2 Fingerspelling (Left side of steno keyboard)

It is possible to write all letters of the alphabet using the \(*\) key in combination with the keys on the left side and bottom of the steno keyboard. Some consonants and vowels can be written by just using the matching key, while other letters are written using a combination of keys. The letter combinations have remained almost unchanged since the invention of the stenotype, and writers have to memorize them.

2.1 The \(*\) key

The \(*\) or asterisk key is one of the most important keys on the board. It can have multiple uses. Its primary use is to act as a backspace. When a “misstroke” occurs (something is written incorrectly through wrong strokes), the \(*\) key is pressed in order reverse the operation, and Plover effectively backspaces to remove what was just written. Try it out on the text box below.

The \(*\) key is also used, as covered in this section, as part of the stroke to write a letter.

2.2 Vowels (A, O, E, U, I)

AOEU

A with left thumb

To write the letter a, press on the A and \(*\) keys at the same time, using the left thumb for A, and the left or right index finger for \(*\). Use the \(*\) key by itself to correct any mistakes.

A*

aaaa

O with left thumb

To write the letter o, press on the O and \(*\) keys at the same time, using the left thumb for O, and the left or right index finger for \(*\).

O*

oooo

E with right thumb

To write the letter e, press on the E and \(*\) keys at the same time, using the right thumb for E, and the left or right index finger for \(*\).

*E

eeee

Pressing E without the \(*\) key is a brief which represents the word he. Briefs, or abbreviations, are stroke combinations for common words so they can be written quickly rather than in full. For more on briefs, see section 3.1.

E

he he he he

Notice how with writing briefs (words), Plover will automatically insert spaces between words.

U with right thumb

To write the letter u, press on the U and \(*\) keys at the same time, using the right thumb for U, and the left or right index finger for \(*\).

*U

uuuu

The brief for the word you is represented by U.

U

you you you you

I with right thumb

To write the letter i, press on the E, U and \(*\) keys at the same time, using the right thumb to press on both E and U, and the left or right index finger for \(*\).

*EU

iiii

The brief for the word I is represented by EU.

EU

I I I I

2.3 Top row (S, T, P, H)

The keys on the left top row are S, T, P, and H. On most keyboards, the S key is split into two, one on the top row, and one on the bottom, while most steno machines have one joined S key.

S with left pinky

To write the letter s, press on the S- key and \(*\) keys at the same time, using the left pinky for S-, and the left or right index finger for \(*\).

S

ssss

Keys on the left side of the keyboard are usually represented by the key followed by the hyphen, such as S-. This is especially important as there is another S key, represented by -S, on the right side of the keyboard.

The brief for the word is is represented by S-.

S-

is is is is

T with left ring finger

To write the letter t, press on the T- key and \(*\) keys at the same time, using the left ring finger for T-, and the left or right index finger for \(*\).

T*

tttt

The brief for it is represented by T-.

T-

it it it it

P with left middle finger

To write the letter p, press on the P- key and \(*\) keys at the same time, using the left middle finger for P-, and the left or right index finger for \(*\).

P*

pppp

H with left index finger

To write the letter h, press on the H- key and \(*\) keys at the same time, using the left index finger for H-, and the left or right index finger for \(*\).

H*

hhhh

The brief for had is represented by H-.

H-

had had had had

2.4 Bottom row (K, W, R)

K with the left ring finger

To write the letter k, press on the K- key and \(*\) keys at the same time, using the left ring finger for K-, and the left or right index finger for \(*\).

K*

kkkk

The brief for can is represented by K-.

K-

can can can can

W with the left middle finger

To write the letter w, press on the W- key and \(*\) keys at the same time, using the left middle finger for W-, and the left or right index finger for \(*\).

W*

wwww

The brief for with is represented by W-.

W-

with with with with

R with the left index finger

To write the letter r, press on the R- key and \(*\) keys at the same time, using the left index finger for R-, and the left or right index finger for \(*\).

R*

rrrr

The brief for are is represented by R-.

R-

are are are are

2.5 Vertical two-key chords (D, B, L)

D by T and K

The letter d is written by pressing on both T- and K- with the left ring finger along with the \(*\) key.

TK*

dddd

The brief for did is represented by TK-.

TK-

did did did did

B by P and W

The letter b is written by pressing on both P- and W- with the left middle finger along with the \(*\) key.

PW*

bbbb

The brief for about is represented by PB-.

