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Word prediction

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Word prediction is used to reduce the number of keystrokes that a person must type, and thus increases speed. Word prediction software tries to guess, or predict, what the person is typing. Based on the last word typed and/or the first few letters of the current word, the computer generates a list of possible words that the person may be typing. The individual can choose the desired word from the list without having to type all of the letters in the word. For each of these options, the keystroke savings may involve only a few characters, but for an individual who may have a typing speed of only five characters per minute, the increase in speed can be significant.

Many word prediction programs are "intelligent," that is they "learn" from the vocabulary generated by the user, and then predict based on that vocabulary. Some word prediction programs allow the user to import vocabulary. This can be helpful for a user who needs a specialized vocabulary, for instance, a medical or technical vocabulary.

Word prediction is frequently used with Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Systems.

Some people also use word prediction as a means to provide spelling cues, particularly if the user is able to start a word, and then recognize it within a list of words. The person may spend a fair amount of time, however, reviewing word lists.