Kidspiration® 2 Help Center
Kidspiration 2.1a Updater – International English Edition
Network Install Instructions
Frequently Asked Questions
Pentium 75 MHz or faster
Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT 4.0, ME, XP (including Tablet PC Edition) or Vista
8 MB RAM
640 x 480, 256 colour display
7 MB available hard drive minimum,
25 MB hard drive available for all symbols and Help
CD-ROM drive (for installation)
- Windows compatible printer
- Internet browser
- Soundcard and speakers
- Interactive electronic whiteboard
Macintosh or Power Macintosh
System 7.1, 8.x, 9.x or OS X
4 MB available RAM
640 x 480, 256 colour display
7 MB available hard drive minimum,
35 MB hard drive available for all symbols and Help
CD-ROM drive (for installation)
- Macintosh compatible printer
- Internet browser
- Interactive electronic whiteboard
Kidspiration 2.1a International English Updater
Download the Kidspiration 2.1a updater
Note: This updater is for the International English edition only.
Macintosh OS X
This free update adds:
- Support for Mac OS X version 10.4.x. This update is intended for both the Intel Mac platform using Apple's Rosetta technology and for the PowerPC Mac platform.
- The capability to sync with Inspiration for Palm OS
- The ability to draw and write directly on interactive whiteboards, Tablet PCs and Wacom Tablets.
- Support for one-click transfer to Scholastic Keys.
Users currently running Kidspiration 2.x will be updated to version 2.1.a.
How to download and run the updater
Click the Kidspiration 2.1 updater link below. Once the download is complete, double click on the file "Kids21IntlUpdater.exe."
Macintosh OS X
Kidspiration® 2.1a requires Mac OS X version 10.1.5 or higher.
Running the Kidspiration 2.1a OS X Updater will update your existing version of Kidspiration. To continue to also run Kidspiration in OS 9, it is recommended that you make a separate copy of the Kidspiration folder to use as the OS X version. If you did not customize the installation of Kidspiration, this folder will be located in the Applications (Mac OS 9) folder.
Click the 2.1a updater link above. Once the download is complete, double-click Kidspiration 2.1a Updater OS X.
Note: The 2.1a updater is a ZIP compressed file. If it does not decode automatically, you will need to double-click the ZIP file. Contained inside the ZIP file is an OS X disk image file (DMG). Double-click the DMG file to mount the disk image on your desktop. International English edition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is Kidspiration compatible with Mac OS X?
A. Yes. Please use the Kidspiration 2 OS x installer found on the Kidspiration 2 install CD.
Q. After I install Kidspiration on my network server, why can't more than one person use the program at the same time?
A. This problem is almost always the result of a permissions conflict. In order for multiple users to access Kidspiration at the same time, permissions for users of the Kidspiration folder on the server must be set to Read/Execute or Read/Filescan ONLY; any write access will cause any user after the first to be locked out of the program. Once you have set the permissions correctly, multiple users should be able to run Kidspiration from the server at the same time. For a platform-specific, technically-worded, full set of network install instructions, please click here.
Q. Should I delete Kidspiration version 1 after I install Kidspiration 2?
A. Yes, if you no longer wish to use the older version, though deleting it is not required for Kidspiration 2 to work properly. Kidspiration 2 will open all documents created with Kidspiration 1, so you don't need to keep Kidspiration 1 around for that reason. However, if you want to save the symbols that you added to your old symbol libraries, you should first copy the specific libraries into the Kidspiration 2 symbol libraries folder.
Q. How do I use templates from Kidspiration 1 in Kidspiration 2?
A. Open the template with Kidspiration 2. Choose "Save With Activity Wizard" from the enabled Teacher menu. Follow the Activity Wizard's directions to complete the conversion.
Q. If I added symbols to a symbol library in Kidspiration 1, how can I get access to them in Kidspiration 2?
A. Copy that Kidspiration symbol library into the new folder Kidspiration Libraries, which is within your Kidspiration 2 folder. When Kidspiration opens that library, it will automatically convert it to the Kidspiration 2 format.