PB-

about about about about

L by H and R

The letter l is written by pressing on both H- and R- with the left middle finger along with the \(*\) key.

HR*

llll

The brief for will is represented by HR-.

HR-

will will will will

2.6 Horizontal two-key chords (V, C, F, M, Q)

V by S and R

The letter v is written by pressing on both S- and R- with the left pinky and index fingers along with the \(*\) key.

SR*

vvvv

The brief for have is represented by SR-.

SR-

have have have have

C by K and R

The letter c is written by pressing on both K- and R- with the left ring and index fingers along with the \(*\) key.

KR*

cccc

The brief for consider is represented by KR-.

KR

consider consider consider consider

F by T and P

The letter f is written by pressing on both T- and P- with the left ring and middle fingers along with the \(*\) key.

TP*

ffff

The brief for if is represented by TP-.

TP

if if if if

M by P and H

The letter m is written by pressing on both P- and H- with the left middle and index fingers along with the \(*\) key.

PH*

mmmm

The brief for pH is represented by PH-.

PH-

pH pH pH pH

Q by K and W

The letter q is written by pressing on both K- and W- with the left ring and middle fingers along with the \(*\) key.

KW*

qqqq

The brief for request is represented by KW-.

KW

request request request request

2.7 Remaining letters (G, J, N, X, Y, Z)

G by T-, K-, P- and W-

The letter g is written by pressing on T-, K-, P- and W- along with the \(*\) key.

TKPW*

gggg

The brief for go is represented by TKPW-.

TKPW

go go go go

J by S-, K-, W- and R-

The letter j is written by pressing on S-, K-, W- and R- along with the \(*\) key.

SKWR*

jjjj

N by T-, P- and H-

The letter n is written by pressing on T-, P- and H- along with the \(*\) key.

TPH*

nnnn

The brief for in is represented by TPH-.

TPH

in in in in

X by K- and P-

The letter x is written by pressing on K- and P- along with the \(*\) key.

KP*

xxxx

The brief for examine is represented by KP-.

KP

examine examine examine examine

Y by K-,W- and R-

The letter y is written by pressing on K-,W- and R- along with the \(*\) key.

KWR*

yyyy

The brief for why is represented by KWR-.

KWR

why why why why

Z by S-, T, K-, P- and W-

The letter z is written by pressing on S, T-, K-, P- and W- along with the \(*\) key.

STKPW

zzzz

The brief for and is represented by SKP-.

SKP

and and and and

2.8 Space

The stroke for writing a space is S-P, using the left hand S- and the right hand -P which is to be pressed with the right middle finger.

S-P

In most cases, the space stroke is not needed as Plover will automatically insert spaces between words as needed. However, sometimes spaces are desired or needed.

2.9 Fingerspelling Capitalization

To fingerspell capital letters, use the -P key on the right in combination with the left hand keys and the \(*\) key.

For example, capital H.

H*P

HHHH
Briefs
Word Stroke Note
he E hE
you U like the sound
I I letter and article are the same
is S- iS
it T- iT
had H- Had
can K- Kan
with W- With
are R- aRe
did TK- Did
about PB- aBout
will HR- wiLL
have SR- haVe
consider KR- ConsideR
if TP- iF
pH PH-
request KW- reQuest
go TKPB- Go
in TPH- iN
examine KP- eXamine
why KWR- like it sounds
and SKP-

