This page describes the new features and improvements available in MAGic 13. For the latest MAGic release, visit the Products Downloads Web page.

MAGic 13 Features

MAGic 13 offers several new features and improvements as described on this page. To learn more, read the entire What's New, or, if you are a MAGic user, press INSERT+F6 to open a list of headings and then jump directly to a specific item.

Windows 8.1 Support

MAGic 13 or later now runs on Windows® 8.1 computers. All MAGic features that you are used to using in Windows 7 are now available in Windows 8.1. Note that if you are running an earlier version of Windows 8, you must update to Windows 8.1.

Text Viewer

Text Viewer™ is a rectangular window that displays a continuous line of text across the top or bottom of your screen. It provides clarity and ease of reading by allowing you to work in a live application while referencing normalized text in the Text Viewer window. You control the text formatting (font styles and colors) that displays in the window so that it is easier for you to read documents, e-mails, Web pages, and more. This is very useful when you encounter text that is difficult to read because of its formatting, varying sized text, and contrasting colors used in the application.

Text Viewer eliminates the need to adjust the magnification level of the screen when trying to follow along with what MAGic is reading. This is especially helpful when reading by Say All. The Text Viewer also provides easy right and left line panning using the MAGic Key+CTRL+RIGHT ARROW and MAGic Key+CTRL+LEFT ARROW hot keys.

The text shown in the Text Viewer window follows your navigation within Windows. For example, if the cursor is moved, the text at the cursor position displays in the Text Viewer window. Likewise, if you navigate with the mouse, the text that comes in contact with the mouse displays in the Text Viewer window. Although Text Viewer can be placed at the top or bottom of your screen, it does not block any part of the screen. You are still able to see everything that displays on your screen.

To toggle Text Viewer on or off, press MAGic Key+CTRL+V.

Press The Text Viewer button  when using the MAGic Large Print Keyboard.

New Magnification Levels

MAGic now provides more incremental magnification levels between 2x and 4x, making more of the screen available at comfortable reading levels for users working in the 1x to 4x magnification range. New high level magnification levels have also been added with single-level magnification jumps all the way to 60x magnification. You can choose among the following magnification levels:

  • 1x to 2x in nine magnification increments (1.1x to 1.9x)
  • 2x to 3x in three magnification increments (2.25x, 2.5x, and 2.75x)
  • 3x to 4x in three magnification increments (3.25x, 3.5x, and 3.75x)
  • 4x to 60x in whole number increments

Mouse Border Color

A common problem when using magnification programs and inverting screen colors has always been that the mouse border becomes hidden in dark backgrounds.

MAGic now makes it possible to change the border color of the mouse pointer, making it visible even on inverted colored or dark backgrounds. This, in addition to the mouse enhancements, makes it easier to locate and see the mouse against the current screen color enhancements.

Vocalizer Expressive Synthesizer

MAGic supports Vocalizer™ Expressive voices from Nuance® Communications. These new voices work exclusively with MAGic 13 or later and JAWS 15 or later. Vocalizer Expressive offers many benefits including pitch control, so you can more easily identify upper case characters, improved performance, especially in the areas of latency and speech quality, as well as support for a wide variety of languages.

To download these voices, visit the Vocalizer Expressive Voices Web page. If MAGic 13 is already installed, you can also open the Web page by pressing ALT+F, choosing the Help menu, and then More Voices. Each voice can be downloaded as high premium or premium. The high premium voices are large files, but offer the highest quality speech. The premium voices offer very good speech quality and a smaller file size. Both high premium and premium versions of a voice can be installed on the same computer so they can be compared. After installing a voice, a Vocalizer Expressive profile is added to the list of MAGic voice profiles.

If you have JAWS on your computer, and you previously installed Vocalizer Expressive voices, there is no need to install them again for MAGic. Simply switch to the Vocalizer Expressive voice profile in MAGic.

