If you do not find the help you are looking for here, please feel free to contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions


A. System Requirements


B. Using Enso


C. Troubleshooting

A. System Requirements

Are you going to release Enso for Mac and Linux?

We are planning both a Mac version and a Linux version, but have not yet chosen a release date for either.

Can I run Enso on my Mac if I have Windows XP running inside a virtual machine, for instance with VMware or Parallels?

You can install Enso on a virtual copy of Windows, but there is a known problem where the Mac does not pass the Caps Lock key signal on to the virtual machine in a way that Enso can recognize.

User Dominic Sagolla has found a way to get around this problem by remapping another key to act as the Caps Lock key.

This problem does not occur with Boot Camp; if you restart your Mac into Windows mode with Boot Camp, you will be able to install and run Enso just fine in that mode.

Does Enso support foreign text (i.e. non-ASCII character sets)?

Not as much as we would like. We're working to make Enso fully compatible with all character sets as soon as we can, but for now, you may experience some problems if there are non-Roman characters in the name of a file that you are trying to open with Enso Launcher, or non-Roman characters in text that you are trying to process with Enso Words.

When entering commands into the quasimode, your computer should be in English-language input mode. If you do not have an English-language keyboard, Enso is not likely to work well for you at all.

For now, we recommend that you download the demo version of either Enso product and try it out on some selected text of your favorite non-Roman character set, in order to decide whether Enso will work sufficiently well for your purposes.

Does Enso work on multi-user systems?

Yes. Any user (even non-administrators) can install Enso. It will be present only for the user or users who installed it.

What applications does Enso support?

Enso is robust: if your favorite application is a standard Windows program, Enso will work just fine. We strongly believe that Enso works with almost any program.

If you already have Enso, the easiest way to test whether your application is compatible is by just trying it! (If you don't have Enso, just download a free trial first.) Select some text in your favorite application and use the upper case command. If it works, your application is golden. If it doesn't work, contact us and we'll see what we can do about updating Enso.

We fully support all Microsoft Office products, Internet Explorer, Notepad, Wordpad, all Mozilla products, and Emacs. We unofficially support almost everything (including World of Warcraft).

What are Enso's system requirements?

The minimum system requirements that we'll guarantee Enso to work on are:

  • OS: Windows 2000, XP, or Vista
  • CPU: 233 MHz or higher
  • RAM: 192 MB or higher
  • Disk Space: 25 MB (for base installation, full install size depends on how many Enso products are installed)
  • Video Card: Super VGA (800x600)
  • Internet connection: 14.4k high-speed modem
  • Web Browser: Any modern web browser will do, but you must have at least one.

Enso may run on slower systems, without an Internet connection, or older versions of Windows, but Humanized does not offer support for these systems.

What languages does Enso support?

Enso is currently available only in English. We hope to translate Enso to other languages sometime in the future. If you feel strongly that you would like Enso in your language and are willing to help us in the endeavor, please contact us.

What versions of Windows does Enso work on?

Windows 2000, Windows XP (with Service Pack 2), and Windows Vista.

There is a known incompatibility between Enso and the 64-bit version of Windows XP. We have created a patch to fix this incompatibility. If you are using 64-bit XP and you have trouble getting Enso to work, please download and run this patch.

B. Using Enso

Does Enso work with screen reader software?

Not yet. We think that Enso already has the potential to be a good assistant for the visually impaired, since it avoids the need to hunt for things with the mouse. It'll be even better once we add screen reader support.

How can I cancel a command?

Simple: just mash the keyboard randomly! Since no annoying popup dialogues come up, only Enso's nicely transparent messages, you don't waste any time by entering an invalid command. So if you've entered "open mozilla firef" and decide you don't really want it, just mash the keyboard and release Caps Lock. You'll get a message saying "open mozilla firefjkl;" is not a command, but the message goes away as soon as you move the mouse or type a key.

If you have set Enso to "sticky" behavior, you can use the "escape" key to cancel a command. (This also works for quasimodal Enso, but some people find it hard to reach for "escape" while holding down Caps Lock — and besides, it's not as much fun as the keyboard mash.)

How can I set up Enso to use a key other than Caps Lock?

Give Enso the preferences command. This will take you to a screen where you can choose the key to use for Enso activation.

How do I keep Enso updated?

The installers for the latest Enso release can always be downloaded from the main Enso page. Each time we release an updated version we'll announce it on our weblog.

For best results, we recommend that you uninstall the old version of Enso before running the installer for the new version. The process of uninstalling and reinstalling will preserve all of your personal settings, including any custom commands that you've taught Enso.