2.10 Exercises

2.10.1 Fingerspell

  1. ba ba ba be be be bi bi bi bo bo bo bu bu bu
  2. ca ca ca ce ce ce ci ci ci co co co cu cu cu
  3. fa fa fa fe fe fe fi fi fi fo fo fo fu fu fu
  4. ga ga ga ge ge ge gi gi gi go go go gu gu gu
  5. ha ha ha he he he hi hi hi ho ho ho hu hu hu
  6. ja ja ja je je je ji ji ji jo jo jo ju ju ju
  7. ka ka ka ke ke ke ki ki ki ko ko ko ku ku ku
  8. la la la le le le li li li lo lo lo lu lu lu
  9. ma ma ma me me me mi mi mi mo mo mo mu mu mu
  10. na na na ne ne ne ni ni ni no no no nu nu nu
  11. pa pa pa pe pe pe pi pi pi po po po pu pu pu
  12. ra ra ra re re re ri ri ri ro ro ro ru ru ru
  13. sa sa sa se se se si si si so so so su su su
  14. ta ta ta te te te ti ti ti to to to tu tu tu
  15. va va va ve ve ve vi vi vi vo vo vo vu vu vu
  16. wa wa wa we we we wi wi wi wo wo wo wu wu wu
  17. ya ya ya ye ye ye yi yi yi yo yo yo yu yu yu
  18. za za za ze ze ze zi zi zi zo zo zo zu zu zu
  19. ab ab ab eb eb eb ib ib ib ob ob ob ub ub ub
  20. ac ac ac ec ec ec ic ic ic oc oc oc uc uc uc
  21. ad ad ad ed ed ed id id id od od od ud ud ud
  22. af af af ef ef ef if if if of of of uf uf uf
  23. ag ag ag eg eg eg ig ig ig og og og ug ug ug
  24. ah ah ah oh oh oh
  25. ak ak ak ek ek ek ik ik ik ok ok ok uk uk uk
  26. al al al el el el il il il ol ol ol ul ul ul
  27. am am am em em em im im im om om om um um um
  28. an an an en en en in in in on on on un un un
  29. ap ap ap ep ep ep ip ip ip op op op up up up
  30. ar ar ar er er er ir ir ir or or or ur ur ur
  31. as as as es es es is is is os os os us us us
  32. at at at et et et it it it ot ot ot ut ut ut
  33. av av av ev ev ev iv iv iv ov ov ov uv uv uv
  34. aw aw aw ew ew ew ow ow ow
  35. ax ax ax ex ex ex ix ix ix ox ox ox ux ux ux
  36. ay ay ay ey ey ey oy oy oy
  37. az az az ez ez ez iz iz iz oz oz oz uz uz uz
  38. bla bla bla ble ble ble bli bli bli blo blo blo blu blu blu
  39. bra bra bra bre bre bre bri bri bri bro bro bro bru bru bru
  40. cha cha cha che che che chi chi chi cho cho cho chu chu chu
  41. cla cla cla cle cle cle cli cli cli clo clo clo clu clu clu
  42. cra cra cra cre cre cre cri cri cri cro cro cro cru cru cru
  43. dra dra dra dre dre dre dri dri dri dro dro dro dru dru dru
  44. dwa dwa dwa dwe dwe dwe dwi dwi dwi
  45. fla fla fla fle fle fle fli fli fli flo flo flo flu flu flu
  46. fra fra fra fre fre fre fri fri fri fro fro fro fru fru fru
  47. gla gla gla gle gle gle gli gli gli glo glo glo glu glu glu
  48. gra gra gra gre gre gre gri gri gri gro gro gro gru gru gru
  49. kna kna kna kne kne kne kni kni kni kno kno kno knu knu knu
  50. pha pha pha phe phe phe phi phi phi pho pho pho phu phu phu
  51. pla pla pla ple ple ple pli pli pli plo plo plo plu plu plu
  52. pra pra pra pre pre pre pri pri pri pro pro pro pru pru pru
  53. qua qua qua que que que qui qui qui quo quo quo
  54. sca sca sca sce sce sce sci sci sci sco sco sco scu scu scu
  55. sha sha sha she she she shi shi shi sho sho sho shu shu shu
  56. ska ska ska ske ske ske ski ski ski sko sko sko sku sku sku
  57. sla sla sla sle sle sle sli sli sli slo slo slo slu slu slu
  58. sma sma sma sme sme sme smi smi smi smo smo smo smu smu smu
  59. sna sna sna sne sne sne sni sni sni sno sno sno snu snu snu
  60. spa spa spa spe spe spe spi spi spi spo spo spo spu spu spu
  61. sta sta sta ste ste ste sti sti sti sto sto sto stu stu stu
  62. swa swa swa swe swe swe swi swi swi swo swo swo swu swu swu
  63. tha tha tha the the the thi thi thi tho tho tho thu thu thu
  64. tra tra tra tre tre tre tri tri tri tro tro tro tru tru tru
  65. twa twa twa twe twe twe twi twi twi two two two
  66. wha wha wha whe whe whe whi whi whi who who who
  67. wra wra wra wre wre wre wri wri wri wro wro wro wru wru wru