Q. If I have a large dictionary of user defined words, can I copy that into Kidspiration 2?
A. Yes. Copy the file Kiduser.clx from your Kidspiration folder or your personal Kidspiration 1 settings folder into your personal Kidspiration 2 settings folder. The Kidspiration 2 settings folder destination for your kiduser.clx dictionary is found in your personal settings folder in the following location: Inspiration Software\Kidspiration\. Your personal settings folder can be found in your local Settings or Preferences folder; the exact path is dependent on the specific operating system.
Q. How do I open a Kidspiration 1 document with Kidspiration 2?
A. To open a Kidspiration 1 file with Kidspiration 2, please use Kidspiration 2's "Open" command to open the file. Please note that should you make any changes to the document and save them using Kidspiration 2, your Kidspiration 1 document will become a Kidspiration 2 document. Should this happen unintentionally, you can use Kidspiration 2 to save your document as a Kidspiration 1 document. To do so, choose "Kidspiration 1 Document" from the Save As Type or Format dropdown list in the Save dialog.
Q. Can I use the Kidspiration 2.1 updater on my Macintosh with Operating System 7, 8 or 9?
A. At this time, Kidspiration 2 is the correct version for Macintosh computer using OS 7, 8 or 9. The Kidspiration 2.1 updater addresses tools and issues only on Mac OS X (and Windows) computers.
Q. What permissions are required to save a Kidspiration file to a folder on the server or a locked-down workstation?
A. The students will need Read, Write, and Delete access, at a minimum, to be able to successfully save to a folder. We recommend full access.
Q. On my Windows PC, I have a special directory where I like to store all of my files. How do I get Kidspiration to automatically save my documents in that directory?
A. There are two ways to do this. The first method we describe assumes that you normally start Kidspiration from the Start menu. The second method works for people who start Kidspiration with a shortcut from their desktop.
To customize your Start Menu:
- Click on the Start button.
- Locate your shortcut to Kidspiration.
- Right-click on the Kidspiration shortcut.
- From the menu that appears, select Properties.
- A new window should appear. Click on the Shortcut file tab.
- You should see a section called Start In. This is the directory that Kidspiration will default to when opening and saving files. Just change this section so that it points to the directory where you store your Kidspiration files. Click OK or Close to accept the change.
To customize your shortcut: Select the Kidspiration shortcut icon on the desktop. Right-click to open the menu, then select Properties. Now follow steps 5 and 6 above.
Q. How do I change the default settings for new documents?
A. To change your default settings, begin by enabling the Teacher menu. Then choose Save Default Settings from the Teacher menu. Follow the instructions in each window to change your default setting.
Q. How do I password-protect the Teacher menu?
A. To password-protect the Teacher menu, choose "Application Options" from the enabled Teacher menu. In the window that appears, click on the box next to the words "Password Enabled" so that it is checked. Next, click on the button below that, labeled "Set Password... ." Enter your password where prompted, then click "OK" to set it as the password. Finally, click "OK" in Application Options to finalize this choice. The next time the Teacher menu needs to be enabled, it will ask for a password.
Note: if you are using a system that manages user preferences on a per-user basis (Mac Manager or simple login profiles, for instance), you will need to make sure the users have the same "KidsPref" or "Kidspiration Prefs" file in their personal preferences area in order to enforce the locked Teacher menu.
Q. How do I create my own symbols?
A. There are a couple of ways to create your own symbols. First, you can import or paste images from another source (the Internet, for instance). On the Macintosh, you can paste, insert, or drag and drop PICT, JPEG and GIF files into your Picture view document. In Windows, you can paste, insert, or drag and drop WMF, BMP, GIF and JPEG files into your Picture view document.
The other way to make your own symbols would be to use the Symbol Maker. To use this, begin by clicking on either the symbol you wish to turn into your custom symbol, or on a blank space in the window where you want the new symbol to appear. Next, click on the Symbol Maker button on the far right side of the top toolbar. This will take you into the Symbol Maker, which has many tools for creating your own symbols. Once you have created a symbol you like, click the Done button to add it to your Picture view document.
