ClaroIdeas Web Help manual

ClaroIdeas is an easy-to-use tool to support the creation and editing of concept or idea maps using visual components. It has been specifically developed to support people with wide age and ability ranges. We have tried to keep the complexity of the program down whilst still retaining the functionality of an idea map.

Overview

An idea map is a diagram used to represent ideas or concepts linked to a central key idea or concept. Idea maps are used to visualise, structure and classify ideas, and as an aid in organisation, problem solving, decision making, writing and study.

With ClaroIdeas web you can quickly and easily create idea maps using a combination of words, symbols and pictures. You can record your thoughts and ideas as text and have them displayed in colourful, meaningful idea maps.

ClaroIdeas web integrates fully with ClaroRead Chrome extension, allowing all text ideas to be spoken back in a human quality voice. Also, the save and load format is the same as ClaroIdeas desktop, so you can use your files in the web also.
You can enter additional notes for each node or idea.

Node tab


In the Node tab you can modify the style (i.e. shape and colour) of selected nodes of, if no idea is selected, the style of default nodes. Also, the font style of the text in the nodes can be modified in this section. There are buttons for image embedding and hyperlink creation, along with a delete button.

When a hyperlink is attached to an idea, a small floating node is displayed on the top right corner of the idea.

Clicking on that node navigates to the link in a new window, so that you don’t lose the map you’re working on.

Link tab

This tab allows you to change the style of the head of a link (i.e. shape and colour) of selected links of, if no link is selected, the style of default links. Also, the font style of the text in the links can be modified in this section. The is a delete button to remove a link connecting two nodes.

Diagram tab

In the Diagram tab you can change the background colour or the image that appears as background.

This tab is where the layout of the map is controlled from.

View tab

In the View tab you can set the zoom for the map.

Side menu

New – Create new map
Open – Load map from selected storage
Save – Save map to selected storage
Export – Save map as DOCX
Storage – Controls where files are loaded from and saved to
Help – Open help file

Windows 10 Support Statements

Windows 10 Support Statement

ClaroRead and ScreenRuler are supported by Claro Software Ltd on the following editions of Windows 10 – Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Education, and Windows 10 Enterprise. ClaroRead and ScreenRuler are supported on the in-market supported servicing branches of Windows 10 including – Current Branch, Current Branch for Business and the following Long-Term Servicing branch – Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB.

Windows 10 Browser Support Statement

ClaroRead and ScreenRuler are supported by Claro Software Ltd on the following editions of Internet Explorer – Internet Explorer 11, and Microsoft Edge and is supported on all currently supported servicing branches of Windows 10.

Technical Support

Customers can expect to work with our excellent team of Support Engineers who will ensure that ClaroRead and ScreenRuler are installed and packaged to suit the needs of your business. Customers can find out more information about our technical support services by going to https://www.clarosoftware.com/help.

Lightning Express

Lightning Express was a screen magnifier supplied by Claro Software and Sensory Software. It is no longer available from us but we do receive enquiries about it.

To help anyone who wants it, here is a link to the executable. It must be downloaded and run every day that you want to use it. We do not support it, we do not warrant that it works, and we will not undertake any more work on it. We recommend users try out either the new improved Windows Magnifier free in Windows 10 or another commercial solution. You may also find this guide to using your computer with some sight useful.

Disabling ClaroUp

ClaroUp is our automatic software update program. It only runs when you run a Claro program: it doesn’t run in the background, or when Windows starts up. So it’s quite unobtrusive.

It also doesn’t show itself if the current user is not an Admin on the machine, so it should not bother users on networks or locked-down machines.

However, you may want to disable it entirely. You can do this by writing a per-machine registry key: (Read more…)

Disabling Spellcheck in ClaroRead for exams

You may need to disable the spellcheck features in ClaroRead, for example if you are using it for exams. You can disable it in Settings, or install ClaroRead SE instead (it has no spellcheck: contact Support to get a copy if you have ClaroRead Standard or Plus). But you might want to disable it and prevent the user from being able to turn it back on.

