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Introducing Leasey Advanced!

In less than five weeks, we will be at the Sight Village London exhibition launching Leasey, Learn, Enable, Advance, So Easy!

As discussed in previous blog entries, Leasey Total Package makes it possible for new computer users to work in a very structured interface, guided by human speech and spoken help instructions. This was demonstrated in detail within our Audio Presentationfor TechTalk and Accessible World. When people are ready to let go of the menu system, they can switch to Leasey Advanced, containing a raft of useful tools, utilities and services. Leasey Total Package, including its accompanying DAISY Getting Started guide, will cost £150.

However, you may not know that you will be able to buy Leasey Advanced standalone, at £100. It is for people who already may have JAWS on a computer and are using it day-to-day. JAWS is an absolutely fantastic screen-reader, and what Leasey Advanced hopes to do is to make it even better! This is why I say that "Every JAWS user should have Leasey!"

What is Leasey Advanced Standalone?

Leasey Advanced gives you a lot more than just a handful of tools which might be useful, and in this series of blog posts leading up to Sight Village, I'd like to explain a few of them in detail. But lets go through most of them now in brief.

Leasey Advanced contains:

  • LeaseySelect. Easily select small or large text passages without the need to hold down the Shift key. Works in HTML environments, text documents (not just Microsoft Word), Email, PDF files, the JAWS Results Viewer, and more. It has never been easier to select text!
  • LeaseyTexts. Reproduce phrases and long passages of text quickly, either by accessing them through a simple list, or even better, by just typing a phrase. LeaseyTexts give you the ability to create your own shorthand. So, if you assign a long Email signature to the word "sig", type it into your document or email, and the text is typed. Ideal given that completing Email signatures in some Email clients is becoming more and more difficult. Similarly, if you type National Library Service regularly, assign it to the text string NLS instead. Every time you type those letters, Leasey will type the text in full. You can speed up your text processing in no time!
  • LeaseySkype. A lot of work has gone into our interface for making Skype easy to use. Quickly find the person you want to call from your contacts list without having to scroll down. Easily set your Mood Text by pressing a keystroke to get to the right place. Hear who signs in or out of Skype automatically if you wish. Switch to a Skype conversation which needs attention from any application. Choose whether you wish date or timestamps to be announced in text chat, and you can even filter out the contact's name too. There are too many features to name here but we'll discuss it in a future blog post.
  • LeaseyPoints. Bookmark passages of text for instant retrieval. Can be used in Word documents, HTML environments, PDF files and the JAWS Results Viewer.
  • LeaseyAlerts. Do you often find locating parts of web pages time consuming? Set a LeaseyAlert not only to look out for them, but to set focus to the correct area of the page without extraneous speech.
  • LeaseyClips. Copy text segments from multiple locations and paste them in any order you like, wherever you want.
  • LeaseyTags. Cut, copy or delete files from multiple folders at once. If you have five files in one folder and six in another, copy them to an alternative location in one copying session.
  • Tools for Text Composition and Email. A number of small utilities are available to help you with this. Quickly change the punctuation level spoken, permanently set the speech JAWS gives to you as you type rather than temporarily, copy the Email address from a message you have received to the Windows clipboard which also works from messages from many Email lists, find out how many words there are in the text, skip down through a message to avoid a person's Email signature, quickly change capitalisation, use a very accessible Find and Replace utility, and more.
  • LeaseyRadio. Choose to listen to any one of hundreds of radio stations divided into ten categories. Store your favourite stations as presets, flick through the LeaseyRadio top 10, hear the current song title being played from any application, and receive regular updates via the internet.
  • LeaseyAudio. Easily create and edit playlists for use in your favourite audio player.
  • LeaseySearch. Search for books in online catalogues from whichever application you happen to be in. If searching with and you find a link to a book, press a keystroke to hear its summary without entering the page and searching around.
  • LeaseyConnect. A fully featured address book allows you to store details of your contacts. But it is tightly interwoven with other applications, such as Skype, email clients and those used for Twitter. Want to call someone on the phone or via Skype? You can do it from LeaseyConnect. Want to mention someone on Twitter but you can't remember the username? It's a snap with LeaseyConnect. If you are composing an Email, type the person's name in the To field and press a keystroke. If a match is found in LeaseyConnect, it will be typed for you. If more than one match is found, you choose which address to send it to.
  • LeaseyDiary. If you don't wish to work with a complicated calendar and you want to keep things straightforward, use LeaseyDiary. Store appointments with notes and review them whenever you like.
  • LeaseyClock. Contains a host of stopwatch, countdown timer and alarm functions which can be easily set and reviewed.
  • Dropbox. A small set of utilities can be found in Leasey relating to Dropbox. Access Dropbox Preferences, quickly check on the status of uploads or downloads or go straight to the Dropbox folder.
  • Getting Help

    Every function in Leasey has a keystroke associated with it, so the power user can access what he or she wants rapidly. But how do you learn what the keystrokes are?

    We do have thoroughly prepared documentation for Leasey, but we've also designed a great help system. Leasey will try and guess what kind of help you need depending upon the task you are working with, although you can access all the keystroke categories if you wish. As you move through the help for a category, you will hear the function name and corresponding keystroke so you can get to learn it. If you do not want to learn it right now, just press Enter, and Leasey will do the task for you. Want to repeat that task again? No problem. Just go back into the help. Leasey knows what you were doing before so she'll put you back in the correct place so you can do the same task again.

    Updates to Leasey will be delivered using the Internet, and you can check for them at any time. Whenever we develop something new, we can bring it to you straight away.

    What the People Are Saying About Leasey

    We're very lucky in that we have a fantastic team of beta testers behind us, who have not only let us know what isn't working, but who have made awesome suggestions as to how the product could be improved upon. Here are a few comments.

    "Leasey's access to Skype with the Hotkey Help is the hottest feature I've seen since VoiceOver.

    I like being able to quickly access Voice Messages with LeaseySkype. Also, Unlike a program which simply puts a totally different overlay on top of that application, you feel like you are actually in Skype but with a lot of extra help."

    "I just copied a number of audio files from different folders to Dropbox for listening on my iPhone. It provided a good opportunity to use LeaseyTags. They worked as advertised. What an awesome feature!"

    "I've just discovered a radio station playing the Beach Boys in LeaseyRadio. They are my favourite group and I didn't even know about it!"


    It is important to say that if you purchase Leasey Total Package, you get everything, the easy to use structured interface making computing easy for new users, and the advanced tools described above. Leasey Advanced only just contains the advanced tools of course, that's the essential difference between the two.

    We're very much looking forward to launching Leasey in November. Meanwhile, do look out for the blog posts describing features in more detail as we get closer to the event. Thanks go to everyone who has expressed interest in what Leasey can do now and in the future! We look forward to exciting times ahead.