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Welcome to the Lunarplus review page

On this page you find the results of the review of Lunarplus, made by The Screen Magnifiers homepage.

You can read this review by clicking on the review items below, or by simply pressing the page down key on your keyboard.

If you are using Internet Explorer 5 or higher, or another Internet browser that supports the HTML 4 standard, you can use your keyboard to jump to the main menu of The Screen Magnifiers Homepage at the bottom of this page (ALT+M),  or jump to the page index of this review by pressing ALT + I.

REVIEW INDEX

INTRODUCTION
 

Lunarplus is a professional screen magnifier with extensive speech support for Windows. There are different versions for Windows 95/98/ME and Windows NT/2000.

Lunarplus can best be seen as the second level of a three level product range including:

  • Level 1: Lunar, screen magnifier
  • Level 2: Lunarplus, screen magnifier with speech support
  • Level 3: Supernova, screen magnifier with screen reader including support for braille displays

So, if you want information about Lunar, without the speech support that comes with Lunarplus, you can also read this review. The magnification options and features included in Lunarplus are the same as they are available in Lunarplus. Only the speech options mentioned in this review are not available in Lunar.

Lunar, Lunarplus and supernova are products from Dolphin Computer Access.

For this review I used an evaluation version of Lunarplus 4.5.
In the sections below you can read the results of this review. The review describes the most important features of Lunarplus and what the strong and weak aspects of the products are. You can also find out what features are missing in Lunarplus and what features it included, that are not available in other professional screen magnifiers.

INSTALLATION

Lunarplus is shipped on a CD-ROM and installing it on your computer is very simple.

After the CD-ROM is inserted in your CD-ROM drive the Lunarplus setup program starts automatically including speech support.
The speech synthesizer is reading the installation instructions and speaks out the keys you can press during installation.

The setup program installs three different programs on your Computer:

  • Lunarplus
  • Synthesizer Access Manager (SAM)
  • Orpheus the multi-language software based speech synthesizer

You must install all these three programs to run Lunarplus.

THE USER-INTERFACE
Screen dump of The Lunarplus User-Interface

The image above shows the old Lunarplus User-Interface. In comparison with some most other professional screen magnifiers, the old style User-Interface of Lunarplus is a bit complex.
In my opinion the reason for this complexity is, that important settings options are not on the opening screen of the user-interface. Most buttons on the first screen of the user-interface will only be used once.
For example. One of the buttons on in the user-interface is labeled Magnification Preferences. If you press this button you get a window as you see below.

 

Screen 
dump of the Magnification Preference window

As you see above the settings that you can do in this window have nothing to do with magnification, but with overview. Overview is a feature, that shows you what area of the screen was magnified, before you activated the overview feature.

Another example of this complexity are the Speech Output Settings button and the System Setup button. In both windows you can select different languages. If you change the language in the System Setup window also the settings in the Speech Output Settings window will be changed to the language you selected in the System Setup window.

 

Screen 
dump of the Speech Output Settings window

If you press the Help button in the Speech Output Settings window above, you get the following help:

In this dialog box you can customize the global speech settings such as Volume, Speed and Language.

 

Screen dump 
of the system Setup window

Every dialog box in LunarPlus has a help button. Pressing this Help button opens a window that describes the dialog box, but does not describe the individual options, that you can select on that dialog box.

Dolphin Computer Access added a complete new user-interface to version 4.5 products to access the magnification options much easier.


 

The LunarPlus User-Interface for magnification options

On the image above you see the new LunarPlus User-Interface for quickly changing the most important magnification options, without the need to learn hotkeys. You can change the level of magnification, the magnification mode, turn color changer and image smoothing on and off.

Concluding I can say, that the LunarPlus User-Interface is too complex and that the help facility is too poor.
The new magnification User-Interface makes it easier for those users who have problems pressing hotkey combinations, or find it difficult to remember hotkeys. But on the new User-Interface there are no options for changing the most important speech options. Personaly I prefer the User-Interface of ZoomText and Magic.

The most important button in the LunarPlus user-interface is the LunarPlus Settings button. Pressing this button opens a new window with options, that you need more often.

