- Subj: Kurzweil Announcement: Kurzweil 1000 version 6.0
Date: 7/2/01 3:57:19 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Kurzweil Educational Systems is pleased to announce the introduction of
Kurzweil 1000 version 6.0 at the upcoming American Council of the Blind
convention (Des Moines, Iowa, June 30-July4, 2001) and the National
Federation of the Blind convention (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 1-7,
To celebrate this fact, we are also offering a summer special, valid
through August 31, 2001. Full details can be found at the end of this
Now, back to our new release. Kurzweil 1000 version 6.0 represents our
tenth release in 5-years, and what a release it is.
Here are some of the new features you will see in this release:
- Images: Kurzweil 1000 now retains images and lets you display them on the
screen in a wide variety of magnification levels
- Sending Files to Portable Devices: Kurzweil 1000 can now send files to
portable devices such as Braille Note
- Layout Exploration and Navigation: Kurzweil 1000 can now retain the
position of each recognized word, and the position and order of regions
such as a picture or block of text.
- Virtual Kurzweil Printer Driver: Kurzweil 1000 can now open any file that
can be printed by an application on your computer. You can, for example,
open PDF files in the Kurzweil 1000, even when those files contain scanned
- Character and Paragraph Formatting: Kurzweil 1000 now lets you modify the
font, size, and style of characters; you can also query and modify the
alignment and indentation of paragraphs.
- Printer and Embosser Properties: Kurzweil 1000 lets you control printer
properties such as page margins, orientation, paper size, etc. Braille
embosser controls extend to number of cells per line, lines per page,
Interpoint on/off, etc.
- Recognition Statistics: Kurzweil 1000 provides statistics about the last
page recognized, nuumber of characters, errors, etc. Kurzweil 1000 can
even flag poorly reecognized pages, based on a user-defined threshold.
- MP3 File Creation: You can now use Kurzweil 1000 to create MP3 files.
Choose to create an MP3 file for a selection of text, for a group of pages,
or the entire document.
- Line Ending Treatment: Kurzweil 1000's editor always used word wrap in
the past, essentially ignoring original line endings. It is now possible
to choose to have each line from the original document shown as a single
line in the editor.
- L&H RealSpeak Jane: A British-English version of L&H RealSpeak.
- File Dialog Changes: We have added additional functionality to the file
dialog, including the creation of a new folder and the renaming of a file
- Page Collation:Kurzweil 1000 has always had page collation, but only if
you owned a document feeder. We have improved this feature if you have a
feeder, and we've made it available if you do not.
- New and Improved FineReader Engine:One of our two OCR engines has been
upgraded to a new release, version 5.0. This new release supports 176
recognition languages, including the programming languages Basic, C/C++,
COBOL, Fortran, JAVA, and Pascal. Recognition accuracy has also improved
Detailed Description of Features
The Kurzweil 1000 has always discarded the images of scanned pages once
they were recognized. Now, if you wish, you can keep those images in KES
files. When an image of the current page is available, you can display it
on the screen with a wide variety of magnification levels, and you can
navigate and read while highlighting text in that displayed image. If you
wish to recognize the page again, perhaps using a different recognition
engine, you can do so using the stored image rather than having to find and
rescan the original document. You can extract the image into a separate
TIFF file. Naturally, you can choose whether or not to keep images while
recognizing, and you can remove images from a page or from all pages at a
2. Sending Files to Portable Devices
A lot of people send files that they have scanned to portable devices, so
that they can read on the go. To make that easier, the Kurzweil 1000 can
now send files to those devices. It will automatically convert the files,
if necessary, to an appropriate format, and then transmit them to the other
device. The transmission will happen in the background, so that you can
continue to use the Kurzweil 1000 for other purposes. Supported devices
include the Braille Note, RoadRunner, and Blazie's various portable
3. Layout Exploration and Navigation
The Kurzweil 1000 can now retain the position of each word that it
recognizes, and the position and order of each region. A region is either a
picture, or a rectangular block of text. Depending on the page, that block
of text could be a paragraph, a column, a caption, a heading, or a footing.