Enhanced Language Support in Voice Profiles

The Voice Adjustment dialog box has been modified so that you can configure individual settings for each available language in the same voice profile.

A voice profile consists of settings for the synthesizer, language, voice, and other speech items that define how MAGic speaks. Traditionally in MAGic, users have created specific language voice profiles, along with task specific profiles such as profiles for proofreading, pleasure reading, and speed reading. Beginning with MAGic 13, single profiles can now contain the settings for multiple languages, allowing users to have a single task specific profile that works regardless of the language they switch to.

For example, if a person spoke English, Spanish, and French, they can create a single "proofreading" profile. With speech set to English, they would turn on the announcement of all punctuation and set the speaking rate to be a little slower than their normal reading rate. Next, they would switch the language to Spanish, choose their preferred voice, and make the punctuation and reading rate changes. After that, they would do the same for French and save their profile with "proofreading" as the name. This proofreading profile can now be used regardless of whether the voice is set to English, French, or Spanish.

As with previous versions of MAGic, you can set profiles to automatically be used when you enter specific applications. For example, you may want a profile that simply sets punctuation to "All" when your focus is in a coding application.

Finally, you can also now manually switch to another language in the current profile using the Select a Language dialog box (WINDOWS Key+CTRL+L). This displays a list of all currently available languages. Select the language you want to use, and MAGic then switches to it and applies the appropriate settings you specified in the Voice Adjustment dialog box. The selected language remains active until you change to a different profile, or press WINDOWS Key+CTRL+L again to change languages.

Improved Performance with Microsoft Office 2013

A significant increase in speech and tracking performance has been made with Office 2013. You will notice better responsiveness with focus tracking, mouse speech, and Text Viewer operation.

Updated Skype Support

MAGic offers support for the latest version of Skype™. Using Skype, you can make free voice and video calls as well as send and receive instant messages with other users across the Internet. Make sure to update to the latest version of Skype to take full advantage of MAGic's Skype support.

For best results, it is recommended that you switch to Compact View, which displays your Contact list in the main window, while conversations are displayed in their own separate windows. You can then use ALT+TAB or the Windows List dialog box (INSERT+F10) to move between conversation windows and the Skype main window.

To switch to Compact View, press ALT+V, and then choose Compact view.

Some other key enhancements include:

  • If you are in a chat window typing messages back and forth with another Skype user, MAGic automatically announces incoming messages as they are received. If you are involved in multiple conversations and you are using the Compact View, which opens each conversation in a separate window, MAGic will also read incoming messages from other conversations in the background.
  • Pressing CTRL in conjunction with number 1 through 0 on the number row will read the last 10 items in the history list with CTRL+1 being the most recent.
  • Pressing CTRL+SHIFT+E will move focus to the chat entry field if the currently open Skype window contains one.
  • Pressing CTRL+WINDOWS Key in conjunction with number 1 through 5 on the number row will let you specify up to 5 conversation windows you can quickly switch to by pressing INSERT+SPACEBAR followed by number 1 through 5.

Navigation Quick Key Changes

Several Navigation Quick Key assignments have been changed. Below are the new assignments.

  • Next Radio Button. A
  • Previous Radio Button. SHIFT+A
  • Next Region. R
  • Previous Region. SHIFT+R
  • Move to the main region of a page. Q
  • Next OnMouseOver. SEMICOLON
  • Previous OnMouseOver. SHIFT+SEMICOLON
  • Jump to Table Cell. CTRL+WINDOWS Key+J
  • Jump Return from Table Cell. CTRL+SHIFT+WINDOWS Key+J

Initial State of NUM LOCK

The "Initial State of NUM LOCK Key" option allows you to control whether or not the NUM LOCK key is enabled when MAGic starts. This new option is available in Preferences in the File menu.

MAGic uses the numeric keypad to perform numerous speech, magnification, tracking, and panning functions.  By default, the NUM LOCK key is turned off when MAGic starts so that you can easily use these functions.  However, you may have a job that requires extensive use of the numeric keypad, in which case, you must always turn on the NUM LOCK key after MAGic starts.