 

The LunarPlus 
Settings Window

In the screen dump of the LunarPlus Settings Window, as you see above, you find the most important configuration options. In my opinion it was better if these options were available in the first user-interface window.
In the next paragraphs I shall discuss the options of the LunarPlus Settings in more detail.

MAGNIFICATION

 

LunarPlus 
Magnification Configuration Dialog Window

The image above shows the LunarPlus magnification dialog window.

LunarPlus can magnify any Windows application from 2 to 32 times, in any display resolution and up to 32-bit color depth.
The quality and the performance of the magnification are very good. LunarPlus can not magnify video streams. If you start a video stream LunarPlus turns magnification of the window where the video is running off. On some pages on the Internet, that include video streams this causes LunarPlus to crash.

One of the most important features of a professional screen magnifier is full screen magnification. Full screen magnification means, that all what you see on the monitor is magnified. It is like you zoom in with a video camera on the monitor.

LunarPlus offers the following magnification modes:

  • Full Screen
  • Split Screen
  • Window
  • Lens
  • Auto Lens

Full Screen

As already discussed above, in full screen magnification mode everything that you see on the monitor is magnified. Because the magnified view is only a small portion of the view without magnification  a professional screen magnifier needs to include features, that let the user of a screen magnifier scroll or jump to other locations of the screen. We will discuss this later in this review, if we speak about viewing and tracking.

Full screen magnification mode is most useful for people who need a high magnification level.

Split Screen

Split Screen mode means that the top, left, right or bottom area of the computer monitor is magnified and that the other area of the image on the monitor is not magnified.
This mode can be very useful for people who don't need a large magnification and for people with different vision in both their eyes.

 

Window

In Window magnification mode a fixed area of the monitor image is magnified, while the other areas are unmagnified.

Lens

In Lens magnification mode the area around the mouse cursor is magnified. If the user moves the mouse to another location on the monitor the magnified view moves with the mouse pointer.

Auto Lens

In Auto Lens magnification mode a horizontal area from the left border of the monitor to the right border of the monitor around the mouse pointer is magnified. The magnified view moves to bottom or top if the mouse pointer is moved to the bottom or to the top.

As you can see at the Magnification dialog box, there are some more settings, that the user can do. The most important one is Font Smoothing. If Font Smoothing is enabled the hooked magnified characters will be rounded, so they are better to read. This is option is extremely helpful for those who use a high magnification.

Another checkbox is labeled Margin Release. If this checkbox is checked the user of LunarPlus sees a black area if the mouse pointer reaches the border of the screen.

Back to INDEX

COLORS

 

 

LunarPlus Color 
dialog Box

 

The LunarPlus Color Dialog box above, show the color options you can set in LunarPlus. LunarPlus provides a lot of color setting, very useful for people having problems to see the default colors on the screen, like color blinds.

The importance for a sight impaired computer user to change colors is growing, because the wide variety of color combination on web pages on the Internet. Some of these web pages have such a bad contrast, or include color combination that can not be distinct by color blind, that the possibility to change colors is of essential importance.

LunarPlus let the user change grightness, contrast, color and adjust color. It is also possible to invert colors.
The user-interface to change all these color options is very nice and works like you change these settings on your TV.
LunarPlus is one of the professional screen magnifier with the most color setting options.

If the Preview these color settings while in this screen option is selected, you see the effect while dragging the horizontal bars. It is always possible to return to the default color settings, by pressing the Set Defaults button.

Back to INDEX

TRACKING

A very important feature of a professional screen magnifier is tracking.
Tracking means, that the magnified view of the screen magnifier tracks or follows important events on the entire screen. For example if a user of a screen magnifier moves the mouse, the magnified view must follow or track the mouse.

All screen magnifier utilities, also those in the area of freeware and shareware, track the mouse cursor. The major difference between professional screen magnifiers like Lunar / LunarPlus and simple magnification utilities, that you can find on this web site, are that a professional screen magnifier features full interactive screen magnification and that a professional screen magnifier features an advanced tracking system.

An advanced tracking system includes, tracking on Windows menus, controls, input carets, error messages etc. For example if Windows shows an error message or warning on the screen, the magnified view must jump to that message so that the sight impaired screen magnifier user can read it. If the user of a screen magnifier presses ALT + F to open the file menu, the professional screen magnifier must jump to the highlighted item of the File menu. If a screen magnifier can not track on these events, the user must move the magnified view to the left top of the screen (in this example) and click on the File menu.