To uninstall your old version of Enso, go to the Start Menu, then click on Control Panels, then choose "Add or Remove Programs" (on Windows 2000 and XP) or "Programs and Features" (on Windows Vista). Find "Humanized Enso" in the list, select it, and click "Uninstall".

Once the uninstallation is done, you can download and run the installers for the latest version.

How do I turn off Enso?

Before we answer the question, you should know that you almost never need to turn off Enso. We have worked hard to make Enso unobtrusive, meaning that it doesn't bother you unless you hold down the Caps Lock key. Enso is designed to be available anytime and anywhere.

That said, if you need to turn off Enso, then you can use the Enso tray icon.

Look in the lower right corner of your screen, in the right edge of your taskbar. If you don't see the Enso icon (a simple black circle), then click the little arrow to expand your system tray.

Click on the Enso icon, and select "Exit". From this point on, Enso will not be available until you restart it using the icon in the start menu, or until you restart your computer.

How do I uninstall Enso?

If you decide to uninstall an Enso product, you can do it from the standard Windows "Add or Remove Programs" control panel.

Note: At the moment, you can only uninstall the entire Enso system from your computer. In the future, it will be possible to uninstall individual Enso products.

I paid for the full version of an Enso product — how do I unlock/register my trial version?

Since Enso is now freeware, there is no need to unlock or register a copy. If your copy of Enso is telling you that you need to register, you should download the latest free version instead.

As a way of thanking you for your support in the past, we offer you free 24-hour technical support with any problems that you may have until August 1, 2008. This offer is extended only to those customers who purchased a license for an Enso product before it became free.

Is there a way to see the commands I've created with learn as open, or to copy them between one computer and another?

When you teach Enso a command with learn as open, Enso creates a shortcut in a folder called "Enso Learn As Open Targets" inside your "Documents" or "My Documents" folder. You can open up this folder to browse through your learned commands and delete ones that you don't want anymore. You can even copy shortcuts out of this folder and drop them into the same folder on another computer with Enso installed. Enso will recognize them immediately and you'll be able to use them as open commands. (If the shortcuts point at files which don't exist on the second computer, you'll get an error message, but shortcuts pointing at Internet locations will work fine.)

What is a "quasimode" and why do I have to hold down the caps lock key while typing?

Enso is designed to be "quasimodal", like shift or control. When you're using shift to type in upper case, you don't need to use "escape" to stop typing in upper case, you just release shift. Enso is meant to work the same way: you don't need to press "enter" to finish an Enso command, you just release Caps Lock.

You may be troubled at first by trying to type while holding down a key. We strongly encourage you to keep at it, as there is substantial evidence pointing to quasimodes being more humane than modes. Enso is designed to be faster and more humane than any other method of issuing commands with a keyboard. Try it for a while; pretty soon you won't even notice Enso, you'll just use it.

That said, if you cannot hold down Caps Lock while typing (for instance, if you're typing with one hand), you can "stick" Enso's quasimode on by holding down Caps Lock and tapping Alt. Once you've done this, you can release Caps Lock, type in your command, and then use the "enter" key to execute the command, or the "escape" key to cancel it.

If you absolutely must have Enso stick every time, for instance if you have a disability which interferes with two-handed typing, you can make it behave this way with an option on the preferences screen (use the preferences command to get there).

Why doesn't this message go away? It's just sitting there...

Try the put and hide all messages commands.

The message probably appeared when you used Enso on a "locked text" selection, such as a web page or PDF document. Enso keeps the results of the command around until you either use them (with the put command) or tell Enso that you're not interested in them (with the hide all messages command).

But why don't they disappear after 10 seconds or so? Well, the simple answer is, why 10 seconds? Why not 5, or 30, or 300? We just don't know how long users will need these messages, so we don't ever make them automatically disappear.

C. Troubleshooting

Enso can't get updates/licenses, what's that all about?

Enso is now freeware, which means that it no longer requires a license. We have also stopped providing automatic updates. If your copy of Enso gives you a message about licenses or updates, it means you're using an out-of-date, pre-freeware version. You should upgrade to the new, free version immediately. (For instructions, see "How do I keep Enso updated?".)

Can I install/use Enso without administrator access?

Yes. You can install Enso as any user.

How can I get help with a problem not listed on this FAQ?

Contact us.

