Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kurzweil Mini-Tutorial: Zone Editing Basics

I originally envisioned the CyberSERT blog as being mostly video tutorials, but somehow it hasn't turned out that way. Nonetheless, I do have another how-to screencast for you for Kurzweil. It always surprised me that Kurzweil's own how-to videos did not feature anything on zone editing, and I've long intended to make my own to help others learn the skills that took me much fumbling through before I finally mastered them.

If you're a little familiar with Kurzweil 3000 but not so much with the art of zone editing, the explanation below should give you an idea what the purpose of it is, while the video tutorial will show you how to do it.

When reading a block of text, you go from left to right and top to bottom. But when there are several blocks of text on a page, it's not always straightforward how to read. Also, when there is a mixture of images and text on a page, computers sometimes have difficulty discriminating between words and pictures. Finally, not all text on a page should be read. Page numbers, headers, and footers have their uses, but a Kurzweil user usually does not want these read aloud on every page.

Zone editing in Kurzweil 3000 allows you to take control of how Kurzweil handles these elements on the page. One of the drawbacks of zone editing, however, is that it can be time consuming and tedious, especially when preparing documents that are hundreds of pages long. Different users have different needs; some may rely on zone editing, while others can navigate a text with total independence. Texts also vary in complexity, and some will need little or no zone editing changes.

The Zone Editing Basics video tutorial can be found at http://j.mp/ZoneEditBasics.

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