Thinking Outside of the Box: Two Creative Uses for Snap Core First

Thinking Outside of the Box: Two Creative Uses for Snap Core First

Download the FREE Snap Core First app by Tobii Dynavox LLC,, iPad only, iOS 10.0 or later.

This version of the app does NOT have voice output unless you either activate it via IAP or are an ASHA certified SLP who has set up a free MyTobiiDynavox account and gone through the steps to verify your status (

For these two creative uses you don’t need to worry about activating voice output. These should also work for those who own the paid version of this app but I don’t have that version so I can’t verify that.

Idea # 1: Use this free app as a tool to access PCS symbols to use in another app (especially helpful if you need the PCS High Contrast symbols).

  1. Set up a new User using the emergent communicator 1×1 grid size.
  2. On the Supported Navigation page, tap on one of the “Your Topic” buttons.
  3. Tap the pencil gear icon in the top right corner to go into Edit Mode.
  4. Tap on the button.
  5. Then tap on the “Button” tool at the bottom of the screen.
  6. Tap on “Style” to choose the Button Background Color (use black for High Contrast symbols), Button Border Color (use one to match the color of your button background), Button Label Color (the best color may vary based on that child’s visual needs…. I often use yellow or red when creating High Contrast buttons), the Font, Font Size and Button Layout (choose “Image Only” if you will be using the symbol in another app unless you want the image to have a label).
  7. Tap on “Content”
  8. Type in the name of the symbol you want in the “Label” area
    Then tap on the magnifying glass and swipe to see all of the image options. Tap on an image and “done” to select it.
  9. If you like how it looks, take a screenshot and crop the picture. I typically crop them into a square since many apps do better with that.
  10. I set up folders on my iPad Camera Roll to organize symbols so I can find them quickly later. 

Idea #2: Use this free app as a tool to make printed communication boards, personalized core boards, PECS cards, symbol label cards, cards for visual schedules, visual sequences, story props and other visuals.

I recently discovered that you can create your own custom grid size to print. Keep in mind the printing feature in this app was designed to be an easy way to print a no-tech version of that user’s vocabulary to use as a backup so there will be some work involved to set it up to print other things. But since it’s free it may be worth it to some folks who specifically want PCS / Boardmaker symbols. If that’s you…. continue reading the steps outlined below. It took a lot of trial and error to figure out the easiest way to do that so I’m sharing a few tips:

  1. Set up a new user using one of the emergent communicator grid sizes (1×1, 1×2, 2×2, 2×3) since these all have the navigation buttons, message bar and toolbar hidden. The home page in these smaller grid sets is “Supported Navigation”.
  2. Tap on one of the “Your Topic” buttons.
  3. Tap on Page – Grid Size – toggle off Match Page Set. Then tap Grid Size – Custom Grid Size. After trying several combinations, I ended up with a setting of Rows: 5 & Columns: 7 to get a grid that when printed has 1.5” x 1.5” symbol cards (a size I commonly used when printing PECS symbols). If you are creating a visual support for steps in a sequence, think about how many steps you want depicted and then choose the number of columns to match that (or rows to match that if you are doing a top to bottom vertical visual schedule). If you are creating big symbol labels, then choose a size with bigger buttons. As you try various combinations to see what will best suit your needs, I highly suggest just having one button with a light grey border (no symbol) to test print before moving on to the rest of the steps.
  4. Next go to “Page Set” to set several global settings so you won’t have to set them for each button (font, font size, label top/image bottom, “very small” grid margins, “clear” page background color)
  5. Tap on “Page” again. Delete the “Topic Words” and “Supports” buttons and then swipe down and delete all of the buttons you don’t plan on filling with symbols. Be sure to swipe down to the second and third pages and delete those as well since the default seems to be three pages and they will all print unless you either delete the buttons (there isn’t an option to set what pages you want printed when it pulls up your AirPrint printer)
  6. Tap on “Button”. If you want a full grid of buttons, use the “Select All” tool to select all buttons and then adjust the color of the button background, button border and button text. I used “Clear” for the Button background and “Ash” gray Button border to avoid wasting ink. Choose “Black” for the background if you are creating High Contrast symbols. There is also a “Multiselect” tool that’s helpful when wanting to easily adjust these settings for multiple buttons (but not wanting a full grid).
  7. To print, turn on your AirPrint capable printer.
  8. While in edit mode, tap the “Page” button – Print Pages – Print – Next – toggle off all of those items – Print – Select Printer – tap the name of your printer – you’ll see a preview of what will print (this is how I figured out the extra buttons on pages 2 & 3 that I needed to delete) and you’ll have the option to toggle on Black and White or leave it on default of Color and how many copies you want – then tap Print. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a way to toggle off the black header strip so that will waste some ink.

Note: These ideas are only being shared as creative ways to use an app that you have to create items to help YOUR patients/students. You should NOT use symbols from any apps or websites in items that you plan to sell or share on sites like Teachers Pay Teachers, Boom Cards, SeeSaw, etc… You should purchase clip art or a subscription to a website offering a Commercial License for those purposes.

Have other creative ways that you use this app or other apps? I’d love to hear from you. The best way to reach me is via Facebook messaging over on my OMazing Kids page.


Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC
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1 thought on “Thinking Outside of the Box: Two Creative Uses for Snap Core First

  1. Pingback: {AAC Tips} How SLPs can get FREE access to AAC apps, AAC app user groups, funding options & more! (updated 8/24/20) | OMazing Kids

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