By making good tracking possible, makers of professional screen magnifiers are highly dependend on programming standards. For example the makers of the Internet browser Netscape 6, seems to have never been heard about standards. Their is no screen magnifier, that tracks on menus and buttons in Netscape 6.

On this moment there is also no professional screen magnifier, that tracks on events in Java applets or applications. SUN has developed and released the so called Java Accessibility Classes to make it possible for accessibility features like screen magnifiers and screen readers to access these programs. Access here means track on events and provide speech and braille support. Will this concept work, then programmers must compile their programs with the SUN Java Accessibility Classes and accessibility features must also support these classes.

 

LunarPlus Tracking 
Dialog box

At the image above you see the LunarPlus tracking dialog box, where the events, where LunarPlus will track on in windows, can be select or deselect.

The quality of the tracking in ZoomText is very good. It tracks on mouse cursor, carets (also in telnet emulation programs), controls, lists etc.
The only event LunarPlus does not track on, is the switch application ALT + TAB event. this is not a problem, but you can also press the Windows key + tab to select an application on the Windows task bar.

Note that like all other screen magnifiers at this moment. LunarPlus doesn't track events in Java appications and Java applets and also does not track in the growing number of programs, that does not use windows standards like Netscape 6.

Back to INDEX

 Viewing and Reading

In this chapter we will discuss more in detail, how you can use LunarPlus for viewing and reading.
Professional screen magnifiers are used by sight impaired people, who have problems to view the unmagnified normal screen and have problems to read information like text documents, web pages and e-mail messages on a normal screen.

By viewing I mean: looking what is on the normal unmagnified screen, or searching for something that is on the unmagnified screen. If a screen is magnified by a screen magnifier, the user of that magnifier only sees a small area of the original screen. For example: if a user is in a dialog box he or she knows, that there also will be an OK and Cancel button, but these buttons are not in the magnified view if a high magnification level is used. To find these buttons the user of the magnifier must use the different features of the screen magnifier to find these buttons. As we already discussed. One way of finding these buttons is pressing the TAB key. LunarPlus will also track on buttons.

With reading I mean reading small pieces of text or entire documents. LunarPlus includes several features to read text on the screen

Back to INDEX

 Using the mouse to read

As we already discussed, all screen magnifiers track on the mouse. So you will not be suprised, that with LunarPlus you can use the mouse to read documents and to view the contents of the screen. Voving the mouse cursor also moves the magnified view to a new location on the screen. Moving the magnified view with the mouse is very smooth in LunarPlus. There is no flickkering of the monitor as other magnifier often do.
There are also options available in LunarPlus to change the position of the mouse pointer in the magnified view to relative or edge. Most sight impaired prefer the edge position, so this is also the default setting in LunarPlus.

Viewing the screen with the mouse in combination with tracking is a good way to view the screen for a special button, control and or icon and it is also a good way for a quick look on a web page, but for reading larger pieces of text, in my opinion it is better to use other features. Reading a document with moving the mouse means, that the user needs to move the mouse gently from left to right, move back to the left and find the beginning of the new line and again gently move the mouse to the right to read the line of text. This not only causes very slow reading, but can also cause physical problem like pain in hands, shoulder etc.

In the paragraphs below we will see, that LunarPlus includes features to read documents without using the mouse.

Back to INDEX

Using the keyboard to read

The possibility to use the keyboard to read documents is VERY important. As we already discussed above using the mouse for reading large documents is slow and can cause physical problems and therefore it is important, that screen magnifiers include alternative ways to read documents. One of these alternative is using the keyboard to move the magnified view over the original screen. this is also called manual scrolling.

