILE
Error reading MYFILE
Error writing MYFILE

If one of these appears while SignWriter is reading a file,
you will need to check the disk to see what is wrong; see the
MS-DOS User's Guide for details.

If one of these appears while SignWriter is saving a file,
you have a more immediate problem: namely, how to save the
work you have just done.

SignWriter has a special feature for handling this problem.
If you cannot save a file on your current disk drive, you can
write it to a different disk.

NOTE - This feature presumes that you have a backup disk
available (which is a good idea in general).

1. To save a file on another disk, press the Quit command
and then press 'W' (for 'Write'). The following message
appears:

Quit | Write to what file?

2. Put your backup disk in the disk drive. Type the MS-DOS
drive prefix, followed by a short name under which you will
save the file. For instance, if the backup disk is in drive
B, type:

Quit | Write to what file? B:RESCUE

3. When you press the Return key, the file is written to the
disk in drive B with the file name RESCUE.

Because the drive prefix takes two characters, the name of
the file you save to can only be up to six characters long.
You can change the file name later.



- 47 -


Blank Lines at the End of a File

When you are typing or editing a file, SignWriter always
allows you to move the cursor onto the blank line at the end
of the file so you can type symbols there. Note, however,
that you can't move the cursor past the blank line. If you
want to type below this line, press the Return key to insert
a new blank line.

If for some reason your file has a bunch of blank lines at
the end, SignWriter will automatically erase them when you
save the file.


Editing Lists

Sometimes you may want to type in a list of items; for
instance, a list of signs with one sign per line. In this
case, be sure to indent each sign with a blank space. This
will prevent SignWriter from accidentally remargining the
list when you need to edit it.


File Box

The file box can display up to 15 file names at once. If the
current directory contains more than 15 Sign Writing files,
you must scroll the file box display to see all the file
names. To scroll the file box downwards, press the PgDn key;
to scroll it upwards, press the PgUp key.


Alert Box

When SignWriter cannot perform a command, the alert box
blinks at the lower left hand corner of the screen. Some of
the places where this can happen include the Undo command
(when there is nothing to undo) and the Adjust command (when
the cursor is between signs).

Most of the time, the alert box blinks because you attempted
to type or change a symbol that wouldn't fit on the line at
the current position. To fix this problem, use the arrow
keys to move the cursor or symbol away from the edges.



- 48 -


Bookmarks

SignWriter offers an easy way to save your place in a Sign
Writing file.

Before saving a file, use the Select command to put a single
selection bracket at your current position. The next time
you open the file, you can use the Jump Marker command to
move the cursor right to where you were working before.

NOTE - Since you type only one selection bracket, you don't
have to worry about accidentally erasing any selected text.


Combination Keys

The SignWriter keyboard includes a number of keys which are
actually combinations of hand, face, and movement symbols:
these are called --combination keys--.

Combination keys make it easier to type certain signs;
however, they work best when you type them first, before the
other symbols. This allows you to use the Control-arrow keys
to move the combination symbols around as a unit.

NOTE - The reason you need to do this is because after you
type a combination key, only one of its symbols is selected.


Missing Cursor Position

The Cursor key ('M') will sometimes not allow you to choose
all eight positions around a symbol. This happens because
the symbol is too close to the edges (the Cursor key skips
cursor positions that are too close to the edges). If this
happens to you, use the Ctrl-arrow keys to move the symbol
away from the edge.


Face Symbol Cursor Position

When a symbol is selected and you press the Cursor key, the
cursor appears to the right of the symbol. There is one
exception to this rule: the face symbol that displays a
contact area at one of eight positions. (It appears on the
'7' key of the sign keyboard.) When you press the Cursor key
with this symbol, the cursor automatically appears next to
the contact area. This saves you a few keystrokes.



- 49 -


PART 3: SETTING UP SIGNWRITER


This part explains how to set up the SignWriter program to
work with your computer.

The first section, Setting Up Printing, tells how to set up
SignWriter to work with your printer. If you just installed
SignWriter, be sure to read this section before proceeding.

The other sections in part 3 explain how to set print options
and pathnames, and how to manage sign dictionaries. These
are advanced features; you won't need to read them until you
finish parts 1 and 2 of this manual.



- 50 -


SETTING UP PRINTING


If you just installed SignWriter on your computer, you need
to set it up to work with your printer.

To set up printing, go back to the section named Getting
Started in part 1 of this manual. It explains how to do
this.



