Does anyone use the mini keyboard that fits on top of the writer?   Do you  really like it?  Or did you try it out and hated it?   I'm talking about the one that's sold by Stenograph.  It's a wireless keyboard for 68 bucks and the rack that fits on your machine is about the same price too.  I'm afraid it might be one of those things that sounds good, but turns out to be impractical.

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It would be very easy to put a little platform on a StenoDesk/Table and put a mini-keyboard or full-size keyboard on top of the StenoDesk/Table over the stenotype machine.

To view a StenoDesk/Table go to


Click any of the website images to enlarge them for better viewing.

If anyone is interested in how to make a StenoDesk/Table, they can contact me for info on the size of the cut-out in the desk or table and height of the StenoDesk or StenoTable.

I used to mount a stenotypist's handwarmer on top of a StenoDesk.

The best StenoDesk/Table will have wheels on it.

The StenoDesk/Table is most helpful in courtroom situations where you want to have docket sheets or short calendar sheets in front of you for reference. 

In the old days court reporters used to keep a paper index of the matters heard.  In the old days a good index saved reporters from having to read through entire packs of notes to find cases heard. 

In the old days a lot of reporters didn't even keep an index sheet.  So those reporters had to read one or several packs of notes in their entirety to find the portions of the notes where specific cases were heard. 

In high volume courts where many, many cases were being heard, sometimes it was very difficult to even keep a handwritten list of cases heard.  In those cases I used to put in x's in the index to show that cases where heard which I didn't have time to write on the paper index sheet.

Things are somewhat easier today.  In the old days we would have short calendar days where we would go from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. hearing legal motions on dozens of cases.  Today they have consent calendars where most legal motions aren't even heard in court anymore.




Hi, Deborah,

Did you buy this one at Fry's.  If so, could you tell me the brand?  I am looking for one with a USB connection because the wireless one I currently have is unreliable.

I bought the first one at Fry's (for ten bucks!) but after it died and I went back for another, it had been discontinued.  I think I got that one on eBay.  I absolutely love it.  I should probably hunt it down and buy a few more.

OMG, I just tried to find it -- found them USED for $199.  Unbelievable.  Who would pay that much?  It was at the most 20 bucks new.

I had to laugh when I saw the picture with all the cords.  Typical setup nowadays.  I am Jerry Lefler.  27 years ago I created the Digitext theory and translation logic, as well as the first fully electronic hall-effect keyboard, which Stenograph and the other vendors have just now started copying, only 27 years later!  Here is a picture of latest unit I am starting to market.  The keyboard is fully electronic, with ability to adjust "registration" point of each key electronically.  It interfaces to the onboard 10-inch netbook which runs whatever software you want (CaseCat, Eclipse, ProCAT)  Stenovation's DigitaCat is what is running on display units.  Now you can edit on the fly in your own CAT software as you write.  Unit has full Windows, web camera, 2 availalbe USB ports, internal/external microphone (No need really for external mics) wireless connectivity, SD card, and everything you could want in a system, all for just $2,495!!!  If anyone wants more information, you can contact me at and I'd be glad to give you more information, pics, etc.


I couldn't live without my mini keyboard.  I don't like using the tray because it makes the keyboard too far away for quick edits.  I do a lot of real-time, so getting a brief defined quickly is crucial for survival.  I've tried several different kinds.  Some are very loud; some are not so loud.  Some are big and bulky; some are too tiny for my Fred Flinstone fingers.  Be sure of the return policy.  I've wasted money on quite a few of these babies trying to find just the right one.

I velcro the keyboard right to the top of my steno machine.  I have a ProCAT Stylus, which has a blank area once you lift the screen up that is the perfect place for a keyboard. 

And I found THE PERFECT wireless mini keyboard on  It was called the iMini.  I say "was" because it's unfortunately not available anymore.  I'm still sad.  And I live in fear of it breaking or something, so I bought a Apple wireless keyboard as a spare (  It works with Windows but doesn't have a Windows key or a couple other keys I prefer having, but it works.  And it's nice and quiet, very low profile.


Does anyone have a keyboard attached to their Diamante?  The Diamante screen is in the way and doesn't go all the way down I don't think.  I'd like to see a picture of that setup if anyone has one.

Kelli, Stenographs sells an attachment to use a keyboard with the Diamante.  I bought one but haven't used it yet. I actually sat my MacBook Air on top of mine the other day just to see if it would sit there, and it does, but with both surfaces slippery, I wouldn't write a job with it just sitting there.  I either need to get a skin for the laptop and put Velcro on that and the machine, or I need to use the tray and put the Velcro on that.  I also have a few wireless Apple keyboards, so I suppose I could go that route, too.

Hi, Martha!  I know you've already gotten a lot of responses, and I know many reporters love to use a mini keyboard.  But there's something to be said about editing right from the writer keyboard.  I do it all day, every day, writing in realtime, and it is truly wonderful.  Once you click with it ... editing from the keyboard ... you won't miss that mini typewriter-like keyboard at all.  Anything I can do on the netbook keyboard I can do from the writer keyboard.  Good luck finding something that works for you, Martha!


Mary Ann ~ What do you use for your letter alphabet from the machine?  Just curious.

Hi, Alice.  It's hard to remember when not writing!

Fingerspelling during a job, I use A-FPLT, B-FPLT, and they all come out in caps.

Entering a global from the machine, for capital letters, I add asterisk+z, so:

A*Z = A

B*Z = B

C*Z = C

For small letters, I just add z, so:

A-Z = a

B-Z = b

C-Z = c

This works well for me, as I rarely use the Z key for anything.  Also, for editing from the writer, it's helpful to have a DELETE SPACE stroke (mine is DLAEU*S) and a HARD SPACE stroke (mine is HAEU*S) and also a HYPHEN (mine is HIF).


You are right, Mary Ann.  We should do a lot of editing from our machine.  I just do the basics like go back and fill in untranslates or change one word into another.   But sometimes on a particularly slow job (interpreted) I will be editing altogether another transcript in between the question and answer, like I did today.  I think I edited 50 pages yesterday during a depo.

I still don't have a mini keyboard but just thinking about it.  If the setup was truly convenient I might use one.

I use a white mini (Microsoft on sale at Fry's for $29) over my white writer (yes, I have coordination issues).

My only gripe is that it's tough to fit under many conference room tables.  I use it about half the time.


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