When we launched Enso, we strove to respond to concerns within 24 hours, whether the issue came from a paying customer or someone merely commenting on our website. However, now that Enso is a free product, we can no longer provide such prompt service to all inquiries. For those who purchased Enso, we will continue to provide the best support we can through August 1, 2008. And we will continue to respond to all problems and questions as rapidly as we can. After August 1, we will no longer provide email- or phone-based technical support for Enso. However, Enso is a living project, and support should become available through various public forums.

I have multiple computers connected to the same keyboard/mouse/monitor. Will this cause a problem with Enso?

It may cause a problem, depending on the specific hardware or software that you use to share your keyboard/mouse/monitor. At present, Enso is known to be incompatible with the following:

We recommend that you download the demo version of an Enso product and try it out on your system to see whether you have an incompatibility before you purchase Enso. We are searching for solutions to these incompatibilities.

The go command doesn't work. When I try to use it, the list of suggestions is blank. What's going on?

Restarting Enso should fix this problem. To restart Enso, first shut it down by clicking on the Enso icon in your system tray (lower-right hand corner of your screen) and selecting "Exit". Then, start Enso up again by clicking on the Start menu, clicking All Programs, and choosing "Enso".

The Caps Lock key on my computer has been disabled or has been remapped to a different key. How can I return Caps Lock to normal so that Enso will work?

One solution is always to set Enso to use a key other than Caps Lock, which you can do using the preferences command. But if your Caps Lock key has been disabled or remapped and you want to restore it to normal, here's how:

Click the Start menu, then click "Run". Enter the word "regedit" and hit Return. This will bring up the Windows Registry Editor. You'll need to navigate through its hierarchy of folders, on the left-hand side, to reach a certain entry. The list of folders to open, in order, is as follows: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout. Select the Keyboard Layout folder and look for an item called "Scancode Map". Double-click on "Scancode Map" and delete its value, then click OK and close the Registry Editor.

What do I do if I find a bug?

If you encounter a bug, problem, or unexpected behavior, it's time to submit a bug report. Don't worry, it's a painless process. Just use the report bug command. You'll be brought to a bug reporting page that asks you to explain what you were doing when the problem occurred. (You will also be brought to this screen automatically if Enso itself ever crashes.) The more specific you are, the better we can help you. If you can tell us exactly how to reproduce the problem, then we'll probably be able to nail it.

That's it. We'll work hard to fix the problem in a future release of Enso.

When I do spellcheck in Microsoft Office, the corrected text doesn't go back into my document. What's going on?

If you have the "Clipboard Task Pane" ( a sidebar that displays clipboard history ) turned on in Microsoft Office, it will intercept the results of your spellcheck, so the new text will end up in the sidebar instead of in the document. There are two ways to deal with this:

  1. Find the entry in the sidebar that contains your spellchecked text and click on it to insert it into your document.
  2. Disable the sidebar entirely by clicking on the X in its upper corner.

Why does Enso claim that I need to make a selection, when I already have?

This probably means that you are using a program that Enso does not know how to talk to. In other words, Enso just doesn't know how to tell the application you are in to give it the text in the selection. The best thing to do is open the application and use the report bug command to let us know what's up. We can't make any promises, but we'll try to include support for your application in a future Enso update.

Why does my lovely text formatting get messed up when I do spellcheck in Microsoft PowerPoint?

We're trying to find a fix for this problem, but it may be difficult, since, as far as we can tell, it's a problem with PowerPoint and not with Enso. (You can see the same problem happening if you copy text out of PowerPoint, paste it into WordPad, copy it from there and paste it back into PowerPoint without changing it.)

Why is Enso consuming so much memory?

Enso offers a huge wealth of features and functionality. That said, we admit, it is using more memory than we would like. Expect future updates to address this issue.

Why is Enso not putting the result of a command back into my text?

This means Enso doesn't know how to paste text in the application you are using—or that Enso thinks the currently selected text is not modifiable. The best thing to do is open the application and use the report bug command to let us know what's up. We can't make any promises, but we'll try to include support for your application in a future Enso update.

Why won't Enso appear when I'm using certain applications in Windows Vista?

There is a class of applications in Vista which are called "administrative applications". A non-administrative application is never allowed to pre-empt an administrative application. Enso is non-administrative, so there are some applications it can't pre-empt. If you push the Enso activation key when when of these applications is in front, nothing will happen.

This normally shouldn't cause too many problems, but if you really want to use Enso with administrative applications, you have two options: You can disable Vista's User Access Controls (UAC), or you can run Enso with administrative privileges. Both of these options have the side-effect of making your computer less secure, and we don't recommend either of them unless you are sure know what you're doing.



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