You have two options: first, you can run a simple program that locks spellcheck off and password-protects it. You don’t need to be an admin, but this only turns it off for the current user. Second, you can set a per-machine registry key that disables spellcheck for any ClaroRead running on that machine. This is suitable for network administrators who want to disable ClaroRead using something like Group Policy.

The two options are detailed below. See also Exams for more about using Claro products in digital exams.
(Read more…)

Acrobat Reader DC

ClaroRead 7 and later work great with Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Acrobat Reader DC is the new name for Adobe Reader (so the last version of Adobe Reader was Adobe Reader XI or 11).

ClaroRead 6 and earlier do not have speech with highlighting. You can update ClaroRead to version 7 through ClaroRead Cloud or by using this simple patch. Just download, then run it – you will need to be an administrator – and it will simply update ClaroRead for Acrobat Reader DC support.

Claro Software & Windows 10 Compatibility

We have tested all of our products with Windows 10, and all of our products work fine. This includes:

  • ClaroRead (Pro, Plus, Standard, SE)
  • ScreenRuler
  • ClaroView
  • ClaroCapture
  • ClaroIdeas
  • WordRead
  • Scan2Text
  • Oska WordBanks
  • ScreenMarker

If you have an older version of any of these programs and need an update, please contact Support. If you have a product not on the list, please contact us to let us know and confirm support – if your product runs on Windows 8.1 you should expect it to work on Windows 10.

Installing Claro software on your network

Customers owning a site licence or multi-user licence version of a Claro product are able to distribute that product over multiple computers. This could be done by visiting each computer with the installers on a USB pen drive, and manually installing the product, but this would be very time-consuming. If the computers are connected on a network however it is possible to use Microsoft networking tools to distribute the software from a central location.
(Read more…)

Fixing problems with starting up

Symptoms

  • “I try to start ClaroRead or WordRead but it only gets to about 75% of the progress bar and the form never actually appears.”
  • “ClaroRead just won’t start: it flashes then disappears.”
  • “Nothing happens when I double-click the ClaroRead icon.”
  • “ClaroRead or WordRead crashes with a message about LHCOM02w.dll.”
  • “Save to audio crashes.”

Diagnosis

  • Run ClaroRead, will not start up.
  • ClaroRead uses speech: broken speech systems will stop ClaroRead working. Try the tests on Fixing Problems with Speech and fix any problems you find first.
  • If you are on Windows Server, and/or receive a Windows error message about an application error (rather than the program hanging), or you receive a Windows error message about “Data Execution Prevention”, see Cure 2
  • Download and run SAPI4Test.exe, get error message “Component ‘Xvoice.dll’ or one of its dependencies not correctly registered: a file is missing or invalid.” or one or more voices do not work. See Cure 1
  • If ClaroRead displays a message “Invalid Hard Disk!” while loading and will not go any further then you may have the Windows Script Host disabled or broken, see Cure 3.
  • If ClaroRead gets about one-third of the way loaded and then hangs, and also you cannot play any audio on your computer, then see Cure 4.

(Read more…)

Fixing problems with speech

Symptoms

  • “It’s not reading anything any more!”
  • “I press Play and everything flashes really quickly in Word but no speech”
  • “I’ve installed a new piece of software and now ClaroRead/WordRead will not work”

Diagnosis

  • Make sure you can hear non-speech sound – try Windows Media Player, or go to YouTube, and play a CD or any sound. If you can’t, then you have to fix your sound first.
  • Download and run SAPI5Test.exe – none of the voices work.
  • Open Control Panel > “Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices”> “Speech”. The panel does not appear. Try Cure Number 2 first.
  • If it does appear, switch to one of the Microsoft voices (for example, Sam, Anna, or Hazel). Click the Preview button: no sound is produced, or an error message results. Try Cure Number 3 first.
  • 32-bit Windows machines only: If a Microsoft voice works, but some or all of the Claro voices (e.g. ScanSoft Daniel_Full_22kHz or Vocalizer Daniel) do not speak, then go to Cure Number 4.
  • 64-bit Windows machines: our Claro voices will not show up in the Speech dialog in Control Panel. However you can launch the 32-bit Control Panel window by downloading and running our Speech Control Panel program. Go straight to Cure Number 4.