You can always quickly toggle NUM LOCK when you want to use the keypad for MAGic commands.

New FSReader 3 with HTML Support

A new version of FSReader, Freedom Scientific's DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) book reader, is included with MAGic 13. In FSReader 3, the text area of the book is now in HTML format, which means you can navigate using the same techniques that you use on the Web. For example, you can use Navigation Quick Keys such as H to move by heading or P to move by paragraph.

To learn more about using FSReader 3 to access DAISY content, refer to the FSReader Getting Started book which can be accessed by pressing F1 while in FSReader.

Download Freedom Scientific Training Materials Using FSReader 3

You will now download and install Freedom Scientific training DAISY books directly through FSReader 3. Training materials will no longer be listed in the Check for Updates dialog box.

To access Freedom Scientific training DAISY books, do the following:

  1. Start FSReader 3.
  2. Press ALT+F to open the File menu and choose "Open MAGic Training Table of Contents." The MAGic table of contents opens automatically.
  3. Each available DAISY book is identified as a link. Navigate to the book you want to open and press ENTER. If the selected book has not yet been installed on your computer, FSReader will automatically download and install the book and then open it. Otherwise, the selected book is opened.

Error Reporting

The MAGic error reporting feature allows you to send information over the Internet to Freedom Scientific about any MAGic errors. If MAGic unexpectedly closes, a memory dump file, containing diagnostic information, is created in the MAGic user settings folder.

If you also experience any issues where MAGic appears to still be running, but you have lost speech, you can press INSERT+WINDOWS Key+F4 to manually close MAGic, terminate all related processes, and create the memory dump file. After the file is created, MAGic restarts and gives you the option of sending the error report to Freedom Scientific. No personal information about you is included in the report.

MAGic Recovery Hot Key

If MAGic hangs and fails to respond to keyboard input, you can easily recover using the new hot key, MAGic Key+WINDOWS Key+F8. This action causes MAGic to shut down and automatically restart.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: If I download the MAGic 13 release from the Web, should I install MAGic from the DVD when I receive it?

Answer: No. You only need to install the training materials that are on the MAGic program DVD. This information is available in a digital document format known as DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System). To install these files, do the following:

  1. Insert your MAGic program DVD into your disk drive.
  2. When the MAGic Setup dialog box appears, press TAB to move to the Training Materials button, and then press SPACEBAR.
  3. In the MAGic Training Materials dialog box, select the check box next to each DAISY book that you want to install.
  4. Choose the Install button.
  5. When the installation is finished, remember to put your MAGic program DVD in a safe place so you will have it for future use when needed.

Note: If you download MAGic from the Web, the training materials are not included. This is to reduce the size of the download. If you like, you can download and install the MAGic training files from the Freedom Scientific Training Downloads Web page.

Question: If I wait until my DVD arrives to install MAGic 13, should I also download the version that is available on the Web?

Answer: No, but once you have installed MAGic 13 from the DVD, you should check for updates by pressing ALT+H from the MAGic program window, and then pressing P to select Check for Updates.

Question: If I've been installing and using the MAGic public beta releases, should I remove the public beta before installing the official MAGic 13 release?

Answer: No. Simply download the MAGic release build from our Web site and install it over the public beta build.

Question: If I remove my existing version of MAGic before installing MAGic 13, should I remove shared components?

Answer: Yes, however, remember that you will not have speech between removing your current MAGic version and installing MAGic 13. If you download MAGic 13 from the Web, copy the executable file to a location that is easy to find without speech and magnification.

Question: If my SMA expires, will I receive a notice?

Answer: Customers in the U.S. will receive notification in the mail shortly after the MAGic 13 DVD arrives. The envelope will contain an SMA Renewal letter explaining the process. The form to renew your SMA is also available for download from the Freedom Scientific Web site using this link, MAGic SMA Renewal Form (PDF).


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