In version 3 of Lunar the manual scroll feature was removed, but I'm happy it is back in these version of Lunar, LunarPlus and SuperNova.
You can use the feature by pressing the right control key + the arrow keys. Fore example if you are at the beginning of a line of text press right control + right arrow to start moving the magnification to the right. While the magnification is moving to the right you can release the arrow key and must hold the control key. Releasing the right control key stops the scrolling.
To increase scrolling you must press again on the arrow key. Because the start speed of the manual scroll is very slow you have to press the arrow key a lot of times to get a good speed. In my opinion the manual scroll features can be improved by let the user specify a start scrolling speed and or change the manual scroll feature so, that holding the arrow key causes the scrolling to accelerate like it does in ZoomText.

The scrolling itself is very smooth and the features works good to read text documents. You can use the keys on the numpad to jump to the borders of the screen. If you want to read an entire document by using the manual scroll feature, you wil start at the beginning of a line of text press the right control key + right arrow key, hold the right control key and press the right arrow key until you have enough speed. At the end of the line of text you can press right control + 4 on the numpad to jump to the beginning of the line. Press right control + arrow down to move magnification to the next line of text and again start reading teh line of text as described above.

If you don't like the right control key to scrool, no problem. All hotkeys in LunarPlus can be changed by the user.

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Using Line view to read

As we saw in the previous paragraph about the manual scroll feature in LunarPlus, reading documents by using the keyboard works well, but the user must press many keys during reading.

LunarPlus has a nice feature to read documents. This feature is called Line view.  Line view reformats the original rows in a document to one long line of text and presents the document as one long scrolling line on the screen. The user can define background and text colors, define font size and font style and select some marker options for the end of a sentence or paragraph.

LunarPlus Line view dialog box for setting  Line view options

At the image above you can see how I costomised Line View for my personal needs. A white line of text is scrolling on my screen from left to right on a black background in 20 times magnification. I selected the for sight impaired good readable Arial font and make it bold.

There are two options to start Line View. By pressing left shift + numpad . Line View shows the text of the active document on the screen. Pressing left shift + numpad * let Line View read the entire active window, including the menu bar.

Line View is a very good feature and only ZoomText Xtra includes a same feature in DocReader. What I miss in Line View is the possibility to read entire documents. With ZoomText Xtra DocReader feature you can read an entire document from a user specified starting position to the end of the document, or until the user stops reading.

Line View include no automatic paging. At the bottom of the screen Line View stops. The user must escape Line View, press page down and restart Line View to read the next screen.
Line View also only reads the document on the screen from left top to right bottom. The Line View feature could be widely improved if the user could control the starting position and if Line View include automatic paging.

Another important diffirence between LunarPlus and ZoomText is, that ZoomText not only presents the reformatted text in the DocReader feature, but also read the text of the document aloud in DocReader. LunarPlus has a feature to read text documents aloud, that we will discuss in the next paragraph, but it does not integrate Line View and read aloud features.

During my review Line View sometimes starts at the end of the screen after it was activated by pressing left shift + numpad . in Microsoft Internet Explorer 5. This problem can be solved by switching to another application and switching back to the web page by pressing ALT + TAB.

Back to INDEX

Using Speech to read

The difference between Lunar and LunarPlus, is the speech support in LunarPlus and the possibility to listen to documents and web pages, that are read to you aloud by LunarPlus.

With LunarPlus you can simply listen to documents read aloud to you by pressing the numpad + key. You can adjust the speed by pressing hotkeys on your keyboard. You can stop reading anytime by pressing the escape key.

The quality of the document read aloud feature is reasonable, but does not work always properly. The help says, that if the numpad + key is pressed, LunarPlus will read the document from top to bottom. This is not true. If you press the numpad + key in a text editor like Windows Notepad or in a word processing probram like Microsoft Word 2000, LunarPlus will start to read at the position of the input caret. In my opinion a reading feature, that speaks text aloud, should work like that.

The help description for the document read feature is right in some programs, that do not have an input caret like if you read an e-mail message in Eudora 4. If you open a message in Eudora 4 and press numpad +, LunarPlus starts to read the e-mail message from top to bottom.  Also the escape key to terminate reading most times does not work. If you are reading e-mail message in Eudora the only way to stop reading aloud the message seems to be pressing the Nute key left control.

