AsTeRICS Grid Dynamic Communicator
2 – Welcome and Registration Screen
When accessing the AsTeRICS Grid communicator for the first time, a welcome or registration screen appears with two highlighted options: “Use AsTeRICS Grid without registration” or “Use AsTeRICS Grid with registration”.
Let’s see the functionalities of the two types of access.
Use AsTeRICS Grid without registering
If we choose this option, we have access to the same functionalities as if we had registered, although we cannot synchronize the information between different devices, since we do not have a user name and password.
We can continue to use our communicator without losing the information and our work and we even have access to create and restore backups, which we can import to other devices or simply have them saved on our device or in the cloud to import them later.
It is very important to remember that all information is stored offline, so we must always use the same device and browser we have been working with.
Use AsTeRICS Grid with registration
If we choose this second option, we have access to the possibility of synchronizing the user and communicator configuration between different devices and browsers using the user name and password we have entered.
We can create as many users as necessary, but it is VERY IMPORTANT to remember and save this information (the password), because we cannot modify or reset the password.
Communicator access screen
As mentioned above, either of the two options takes us to the communicator access screen.
As we can see, there are three possibilities:
- New communicator
- Import predefined communicator
- Import backup/custom data
If we choose the New communicator option, we will create an empty board and start from scratch.
By clicking on the creation button, an example of a modifiable grid appears. If you look at the upper part, you can recognise that we are in the edit mode because of the button “Editing off”. To edit the cells and access the customization tabs, we have to right-click on any of them to access the cell options submenu. You can try it with the greeting cell as well as with an empty cell.
In this cell options menu we can Edit, Delete, Clone (copy the current cell to another cell on the grid), Do element action (test before executing the action we have assigned to the cell) and Move element to other grid.
The most common action is Edit, in which we access a pop-up window in which we define the Text, Image and Action of a particular cell. The operation of this window will be explained in later tutorials.
If we click on the More option, located at the top right, we access the grid options menu.
As we can see, the options menu refers to the characteristics of the grid. We will explain all of them in each of the tutorials, so we are not going to expand on them now.
The most important one at the moment may be the Change grid dimensions . If we are going to add more columns or rows to our grid, it is not necessary to delete any cells. If we are going to reduce the dimensions of our grid, we recommend the option Delete grid elements (those that have no action assigned to them) or Delete all elements (all cells are deleted, including those that have functions assigned to them), in order to define the number of columns and rows of our grid.
We remind you that the cells (elements) can be moved and rearranged along the grid. Click on one of them and see how you can move it to the place you want. It is important to note that when reducing the number of columns or rows, all cells in the column or row must be empty.
Import predefined communicator
If we choose the “Import predefined configuration” option, you can access to several communicators already elaborated. Once imported, we can modify them according to the communicative needs of the person who is going to use them.
If you drop down the “Select configuration” option tab, you can choose between the available communicator models:
At present, there are four types of communicator. Three of them have been elaborated by the ARASAAC team and the only difference is the language they use: Spanish, English and German. The fourth communicator was developed by the AsTeRICS grid team.
Once you have selected the communicator, click on the Import data button and, after a short period of time, the chosen communicator will be available.
It is very important to note that when we want to restore the backup from the side menu Manage grids, the communicator will always reload the model we have previously chosen.
Import backup / custom data
Before explaining how to Import backup / custom data, it is essential to explain that we can save backups or custom data of our communicator or of a specific grid. In addition, AsTeRICs Grid automatically backs up our communicator when we are editing or making changes to it.
This backup allows that the next time we start it, even if we are not connected to the Internet, all the changes we have made, both in the grids and in the configuration options, will have been saved.
The Import backup / custom data options allow us to save our work on our device and/or export the copy to another device.
To manually save our backup or customized data of our communicator, we must choose the Manage grids option in the left side menu and we will be able to view all the grids of our communicator.
At the top right, if we click on the More button, we will see the Save backup to file and Save custom data to file options.
In case we use Save backup to file, the system generates a file with filename asterics-grid-backup.grd. In this file all the communicator boards and all the current configuration options are saved, so that when we want to Restore backup from file to our device, we will choose this file and we will have our communicator as it was when we saved the backup.
If we use the Save custom data to file option, a window appears with different options.
This option is more advanced than the previous one, since it allows you to customize the elements to be exported.
We recommend that you use the previous option until you are fully familiar with the operation of the communicator.