FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


  • People with physical disabilities - Especially people who have limited or no use of their hands meaning that they have difficulty using a standard keyboard and/or mouse.

  • Adults and children of all ages

  • Conditions - People who have benefitted from Grapevine include people with conditions like Cerebral Palsy, Motor Neurone Disease, Spinal Cord Injury, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, Repetitive Strain Injury, and a wide range of rare, progressive neuromuscular disorders.

  • Examples - Some people can use a keyboard but tire easily and quickly. Other people can use a mouse but have difficulty with common operations like double-click and click-and-drag. Some people can't use a pointing device (mouse) at all and are limited to using a single button or input (like eye blinking or a sip/puff switch). Grapevine can help in all of these scenarios and more. If you are not sure if it will work in your case, contact us and we'd be happy to discuss your requirements.

  • Try it out! - The above are simply guidelines. It costs nothing to try Grapevine so please do so if you think it would be beneficial.

  • Full Computer Access - Grapevine comprises three main features: 1. On-Screen Keyboard, 2. Mouse Control, 3. Shortcuts. 1 and 2 enable you to do everything that a standard keyboard and mouse can do, potentially using just a single button as the physical input. The Shortcuts make life even easier by offering quick and easy ways to perform common tasks (like opening other applications, switching between open applications, web browsing, document editing and much more).
    Most similar software products include an On-Screen Keyboard, and very limited (or no) Mouse Control and Shortcuts features.

  • Ease-of-Use - Grapevine takes about 1 minute to download and install on a modern computer. The first time you run Grapevine, a 'Welcome Window' will guide you through the basic set-up that is right for you. It will also offer some key tips to get you started on the right footing. After that, Grapevine's features and settings are intuitive, well-organised and easy to figure out on your own. The short demo videos on our YouTube channel give good guidance on specific topics. If you want to delve deeper into the more advanced options, the User Manual is clear and comprehensive.

  • Quality & Attention-to-detail - While other AT Developers are often content to make a task possible to perform with their software, the developers of Grapevine have strived to make the same tasks not only possible, but as easy and efficient as possible. This attention to detail is what makes using Grapevine far easier and more satisfying that similar products.

  • Value - It costs a lot less than most similar products and the 30 day FREE trial means you can ensure it's right for you before you purchase.

  • Support - Grapevine was developed in Ireland and if you want to ask the Developer a question or make a suggestion about how it could work better for you, all you have to do is pick up the phone or send an email. You will get a straightforward and prompt answer to your query. You will not get a 'ticket' or a reference number!

Short answer - Lots of things! See the list below for more details.

  • Word Prediction - This means that Grapevine predicts the word you are trying to type based on the first letter or two. The On-screen keyboards in Windows XP and Vista do not include word prediction.

  • Add Words and Phrases - Grapevine allows you to add your own words to the dictionary (so that they will appear as predictions). In fact, it will automatically add a word to the dictionary after you use it twice. It also allows you to store Phrases which can be accessed quickly and easily while typing (e.g. your full name, address, email address, commonly used conversational phrases like "How are you?"). Demo Video.

  • Next-word Prediction & Partial-word Prediction - As well as regular word-prediction, Grapevine includes a feature called 'Next-word Prediction' which predicts the most likely next-word after you type a word. Demo Video. Partial-word Prediction means that you can quickly type long words by 'piggy-backing' on shorter predicted words. For example, if I press-and-hold the predicted word 'work', it will show predictions like 'working', 'worked', 'works', 'worker'. This may seem like a small thing but it can make life a lot easier for an OSK user and the feedback we get from users confirms this.

  • Resizable Keyboard - The on-screen keyboards in Windows XP and Vista can't be resized. In Grapevine the OSK can take up as much or as little of the screen as you like.

  • Mouse Control - Mouse Control allows you to move the mouse cursor around the screen and perform clicks (even if you're not able to use a mouse or pointing device). Demo video. If you're already able to use a mouse but struggle with some operations like double-click, right-click and click-and-drag, Grapevine's 'Manual Mouse' feature can help. Demo video.

