Plover (rhymes with "hover") is a free, open source stenography engine. It allows individuals to replace their keyboard and write into any program at speeds of over 200 words per minute.
The art of stenography has existed for over a century, and has been computerized since the late twentieth century. All over the world, professional stenographers write at realtime speeds in order to take depositions and caption live television. Plover brings this powerful technology to anyone who is willing to learn it.
The Open Steno Project, formed to support Plover and related projects, acts as a driver for truly free steno-related resources. While Plover is at the core of the OSP's effort, it is just as important to ensure that we have affordable hardware and open learning resources. Newcomers are encouraged to read through Learn Plover!, a free online textbook, and to see Steno Arcade, a free game made for stenographers-in-training.
Before there was Plover, there was deposition software, often called CAT software. While this software is very useful for stenographers making depositions, it is not well-fitted to any other purpose. It is sandboxed, proprietary, and often bloated. Plover is a small, slick Python application that you run in the background. It acts as a translator to read steno movements and then emulate keystrokes, so the programs you use can't tell that you are using steno.
This means that you can use Plover to chat on Facebook, write into Microsoft Word, browse the web, control your media, use the commandline, fire off keyboard shortcuts, open and close programs, navigate with arrow keys, write code, or anything else you could do with a regular keyboard, but at much greater speeds!
Plover is used today by hundreds of people, with ranging skillsets. It is used by both professional stenographers, as well as transcriptionists, and by programmers. If you want to know more about the community, it's best to join them for a chat.
Plover ain't your normal steno software. It's packed with many features which make it a great keyboard replacement.
Plover sees regular updates, and accepts bug reports, feature requests, art, and usability ideas. Please see Plover's GitHub if you would like to contribute. Please follow below to see the latest releases and installation instructions.