Sunday, March 19, 2017

Free Picture Communication Symbol Sources

Great news, everybody! If you've been wanting to make visual schedules and other supports for your inclusive programs but haven't been able to afford Boardmaker there is now a strong alternative.


Picto-Selector is a free visual support program for Windows and Mac users. It has 28,000 images translated into English, Dutch, German, French, Danish, Spanish, and Italian. Like Boardmaker, there are plenty of images to choose from, and you can customize the placement of the titles, the thickness and edges of the borders, and the background color.

I've just begun to play around with Picto-Selector, so I won't be presenting a full comparison and contrast, but, from a quick look, it does appear to have some advantages over Boardmaker.

  • Boardmaker is very expensive. Picto-Selector is free thanks to ads and user donations.
  • Multiple staff can simultaneously use Picto-Selector because a CD is not needed to run the program.
  • In addition to templates, there is also a Wizard option to help get you started.
  • The Favourite Picto button quickly accesses frequently used images.
  • Many preferences can be set ahead of time (e.g. title placement and rounded edges).
  • Quick and easy exports in multiple formats (e.g. jpgs, pdfs) as well as email and online sharing.

While it's true that children are probably more familiar with Boardmaker from school, I think Picto-Selector looks similar enough. Here's a quick comparison for a simple mini-storytime plan:

Picto-Selector
Boardmaker


I have to say, in the above example, Boardmaker has the advantage on ethnic and gender diversity - there are usually multiple options for the same symbol. However, Picto-Selector is always adding new symbols and updating the software, so you don't run the risk of having to purchase an addendum library of symbols. And it's FREE, thanks to Dutch software developer Martjin van der Kooij.

Try it out! (Just don't be fooled by the green, download ad buttons.) Download the software from the blue text on the left of the download page.

On a side note, if you are working with teens or adults, you might want to give Noun Project a try. Their motto is "Icons for Everything!" and they don't disappoint. You can download everything in black and white for free.



1 comment:

  1. Picto-selector looks great - it does require a download and some of us work in places with systems departments that don't allow downloads. Lessonpix.com offers an affordable subscription with all of the same flexibility (uploading your own photos) etc as Picto and for a fraction of the price of Boardmaker. Lessonpix is about $36 US per year for unlimited use (it creates pdf files that you then cut and laminate etc).
    Cheers,
    Tess

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