  • Shortcuts - Grapevine includes 500+ Shortcuts (easily accessible buttons for doing everything from opening your favourite website to automatically arranging the windows on your screen). Demo videos: Web-browsing - Microsoft Word - More

  • A Lot More Scanning Options - Manual ('Step') scanning (the ability to use 2 buttons, 'Move' and 'Select', to manually move the scanning highlighter from one option to the next) - An additional 'Back' button - Advanced scanning options Demo video.

  • Keyboard Layout Options - Including a keyboard designed specifically for scanning. Demo video - Useful keyboard buttons like undo, redo, cut, copy, paste, save, print - Keyboard buttons for typing special characters in all major European languages. Screenshot.

No. Sorry, Grapevine currently only works on PCs, laptops and tablets with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 10.

Note on Windows 8 support: Grapevine can interact with all traditional desktop applications in Windows 8. It does not interact with apps in the 'Modern UI' section (i.e. tiles). We are currently working on full Windows 8 support but for now, Grapevine does everything on Windows 8 that most Windows users require.

Grapevine works on almost all computers with Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8 or 10. If you are unsure, it only takes a minute or two to download and install a free 30-day trial so give it a try!

Yes. All of the shortcuts (buttons) on the Google Chrome shortcuts page will work in any web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox). However, the 'Link Tags' feature (see below) will only work in Google Chrome.

Accessing Grapevine using a Mouse or Pointing Device

Yes. Any device that you can plug into your computer and use to move the mouse cursor around the screen and click can be used to control Grapevine. Most of these devices will work as soon as you plug them in. Others may have a 'Mouse Emulation' feature that needs to be enabled.

Examples of the kinds of pointing device that work with Grapevine can be seen on our Equipment Options page (under "Pointing Devices"). Some additional information regarding using physical inputs with Grapevine can be found on our "How Can I Use It?" page.

If you can use a mouse or pointing device, but struggle with things like double-click, right-click or click-and-drag, Grapevine's 'Manual Mouse' feature may be of benefit to you. Demo video.

Accessing Grapevine using Buttons or Switches (Scanning)

Scanning is a method of computer access that allows a wide range of tasks to be performed using very limited inputs (e.g. one or two buttons). Scanning demo video.

Yes. You can try out scanning using the following buttons on the top row of any standard keyboard:

  • F3 = Move
  • F6 = Select
  • F9 = Back

Section 8.5 of the User Manual gives a complete guide to connecting switches. Here is a brief summary:

  • The following devices (and more) can be used as 'Switches' to control Grapevine: Large button, sip-puff switch, muscle/blink switch. More details here (see section "2. Switch Devices").
  • You need a switch adapter or switch interface to connect switches to a computer. This is a simple piece of hardware that plugs into the computer's USB port and includes sockets for attaching two or more switches (the type of socket used to connect switches is similar to a headphones 'jack' on a phone or mp3 player).
  • Commonly used switch adapters that work with Grapevine include Joy Cable, Joy Box and Crick Switch Interface. However, Grapevine should work with almost all switch adapters.
  • You may need to use software that is supplied with your switch adapter to configure it to work with Grapevine. You will need to set up switches so that they are linked/mapped to keyboard buttons as follows: F3 = Move, F6 = Select, F9 = Back.

'Link Tags' is a feature unique to Grapevine which appears on the Google Chrome shortcuts page. It adds a yellow numbered tag to each link on a webpage so that you only need to enter a number to follow a link (no mouse required!). This is particularly useful for people who use Grapevine in 'Scanning' mode (using just 1, 2 or 3 buttons or switches). Demo video.

Solution 1

If Link Tags generally works for you but sometimes doesn't, the problem may be that you are trying to use Link Tags when you are in a text-entry field - for example, when the text cursor is blinking inside the search text box on Google's home page. Link Tags doesn't work when you're in a text-entry field. Luckily there's a button called "Exit Text Input" and pressing this should get you out of the text-entry field. Now "Show/Hide Link Tags" should work.

Solution 2

If Link Tags never worked for you and you see a red 'X' on the "Link Tag Status" button, then you do not have some essential components of 'Link Tags' installed. Click the "Link Tag Status" button (red 'X') on the Google Chrome shortcuts page. The settings menu will open on a page that shows 3 items that will have either a green 'tick' or a red 'X'. Items with an 'X' can be resolved by pressing the button next to that item and following the simple instructions on screen.

If you experience difficulties getting Link Tags set up and working, please contact us by email or phone.