Q. Can I just drag and drop a graphic over the symbol palette to install it as a user symbol?
A. Yes, as long as you have write permission for the Symbol Libraries folder.
Q. How do I create new symbol libraries in Kidspiration?
A. You can create new symbol libraries for symbols you import, create or copy from other libraries. For example, you might want to create a new symbol library for the symbols you use frequently or for an activity that you create. You can place a new symbol library under any category on the Symbol Palette. If you do not choose a category, the symbol library is automatically stored in the Custom category. To create a new symbol library, first enable the Teacher menu. On the Teacher menu, click New Symbol Library. From the category list, select the category that you want the new library to appear under on the symbol palette. In the New Library Name field, type a name for the new library.
Q. How do I lock items in place?
A. To lock a symbol in place in your Picture view document, begin by clicking on the symbol to select it. Next, go to the enabled Teacher menu and choose "Locked Item" so that it is checked. This locks the selected item in place.
Q. How do I make Kidspiration automatically fill in the symbol label text?
A. To make Kidspiration automatically fill in the symbol labels, make sure you have "Picture to Topic" active under the Teacher menu. To activate the Picture to Topic functionality, simply click on the Writing view button in the top toolbar, then click on the Picture view button to return to Picture view. Any topic that was previously blank will now display a default label.
Q. How do I add topics, like instructions, that won't show up in Writing view?
A. If you would like to add topics to your Picture view document, but leave them out of the Writing view version of the document, begin by clicking on one of these symbols to select it. Next, choose "Teacher Symbol" from the enabled Teacher menu. You will know it is successful if the symbol then shows triangles at each corner. This symbol can be edited and moved, but it will not appear in Writing view. Also, it cannot be linked to or from other symbols.
Q. What is the SuperGrouper® tool?
A. Each SuperGrouper shape is a container into which students can add symbols. Students can use SuperGrouper categories that a teacher sets up for them, or they can easily create their own. When students drag a symbol into a SuperGrouper category, it is now grouped within that category. If the SuperGrouper shape is moved, any symbol inside it moves as well. When you switch to Writing view, the titles of the SuperGrouper categories assume a top-level position, and the symbols that each SuperGrouper category contains are supporting ideas.
Q. How do I create my own SuperGrouper?
A. To create your own SuperGrouper, begin by clicking on the symbol in your diagram you wish to convert into a SuperGrouper. Next, in the Picture toolbar at the top of your Kidspiration workspace, click on the SuperGrouper tool and choose "Create SuperGrouper." This will change your selected symbol into a SuperGrouper.
Q. Why can't more than one student open my Kidspiration document at the same time?
A. This is probably happening because the file they are trying to open is a plain Kidspiration file. In order for more than one person to open a Kidspiration file, it must be a Kidspiration Activity file. To create an Activity, please open a Kidspiration file and choose "Save With Activity Wizard" from the enabled Teacher menu. Once the Activity is saved, it will be in a format that automatically creates a copy of itself when the students try to open it.
Q. How do I share documents with someone who uses Kidspiration 1?
A. To share a document with someone who has not yet upgraded to Kidspiration 2, go to the File menu and choose "Save." In the window that appears, choose "Kidspiration 1 Document" from the drop-down menu next to the word "Format" or "Save As Type." This will save your document as a Kidspiration 1 document. It still can be opened by Kidspiration 2 as well.
Q. How do I share Activities with other computers or users?
A. To share an Activity, begin by using the "Save With Activity Wizard" option under the enabled Teacher menu. This will allow you to set up your Activity as you wish your students to see it. In the Activity Wizard window titled "Name and Category," you will be asked to choose where to save this activity. The default location is the Kidspiration Activities folder, but you can save anywhere you'd like. You can also move the Activity after it's created--just make sure that other users can access it in that location.
Q. Can I open an Inspiration 6 or Inspiration 7 file in Kidspiration 2?
A. Kidspiration can open Inspiration 7 but cannot open files created in Inspiration 6. It is possible that some elements of that file, including formatting, may be missing or changed when viewed in Kidspiration.
