Stenography is a way to write in shorthand, a chorded input system that allows very fast input (considerably higher than normal touch typing), by using shorthand chords and a dictionary. This plugin implements the GeminiPR protocol that supports a number of systems, including Plover.

While Plover supports a normal QWERTY keyboard too, having a dedicated plugin comes with important advantages:

  • No need to toggle Plover on and off, because the normal keys are not taken over by Plover anymore.

  • Easier toggling, because you only have to toggle the layer, not Plover too. If you switch back to a keyboard layer, without toggling Plover off, nothing unexpected will happen. Plover will not take over the keys.

  • The GeminiPR protocol supports language systems other than English.

Do note that the GeminiPR protocol is implemented over the virtual serial port, so any plugin that wants to use that port too, will run into conflicts with the Steno plugin. In other words, don’t use it together with Focus.

What is Steno? Why should I use it? How do I learn?

As mentioned above, steno (short for “stenography”) is a shorthand, chorded input system that allows very fast input - licensed stenographers are required to type 225 WPM at 95% accuracy to get their license. Although reaching that speed typically takes 2-6 years of practice and training, lower speeds comparable to or exceeding that of touch typing can reportedly be reached in only a few months.

This talk (YouTube link) gives a brief introduction to Steno, how it works, and why it is cool.

One recommend way to get started with learning Steno is with Plover. Plover is software for your computer that will interpret the steno input from your Model 01 (or other NKRO QWERTY keyboard); it is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Plover’s Beginner’s Guide is a great place to get started with Steno in general and Plover in particular.

Using the plugin

To use the plugin, simply include the header in your Sketch, tell the firmware to use the GeminiPR object, and place Steno keys on your keymap. It is best illustrated with an example:

#include <Kaleidoscope.h>
#include <Kaleidoscope-Steno.h>

// Somewhere in the keymap:
S(S1), S(S2), etc


void setup() {

Keys provided by the plugin

The plugin provides a number of keys one can put on the keymap, that allow correspond to various Steno keys. All of these must be used together with the S() macro provided by the plugin, as can be seen in the example above.

The provided keys are: FN, N1, N2, N3, N4, N5, N6, S1, S2, TL, KL, PL, WL, HL, RL, A, O, ST1, ST2, RE1, RE2, PWR, ST3, ST4, E, U, FR, RR, PR, BR, LR, GR, TR, SR, DR, N7, N8, N9, NA, NB, NC, ZR.

See the example for the default/suggested placements of each of these keys.

Plugin methods and properties

The plugin provides a GeminiPR object, with no public methods or properties.


Further reading

Starting from the example is the recommended way of getting started with the plugin.