If you want LunarPlus read aloud a web page in Microsoft Internet Explorer 5, the numpad + key seems not to work at all. After a document is loaded in Internet Explorer, LunarPlus starts reading aloud the document automatically. You can stop reading by pressing the left control key, but what if you want to read the document again?
You can press the numpad * key to read the active window, but this feature also reads the Internet Explorer title bar, menu bar etc. By accident I find out, that if I move the mouse cursor to the top of the screen, LunarPlus starts to read the text on the screen (not the entire document in the browser).

Dolphin Computer Access advices me to hide the statusbar in the View menu. After doing this the Document Read worked well in Internet Explorer. 

LunarPlus has a special feature to read spreadsheets. LunarPlus can not speak aloud tables on web pages column by column. On the Internet a lot of web pages include tables for layout reasons. For example in the left column there is a navigation menu and in the right column is the document text. The user is interested in reading aloud the document text. So wants to read the right column. LunarPlus reads tables row by row and not column by column.

Concluding we can say, that:

Since version 4.5 LunarPlus highlights words, that are spoken out by the speech synthesizer. The magnified view tracks on these highlighted words. This makes it for low vision people much easier to read the text. They are no longer only depnended on the text that is spoken out, but also can read the words, that are spoken out.

Concluding we can say that:

  • LunarPlus reads documents aloud best in programs, where there is an imput caret, like text editors, word precessing programs and spreadsheets.
  • In programs that have no input caret, LunarPlus can only read from top to bottom or only read the piece of document, that is on the screen.
    So, if you want to have the best Document Reading you can best load documents in a program, that has an input caret. For example if you have difficulties with Document Read in Eudora, you can select Reply in the Message menu and in that Reply mode the Document Read works much better.
    If you want to read columns in tables, you can best copy such a column to for example Windows Notepad and use the Document Read feature there to let read aloud the text.
  • The online help feature does not explain how to read the different type of documents in diffirent type of applications.
  • While reading aloud documents the readed words are shown in the magnified  view.
  • The read aloud feature can be highly improved if it works in every application the same. If users can click the position where to start reading. 

Back to INDEX

Speech

As already discussed in previous paragraphs, the difference between Lunar and LunarPlus is, that Lunar is a professional screen magnifier and that LunarPlus adds speech support to this professional screen magnifier.

LunarPlus uses the software speech synthesizer Orpheus. Orpheus support a large number of languages including UK English, US English, Dutch, French, Italian, Swedish, German and Spanish. The quality of the speech synthesizer is not very good. With this I mean, that sometimes it is difficult to understand what the speech synthesizer wants to say to you. But after some training it is not a real problem.

If you don't like the quality of the speech synthesizer, you can use another one with LunarPlus. On the web site of Microsoft you can download free speech synthesizers in different languages, that have a better quality than Orpheus.

To select another speech synthesizer in LunarPlus:

  • Activate the LunarPlus user interface by pressing left control + spacebar.
  • Select the System Setup button.
  • Select the Output Devices button.
  • Select the Output Devices button.
  • Select the SAM Setup button.
  • In the list select Sam to SAPI and select the Configue button.
  • Now select the speech synthesizer you want to use and press OK.
  • Select the Close button.
  • Select the Select Synthesizer button and in the menu select SAPI synthesizer.
  • Select OK.

Now you have change the default speech synthesizer from Orpheus to your prefered synthersizer.

There are some important things to keep in mind if you change the synthesizer:

  • You can not change the language of your speech synthesizer.
  • If speech is on you don't hear any other sounds on your computer.

Changing the speech synthesizer does not effect what is spoken out by the LunarPlus screen reader.

 

Lunarplus speech dialog 
box

In the image above, you see the speech options that can be set in LunarPlus.
LunarPlus offers an extensive speech support. You can select the prefered punctuation level, characters words or none echo typing and how digits are spoken out.

If you are in a wordprocessor like Microsoft Office, LunarPlus speaks out characters if you move the input caret over the typed text with the left and right arrow keys. If you move the caret with the up and down keys to the previous or next line of text, LunarPlus speaks out the entire line of text.
If you insert the imput caret in a line of text, LunarPlus speaks out the entire line of text if the input caret is moved to another line of text, or speaks out the word where the input caret was inserted if the input caret remains on the same line of text.
Also nice is the possibility to read spreadsheets with Lunarplus. 

