Boardmaker Version 6 Introductionx

Boardmaker Version 6
Tricia Sharkey
Assistive Technology Consultant
Boardmaker Background Information:
Boardmaker is a software product that allows you to
create printed activities using unique picture
symbols. Everything that is created is meant to be a
printed end product. There are 4500 symbols within
the standard Boardmaker software version 6.1.2
Currently the most recent version of Boardmaker for
the PC is 6.1.2 and for the Mac the most recent
version is 5.1. Boardmaker software can be updated
on line for free at . If you
are interested in upgrading your software, upgrades
can be purchased through Mayer-Johnson for $99.
Boardmaker Family
– Boardmaker is the software program used to create printed
symbol-based communication and educational materials.
– Boardmaker + allows you to bring the static BM activities to life
with on screen talking activities. This is an interactive studentlearning and speaking tool.
– Boardmaker with Speaking Dynamically Pro is for the power
users and high level AAC needs. This software program
supports word prediction, abbreviation expansion and
additional voice options, plus all of the capabilities of BM and
– Boardmaker Studio delivers favorites from all of the Boardmaker
software family features, it comes equipped with hundreds of
time saving Templates and so much more!
Opening Boardmaker-3 options
Open a new board: create a new board from scratch
Open a saved board or add-on: this is where you will access “my
boards” folder as well as any add-ons
Open a template: AAC device overlay templates, calendars, schedule
Creating a “Template” (Calendar, AAC
overlay, schedule, etc.)
Go to “open a template” and choose the
template that you desire
*if creating a calendar, pick the day of the
week that the month starts on
Opening a Saved boards
Go to “open a saved board” and select the desired board
*Remember when saving a board be sure to ‘save as’ so that
you are not saving over the template
Creating new boards
Select “open a new board”
Command: Drawing a Button
1. Click on the “button tool”, you will
see a crop pair
2. Click and hold the mouse and drag
out a button to your desired sized
and shape.
*Stumbling block: if you don’t go back
to the “button tool” then you cannot
draw another button.
Command: Spraying Buttons
1. Select button
2. Go to the “spray tool”
3. Click and hold the mouse and drag to
the right, hold down
* Note: The program will only allow you
to spray as many buttons as will fit on
a page
Command: Selecting a Button
Click on a single button and there will
be a red dotted frame around the
Command: Selecting Multiple Buttons
1. All you need to do is touch a small bit of
each button you want to include.
2. Click and there will be a green dotted
frame around the buttons you selected
Command: Move 1 Button
1. Click in the middle.
2. Hold mouse then the hand icon will appear.
3. Now you can drag the button wherever you
would like.
Command: Move a collection of
1. Select multiple buttons.
2. Click and drag multiple buttons wherever
you want
Command: Deleting
• Once a button is selected, hit the Backspace or
Delete Key
Command: Duplicating a single button
with a symbol
Just spray the button
(i.e. if you want an entire page of
“smiles” just spray!)
Command: Clearing/Deleting all
1. Go to “edit”
2. “Select all” or Ctrl A then
clear all symbols.
3. This will allow you to keep the
format, just get rid of the
symbols in each button
Symbol Finder
Command: Finding Symbols
Type in a word to describe the symbol that
you are looking for
Command: Thumbnail View
1. Click on the thumbnail view in order to see all
options at once
The red frame around the button on your board
will indicate where the symbol will go.
Once you press ‘enter’ the symbol will be placed in
the red framed button,
The red frame then moves one button to the
If you wish to choose a different button to work
with, simply click on the desired button and it will
be highlighted in red, Then press enter and again
the red frame will move one to the right.
*TRICK* When in the thumbnail view, if you click on a
symbol it will close your thumbnail view, but if you
RIGHT click on a symbol in thumbnail view, the
thumbnail view stays open
Command: Category Search
1. “Category search”
2. You can choose to view specific
3. Then you can use the right click
feature in the thumbnail view to
choose which symbol you want on your
board and in what order.
Command: Search Parameters
1. This specifies how you search for the
term you entered.
2. By default BM will look for the term
anywhere in the symbol (i.e. “is” is
located in 228 symbols anywhere in
the word).
3. You can search for a word as a term
(in and of itself) or search at the
beginning of the word (consonant
Command: Picture Frame
1. This is located to the right of
the categories.
2. Here you can add a name to a
symbol by typing the new text
and hitting “add a name” (i.e. if
you have a favorite restaurant
and you want the symbol to name
your favorite restaurant), then in
the future when you type your
favorite restaurant, it will come
Command: Changing a Label
1. On the symbol finder-you
can simply type the new
label at the bottom in
the text box.
2. After the symbol is in its
button, you can grab the
text tool “A” and click on
the text to change it.
