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How to use StreamText Linking

StreamText is a third-party streaming text platform. Similar to TypeWell's Web Linking service, the text is sent from the TypeWell Transcriber program to the StreamText web server. Readers can then view the live transcript in a webpage provided by StreamText.Net, or they can read captions embedded within a videoconferencing platform such as Zoom.

As with TypeWell's own streaming text platform, no special software is required on the reader's device to view the live transcript in a StreamText.net webpage; any web browser will suffice. However, the transcriber/writer must install an extra application (called StreamText Connector) on their own computer to act as a "bridge" between their transcribing/writing software and the StreamText server.

Some benefits and features provided by StreamText's platform include:

  • Reader's ability to highlight text or type notes directly into the same webpage as the live transcript.
  • Integration with online meeting services such as Zoom, Adobe Connect Pro, Cisco WebEx, Blackboard Collaborate, YouTube Live, etc.
  • The StreamCast app can be used to overlay the captions during on-screen presentations, which is useful for conferences and other events

NOTE: StreamText.Net and TypeWell are separate entities. StreamText requires admins to create an account, schedule streaming events in advance, and pay by-the-minute for the use of this streaming text service. In contrast, TypeWell's own streaming text service does not cost extra, as it is included with any Premium Transcriber or TW Connect software subscription.

For more information about StreamText pricing and the features listed above, please visit their website directly: StreamText.net

Download and install the latest version of the StreamText Connector program

StreamText Connector is a separate software program developed by StreamText.Net and available from their website. Once installed, the StreamText Connector program needs to be configured to communicate with the TypeWell software (explained below).

Configure StreamText Connector to communicate with the TypeWell software

In StreamText Connector on the writer's (transcriber's) computer:

  • Writing Source should be "Com Port."

screenshot of StreamText Connector program with dropdown menu for writing source

  • Connection Settings should have valid StreamText account credentials (writer's email and password), and the Environment should be set to "Live."

Connection settings for StreamText connector including email address, password, and environment

  • COM Port Number should be set to COM1, COM2, COM3, or COM4.

screenshot of COM port drop-down options in StreamText Connector window.  Com ports 1-4 are supported by TypeWell

  • When you click Connect and Write, the "Connected to server" status should change from False to True.

StreamText connector window with Connector to Server status of True Live

Configure TypeWell to communicate with StreamText Connector

  • First, disable other linking methods that might be enabled under the TypeWell Link menu.
  • Click the by StreamText option under the Link menu, and check the box to "Enable StreamText linking."

StreamText Linking Setup dialog in TypeWell program with checkbox enabled

  • From the drop-down box, choose the same COM Port Number that you selected in StreamText Connector, then click OK.     screenshot of both TypeWell and StreamText Connector programs set to COM port 2

  • Select Linking ON under the TypeWell Link menu.

TypeWell Link menu with

  • When TypeWell indicates "StreamText (linked)," the "COM Port Connected" status over in the StreamText Connector window should change from False to True.

screenshot of StreamText Connector window showing Comport connected status of true, and TypeWell window behind it showing status of StreamText Linked

Schedule and start an event through the StreamText.Net Admin Dashboard

  • If you have not created a StreamText.Net account, you will need to complete this first by going to  https://admin.streamtext.net/organizations/start and completing the form.
  • Go to www.streamtext.net and click the Sign-In link in the upper right-hand corner. Enter the email address and password that you used when you created the account.
  • If you have not added any writers to your account, click the Staff link on the left menu to add writers (identified by their email address).
  • To schedule a new event, click on the Schedule Event link on the left menu.
  • Many of the Event Information fields are optional. To get started, you only need to assign an Event name, the Writer for the event, and the Parsing format. To link with the TypeWell program, please choose either TypeWell - StreamText Linking or TypeWell - Simple Serial Linking. See below for help choosing the correct parsing format.
  • Click Create Event.

Once the scheduled event is Started and TypeWell shows a linking status of "StreamText (Linked)", any text typed into the TypeWell program should be transmitted via the StreamText Connector program to the StreamText.Net server online. As you type in the TypeWell program, the "Bytes sent" value in the StreamText Connector should increase, indicating that data is being sent.

TIP:  Remember to Stop the event when you are finished, to avoid unnecessary per-minute charges in your StreamText account.

Choose the correct parsing format (this is critical for Zoom and YouTube Live users!)

If you are using StreamText to connect TypeWell with a videoconferencing or live streaming platform such as Zoom or YouTube Live, then please choose TypeWell - Simple Serial Linking. Note that this mode doesn't support some of TypeWell's special features such as Math Mode; however, this simpler "serial" parsing format is compatible with those other platforms.

If the reader will be viewing the live transcript in a web browser, then you can choose TypeWell - StreamText Linking which allows the transcriber to utilize features such as TypeWell's Math Mode. The StreamText Linking parsing format supports rich text formatting and allows special math/science characters and subscripts/superscripts to be displayed.

Streaming from TypeWell into Zoom using StreamText.Net

NOTE: TypeWell's V8 Premium Transcriber and Connect programs can stream directly into Zoom events without using StreamText as a bridge. However, while those methods display nicely if the Zoom user selects "show subtitle," they do not support Zoom's alternate display feature called "view full transcript." If you wish to support both "subtitles" and "view full transcript" within Zoom, then it might be worth the extra per-minute charge to use StreamText as a bridge between TypeWell and Zoom.

In the StreamText event dashboard, when you're scheduling a new event, go to the CART & Captioning tab:

CART & Captioning tab in StreamText event scheduler

Scroll down to the section titled Zoom and check the "Stream to Zoom" box.

The "Caption URL" is the "3rd party API token" from the Closed Captioning window, which can be obtained once the Zoom meeting has started and the host has either copied the API token or assigned captioning privileges to one of the participants. Only the Zoom host or the assigned captionist can access that API token.

The remaining settings can be adjusted (even mid-event!) to accommodate your preferences.

For a faster send with less delay:

  • "Correction buffer" = Don't wait for corrections
  • "Send on Timer (sec)" = Don't use timer
  • "Send on line count" = 2-3 lines
  • "Send on line feed" = no (leave unchecked)
  • "Send on sentence end" = yes (check the box)

StreamText Zoom settings for faster send with less delay

For more text to appear in Zoom, which requires a slightly longer delay:

  • "Correction buffer" = 1-2 seconds
  • "Send on Timer (sec)" = 3 seconds
  • "Send on line count" = 2 lines
  • "Send on line feed" = no (leave unchecked)
  • "Send on sentence end" = yes (check the box)

StreamText Zoom settings for slower send with more text

Troubleshooting tips

  • Is the scheduled event started in the StreamText Admin portal? This is required in order for the writer's text to appear in the StreamText reader page.
  • Is the event assigned to the correct writer in the StreamText Admin portal? The writer (staff) email address in the scheduled event must match the credentials used to login to the StreamText Connector app.
Aug 20, 2020