Speech support is also important to read aloud Windows events, like messages that are shown, menu items that are highlighted, controls that have the Focus etc. The speech support for these events in LunarPlus is very good and better than in most other screen magnifiers with speech support. For example a lot of low vision user use Eudora as their e-mail client. LunarPlus speaks out the selected message in a mailbox. If you press arrow up or down LunarPlus speaks out the highlighted text. Also in Microsoft Explorer the highlighted folders and programs are spoken out. In ZoomText Xtra highlighted messages in Eudora are not spoken out. ZoomText Xtra speaks out the Windows Explorer highlighted folders and programs correct, but in often highlighted items like in a pick list are not spoken out at all.

LunarPlus does not speak out the text of tooltips, or small popup windows. If you move the mouse cursor over an image in ZoomText Xtra the text of the popup window is spoken out. LunarPlus does not speak out this text. This alternative text to images is important for sight impaired people in accessing the Internet and in my opinion, not speaking out the text of the ALT attibute on images on the Internet is an important shortcoming in LunarPlus. They promised to solve this in a future release.

Concluding we can say, that LunarPlus has a very good speech support, but that we miss speaking out the ALT attribute on images on the Internet and text on tooltips like on icons in the Windows system tray.

Back to INDEX

Application settings

One of the unique geatures in LunarPlus is the possibility to define application depending settings. In ZoomText Xtra you can define your own configuration files, but you have to load them yourself as you need them. In LunarPlus you can define an application depending setting without loading configuration files. LunarPlus tracks your applications and specific windows in the application and changes the settings automatacallly if you defined a specific application before.

 

LunarPlus Application 
settings configuration window

At the image of the LunarPlus Application settings window above you see 4 large buttons. To create an application depending setting you must first create a new settings file by pressing the Create or Choose Settings file button. Below this button you see what the current settings file is and what the target application is.

At the example image above, you see that the current application settings file is Default Application and the target application is the Clip.exe. To make changes for only the clip.exe application you must create a new settings file, because all application by default use the Default Application settings file. So if you are changing this Default Application file, the changes you make effect all programs using this general settings file.

After pressing the Create or Choose Settings file button you get a dialog box as you see below.

 

LunarPlus 
Create or Choose Settings file dialog box

To create a new settings file you must check the Create a new Settings file... buton and press the OK button. As you see at the image above there is also a use an existing setting file radio button. If you select this button, you can select the settings file you create before from a drop down list.

 

LunarPlus Create 
New Settings file dialog box

After pressing the OK button, you get a dialog window as you see at the image above. The name for the new settings file is been suggested by LunarPlus and there is no need to change this. You can now choose between creating a new empty settings file, or copying the settings of an existing settings file to the new one. At the example image above the create a new empty settings file radio button is selected. After pressing OK the settings file will be created and be the current settings file.

You can now press the General Settings... button to change the settings of the entire application, or press the Situation Settings... button to create settings file for specific events in the current application.

If you press the General Settings... button you get a dialog box with 5 large buttons. The first button is labeled Magnification... If you press this button you can change the magnification settings for only the current application like magnification level and type of magnification (full screen, split screen, Window, Lens or auto lens).

The second button is labeled Document Read... and allows you to change the level of punctuation.

The third button is labeled Line View and allow you to change the Line View settings for use in the current application.

Pressing the Situation Settings... button in the Application Settings dialog box, opens a new dialog box with 5 large button as you see below.

LunarPlus 
Situation Settings file dialog box

Below the Create or Choose a Situation... button at the image above, you can read that the current situation of the current application is none. This means if you press  the Speech, Color or Tracking buttons and change settings in the dialog boxes there, you change the settings in the entire current application. If you want to change the settings only for special windows in the current application, you must first open that window in the application, after that create a new situation and change the settings for that situation.
For example if you want to invert colors in the Microsoft Word spelling checker. You must start the spelling checker, make a new situation and for that situation invert the colors. After you did that, everytime you start the spelling checker the colors invert.