You can now navigate by region, find out the position of any word in a
page, find out the size, position, and number of text lines in each region,
and you can even reorder regions to alter the reading order of text on a
page. Layout information can be kept or discarded when documents are
recognized, and you can later choose to remove it from a document if you
4. Virtual Kurzweil 1000 Print Driver
We have significantly enhanced our ability to open files by adding a
virtual print driver, which allows Kurzweil 1000 to open any file that can
be printed by an application on your computer. You can, for example, open
PDF files in the Kurzweil 1000, even when those files contain scanned
5. Character and Paragraph Formatting
The Kurzweil 1000 editor has always been able to show the format of
characters and paragraphs. Now you can control that format. You can query
and modify the font, size, and style of characters. You can also query and
modify the alignment and indentation of paragraphs. Further, you can use
Find to search for paragraphs or characters with particular format
6. Printer and Embosser Properties
You can now control printer properties such as page margins, page
orientation, paper size, paper source, and line spacing. If you use a
Braille embosser, you can control properties such as the number of cells
per line, lines per page, the treatment of page breaks, and whether or not
to use interpoint.
7. Recognition Statistics
There are three new dialogs that will give you a little inside information
about the performance of the character recognition engines. One provides
statistics about the last page that was recognized, while a second provides
cumulative statistics about all recognition that has been done since you
last chose to clear those statistics. Statistics include the number of
characters recognized, characters recognized per second, the number of
illegible characters found, the number of questionable characters found,
the confidence level, the number of errors corrected by the Kurzweil 1000's
correction facility, the number of broken characters which were
successfully merged, and the number of touching characters which were
8. MP3 File Creation
You can now use the Kurzweil 1000 to create MP3 files. The reading voice,
and the various settings that apply to the reading voice, are used to
generate one or more MP3 files. You can choose to create an MP3 file for a
selection, for a group of pages, or for an entire document.
9. Line Ending Treatment
In the past we have always used word wrap in the Kurzweil 1000 editor, such
that all of the text in the document is displayed on the screen, and the
original line endings from the scanned document are ignored, unless the
recognition engine determined that a line ending was also the end of a
paragraph. This is appropriate for an editor that is behaving more or less
like a word processor, as text should flow from one line to the next while
you type. However, it takes you somewhat further from the original layout
of the scanned page. Now you can choose to have each line from the original
document shown as a single line in the editor. All original line endings
are observed, even if text flows off the screen to the right. This approach
is better for computer code, poetry, and forms.
10. Tracking of Speech
Previous releases have provided two options for the tracking of speech:
enabled, or disabled. When enabled, words were highlighted in the editor
while they were being spoken. When disabled, nothing would happen on the
screen until speech was stopped, at which point the cursor would move to
the word last spoken. This release provides a third option, line tracking.
With this option, the cursor is moved to the beginning of a new line
whenever the first word of that line is being spoken. This option was
designed for people who wish to use our speech, but also wish to use a
refreshable Braille display with a screen reader.
11. L&H RealSpeak Jane
Jane is the British-English version of L&H RealSpeak. She sounds very
12. File Dialog Changes
The File dialog is presented in response to a number of file oriented user
actions, including file open, file save, file delete, file utilities,
folder change, and folder delete. We have changed it in a number of ways.
In the folder tree, backspace will now close the open folder, and open that
folder's parent, as left arrow has done in the past. Also in the folder
tree, if a file needs to be selected, pressing the enter key will open the
selected folder. If multiple files are selected, ALT+Enter or question mark
will bring up the file properties dialog, and will show the cumulative size
of the selected files. Use of the window's menu button, or Shift+F10, will
bring up a context menu in either the folder tree or the file list. The
context menu allows for creation of a new folder, renaming of a file or
folder, cut, copy, paste, and properties.
