GWKB1067 : Understanding Window-Eyes Mobile

Product: Window-Eyes
Author: Aaron Smith
Date Added: 04/02/2007
Last Modified: 05/01/2013

Running applications from a removable device, such as a USB drive (also known as Flash or Pen drives), allows you to keep your most commonly used programs with you at all times, removing the need to install them on each machine you visit. Window-Eyes has the ability to run from a removable drive for the ultimate in portable speech access.

Applications that run on removable drives require the obvious: the drive must be engaged on the machine where the application will run. If the drive is removed while the application is running, the program will most likely cease to function (after all, the computer can no longer locate necessary files that exist on the removable drive). The same goes for Window-Eyes Mobile. Although Window-Eyes will continue running (as it is loaded in the computer's memory), if you remove the drive that Window-Eyes Mobile is installed and running from, Window-Eyes will no longer be able to access important files that are required to continue running successfully for a sustained period of time.

Regardless of the removable medium you choose to run Window-Eyes from, there are two general concepts to keep in mind:

  1. An installation of Window-Eyes must exist on the drive being used.
  2. Window-Eyes video support must be installed on each machine where Window-Eyes will run.  Note: This applies to Window-Eyes versions 7.5 and lower.  GW Micro recommends installing video support where possible to provide the best screen access experience but is no longer required for Window-Eyes versions 8.0 and higher.
Installing Window-Eyes Mobile

You have two methods of getting Window-Eyes installed on a removable drive. You can choose to run the Window-Eyes Mobile installation to install a fresh copy of Window-Eyes, or you can choose to use an existing installation of Window-Eyes.

Using the Window-Eyes Mobile Installation

The Window-Eyes Mobile install can be found on the Window-Eyes CD. When you first initialize the Window-Eyes CD, you are presented with the install welcome screen (this is where you hear Doug say, "Welcome to Window-Eyes."). If you press the letter A at that point, you will open the advanced options dialog. The advanced options dialog contains, among other things, the Window-Eyes Mobile install. Select the button titled "Install Window-Eyes Mobile" to being the Window-Eyes Mobile installation.

When prompted, enter your name and company (if applicable), then select the Next button.

Read through the license agreement, select the "I accept" radio button, and then select the Next button.

At this point, the Window-Eyes Mobile installation will prompt for the location to install Window-Eyes. This is where you will point the installation to your removable drive. By default, the destination folder is C:\Program Files\GW Micro\Window-Eyes. You should not choose the default location, or else risk overwriting your current install of Window-Eyes (assuming your current install is located in C:\Program Files\GW Micro\Window-Eyes). To select your removable drive, TAB to the Browse button, and press SPACE BAR. In the resulting Choose Folder dialog, you can either type the path to your removable drive manually in the Path edit box, or select your removable drive from the Directories tree view. If you enter a path to a directory that does not exist, the Window-Eyes Mobile install will create the directory for you. We recommend keeping the new directory name short, such as WE. So if your removable drive is letter e:, the drive and path you would type is e:\we. Once you have selected your removable drive, and directory where you want Window-Eyes installed, TAB to the OK button, and press ENTER. Then select the Next button.

Select the synthesizer you want to use, and then select the Next button. Unlike the standard Window-Eyes install, the Window-Eyes Mobile install does not include any additional synthesizers aside from ECI Eloquence and the DECtalk Access32 (Window-Eyes) ones. We strongly recommend sticking with the DECtalk Access32 (Window-Eyes) to ensure that you have speech available regardless of what machine you choose to run Window-Eyes from. Additional synthesizer requirements are discussed in more detail below.

Select the Braille display you want to use, and then select the Next button. Like synthesizers, a Braille display must be installed and working before Window-Eyes will be able to use it.

Select the set files you wish to install, and then select the Next button.

If you wish to install a text version of the Window-Eyes manual, select the Yes button. Otherwise, select the No button.

At this point, the Window-Eyes Mobile install will copy all program files and selected set files to the directory you specified on your removable drive. Once the copying is finished, select the OK button to close the Window-Eyes Mobile install. Your mobile copy of Window-Eyes is now installed on your removable drive.

Copying Window-Eyes Manually

Although the Window-Eyes Mobile install provides a quick and easy way to install a fresh copy of Window-Eyes on your removable drive, you may decide you would rather use your existing installation of Window-Eyes on a removable drive in order to maintain all of your customized settings and set files. Because the Window-Eyes program files are self contained in a single directory, you can simply copy the current Window-Eyes folder to your removable drive, and bypass the entire Window-Eyes Mobile installation.

To copy an existing installation of Window-Eyes to a removable drive, open up Windows Explorer, and navigate to the root of your local hard drive (usually C:). Select the Window-Eyes folder (by default, Program Files\GW Micro\Window-Eyes), then press CTRL-C to copy the location of the Window-Eyes folder to the clipboard. Then, again using Windows Explorer, navigate to the root of your removable drive. Press CTRL-V for paste, and Windows will copy the existing Window-Eyes folder from your local drive to your removable drive. When the copy process is complete, you will have a copy of your customized Window-Eyes on your removable drive, ready for use.