Tool Box
This is located in the lower left
hand corner of the symbol
Tool Box: Language 1 and Language 2
Tool Box: Change Label Font Size
Tool Box: Symbol Color
Tool Box: Label Placement
(top or bottom)
Marquee Tool (dotted square)
Using the Marquee Tool will
allow you to come into the
symbol, draw a dotted
square around a portion of
your symbol, and then click
on your button and that
portion will appear in the
Lasso Tool (dotted circle)
This allows you to draw a
circle specifically around a
portion of a symbol.
*This is specific to BM v.6
Replace/Add Feature
When you already have a
symbol in the button BM will
ask you if you want to:
“replace” (swap)
“add to” (more then one)
“cancel” (do nothing)
View File Vertical
When you are
working on several
boards at once you
can go to “view” and
select “file vertical”
and then you can
choose which board
you want to work on
and maximize it.
Paint Tools
• Selecting a symbol will highlight that symbol and
the paint tools will appear. The paint tools allow
you to:
– “flip” the symbol
– “rotate” the symbol
– “paint and erase” the symbol
*Before you use the paint tools you will get a warning
from BM, you must hit ‘yes’ to allow BM to convert
the symbol to a bit map. If the image gets too large, it
may get distorted especially around the edges.
Paint Can: Fill
Paints to the
black line of the
symbol then
Paint Can: Fill All
Paints everything that
is the same color.
Color Tools
• Be careful when coloring your boards, it is
important that the color has a purpose or has
meaning for the student. Too much color can
be distracting.
Background Color
The word at the top
of the color tool, it
will tell you where
you are about to add
Button/Border Color
First have the button
selected that you wish to
color, then be sure that
you are coloring the
button or border
Line Thickness Tool
Select the button you
would like to adapt and
then select the line
thickness tool
Corner of Button Tool
Select the button
you would like to
adapt and then
select the corner of
the button tool
Eye Dropper Tool
This is under the color tool, grab the eye dropper and it will change
either the border or the button a color to match any color on the
* This is specific to BM V.6
Text Tool “A”
• The Text Tool will allow you to type anywhere
in the button. Just place the curser where you
would like the text to appear.
Text Box
If you create a “text box” you can drag the text box wherever you would like.
Changing the Size of the Font
Go to ‘text’ at the top of the
tool bar and change the size
of the highlighted text.
3. Select the text in the text
box and hit CTRL + to grow or
CTRL – to shrink the text
2. Right click in the text
box to choose font and
Creating “Scenes”
1. Open a New Board.
2. Go to the Symbol Finder; tool box; turn off
3. Choose the symbol; bring the picture to the
board with no buttons; make sure you have
selected the “silly face guy” and click the
mouse on the open board; drag the mouse
where you would like the symbol and open to
the size you desire.
4. In order to “layer” the picture,
right click and send to the back.
Features of Boardmaker Version 6.0
Dashed Borders-this can be used for cut and
paste activities or as a cutting prompt.
1. First select the button or buttons that you want
dashed borders around.
2. Then right click- go to properties- and select
“dashed borders.”
(Going to border width and selecting dashed borders
is not the same thing!)
Improved Button Resizing
• You can make the symbol and the button grow
and stay proportionate.
• You can also do this to more then one button
at a time.
• One nice application for this is if you have
students who may need to see the buttons in
different sizes, you can change the size
without recreating the board!
First select the button
and press and hold CTRL
and Shift on your
Alignment and Centering
Select the
button/buttons you are
working with, right clickalignment options
Select the two buttons
that you would like to
2. Go to edit
3. 3. select swap buttons
(this will swap the
symbols, text and the
‘look’ of the button)
Press and hold ALT while
dragging the button to
where you would like it to
be, it will swap
To Shuffle
buttons (like on a
BINGO board),
select all of the
buttons, go to edit
and select ‘shuffle’
Symbolate-this is a simple and easy way to create “symbol
adapted text.”
First select the symbolate button
tool, click on the screen and a
button just like any other button will
appear, but it will have an A in the
upper left corner
Then type on the button and
symbols will appear above the text
Click on a word and click F2 to
change the symbol
Click on a work and click F1 to
choose no symbol
Double click above the word to set a
specific default symbol
Type an ‘underscore’ between words
of a phrase to allow you to create
one symbol for the multi-word
Right click on the “symbolate” tool
to make the symbol 20% smaller or
20% larger or to change the symbol
to appear above or below the word
Drag and Drop Digital Images from the
• You can do a Google search for an image and drag
the image from the web to the symbol finder or
straight into the board.
• You can also import pictures from a “my pictures”
folder and BM will allow you to keep the name
that you have assigned to the image.
• You can also place it in whichever category you
would like by going to import symbol options
• (free webinars to view at
• –
linked from the C.A.S.E. website

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