Q. How do I quickly turn my Writing view document into a Word® or AppleWorks® document?
A. You can Publish your Writing view document directly to Word or AppleWorks with the click of one button. To do this, click on the Publish button in the top toolbar. The Publish button is the one on the far right side of the toolbar that looks like a piece of paper with a green arrow on it. The first time you use this tool, it will ask you to choose Word or AppleWorks. Once you have done so, your Writing view document will automatically be opened as a new Word or AppleWorks document. By default, your Picture view diagram will appear at the top of your outline in the new Word or AppleWorks document.
To change your preferred word processor, please choose Application Options under the Teacher menu. If you would like to change other Publish tool settings, please choose Publish Options under the Teacher menu.
Q. How can I get my Writing view outline to appear in a document created by another application like PowerPoint®?
A. There are two ways to move your outline to another application. The first is to copy your outline, then paste it into a document in the other application. The other option is to export your outline to a format that can be read or imported by another application. To export your outline, choose Export from the File menu. In the window that appears, choose a text format--plain text, HTML, etc.--that can be used with the destination application. Click Save. Use the other program to open or import the file you just exported. Depending on the application you're using, what you see should look similar to the outline you created in Kidspiration--the exact format can vary with the application.
Q. How do I place just my Picture view diagram inside a document created by another application like Word or PowerPoint?
A. There are two ways to include your Kidspiration diagram in a document created by another application. The first is to copy your diagram, then paste it into the other document. The other way is to export your diagram to an image format that the other application can use. To export your diagram, choose Export from the File menu. In the window that appears, choose one of the image formats--GIF, JPEG, etc.--that is accepted by the destination application (check that application's help system if you're not sure what format to go with). Click Save. In the other application, insert the exported diagram just as you would any other image file.
Q. Is it possible to share my work with people who don't have Kidspiration?
A. You can share your Kidspiration documents by exporting them as a file type that can be read by an application owned by those other people. For example, you can export your outlines as plain text so that they can be read by Microsoft® Word®, Apple® Works® and other word processors. Kidspiration outlines and diagrams can also be exported as HTML files, which can be viewed by any web browser. For more details on export formats, choose Export in the File menu and take a look at your options.
Q. I exported by Writing view outline as a web page and now it's showing text that I did not put in my outline. What's happening?
A. When you export your writing document as a web page, it is encoded in HTML. HTML uses special characters to communicate with a web browser. If you use those characters in your outline, it may confuse the browser, and strange symbols might appear. The special characters you should avoid using in the Kidspiration documents you want to export as HTML are < (less than sign) and > (greater than sign).
Using a stylus and/or whiteboard with Kidspiration - Devices
Q. What stylus-based systems are supported?
A. Kidspiration 2.1 is designed to support interactive electronic whiteboards, including the Promethean® ACTIVboard® and the SMART Board™ interactive whiteboards, Tablet PCs and Wacom® tablets.
Q. Can I use Kidspiration 2.1 with my stylus on my Tablet PC?
A. Definitely. Please make sure you turn on Stylus Mode in Kidspiration 2.1 to take full advantage of all the new stylus-based enhancements. On the Teacher menu, choose "Application Options." Select the Stylus Mode check box and Click "OK."
Q. How can I move all of the tools to the bottom of the interactive whiteboard screen so my youngest students can reach them?
A. Please begin by choosing "Application Options" from the "Teacher" menu. Next, click on the box next to the words "All Tools to Bottom" so that it is checked. Click "OK" to accept this change. The tools will now appear at the bottom of the Kidspiration workspace.
Using a stylus and/or whiteboard with Kidspiration - Handwriting recognition
Q. Can I use my stylus to write text in Kidspiration?
A. Yes. First, be sure you have Stylus Mode enabled in the "Application Options" dialog. For most supported devices, follow the instructions in your device's user manual. If you are running Kidspiration 2.1 on a Windows machine and are using a Promethean ACTIVboard, click the "Show Handwriting Area" button on the "Formatting" toolbar. Any stroke you make with the stylus in the Handwriting Area will now be interpreted as text.