Window-Eyes Video Support

In order for Window-Eyes to run successfully, either on a removable drive, or on a local hard drive, a few system files must be installed first. These files allow Window-Eyes to communicate with the operating system and video adapter, and must be installed prior to running Window-Eyes.

To make the process of installing the required system files quick and easy, Window-Eyes Mobile includes a utility called wevideoXX where XX is the 2-digit version number of Window-Eyes. The Window-Eyes Mobile install automatically copies the wevideo utility to the same folder where Window-Eyes was installed. For example, if you used the Window-Eyes Mobile install to install Window-Eyes 7.0 to a directory called we on the root of your removable drive, you would also have a file called wevideo70.exe in that we folder.

If you opted to copy your existing Window-Eyes installation to your removable drive rather than using the Window-Eyes Mobile install, you will also need to manually copy the wevideo utility to your removable drive. You can find the wevideo utility in the wevideo folder on the root of your Window-Eyes CD-ROM, or you may choose to download the wevideo utility from the GW Micro Support Downloads page. Simply use the search form to search for wevideo.

The version of the wevideo utility and the version of your Window-Eyes Mobile installation must be identical. In other words, if you are using a mobile copy of Window-Eyes 7.0, the wevideo version must also be 7.0. Any discrepancies in version numbers between your Window-Eyes Mobile installation and the wevideo utility will most likely result in errors.

One final thing to note about the wevideo utility is that it will require administrative privileges to install. You may need to confer with the owner of the machine to obtain these privileges.

To run the wevideo utility, make sure your removable drive has been engaged, go to the Run dialog in the Start Menu, and enter the executable's full path (i.e. e:\we\wevideo70.exe, where e is the letter of your removable drive), followed by ENTER.

Important Synthesizer Information

As mentioned previously, whatever synthesizer you want to use must already be successfully installed before Window-Eyes can use it. Both the ECI Eloquence and the DECtalk Access32 (Window-Eyes) synthesizers are built into Window-Eyes, and ensures that you will always have speech available when running a mobile copy of Window-Eyes. If you decide you would rather use another synthesizer with your copy of Window-Eyes Mobile, you must make sure that you include a copy of that synthesizer's installation with your Window-Eyes Mobile install. Remember, Window-Eyes Mobile lets you travel from machine to machine, each one containing different hardware and software. Unless you know for sure that the alternative synthesizer that you want to use will be present on each machine where you plan on using your copy of Window-Eyes Mobile, you should continue to use one of the built-in synthesizers as your default mobile synthesizer.

Putting the Pieces Together

Now that you have a removable drive with both a copy of Window-Eyes, and a copy of the wevideo utility, you're ready to use Window-Eyes on whatever machine you want. As mentioned previously, before Window-Eyes can run on any given machine, the video support and system files must be installed and functioning. If you encounter a computer that has never had Window-Eyes installed, simply do the following:

  1. Run the wevideo utility to install video and system support files
  2. Reboot
  3. Run Window-Eyes

That's really all there is to it. You just need to make sure that the video and system support files are installed correctly before running your mobile copy of Window-Eyes.

Launching Window-Eyes Automatically

Although you can't set Window-Eyes up to launch as soon as you insert your removable drive, you can take advantage of a removable drive's autorun feature to whittle the launching process down to one keystroke. For more information, read through the GW Micro Knowledgebase article 1050 (Window-Eyes and Autorun on USB Flash Drives).

If you choose to launch Window-Eyes manually, you can do so by doing the following: make sure your removable drive has been engaged, go to the Run dialog in the Start Menu, and enter the Window-Eyes executable's full path (i.e. e:\we\wineyes.exe, where e is the letter of your removable drive), followed by ENTER.

Cleaning Up After Yourself

Because the Window-Eyes Mobile installation is confined to your removable drive, any set file changes, verbosity options, or any other customization will also be restricted to that drive. So when you're done using your mobile copy of Window-Eyes, simply close it (either by pressing CTRL-BACKSLASH, ALT-F4, ENTER, or using the default Window-Eyes shut down hot key, CTRL-INS-F4), and remove your removable drive. Since you've already installed the video and system support files on this machine, the next time you want to use your copy of Window-Eyes Mobile, just insert your removable drive, and launch Window-Eyes.

A Note About Everlock And Payment Plan (LTO) Versions Of Window-Eyes

If you are using a copy of Window-Eyes which requires activation, (such as an Everlock or a Payment Plan copy), you will need to make sure to activate Window-Eyes on the machine you are running Window-Eyes mobile on. Failing to do so will result in Window-Eyes not working properly. As part of the cleaning process, you will need to make sure and deactivate your copy when you are done so that you don't lose activations. Also keep in mind that the machine you are using Window-Eyes mobile on will need to have Internet access for successful activating and deactivating of the license.