  68. BA BA BA BE BE BE BI BI BI BO BO BO BU BU BU
  69. CA CA CA CE CE CE CI CI CI CO CO CO CU CU CU
  70. FA FA FA FE FE FE FI FI FI FO FO FO FU FU FU
  71. GA GA GA GE GE GE GI GI GI GO GO GO GU GU GU
  72. HA HA HA HE HE HE HI HI HI HO HO HO HU HU HU
  73. JA JA JA JE JE JE JI JI JI JO JO JO JU JU JU
  74. KA KA KA KE KE KE KI KI KI KO KO KO KU KU KU
  75. LA LA LA LE LE LE LI LI LI LO LO LO LU LU LU
  76. MA MA MA ME ME ME MI MI MI MO MO MO MU MU MU
  77. NA NA NA NE NE NE NI NI NI NO NO NO NU NU NU
  78. PA PA PA PE PE PE PI PI PI PO PO PO PU PU PU
  79. RA RA RA RE RE RE RI RI RI RO RO RO RU RU RU
  80. SA SA SA SE SE SE SI SI SI SO SO SO SU SU SU
  81. TA TA TA TE TE TE TI TI TI TO TO TO TU TU TU
  82. VA VA VA VE VE VE VI VI VI VO VO VO VU VU VU
  83. WA WA WA WE WE WE WI WI WI WO WO WO WU WU WU
  84. YA YA YA YE YE YE YI YI YI YO YO YO YU YU YU
  85. ZA ZA ZA ZE ZE ZE ZI ZI ZI ZO ZO ZO ZU ZU ZU
  86. AB AB AB EB EB EB IB IB IB OB OB OB UB UB UB
  87. AC AC AC EC EC EC IC IC IC OC OC OC UC UC UC
  88. AD AD AD ED ED ED ID ID ID OD OD OD UD UD UD
  89. AF AF AF EF EF EF IF IF IF OF OF OF UF UF UF
  90. AG AG AG EG EG EG IG IG IG OG OG OG UG UG UG
  91. AH AH AH OH OH OH
  92. AK AK AK EK EK EK IK IK IK OK OK OK UK UK UK
  93. AL AL AL EL EL EL IL IL IL OL OL OL UL UL UL
  94. AM AM AM EM EM EM IM IM IM OM OM OM UM UM UM
  95. AN AN AN EN EN EN IN IN IN ON ON ON UN UN UN
  96. AP AP AP EP EP EP IP IP IP OP OP OP UP UP UP
  97. AR AR AR ER ER ER IR IR IR OR OR OR UR UR UR
  98. AS AS AS ES ES ES IS IS IS OS OS OS US US US
  99. AT AT AT ET ET ET IT IT IT OT OT OT UT UT UT
  100. AV AV AV EV EV EV IV IV IV OV OV OV UV UV UV
  101. AW AW AW EW EW EW OW OW OW
  102. AX AX AX EX EX EX IX IX IX OX OX OX UX UX UX
  103. AY AY AY EY EY EY OY OY OY
  104. AZ AZ AZ EZ EZ EZ IZ IZ IZ OZ OZ OZ UZ UZ UZ
  105. BLA BLA BLA BLE BLE BLE BLI BLI BLI BLO BLO BLO BLU BLU BLU
  106. BRA BRA BRA BRE BRE BRE BRI BRI BRI BRO BRO BRO BRU BRU BRU
  107. CHA CHA CHA CHE CHE CHE CHI CHI CHI CHO CHO CHO CHU CHU CHU
  108. CLA CLA CLA CLE CLE CLE CLI CLI CLI CLO CLO CLO CLU CLU CLU
  109. CRA CRA CRA CRE CRE CRE CRI CRI CRI CRO CRO CRO CRU CRU CRU
  110. DRA DRA DRA DRE DRE DRE DRI DRI DRI DRO DRO DRO DRU DRU DRU
  111. DWA DWA DWA DWE DWE DWE DWI DWI DWI
  112. FLA FLA FLA FLE FLE FLE FLI FLI FLI FLO FLO FLO FLU FLU FLU
  113. FRA FRA FRA FRE FRE FRE FRI FRI FRI FRO FRO FRO FRU FRU FRU
  114. GLA GLA GLA GLE GLE GLE GLI GLI GLI GLO GLO GLO GLU GLU GLU
  115. GRA GRA GRA GRE GRE GRE GRI GRI GRI GRO GRO GRO GRU GRU GRU
  116. KNA KNA KNA KNE KNE KNE KNI KNI KNI KNO KNO KNO KNU KNU KNU
  117. PHA PHA PHA PHE PHE PHE PHI PHI PHI PHO PHO PHO PHU PHU PHU
  118. PLA PLA PLA PLE PLE PLE PLI PLI PLI PLO PLO PLO PLU PLU PLU
  119. PRA PRA PRA PRE PRE PRE PRI PRI PRI PRO PRO PRO PRU PRU PRU
  120. QUA QUA QUA QUE QUE QUE QUI QUI QUI QUO QUO QUO
  121. SCA SCA SCA SCE SCE SCE SCI SCI SCI SCO SCO SCO SCU SCU SCU
  122. SHA SHA SHA SHE SHE SHE SHI SHI SHI SHO SHO SHO SHU SHU SHU
  123. SKA SKA SKA SKE SKE SKE SKI SKI SKI SKO SKO SKO SKU SKU SKU
  124. SLA SLA SLA SLE SLE SLE SLI SLI SLI SLO SLO SLO SLU SLU SLU
  125. SMA SMA SMA SME SME SME SMI SMI SMI SMO SMO SMO SMU SMU SMU
  126. SNA SNA SNA SNE SNE SNE SNI SNI SNI SNO SNO SNO SNU SNU SNU
  127. SPA SPA SPA SPE SPE SPE SPI SPI SPI SPO SPO SPO SPU SPU SPU
  128. STA STA STA STE STE STE STI STI STI STO STO STO STU STU STU
  129. SWA SWA SWA SWE SWE SWE SWI SWI SWI SWO SWO SWO SWU SWU SWU
  130. THA THA THA THE THE THE THI THI THI THO THO THO THU THU THU
  131. TRA TRA TRA TRE TRE TRE TRI TRI TRI TRO TRO TRO TRU TRU TRU
  132. TWA TWA TWA TWE TWE TWE TWI TWI TWI TWO TWO TWO
  133. WHA WHA WHA WHE WHE WHE WHI WHI WHI WHO WHO WHO
  134. WRA WRA WRA WRE WRE WRE WRI WRI WRI WRO WRO WRO WRU WRU WRU

