Download page as PDF

* Co-Writer predicts the words you need

Getting Started

You should have:

  • a Neo word processor
  • a bag
  • a lead to connect the Neo to a computer
  • a manual

You are responsible for keeping the Neo safe and clean. If anything goes wrong with it, please ring CENMAC on 020 8854 1019.

The Neo runs on three AA batteries and these last for up to 700 hours. It does not take rechargeable batteries. If you have used an Alphasmart before, you will already know how to do most things. The Neo is better for people with sight difficulties because you can change the size of the font and adjust the screen contrast. The screen is also a bit bigger.

The Neo has 8 files to store work in. Just press the file key that you want to type into. You might like to have 1 for each subject. Work will be saved in the file automatically and when you switch off the Neo, then on again, you will return to the same piece of work. Try this now.

Find the on-off button and turn on the machine. It should say “Co-Writer available” on the screen. To switch Co-Writer on press the tab key on the left of the keyboard. Some words that the machine thinks you may want are displayed on the screen. You do not have to use them. Type your own if you prefer. If you do want to use one, just press the number key that matches the word (1 not file 1). Now you should see some more words that the machine thinks you need. 
Press File 8 to open a new file. Type the word “treasure” and watch what Co-Writer does. As you type it is sorting all the words it knows starting with t, then tr, then tre etc.

Sometimes Co-Writer does not know the word you want, for example people’s names and unusual words. Type your own name in. Notice how it could not predict it. Now type it again. This time you will find your name in the list of predicted words. Now try the same for an unusual word like Pharaoh. Co-Writer learns all the words you type (including spelling mistakes)

To get rid of spelling mistakes/typing errors that have been saved, switch on and press the tab key. When you see Co-Writer beginning to work press the key marked “home” (top right of the keyboard). You will see a screen showing Co-Writer Options. Select Option 2 then Option 3 on the following screen to edit words. You can delete them or amend them by using the backspace key. You can also add new words to your dictionary here. Just type one word per line and press Escape when you have finished.

How to change the font size

Press applets then use the arrow keys at the bottom right of the keyboard to select control panel then change default SmartApplet font then choose the size. Press the Enter key (large unnamed key on the right of the keyboard)

How to change the screen contrast

Press applets, control panel, Enter, use the arrow keys to move to Screen contrast, use the arrow keys to reset the contrast.


Just press the spell check key. It may be better to wait until you have sent your file to a computer where you can see all your work at once. You will also have a grammar checker on the computer.

Typing tutor

Press applets. Move the cursor down to KAZ Typing Tutor using the arrow keys. Press Enter. Press Esc to return to your previous screen.

Typing timer

Press the cmnd key (it has a flower on it) and Find at the same time.

Battery life

Press applet then Control panel. Move the cursor to Display battery status, then press Enter.

Key repeats

If you have wobbly fingers, and get lots of the same letter when you only press once, go into applets, Control panel, change keyboard settings, change slow keys setting.

How to send files to your computer

The Neo will send files to any computer with a USB port (a flat hole). If you have an old computer without a USB port, get in touch with CENMAC.

  1. Open Word or another program that you can type into
  2. Turn on the Neo and press the file you want to send
  3. Attach one end of your lead into the computer’s USB port, and the other smaller squarer end into the port on the top edge of the Neo.
  4. Press send on the Neo

After you have done this, edit your work on the computer screen, then save or print normally. (The Neo will print to an infra-red printer. Please look in the manual). Once you have done this, press Clear file and press Y for yes on the Neo to remove your file. To switch between files when you are connected, so that you can send several files, hold down the cmnd (flower) key and press the file key you want.


Press applets and move the cursor to Calculator


You may be asked to disable the spellchecker. Ask your teacher to ring CENMAC for the master password. 


There is software which allows you to send several files in a bunch to your computer, and allows you to download files from a computer to your Neo. If you need this, please get in touch with CENMAC.

To find out even more about the Neo, please refer to your manual.