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Tony Rua

Feb 9, 2021, 9:11:15 AMFeb 9
to Plover
My daughter is considering going to Alfred College of Technology for stenography...will plover help her to prepare for the CaseCatalyst software that Alfred uses?

Ted Morin

Feb 9, 2021, 9:42:19 AMFeb 9
to Plover
No, Plover is pretty different from the major CAT software.

The skill of using a steno machine is required for both softwares.

CaseCatalyst has you creating a transcript, whereas Plover lets you use your steno machine as a computer keyboard.

Feb 9, 2021, 10:03:28 AMFeb 9
to Plover
I agree completely with Ted. The one thing that Plover will do is introduce the concept of a "dictionary." Every stenographic court reporter has a dictionary of English words paired to stenographic outlines, so when we "type" or write a stenographic outline or steno stroke, it'll see if that's in the dictionary and put that word on the screen. 

It may be best if she starts the school "cold" without any knowledge. It may become confusing if she reads or uses something online and then the school says something different, because there are different methods (theories) people use to "type" out the words. 

Good luck to your daughter. Remember, it's a skill that she's building, so it will likely take a lot of time and practice, but it is doable. 

Priscilla Trillo

Feb 9, 2021, 12:21:26 PMFeb 9
to Plover
No, don't do it.  If she is just starting out, the entries that are in the Plover dictionary will not match, in all likelihood, what she will be taught in the school.  If she doesn't adhere to the method taught in the class, she will be marked down.  This has been my experience as a court reporting student and former instructor.  She needs to gain a strong foundation in the theory they teach.  After that, though, she will be able to modify it to fit her own style of writing, which will be dependent on a number of factors which are too numerous to list here.  If her primary goal is to do court and/or deposition reporting, she needs to stick with a true court reporting software that allows quick and easy transcript production, such as allowing the attorneys during the proceedings to view and even annotate the transcript in real time as well as have the same transcript be proofread by another individual. in case the attorney(s) need it immediately. 

Plover is a great alternative for nonlegal stenographic reporters.  But for legal proceedings, stick with CaseCAT or Eclipse or any of the other court reporting software.  She can, in future, transfer her dictionary (database of her method of writing for text translation) to Plover if she desires.  Some legal court reporters use professional court reporting software for transcript production and at the same time use Plover on a second keyboard for data entry in other programs.  The thing is, though, when a dictionary is transferred from one software to another, certain adjustments have to be made.  Also, currently there is no way for a dictionary in Plover to be transferred to a court reporting software, as far as I am aware.  This may change in the future.  At the present time, one can transfer a personal dictionary from CaseCAT to Plover.  

Best regards,

Priscilla Trillo

Glen Warner

May 10, 2021, 6:15:26 PMMay 10
to Plover
I am going to disagree with pretty much everybody here.
If your daughter would be able to get an RTF copy of the school's dictionary, she could load that into Plover (after unchecking the other dictionaries), but only use it for homework (finger drills, practicing the new outlines and etc., with feedback via something like WordPad or Jarte:
On this end, I actually started using CAT software while I was in Theory (digitalCAT, for the curious). I hung out in the digitalCAT forums, read a lot, and pretty much taught myself how to use it -- mostly because I didn't like the way the "CAT" software they had installed on the computers in the labs worked (I think it was called "RealWrite" or something like that).
I will agree that Plover and Case are vastly different from each other, but when I switched from digitalCAT to Eclipse, I used what I learned in digitalCAT to get started ... and did the same thing with Case when I was taking a class in that.
With those caveats, chances are good your daughter will be just fine. Plus, she'll have a backup of her dictionaries should she decide to switch to a different CAT software later.
One thing I did in each of the CATs I learned was to set up a kind of "template" with all of my dictionaries selected and which writer I was using, and left a shortcut to that file on the desktop.
Each time I needed to use the program, all I had to do was double-click that shortcut, and my dictionaries and writer were automatically loaded, and that was that. When I was finished, I would do a "Save As," give the file another name, thereby leaving the "template" unmolested.
Great time saver!
Well. Good luck to your daughter! I'm sure she'll be fine. Otherwise, send her here to look around! Chances are good there are one or two Case experts available should she find herself stuck.
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