Volkmar Kobelt
Usage Details Basics Past Future Download

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When started, the assistant will appear as a window "always in foreground" on your Windows' desktop. While the window is not being minimized, the assistant will record keyboard input to any program and store it in a structured manner in order to find text contexts fast. You may try that, using a simple editor. (Nonsense input does not harm later use.)

Generally, you can select one of several suggestions; the selected suggestion being highlighted. It can be shortened, or extended, or accepted for the active application.

TypeHelp should be kept running in order to record every input. Advice: In ancient systems, put a pointer to TypeHelp into the Autostart folder, if it isn't there already. Simplest by dragging the desktop symbol VK TypeHelp into Start -> Programs -> Autostart (while keeping the CTRL key pressed). In more recent systems, you could use the command msconfig to set autostart of an application.

A menu of some options and more global commands, you can get by right clicking in the TypeHelp window.

The window can be moved and shaped as usual. But in case a left context is shown, drawing the left border concerns the corresponding left part only. (That means, right and left widths are adjustable independently of one another.)

The assistant accepts commands by simple key strokes and also by mouse clicks. The original method is to use the keys of the numeric pad, see below. But especially notebook keyboards often lack of a numeric pad. So we added in Version 1.4 two more alternative methods for using the other keys of the same functionality (the arrow, insert, and delete, etc keys) for our purpose. Their meaning can be switched by pressing (and releasing) the right shift key, or by holding a "Windows key" pressed. (There may arise conflicts with other uses of these keys by Windows or other progams. This is a consequence of trying to position an assisting program between the user and an application program, thereby using the given means.) All these three keyboard methods are switched on as a default. If there is no numeric pad, the other two methods could be seen as a possibility for trying out the program (perhaps also before trying to use an external numeric pad). Any such method which disturbs a more important use by another program or which you don't use (after some trying), you should switch off in the context menu you get by right clicking in the window.

Furthermore, you can now select a suggestion by the mouse, under certain conditions, see below. This method is switched off by default.

Numeric pad:

Shift the state of the numeric keypad to the positioning functions, if neccessary, by pressing the "Num" key in the upper left corner of the numeric keypad. (Possibly, you could set that as the standard state in the BIOS or its successor of your PC, if you like.) The corresponding keystrokes will then be interpreted by TypeHelp as commands.


The Commands to the assistant are:

Accept suggestion: Insert (0) or Delete (,)
(If one fails, try the other one.)
The characters of the suggestion will be sent to your active application as if they came from the keyboard.

Next line: Arrow down (2)

Previous line: Arrow up (8)

Shorter suggestion: Arrow left (4)

Longer suggestion: Arrow right (6)
If the result is shorter than desired, you might first accept that.

Left context, toggle presentation of: End (1)

Clipboard content to the assistant (only): Home (7)
That can last a while for longer texts. But you can use this feature to update the assistant's memory contents by text it did not yet recognize, or to input an already edited piece of text. So future suggestion of previous correction steps will be suppressed. (The clipboard contains your last marked and "copied" selection of some text. Then, this command will, analogously to "paste", put this selection directly into the assistant. But don't forget to "copy" before.)

Save current state to disk: Page Down (3)
Automatically done also every half hour, and when the program is closed. (If there has been some input meanwhile.)

These Directions for use: Page Up (9)

Alternative or additional command input methods:

Right shift key:

Press and release the right shift key. The window's color will change, indicating the command input mode. Press one of the above listed keys (Arrows, Insert etc), but not from the num pad. Pressing any other (no command) key, or accepting the suggestion, will reestablish the normal mode. There is a danger for instance of pressing the delete key for accepting text, when unintentionally the command input mode is switched off.

On some keyboards without a numeric pad, some key combinations require the additional press of the Fn key. But that seems to concern only functions which can appropriately also be selected after right clicking in the window.


You may select a suggestion by (left) clicking in the window. A change of the selection is possible as long as you keep the mouse button pressed. But as a default, you will then have to direct the keyboard input anew to the window you are working with (usually by a mouse click in the application's window you are working with) and then accept the suggestion by a key stroke according to one of the three methods. That may be not very useful, but could be tried before proceeding. But:

From Windows 2000 Server or Professional on you can (right click in the TypeHelp window, select "Mouse Use") choose the "input focus" to be kept by your application ("No focus steal"), and additionally the mouse button release ("Button Up") to be interpreted as acceptance of the current suggestion. The latter is a bit dangerous, as it could happen unintentionally; and the sequence of characters might be interpreted as (unintended) commands by some application. A mouse is required to turn off again these options (if necessary, the keyboard mouse). Not everything works quite familiarly. So these methods appear as somewhat experimental.

Windows Logo key:

Keep a "Windows" key pressed and press one of the above listed keys (Arrows, Insert etc), but not from the num pad. Does not work, if the array keys together with the Windows key are already assigned differently. Therefore probably not suited for more actual systems.

For input of confidential text, you may minimize the window. The assistant will then ignore received characters.

In special situations, the assistant might help in retrieving lost or forgotten text. But do not rely on that feature. The assistant is not an editor. (But can complement such one.)