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New Switch options for The Grid 2 2.7 update

Some new switch options have now been included with the release of The Grid 2.7. These include:

  • Using the keyboard as a switch
  • Using the mouse as a switch
  • New “Direct activation” switch action
  • Options for two-way elimination
  • New options for directional switches on joybox and joycable

The first two of these – using keyboard or mouse as switches – are very useful for those who are new to switches, or who do not have their own switch. Using these options, it is possible to use a standard laptop or PC as a communication aid.

Using the keyboard as a switch

Until now, it has been possible to use the function keys (F1 to F8) as switches within The Grid 2. However, there have been two further improvements.

1. It is now possible to use this option in all workspaces, including Computer Control and Program Control.

2. You can choose which keys you would like to use as switches, they do not have to be the function keys.

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If you would like to try these options out, follow these instructions:

1. Go to User Settings, then Input Settings and Switch.

2. Tick the box for ‘Enable switch input’, and more options will appear beneath Switch.

3. Click on Connection, and select Keyboard from the list of Switch adapt

4. Click on Select Keys to change with keys are used as switches. They are set to function keys as default, but it is easy to change them.

5. Select the switch/key you wish to change, and click on Capture key…. Simply press the key you wish to use as a switch, and it will be set automatically.

6. You can use up to 8 keys as switches, but if you only want one or two, click on Set to None for the ones you don’t want to act as switches.

Close the windows by clicking on ‘Ok’ when you are finished, and try out your new keyboard switches!

NB Note that when you are using this method, the keyboard keys you have selected will not work with any other program you have running at the same time – they are locked down to act only as a switch. Otherwise, everytime you pressed a key, you would also print this out to the workspace, which would get very confusing!

Using the mouse as a switch

You can also use the left, right (and middle) clicks on a mouse as switch actions.

1. Go to User Settings, then Input Settings and Switch.

2. Tick the box for ‘Enable switch input’, and more options will appear beneath Switch.

3. Click on Connection, and select Mouse from the list of Switch adaptors.

4. You can test these are working by clicking the various mouse buttons, and see them light up in the bottom left corner, in Switch input test. (Make sure you have the pointer over the test region, otherwise you may accidentally tick other options while just testing).

NB When you open a grid, you will only be able to use the mouse as a switch. If you wish to edit or exit the grid, you will need a keyboard attached.

New “Direct Activation” switch action

With this option, you can select cells directly using a switch. For example, you may have a grid with four cells, and four switches. Each switch can be set up to activate a particular cell. This can be done with up to 8 standard switches, or with the keyboard or mouse acting as switches.

Another use could be to use the function keys to select specific prediction cells, when typing on the keyboard

directswitch-300x188

Another use could be to use the function keys to select specific prediction cells, when typing on the keyboard

1. Go to User Settings, then Input Settings and Switch.

2. Tick the box for ‘Enable switch input’, and more options will appear beneath Switch.

3. Select your switch adaptor in Connection.

4. Click on Scan pattern, and select ‘Direct activation’ from the list of Switch selection methods.

directswitch2-300x184

5. Click ok to close User Settings, and go into Editing Mode (press F11).

6. In the top menu bar, select View, Cell Information and Direct activation. A number will appear in the top left of each cell, numbering 1 to 8. If there are more than 8 cells on the grid, other cells will be labelled with a ‘i’ in the top corner.

7. If you wish to change which switch activates which cell, right click on a cell and choose Direct activation from the menu that appears.

8. In the Direct Activation window, select which switch you want to activate that cell, and click Ok.

Options for two-way elimination

There has long been the option to use two way elimination with two switches. This can be a very quick alternative for people using two switches. When scanning, the screen is divided into two halves – one switch selects one half, the other switch selects the other half. The selected section is then split in two, with each switch selecting one half each. The sections get smaller and smaller, until only cell is left to select.

The best way is to try it out for yourself. The Grid 2.7 now allows you to choose whether you want the grids to split horizontally or vertically.

1. Go to User Settings, then Input Settings and Switch.

2. Once you have selected your switch input, click on Scan pattern and choose Two way elimination (top/bottom first) or Two way elimination(left/right first).

3. Test it out on the little Scanning test, bottom-left of the User Settings window.

New options for directional switches on joybox and joycable

If you are using a joystick or joybox, it is now possible to assign commands to the directional switches (i.e. Up, down, left and right). For example, you may wish to reverse the directions, or add a specific command to a particular direction.

You can also use the long hold option on these directional switches, to further increase capbility of the switches. For example, a long hold on the Up switch could be used to cancel a scan.

directionswitch-300x188

1. Go to User Settings, then Input Settings and Switch.

2. Click on Switch actions, and all the switches available, including any directional ones, will be listed.

3. Highlight a switch, and click on the Edit commands button to change or add a command to that switch. Click Ok when you are finished.

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