- 51 -


SETTING UP PRINT OPTIONS


This section explains how to use SignWriter's print options
to control the appearance of your printed files.


Page Numbers

SignWriter lets you print page numbers at the bottom of each
printed page. It also lets you choose a starting page number
other than 1; this is useful when you are creating long
documents from a number of separate Sign Writing files.

1. To print page numbers, press the Setup command (Alt-'S')
on the file screen. Then press the 'P' key. The Printing
command line appears:

Setup | Printer Interface Format Numbers Lines

2. Press the 'N' key (for 'Numbers'). The following message
appears on the command line:

Setup | Print page numbers? (Y/N)

3. Pressing the 'N' key causes page numbers to not be
printed out. Pressing the 'Y' key causes page numbers to be
printed out; it also makes the following message appear on
the command line:

Setup | Starting page number is 1. New number:

4. Press Return to keep the current starting page number.
Otherwise, type the new starting page number and press
Return.


Page Formats

If you have a PostScript or Hewlett-Packard printer,
SignWriter lets you choose one of seven different page
formats for printing out your files. The seven page
formats are:

1 - 24 pt type 1 columns 7 lines tall page
2 - 16 pt type 1 columns 10 lines tall page
3 - 16 pt type 2 columns 8 lines wide page
4 - 8 pt type 3 columns 22 lines tall page
5 - 8 pt type 4 columns 16 lines wide page
6 - 32 pt type 1 columns 4 lines wide page
7 - 16 pt type 2 columns 11 lines tall page



- 52 -


NOTE - Page format 7 is specifically designed for printing
converted dictionary files. It does not work well with
regular Sign Writing files.

NOTE - Page formats are not available with Epson printers.

1. To choose a page format, press the Setup command
(Alt-'S') on the file screen. Then press the 'P' key. The
Printing command line appears:

Setup | Printer Interface Format Numbers Lines

2. Press the 'F' key (for 'Format'). The following message
appears on the command line:

Setup | Page format code is 1. New code:

3. Press Return to keep the current page format. Otherwise,
type the new page format code and press Return.


Page Lines

SignWriter lets you control the number of lines of text
printed on a page.

NOTE - This option is provided mainly for people using
Epson-compatible printers that print graphics either larger
or smaller than usual.

1. To change the number of lines per page, press the Setup
command (Alt-'S') on the file screen. Then press the 'P'
key. The Printing command line appears:

Setup | Printer Interface Format Numbers Lines

2. Press the 'L' key (for 'Lines'). The following message
appears on the command line:

Setup | Number of lines printed per page is 6. New number:

3. Press Return to keep the current number of page lines.
Otherwise, type in the new number of page lines and press
Return.



- 53 -


SETTING UP PATHNAMES


To set up a DOS pathname for SignWriter, you need to add a
special command to the MS-DOS file AUTOEXEC.BAT. The command
has the following form:

PATH C:\SIGN

This command lets the SignWriter program know where to find
the other SignWriter files. The example shown above shows
that the SignWriter program files are stored in a
subdirectory named SIGN on the C: drive.

When the PATH command is installed in AUTOEXEC.BAT, and
MS-DOS is restarted, you will be able to start up SignWriter
no matter what the current directory is set to.

You will also be able to use SignWriter's Directory command
without having to worry about the sign dictionary becoming
unavailable.

For more information on how to use the PATH command, see your
MS-DOS manual.



- 54 -


SETTING UP THE COUNTRY


SignWriter is an international program: it works with the
languages of several countries.

To do this, SignWriter stores the information for each
country in separate disk files. Thus, SignWriter includes
key files (SWxxx.KEY), message files (SWxxx.MSG) and
dictionary files (SWxxx.DIC and SWxxx.DIN). The names of
these files include a three-digit number representing the
country code. For example, SW001.KEY is the name of the US
key file, while SW045.MSG is the Danish message file.

The country codes used by SignWriter generally correspond to
the codes used in the international telephone system. Here
is a list of the countries currently supported:

001 US 046 Sweden
032 Belgium 047 Norway
033 France 052 Mexico
039 Italy 353 Ireland
044 UK 505 Nicaragua
045 Denmark

If you want to switch back and forth between countries, you
first have to copy the appropriate key, message, and
dictionary files onto your hard disk. Once you've done
this, you can use the Setup Country command to switch
countries.

>>> NOTE - This shareware package supports only the US
version of SignWriter. International versions are available
from the Deaf Action Committee for Sign Writing.