2.10.2 Play the crossword

2.10.3 Write with sound

Controls
  1. is it is it is it
  2. it is it is it is
  3. is he is he is he
  4. he is he is he is
  5. are you are you are you
  6. you are you are you are
  7. you had you had you had
  8. it had it had it had
  9. he had he had he had
  10. I had I had I had
  11. had you had you had you
  12. had it had it had it
  13. had he had he had he
  14. had I had I had I
  15. you can you can you can
  16. it can it can it can
  17. he can he can he can
  18. I can I can I can
  19. can you can you can you
  20. can it can it can it
  21. can he can he can he
  22. can I can I can I
  23. you did you did you did
  24. it did it did it did
  25. he did he did he did
  26. I did I did I did
  27. did you did you did you
  28. did it did it did it
  29. did he did he did he
  30. did I did I did I
  31. you did consider you did consider you did consider
  32. he did consider he did consider he did consider
  33. I did consider I did consider I did consider
  34. about it about it about it
  35. about you about you about you
  36. will you will you will you
  37. will it will it will it
  38. will he will he will he
  39. will I will I will I
  40. will you consider will you consider will you consider
  41. will he consider will he consider will he consider
  42. will I consider will I consider will I consider
  43. you will you will you will
  44. it will it will it will
  45. he will he will he will
  46. I will I will I will
  47. you have you have you have
  48. I have I have I have
  49. if you if you if you
  50. if it if it if it
  51. if he if he if he
  52. if I if I if I
  53. if you will if you will if you will
  54. if it will if it will if it will
  55. if he will if he will if he will
  56. if I will if I will if I will
  57. you request you request you request
  58. he request he request he request
  59. I request I request I request
  60. you go you go you go
  61. he go he go he go
  62. I go I go I go
  63. you go in you go in you go in
  64. he go in he go in he go in
  65. I go in I go in I go in
  66. why you why you why you
  67. why he why he why he
  68. why I why I why I
  69. you and I you and I you and I
  70. he and I he and I he and I

2.10.4 Write random sentences

A random subset of sentences will be synthesized. Be patient with the synthesis. It will take a few seconds, especially the first time. The loweest possible WPM is 80, so to decrease overall WPM, increase word gap.

Show generated text
Press submit to generate text

2.11 Summary

  • Learning fingerspelling of the alphabet with left hand keys on steno keyboard
  • Learn briefs using left hand and vowel keys
  • Learn how to use the asterisk to delete and the space stroke for adding a space