(Read more…)

Problems recording audio in Microsoft Windows

Sound problems on Windows machines can be especially difficult to fix if they relate to recording. Many Claro applications support recording, but only if recording works on that machine. The article helps you fix Windows recording problems.

Test applications. You can test recording with the Microsoft Sound Recorder application. Other useful applications to try include Skype (which lets you see and test different Recording Devices) and Audacity.

Windows Settings. Find the Recording settings in Control Panel, Hardware and Sound, and the Sound windows. You want the Recording tab. There you will see your Recording Devices. For example, your laptop might have a built-in microphone (Recording Device “Integrated Microphone Array” in the list below) and a 3.5mm mic jack for an external headset (Recording Device “Microphone”). If you plug in a USB mic or connect to a Bluetooth, these will appear as Recording Devices.

The Recording tab in the Sound control panel in Microsoft Windows

The Recording tab in the Sound control panel in Microsoft Windows

Symptoms of recording problems

  • You cannot record at all.
  • The “Record” button in audio applications is greyed out.
  • Trying to record produces an error message or crash.
  • Audio applications do not recognise and offer the Recording Device you want to use on your system (Skype is a good test)
  • Audio applications will record, but the resulting audio is completely silent.
  • Audio applications will record, but the resulting audio consists of static.
  • You can record with one Recording Device but not another (e.g. the mic jack works okay, but the mic above your laptop screen does not.)
  • You have several Recording Devices all called “Microphone”.

Misleading symptoms

A Recording Device can appear in Sound correctly, be enabled, and its volume indicator shows that it is responding to sound. It may still not record in an audio application if the device drivers are wrong or the manufacturer audio application has muted the Recording Device.

Things to check and fix

  • Correct installation of audio device drivers from the manufacturer. You may need to update or install manufacturer drivers if you have any of the following symptoms:
    • Multiple Recording Devices with the generic name “Microphone”.
    • Recording Devices are using generic Microsoft drivers.
    • Sound not displaying some devices you know you have plugged in.
    • Recording Devices enabled in Sound, and the microphone level showing activity, but audio applications not recording with that Recording Device.
  • Windows settings in Sound. Check that:
    • The Recording Device you want to use is enabled in Sound.
    • The Recording Device you want to use is the Default Device or Default Communication Device.
    • The Recording Device you want to use is not muted.
    • The “Stereo Mix” Recording Device is not disabled, if present (advice from Microsoft Support)
  • Volume turned on in manufacturer-provided audio software.
    • If the volume is muted in the manufacturer-provided audio software, Windows may still show it as active, but it won?t work in your audio application.
    • Check in the System Tray (Notification Area) for manufacturer-provided audio applications.
    • Check for Realtek, Intel, Aureal, Creative or Roland applications on your system and see if they control your audio settings.

Background Colour in Windows 8

In Windows XP, Vista, and 7, you can change the background colour of windows to make them easier to read.

In Windows 8 the setting to do this is still there, but it’s buried away. You have to change your Theme to one of the High Contrast themes in the Control Panel\Appearance and Personalisation\Personalisation screen. Then? you can change the Color setting.

This is long-winded and you may not want to set your machine to High Contrast – many people, such as people with dyslexia, want to change the background colour to reduce contrast, not increase it. And you lose the attractive Windows 8 styling.

You can use ClaroRead (Standard, Plus or Pro) to change the background colour in Windows 8:

  1. Start ClaroRead.
  2. Click the Extras button on the ClaroRead toolbar and select Advanced Settings Editor.
  3. On the General tab uncheck the “Reset background colour when exiting” checkbox.
  4. Close Advanced Settings Editor and restart ClaroRead.
  5. Go to Microsoft Word.
  6. Click the Font button on the ClaroRead toolbar and select Background. Choose the colour you want.

You can now close ClaroRead and the background colour will be set.

Reading MathML formulas in Internet Explorer using ClaroRead

Mathematical Markup Language (MathML) can be used to display mathematical formula in webpages. To make such a formula accessible to ClaroRead for reading back, a plugin for Internet Explorer is required.

The plugin is called Design Science MathPlayer and is available as a free download from here.

Once MathPlayer has been installed, simply hover the cursor over the formula with ClaroRead running and ClaroRead will read it back.