1. To switch countries, press the Setup command (Alt-'S') on
the file screen. The command line is replaced by the
following message:

Setup | Printing Country Dictionary

2. Press the 'C' key. The Setup command line is replaced by
the following message:

Setup | Country code is 001. New code:

3. Type the three-digit country code for the language you
want to work with. For country codes, see the list above.

4. After you type the country code, press Return.
SignWriter changes the keyboard layout, fingerspelling, and
command messages to the language of the country you chose.



- 55 -


When you enter a new country code, SignWriter looks on the
disk for the key file and message file for that country. If
the files are not on your disk, one of the following messages
will appear:

Key file not found. press Return.
Message file not found. press Return.

If either of these messages appear, pressing Return cancels
the Setup command and restores the original country setting.

NOTE - The Setup Country command searches for a dictionary
named after the new country code. If the dictionary is
found, it becomes the current dictionary; otherwise, the
dictionary is not changed.



- 56 -


SETTING UP THE DICTIONARY


SignWriter is already set up to work with the dictionary for
your country, so you don't have to perform any special setup
procedures.

However, if you want to switch to a different dictionary, or
create a new empty dictionary of your own, this section
explains how.


Switching Dictionaries

1. To switch dictionaries, press the Setup command (Alt-'S')
on the file screen. The command line is replaced by the
following message:

Setup | Printing Country Dictionary

2. Press the 'D' key (for 'Dictionary'). The following
message appears on the command line:

Setup | Current dictionary is 001. New dictionary:

3. Press Return to keep the current dictionary. Otherwise,
type the name of the dictionary you want to switch to, then
press Return.

The contents of the new dictionary will appear when you next
use the Dictionary command.


Creating New Dictionaries

When you use the Setup Dictionary command to switch to a new
dictionary, typing the name of a dictionary that does not
exist causes the following message to appear:

MYDICT not found. Create new dictionary with this name? (Y/N)

Pressing the 'N' key (or Escape) cancels the command, keeping
the current dictionary. Pressing 'Y' creates a new empty
dictionary with the name you typed, and makes it the current
dictionary.

NOTE - Dictionary names can be up to six characters long, and
can consist of either numbers or letters. The standard
dictionary name is a three-digit number representing the
country code.



- 57 -


USING THE DICTIONARY MANAGER


This section explains how to use the Dictionary Manager,
a utility program that lets you print or merge SignWriter
dictionaries.

Before you start using it, there are a few things you need to
know about the Dictionary Manager (which is named "DICT").

>> DICT cannot print dictionaries on Epson-compatible
printers; it only works with Hewlett-Packard and PostScript
printers. (To print a dictionary on an Epson printer, you
need to use the Convert command; for details, see "Converting
Dictionaries" in this section.)

>> DICT uses SignWriter's current printer settings to
determine which printer to use. Be sure to set up SignWriter
properly before you use DICT.

>> DICT's commands and messages appear in English, regardless
of what country SignWriter is set to.


Printing Dictionaries

The Dictionary Manager lets you print out the contents of a
dictionary. Print options include the choice of 16 or 24
point symbol size, and one or two column page format. Lookup
words are printed at the top of each page.

1. To print a dictionary, you need to start the Dictionary
Manager. (If you're still in SignWriter, you first need to
leave the SignWriter program.) Type the following command at
the MS-DOS prompt:

DICT

and then press Return.

The startup message should appear on the screen after a few
moments. Below this appears the following command line:

Print Merge Convert Repair Info

2. To choose the Print command, press 'P'. The following
message appears below the command line:

Print what dictionary?



- 58 -


3. Type the name of the dictionary to be printed (e.g. 001)
and press Return. The following message then appears:

Starting page number?

Type the starting page number and press Return.

NOTE - Page numbers will not be printed if you type "0" as
the starting page number.

After you press Return, the following message appears:

Print size 16 or 24 points?

4. Type the print size you want and press Return. Another
message appears:

Print 1 or 2 columns?

5. Type the number of columns you want and press Return.
Another message appears:

Print how many copies?

6. Type the number of copies you want printed of the
dictionary and press Return. At this point, the Print
command is ready to begin. The following message appears for
a few moments:

Setting up printing...

The screen then changes to show the first sign on the screen.
Each sign is displayed on the screen as it is printed.
During printing, the following mesage appears at the bottom
of the screen:

Press the Escape key to cancel printing.

Note that if you press Escape, it is normal for DICT to take
a few moments before the printing actually stops.



