Different classes, venues, and teamers? MultiPAL makes it easy.
Wouldn't it be great if you could have one personal abbreviation list (PAL) for Biology terms and a separate one for English? One of the coolest new features in TypeWell's V7 Transcriber software is that you can create an unlimited number of PALs, give each one a separate name, and then configure up to nine different MultiPAL profiles on your computer.
We talked with John Westbroek who transcribes remotely, and on-site at Brigham Young University-Idaho. "I have a different tab for each transcriber I team with," he said. "And I also have one for each class, as well as one I use when working remote. Once you have upgraded to V7, you just click on the blank tab in the MultiPAL to 'create a new PAL' or you can 'import a PAL' from another transcriber's computer. A dialog box comes up and you can give the PAL tab whatever name you want."
John points out that he can enable or disable each PAL, or delete a PAL tab entirely. It is also possible to activate several PALs simultaneously.
This is where MultiPAL profiles come in handy. A transcriber might create several different PAL tabs, but only choose to have one or two of them enabled for a particular class or venue. In the example above, the transcriber has a total of 8 separate PAL tabs (i.e. lists of custom abbreviations), but two of them are grayed out, which means the abbreviations saved in those tabs ("demo" and "Afro-Futurism") won't expand. This particular configuration is saved in the F4 Profile.
John says, "You can easily switch between MultiPAL profiles by using the F2, F3, etc. buttons. For example, my F4 button takes me to my generic MultiPAL configuration. F5 is used only during Chemistry class and F6 is for American Heritage.
"If someone is subbing for you, you can e-mail that class-specific PAL tab with all those quirky terms the teacher uses to your substitute. Another cool feature is after you enable multiple tabs, you highlight a word you want to add, and hit Ctrl+A. You see what it currently expands to, and there's a drop-down menu where you can select which PAL tab it goes into. You can add the same word to several PALs if you like. For example when Bin Laden was killed, several teachers talked about it so I had his name in my generic PAL and my Chemistry PAL."
John said that he can easily move a word from one PAL tab to another by right-clicking, cutting and pasting.
Another "early adopter" of the new MultiPAL feature is Andrew Hansen who works on-site for All Hands in Motion in the NYC area, commuting by subway from one transcribing venue to the next.
"In V7, one abbreviation can be used for two different expansions in two different classes," he said. "The example I think of is that in my Afro-Futurism class, 'AI' expands to 'artificial intelligence,' but at a recent conference, I used 'AI' for a speaker with those initials."
Andrew also pointed out that with MultiPAL, he can delete many words from a PAL tab at once.
The "Days" column shows how many days it's been since each abbreviation in "Kate's PAL" was last used. This feature helps transcribers quickly identify abbreviations they no longer need or remember.
"I select all the entries I want to delete by using 'control+left click' if the words are separated on the list or 'shift+left click' if they are together. Then just hit 'delete' and they all go away."
We asked Andrew if there were any tips he wanted to share with those who were new to MultiPAL.
"You do have to remember before each class to activate the correct MultiPAL profile," he said. "Many times I'll sit down and start typing and the wrong things pop up because I didn't switch over to the correct profile."
He also points out that sometimes laptops are supplied by the schools, which means transcribers have to share a machine.
"In the past it's been difficult for transcribers to use someone else's PAL for their own abbreviations," he said. "Now everyone can have their own PAL on every laptop just by importing it. MultiPAL is a great feature, especially for people who do multiple events a day, or people who have to share laptops."