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Assistive Technology: Vu-Bar

Vu-Bar

Using Vu-Bar to Assist Visual Stress

Vu-Bar is an on-screen, slotted ruler and can help individuals who find it difficult to read large amounts of text by separating it into one or more lines at a time. The main features of Vu-Bar are:

·         Adjustable length

·         Ruled lines can be adjusted to read one or more lines of text

·         Adjustable colour settings

·         Lockable so it follows the mouse cursor movement.

Getting Started with Vu-Bar

You can access Vu-Bar on the Institute of Education student network by clicking on the arrows next to ‘Accessibility’ at the bottom right hand of your screen on the task bar. The Vu-Bar icon is a ruler with the numbers 1, 2 and 3 on.

Written instructions for using the features of both programs are shown here but there are many videos on YouTube which explain the features of Vu-Bar.

Adjusting the Size of Vu-Bar

Screen shot of menu 

1.   On opening, Vu-Bar will automatically appear on your screen.

2. Right click on the Vu-Bar to open its settings

3. You can either select a limited number of percentages for Vu-Bar from the Width drop-down in the right click menu

Screen shot of menu

Or you can open the settings window and click and drag the slider until Vu-Bar is the width you’d prefer.

4. The height of the slot in the middle of Vu-Bar can also be changed. Right click on Vu-Bar to open its settings and select the height from the drop down menu list of font sizes

Screen shot of menu

5. To change the frame around the Vu-Bar, you can open the settings window and click and drag the slider until the height of the Vu-Bar is suitable.

6. Click OK at the bottom of the screen when the frame is suitable.

Change the Colour of Vu-Bar

1. To change the background colour of Vu-Bar, right click on Vu-Bar and select the colour option from the drop down menu.

2. Another window will open with a palette of colours

3. Select the colour that is suitable and then click OK at the bottom of the window.

An example of how Vu-Bar can look when coloured is shown below:

Image showing example of coloured Vu-Bar

Locking Vu-Bar

1.   To lock Vu-Bar right click on Vu-Bar and select the lock option from the drop down menu

2.   The Vu-Bar is now locked so it moves as you move the mouse cursor.

3.   It can also be moved up and down with arrow keys on the keyboard whilst reading.

4.   To un-lock Vu-Bar clicking outside of it will automatically unlock it.

Closing Vu-Bar

When you no longer wish to use Vu-Bar, right click on Vu-Bar and select exit from the drop down menu to close it