The most important thing to know by creating application and situation depending settings is, what the current application and the current situation are. LunarPlus automatically saves changes of settings if you exit LunarPlus. It aslo automatically saves changes is the settings to the current application settings file and the current situation settings file. This means that you can also change the current application settings by using hot keys. For example if you create an application depending settings file for Microsoft Word and set magnification to 10, while your default magnification is 8. Everytime you start Microsoft Word or switch to Microsoft Word, the magnification will increase to 10. But if you decrease the magnification level to 8 in Microsoft Word and quit the program, the next time you start Microsoft Word the number of magnification will be 8 and not 10, because LunarPlus automatically saves application settings files and if you launch a program, where you created a application settings file for, that application settings file becomes the current application file after you start the program or activate it.

Concluding we can say, that the possibility to create application and situation depended settings in LunarPlus is unique and very powerful.

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Other Features

In this paragraph we shall discuss some extra features included in LunarPlus.

 

With Lunar, LunarPlus and SuperNova a large range of diffirent mouse pointers are shipped. Other professional screen magnifiers like MAGic and ZoomText include extra mouse pointer features in their User-Interface, but with LunarPlus you must select another mouse pointer like you always do this in Windows.

 

LunarPlus Mouse Cursors in the normal category

Above you see a screen dump of LunarPlus mouse pointers in the Normal category.
If you want to select another and more visible mouse pointer in LunarPlus you have to open the Windows Start Menu -> Select Settings -> select Contol Panel -> Double Click on Mouse -> Click the tab Cursors -> Select the Browse button.
In the Windows Browse Window you have to go to c:\Program Files\lunpls95\cursors folder. In this folder you find folders with diffirent kind of mouse pointers. The image above shows the Normal shaped mouse pointers. Note that the screen dump is made in a Dutch Window version.

The mouse pointer you select is not only used in LunarPlus, but also if LunarPlus is not running.

Dolphin Links Navigator

New in LunarPlus 4.5 is the Dolphin Link Navigator for Internet Explorer.

 

The Dolphin Links Navigator For Internet Explorer

In the screen dump image above you see the Dolphin Link Navigator at work for the Dolphin Computer Access main page. Dolphin Link Navigator is a plugin for Internet Explorer and after installing the plugin, you find the Links Navigator in the Tools menu.

The Dolphin Links Navigator show all links, that are on the loaded page. You can sort the links by tab order, A to Z, Z to A order and by most recently visited link. By clicking on a link Internet Explorer will load that page.

The Link Navigator can be very helpful to find a specific link on the page.

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Conclusion

Concluding we can say that strong point in LunarPlus are:

  • Good screen magnifier with a lot of magnification modes.
  • With 32 times magnification Lunar, LunarPlus and SuperNova are products with the highest number of magnification.
  • A stable product, that seems to be highly compatible with most video adapters.
  • Has good image smoothing, that increases the reading of text in high magnification.
  • Has advanced color filtering feature.
  • Has extremely good features for reviewing and reading the screen. Mouse movement is very smooth.
  • Has a very good tracking. Tracks on most standard Windows events.
  • Includes support for many languages.
  • Speaks out most Windows events.
  • Includes features for reading like Line View and Document Reading.
  • Includes extra features like the Dolphin Link Navigator, the possibility to select a highly visible mouse pointer.

The minor points of LunarPlus are:

  • LunarPlus does not magnify video streaming.
  • The quality of the Orpheus speech synthesizer for some languages is not very good. There are much better more human sounding software speech synthesizers on the market.
  • Using the sound mixer to mix audio streams with the LunarPlus speech the audio steam will be corrupted. Also manual panning (left control key plus arrow keys) corrupt the audio stream.
  • The User-Interface of LunarPlus is very complex.
  • The online help information is too limmited.
  • Line View only works on a screen. It includes not auto paging.
  • You can not combine Line View with speaking the document aloud.
  • Document Reading to speak aloud text, sometimes does not work in programs where there is no input caret. You can not start reading from a specific position in the text, if there is no input caret.

Back to INDEX

Product Information

ProductLunarPlus
Version4.5
OSTwo diffirent versions for Windows 95/98/ME and Windows NT/2000
PriceWindows 95/98/ME Lunar $295, LunarPlus $495.
Windows NT/2000 Lunar $595, LunarPlus $795.
Web Site Dolphin UKhttp://www.dolphinuk.co.uk
Web Site Dolphin USAhttp://www.dolphinusa.com