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Upgrading to TW Version 7: a user's perspective

Software updates usually are greeted with dread, not enthusiasm. But with TypeWell's new Version 7, there is much to be excited about.

Released in July 2013, TypeWell V7 incorporates many cool new features. But to give you a user's view of this new product, we talked to Dave Wollenhaup, a transcriber in Nevada. He works on-site in the Las Vegas area between 25 and 30 hours a week.

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"I've found that some students don't want to be identified as having a disability by sitting next to me," says transcriber Dave Wollenhaup. "I create my own hotspot with Internal Linking, and I can use my Android tablet to provide a smaller reader for the consumer. This way, they can sit anywhere in the classroom and no one will know they are receiving services."
(photo credit: joeshoe via photopin cc)

"I love the ability to create several different PALs," he said. The PAL is a transcriber's Personal Abbreviation List, and V7 boasts a new feature called MultiPAL.

"I transcribe a lot of automotive classes, and I have unique abbreviations for those. And some of those abbreviations I want to use with different expansions in other classes. For example, in automotive, there is a term 'motor mount,' which I abbreviate 'MM.' And if I'm transcribing a communication class, I can use that same 'MM' in a different PAL list for 'multi-media.'"

Another new feature of TypeWell 7 is Internal Linking. Transcribers can link to any computer or mobile device in the vicinity. The reader needs no special software, and the good news is that you don't even need an Internet connection because the server resides on the transcriber's machine. It uses WiFi to create a virtual access point, but only with Windows 7 and 8 and a compatible WiFi card.

"Here at the college, there are wireless networks that are unreliable," said Wollenhaup. "And in certain buildings, it's really bad. I create my own hotspot with Internal Linking, and I can use my Android tablet to provide a smaller reader for the consumer."

"Any device that has a browser can now be used as a reader, including an iPhone. I just activate Internal Linking and it generates a URL. You access that URL from the reader's browser and it looks just like Web Linking. I can choose the size of the font, and it gives the students the freedom to sit wherever they want. I've found that some students don't want to be identified as having a disability by sitting next to me, and this way, they can sit anywhere in the classroom and no one will know they are receiving services."

thumbnail of Introduction to MultiPAL Youtube video

Dave also likes the ability to export a PAL from one computer and import it to another.

"Sometimes we team up, and some of the other transcribers have laptops that are not as up-to-date," he said. "So when that happens, we'll no longer need to share a PAL. This will also come in handy when we're on a field trip or in a workshop where we can only take one device."

Also included with TypeWell 7 is Turbo 2, an automatic extension of Turbo 1. Just tap F2 to turn on Turbo mode, and F1 to switch back to Classic mode. V7 is also available for TypeWell Everywhere, a program available only to qualified transcribers which allows them to use their abbreviations in other programs like email, word processing, and web forms.

To upgrade to TypeWell Version 7, the annual license is $109 for the Basic Transcriber (which supports peer-to-peer other basic linking methods for on-site work) or $219 for the Premium Transcriber (which includes premium linking methods like Web Linking and Internal Linking). An annual transcriber license includes free upgrades and unlimited free reader licenses. Is it worth it?

"Absolutely!" said Mr. Wollenhaup. "Because of the unlimited free reader licenses you can use, V7 provides a lot of flexibility."

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Ken Deutsch

Ken Deutsch has been a TypeWell transcriber since 2007. He has written four books and has ghost-written two more.

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