Using AMIS to read DAISY files - Load2Learn Tutorials

Uploaded by load2learn on 10.01.2013

Load2Learn – making curriculum materials accessible.
Hello. Welcome to this Load2Learn video on how to use the free software AMIS to read
DAISY books.
In this video, we will have a look at what is AMIS and what is DAISY, then we’ll look
at how to open a DAISY book, how to read a DAISY book, how to navigate a DAISY book,
and finally how to configure AMIS to suit your needs.
So first, DAISY is a special format that links text and audio and text structure and makes
it much easier for students with visual difficulties but also with cognitive difficulties to access
the text.
You need a special piece of software to read books in the DAISY format. There are many
very good commercial options but you can also start with the free software called AMIS that
you can download from the Daisy Consortium website.
Once you have installed AMIS and you know you have some DAISY books on your computer,
you can start reading DAISY books. However, DAISY books are different from other formats
in that they cannot be opened by simply double-clicking on them. You need to open the DAISY reader
first and open the book from within the programme.
So first you open AMIS and click on the ‘Open’ icon, or go to the File menu and choose ‘Open’.
Then you need to navigate to the folder where the DAISY book is and open the folder, and
in that folder you will find the file that opens the book, and AMIS should automatically
find the right file which is most often NCC.HTML or .HTM, and then simply click the ‘Open’
Once you have opened a book in AMIS, you can start reading it. You can play the book back
by simply pressing one of the playback buttons on the toolbar or simply by clicking anywhere
in the text. Once the book starts being played, the text will be highlighted and you can control
the playback by using the ‘Pause’ and ‘Play’ buttons. There are also many keyboard
shortcuts for controlling the playback and you can find more about them through the Play
menu. Most importantly, you can use ‘Space’ to pause and play, and ‘Control +’ or
‘–‘ to slow or speed up the speed of playback.
Another important feature of DAISY books and AMIS is the structure for navigation. Make
sure you enable the navigation through the View menu and choosing ‘Sidebar’, and
once you have the sidebar available you simply click on any of the items there and the DAISY
book will start playing from that point.
Again, there are many keyboard shortcuts you can use to navigate and you’ll find out
about them through the Navigate menu. Most important are the arrow keys that will help
you go up and down in the text or jump by phrase, but you can also use the Control F
shortcut to help you search through the book. If you want to mark a place to return to later,
you can use the Bookmarks menu to add a bookmark.
If you use AMIS a lot, you may want to use the Preferences to configure it for your needs.
The most common preference that people may want to go to first and disable is ‘Self-Voicing’.
By default, when you install AMIS, it will be turned on so that every time you click
on a menu, it will read out what the menu does, but many people will find that too distracting
so they may want to go and turn that off, but again, many people will find that very
useful, so it is a good default option.
The next important option is to choose the voice you want AMIS to use to read the text.
Than can be a commercial voice such as Brian from IVONA or one of the free voices that
you can download from the internet or that comes pre-installed on your computer. If you
would like to change the way text is displayed on page, you can go to View and choose the
page style or the size of the font. In the Text Style, you can choose the type of font
and the way the text is highlighted as well. To remind yourself of some of the functionality
and features of AMIS, you can print out the AMIS cue card from the Computer Productivity
and Accessibility Cue Cards, you can download the cue cards from the Load2Learn website.
They are free and you’re also free to make new ones and share them with other people.
Thank you for watching.
Thank you for watching. For more tutorials or information about Load2Learn, please visit or contact us on 0300 3038313.
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