- 59 -


Merging Dictionaries

The Dictionary Manager lets you merge the contents of two
separate dictionaries into one big dictionary.

It also lets you decide what to do if the "same" entry
appears in both dictionaries: you can either skip over
duplicate entries, or you can have the Dictionary Manager
mark duplicate entries in the merged dictionary.

NOTE - Two dictionary entries are considered duplicates if
they have the same text in their lower windows. (Note that
upper and lower case letters are considered the same; so are
accented and unaccented letters.) Two entries with the same
signs but different text are not duplicates; two entries with
different signs but the same text are duplicates.

1. To merge dictionaries, you need to start the Dictionary
Manager program. (If you're still in SignWriter, you first
need to leave the SignWriter program.) Type the following
command at the MS-DOS prompt:

DICT

and then press Return.

The startup message should appear on the screen after a few
moments. Below this appears the following command line:

Print Merge Convert Repair Info

2. To choose the Merge command, type 'M'. The following
message appears below the command line:

Name of main dictionary?

3. Type the name of your main dictionary (e.g. 001) and
press Return. The following message then appears:

Name of other dictionary?

4. Type the name of the other dictionary to be merged and
press Return. Another message appears:

Name of new dictionary?



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5. Type the name of the new dictionary to be created and
press Return.

NOTE - You can either type a name different from the first
two dictionaries (which creates a new, merged dictionary),
or you can type the same name as one of the first two (which
causes the merged dictionary to replace one of the original
dictionaries).

The following message then appears:

Skip duplicate entries? (Y/N)

6. When you merge two dictionaries together, you have to
decide what to do if the same entry appears in both
dictionaries. In this case, DICT is asking if it should skip
over any entries in the second dictionary that also appear
in your main dictionary.

Pressing 'Y' tells DICT to skip duplicate entries from the
second dictionary.

Pressing 'N' tells DICT to include duplicate entries in
the merged dictionary.

NOTE - DICT marks duplicate entries in the merged dictionary
by adding an exclamation point "!" to the end of their text.

7. At this point, the Merge command begins merging the
dictionaries. When it finishes, the following message
appears:

Dictionaries merged.

8. If the new dictionary has a different name, use
SignWriter's Setup command to set it up as the current
dictionary.



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Converting Dictionaries

The Dictionary Manager's Convert command lets you convert a
dictionary into a regular Sign Writing file.

Converted dictionaries have a number of uses. You can use
SignWriter's Find command to search (by Sign Writing symbols)
through a converted dictionary. Or you can makes changes to
a converted dictionary, and then print it out with
SignWriter's Print command.

NOTE - If you have an Epson-compatible printer, you need to
convert a dictionary before you can print it, because the
Dictionary Manager can't print out dictionaries on Epson
printers.

1. To convert a dictionary, you need to start the Dictionary
Manager. Type the following command at the MS-DOS prompt:

DICT

and press Return.

The startup message should appear on the screen after a
moment. Below this appears the following command line:

Print Merge Convert Repair Info

2. To choose the Convert command, press 'C'. The following
message appears below the command line:

Convert what dictionary?

3. Type the name of the dictionary to be converted (e.g.
001) and press Return. When the Convert command finishes,
the following message appears:

Dictionary converted.

The converted file has the same name as the dictionary, but
its file name ends with .SGN. It will appear in the file
box the next time you start SignWriter.



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NOTE - If a dictionary is too large to convert into a single
Sign Writing file, it is converted into a series of files.
For instance, converting a dictionary named LONG creates Sign
Writing files named LONG.SGN, LONG2.SGN, LONG3.SGN, and so
on.

4. To print a converted dictionary, start the SignWriter
program. You will see that the converted dictionary file is
now listed in the file box. Use SignWriter's Print command
to print the dictionary file.

NOTE - If you have a Postscript or Hewlett-Packard printer,
you may want to use the special page format for printing out
converted dictionaries. For more information, see the
section named Setting Up Print Options.


Repairing Dictionaries

The Dictionary Manager's Repair command lets you check
a SignWriter dictionary for linked entries, which are a
common symptom of a damaged dictionary file.

NOTE - For more information on linked dictionary entries, see
"Damaged Dictionary" in the section named Things You Should
Know About.

1. To check a dictionary, you need to start the Dictionary
Manager. Type the following command at the MS-DOS prompt:

DICT

and press Return.

The startup message should appear on the screen after a
moment. Below this appears the following command line:

Print Merge Convert Repair Info

2. To choose the Repair command, press 'R'. The following
message appears below the command line:

Repair what dictionary?