Q. When I try entering text using my Promethean ACTIVBoard, it doesn't appear. Why?
A. When an ACTIVBoard is attached to a PC running Windows, stylus strokes made in the main Kidspiration workspace are interpreted as lasso selection or shape recognition. To enter text, use the Handwriting Area located at the bottom of the window. To access the Handwriting Area, click the “Show Handwriting Area” button on the “Formatting” toolbar. Any stroke you make with the stylus in the Handwriting Area will now be interpreted as text. To enter special characters, such as backspaces, returns, etc., use the tools on the ACTIVstudio or ACTIVPrimary palette. On a Macintosh computer, handwriting recognition is built into OS X. If your ACTIVBoard is attached to a Mac, enter text directly on the Kidspiration workspace; there is no special input panel.
Using a stylus and/or whiteboard with Kidspiration - Special stylus tools
Q. How do I turn on Stylus Mode in Kidspiration?
A. When you launch Kidspiration 2.1 on a computer that supports a stylus, Kidspiration will automatically offer to turn on Stylus Mode. However, you can turn on Stylus Mode at any time by choosing "Application Options" on the "Teacher" menu.
Q. How can I select more than one symbol at a time when I'm in Stylus Mode?
A. Using the stylus, draw a loop around the symbols you wish to select. When the loop encloses the symbols, lift the stylus from the surface.
Q. Can I draw symbols directly in my Kidspiration document?
A. Yes. Using your stylus, draw an approximation of any of the following shapes: oval, rectangle, circle, square or diamond. The shape you draw will be recognized and inserted into the document. In other words, draw an oval where you want one to appear, and an oval will appear on your diagram.
Q. Why can't I drag symbols or topics with my stylus?
A. It sounds like your system is set to Handwriting Mode. If you are using a Wacom tablet with Mac OS X and have “Write Anywhere” turned on, for example, this will be the case. In Handwriting Mode, any and all movements of the stylus will be interpreted as handwriting. To drag symbols or topics with the stylus, turn off Handwriting Mode, and then drag your symbols or topics to your desired location. If you are unsure of how to turn off Handwriting Mode, please consult the user's manual for your system or device.
Sync to Palm
Q. How do I use my Kidspiration 2.1 documents with Inspiration for Palm OS?
A. Begin by opening the Kidspiration document in Kidspiration 2.1 on the desktop computer. On the File menu, choose “Send to Handheld.” In the window that appears, choose the handheld or handhelds for which you would like this document to be available, then click “Save.” The document will be transferred the next time you sync the handheld or handhelds to the desktop computer.
Q. How do I use my Inspiration for Palm OS documents with Kidspiration 2.1?
A. Begin by saving the document on your Palm device. Next, sync the Palm to your computer. After the syncing process is complete, start Kidspiration 2.1. On the File menu, choose "Open from Handheld." In the window that appears, open the folder that corresponds to your handheld's name or user profile. Inside that folder, you will find a list of available Inspiration for Palm OS files. Select the one you want, and then click "Open."
Publish to Scholastic Keys
Q. Can I publish to Scholastic Keys?
A. Yes. When using the Publish tool, you may choose Scholastic Keys as your preferred word processor. To change your preferred word processor to Scholastic Keys, select "Application Options" on the "Teacher" menu, then select "Scholastic Keys" from the "Preferred Word Processor" menu. Click “OK” to accept this change.
Q. How do I turn the Talking Interface on and off?
A. Enable the Teacher menu. On the Teacher menu, click Application Options. Uncheck the Talking Interface checkbox.
Q. How do I change the Voice used by the Talking Interface and the Listen tool?
A. To change the Voice, begin by choosing "Voice" from the Sound menu. In the window that appears, choose your preferred voice. This will now be used by the Talking Interface and the Listen tool.
Q. Why is the Voice menu grayed-out and the LIsten tool not working?
A. This may indicate that the Text to Speech components were not successfully installed on your computer. Please use the text to speech installers that are found on your Kidspiration 2 install CD to install these components. If you're still unable to get the sound-based features to work, please contact tech support.
Q. Why don't the animated GIFs animate through transparent sections of other symbols?
A. Although this is the case on the screen, documents with overlapping animated GIFs will print normally. The frame will not be displayed. This problem can also be avoided by turning off the GIF animation in the Application Options settings (available under the Teacher menu).