13. Page Collation
The Kurzweil 1000 has always had page collation, but only if you owned a
document feeder. We have improved the page collation feature if you have a
feeder, and we've also made it available if you do not. This is handy if
you are scanning an oversized book, and can scan only one page at a time.
It is often easier to scan right facing pages first, followed by left
facing pages. We used to allow collation only once per document. Now we
allow it multiple times.
14. New and improved FineReader Engine version 5.0
One of our two OCR engines has been upgraded to a new release, version 5.0
of the FineReader Engine. This release now supports 176 recognition
languages, including the programming languages Basic, C/C++, COBOL,
Fortran, JAVA, and Pascal. Recognition accuracy has improved considerably.
Because of the huge number of recognized languages, we've altered the
Recognition Language setting so that it is easier to select multiple
15. And still more...
- Access to the Quick Reference manual from the Help Menu.
- The ability to enter special characters with ALT+ a decimal number.
- Remove page breaks with Shift+CTRL+Enter.
- Scanning mode can now be saved in a settings file.
- File or Folder deletion now uses the recycle bin.
- Headers and Footers can now be removed from a file.
- The Page appears to be blank message no longer interrupts continuous
- Move forward by unit while reading continuously with a shift key.
- Speech rate changes no longer interrupt continuous reading.
- You can now read context in the Replace dialog.
- You can use CTRL+F to search through bookmark descriptions.
- You can copy and paste the time of day (CTRL+T, then CTRL+C, then CTRL+V)
- You can emboss documents using Grade 1 translation instead of Grade 2 if
- If you have an HP scanner which supports S.C.L., you can choose, through
the scanner source setting, whether or not you wish to also use AccuPage
when dynamic thresholding is enabled.
- When progress messages are spoken, we no longer report percentages, but
instead indicate that a stage is quarter done, half done, three quarters
done, or complete. Percentages are available by pressing help and status.
If automatic orientation is enabled, the orientation is reported
automatically after recognition is complete.
- If you are on a computer that supports multiple users through separate
logins, you will have your own settings files, your own corrections files,
your own lexicons, your own lists of favorite files and folders, and your
own home document folder. You can change the system's notion of its home
document folder using a new item in the folder menu list.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Where can I obtain more information about Kurzweil 1000 version 6.0?
Besides the ACB or NFB conventions mentioned earlier, a detailed list of
new features can be found on our company's FTP site:
ftp://ftp.kurzweiledu.com/pub/kurzweil1000/version60/. You may also
contact your local disributor for information.
2. When will Kurzweil 1000 version 6.0 begin shipping?
Shipments of Kurzweil 1000 version 6.0 will commence Friday, July 27, 2001.
3. I'm an existing customer; will I receive the version 6.0 upgrade?
The version 6.0 upgrade will be sent to any customer who:
- purchased Kurzweil 1000 on or after April 1, 2000 and have sent in your
- owns a valid software maintenance agreement (sma)
4. I'm an existing customer and don't know if I'm registered. What should
The simplest way to check is by sending an e-mail to
education.info@..., providing us with your name, address, and serial
number if you have it. If an agency or organization purchased Kurzweil
1000 for you, include their contact information too, just in case.
Alternatively, call us at 1-800-894-5374, x5038 or x5087.
5. I'm an existing customer and my Kurzweil 1000 warranty has expired.
What will it cost to get version 6.0?
Registered customers can obtain Kurzweil 1000 version 6.0 for $95. To
order, please contact your local distributor or call Kurzweil Educational
Systems at 1-800-894-5374, x5038 or x5087.
6. What is the summer special I keep hearing about?
For a limited time we are selling Kurzweil 1000 for just $795 ? a $200
saving off the regular price. And for those of you who own a competing
scanning/reading product, we offer a competitive upgrade to Kurzweil 1000
for just $395 (a $200 saving off regular price). This offer is good
through August 31, 2001 so take advantage of this special pricing without
Note: For the DECtalk Access32 version, add $200 to our quoted pricing.