3. Type the name of the dictionary to be checked and press
Return.



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The next message to appear is "Checking dictionary". If the
Repair command finds any linked dictionary entries, it prints
out their names and indicates which of the entries was
deleted to unlink the linked pair. If these messages appear,
be sure to write down the names of all linked entries, as you
will be responsible for re-entering their signs into the
dictionary.

If the Repair command does not find any linked entries, it
finishes with the message "Dictionary OK".

WARNING - If the Repair command displays garbage (i.e.
random characters) for any of the names of the linked
entries, this means that the dictionary is too damaged for
the Repair command to successfully repair. While you may be
able to salvage individual signs out of such a dictionary, it
won't be reliable enough for subsequent normal use; it should
therefore be deleted.


Dictionary Information

If you want to know how big a dictionary is, use the
Dictionary Manager's Info command. It works much like the
other commands, and it displays the number of signs stored in
a dictionary, along with the dictionary's country code.

When you use the Info command, you can see that a single
dictionary file stores up to 10,800 entries. Note, however,
that the dictionary itself consists of two 5400 entry
volumes, with all the entries from A-L going into the first
volume, and all the signs from M-Z going into the second.
This means, for instance, that you cannot store more than
5400 signs starting with 'A' in a single dictionary.



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MACINTOSH NOTES


Although it is designed to work on IBM PC-compatible
computers, SignWriter can be used on Macintosh computers.

To use SignWriter on the Macintosh, you need to have the
SoftPC program installed on your Mac. SoftPC comes in
various versions; SignWriter works with all of them except
for Entry Level SoftPC, which does not support CGA graphics.
SoftPC is available at Macintosh software stores.

Printing is not a problem, because SoftPC can make any Mac
printer work like an Epson printer. However, you'll get
better quality printing if you have a PostScript printer.

Because of a software problem in some versions of SoftPC, you
may have to use the keypad cursor keys for cursor movement in
SignWriter. The Mac's non-keypad cursor keys don't always
work properly when used with the Alt and Control keys.

NOTE - For SignWriter to work well with SoftPC, you should
have a Macintosh with at least a 68030 processor and a 640 x
400 dot screen. While SignWriter will run on slower and/or
smaller-screen models such as the Mac Classic, the Sign
Writing symbols will appear somewhat distorted, and the
performance may be annoyingly slow.






SIGNWRITER COMMAND SUMMARY


Press Alt key + for named commands
(e.g. Alt-'O' for Open)

Press Esc key to cancel commands


File Screen Commands

Open - open an existing file
New - create a new file
Print - print a file
File - delete, rename, or export a file
Directory - change the current file directory
Setup - change the printer, country, or dictionary
Quit - leave SignWriter

PgDn key - scroll file box downwards
PgUp key - scroll file box upwards


Edit Commands

Select - select symbol or signs
Copy - copy symbol or signs
Erase - erase symbol or signs
Find - search for symbols or signs
Replace - replace signs
Margin - remargin a paragraph
Quit - close the file

Undo - undo last edit command
Get - get text from another file
Jump - move to beginning or end of file
Next - move to next line
Previous - move to previous line
Adjust - move group of symbols within a sign
Type - type signs, fingerspelling, or English
Dictionary - enter sign dictionary

Alt-'?' - show other commands

Space key - start new sign or word
Return key - add or split line
Delete key - delete last symbol typed

Alt-Delete - delete line






Symbol Commands

'N' key - change symbol
'M' key - cursor around symbol
',' key - mirror symbol
'.' key - resize symbol
'/' key - rotate symbol


Cursor Commands

arrow keys - move symbol or cursor
Alt-arrow - move symbol or cursor quickly
Ctrl-arrow - move symbols within a sign
Ctrl-Home - center symbols within sign

Home key - move to line start
End key - move to line end
Tab key - move to next sign
PgDn key - move to next three lines
PgUp key - move to previous three lines


Dictionary Commands

Copy - copy selected sign from text
Erase - erase current sign
Undo - undo copy or erase

Alt-'W' - move cursor to other window

PgDn key - show next sign
PgUp key - show previous sign
Return key - copy dictionary sign into text
Escape key - leave dictionary


Shortcut Commands

Alt-'X' - type signs
Alt-'Y' - type fingerspelling
Alt-'Z' - type English

Alt-Space - start new sign (while typing English)
Alt-Return - start new line of English (within sign)

Shift-Tab - move to previous sign



 December 18, 2017  Add comments

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