Word prediction technology is used to assist with text entry. It has become popular in on-screen keyboards on mobile devices and tablets. Word prediction software assists with reducing the number of required keystrokes, by predicting the word you are typing and the next word based on word frequency and context. They may also include features such as spell checking as you type, speech synthesis, and shortcuts for frequently used words. Word prediction is particularly helpful if you type slowly or if you have difficulty with spelling or finding the appropriate words to use.
Want to learn more about word prediction software? Ottawa Network for Education created videos for students who are interested in learning about or starting to use technologies for reading, writing and other school work. To learn more about word prediction software, visit Ottawa Network for Education’s website to watch a video titled ‘AT Tools for Writing’ and ‘Tools for Writing and Editing.’
Questions to consider when choosing word prediction software
- Does it learn new words automatically?
- Is the word choice arrangement in alphabetical order or statistically weighted?
- Does it predict both words and phrases?
- Does it predict by grammar and usage?
- Does it automatically capitalize the first word in the sentence?
- Can dictionary entries be altered to support alternate international spelling?
- Does it speak finished text? If yes, can you customize the voice? (e.g., speech, pitch, volume, language, synthesizer) Are headphones required?
- What languages does it support?
- Does it need to work with other technology? (e.g., text-to-speech) Are there programs that have the combination of these features?
- Does it have a user-friendly interface (i.e. menu, toolbar, control panel)? How complex is the menu or toolbar structure? How easy is it to adjust settings?
- Are you able to customize the word prediction display? (e.g., font style, size, colour foreground, background, etc.)
- How does the user select which option will be used and are any adjustments needed to facilitate this? (e.g., touch, keyboard, numberpad, switch)
- Where does the word prediction display? (e.g., following the typing cursor or in a stationary position)
- Does the user need access to multiple computer systems or devices? If so, consider options (e.g., software on a USB key, software with multiple installations per license, online or built-in options, etc.)
- Is it compatible with your computer or device’s operating system?
- What applications can it support? (e.g., compatibility with which internet browsers)
- What type of built-in tutorial are available? What other supports are available for users?
- Is there a trial period or demo copy for testing out the software?
- How will you get support if you need it? (e.g., a technician in the school, a local vendor, by telephone, by email, remote access, etc.)
- How much do upgrades cost? Is there any software management agreement or upgrade package that can be purchased?
- What is the payment method? (e.g., purchase, pay per use)?
Manufacturers of Word Prediction Software
Links are provided for information purposes only. SNOW does not endorse any of the following software and hardware.
Applied Human Factors, Inc – SoothSayer Word Prediction (Windows)
Claro Software – ClaroRead (Windows and Mac)
Crick Software Inc. – DocsPlus, Clicker (Windows and Mac)
Don Johnston Inc. – Co:Writer (Windows and Mac)
Kurzweil Educational Systems – Kurzweil 3000 (Windows and Mac)
Quillsoft Ltd. – WordQ and WordQ Pro (Windows and Mac)
Penfriend Ltd. – Penfriend XP, Penfriend XL, Penfriend W3, Penfriend Portable,
Sumit Software – Typing Assistant (Windows)
TextHelp Systems – Read & Write (Windows, Mac, iOS, Chrome, Android)
Free or Open Source Software
DSNRLabs – eType (Windows)
Built-in Word Prediction
Did you know? That there are some built in word prediction features available for free on some computers. Learn more about the accessibility features of your computer here.