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Version 5

Version 5 Penfriend XL and version 5 of Penfriend XP and the full range of international variants, is now available.

It retains the convenient ease-of-use, with simple menus and windows, along with the excellent prediction quality which have made it so popular. Further features are planned for release with in the 5.x family of products, and will be available as free upgrades to customers of version 5.

Penfriend XP version 5 and Penfriend XL version 5 are available at new lower prices. Discounted upgrades are available to existing customers.

Penfriend XP version 5 offers the same features as XL version 5 with the exception of homophone support, type on hover, speak on hover and transparency.

Version 5 XL includes the following key enhancements:

Prediction in Arabic has now been added, together with an Arabic on-screen keyboard.

A Homophone option in the prediction window to support literacy. As well as hearing the word you want, if it is the alternative homophone you can click on it to put in your document.

As you can see from the example below, if you want 'two' instead of 'too' simply click on the word two, e.g., 'too means excessive' but 'two means a number'.

Type on hover to help mobility for the on-screen keyboard.
Speak on hover to support typing with the on-screen keyboard.
A transparency option so you can see all your desktop Windows and icons.


Both Penfriend XP and XL include the following key enhancements:

Alphabetical sorting of predictions, as an option. This display also has the function keys greyed out so that the prediction is easier to recognise.


Horizontal layout of predictions, as an option.


Clearer and more colourful display of predictions.


Improved smart punctuation, and learning words within quotations.

Improved interaction with keystrokes including tabs.

Improved speaking of words. Now does not speak punctuation.

Major expansion to the possibilities with abbreviation expansion.

Now accepts unlimited length and number of abbreviations. Up to 12 can be displayed at one time. Abbreviation expansion.
Below is an example of how Abbreviations can now be used (with 21 abbreviations!). The qa abbreviations are all multiline addresses for some of Penfriend’s agents. The tv abbreviations could be used for communicating with a carer. Type on hover to help mobility for the on-screen keyboard. Speak on hover to support typing with the on-screen keyboard. A transparency option so you can see all your desktop Windows and icons when Penfriend is running and discretely use Penfriend without anyone knowing!
When you type qa you get 11 addresses in the prediction window and left clicking on one will put it into your document. You could use the same system for common email addresses or URLs.
In English qa, qb, qc are good as abbreviations as there are no words beginning with these combinations. If qa is banned, as it has been in the example below, then it will not appear.
The tv abbreviations can help and individual with communication difficulties to communicate with a carer or another person.
Abbreviation TV

By typing one abbreviation, tv, up to 12 related expansions can be shown and either entered into a document or spoken. Here by typing tv they have 12 requests to a carer for help with the TV.
When they then type ‘tv’ in their document, the 12 instructions all appear in the predictor window. Note that tv does not appear as it has been banned in the lexicon.
Abbreviation TV

If they have set Penfriend to speak on a right click then the phrase they want will be spoken when they click on it.
In French there are very few words starting with ‘k’ so ka, kb etc can be used for sets of 12 abbreviations.
Switch access. Abbreviation expansion with 12 expansions for each abbreviation can be very valuable for those using switches. By typing two letters they can have sets of 12 expansions greatly reducing the effort of writing common phrases.