Professional software contenders:  CaseCat - $4,000 .  Eclipse - $4,000.  Both of these are the the best, but most reporters prefer Eclipse. 


Procat, (Smartcat, Turbocat - made by Cheetah).  $4,000 too. 

 Aristocat - $2,800.  This is a good choice if you are not in the $4,000 financial bracket, and want to own your own software.


Rental/lease software:

Stenocat32 is the best, $600 a year (but an initial first year fee too, $400?)  Provides support.

DigitalCat - $80 a month.  Supposedly you can buy the right to use it.  Could be $2,400 or $2,800, several websites give conflicting info.  Go to Stenovations website, and it doesn't show either a $2,400 or a $2,800 - just shows the $80.00 lease.  It also has a purchase option of support for $300 a year.  Let's assume the $80 a month rental includes support.


Old software:  All assets have a lifespan.  CAT software lifespan is dependent upon new  technology - computers, laptops, printers.  Operating systems, Windows XP, 7, 8, Vista.  Old software cannot run on these newer computers - and their makers are not inclined to create patches to make them run on the newer computers (doesn't make business sense).  A lot of court reporters have replaced their beloved software - for good reason.  So moral of this paragraph, don't buy old Stenocat 32 installed on a 1990's laptop.

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I bought Eclipse software from Acculaw and have been very happy. 

Most prefer Eclipse?  Do you have the stats on that; i.e., how many reporters are on every kind of CAT software and then figure out the percentages?  Most reporters I know are on CaseCATalyst.  If you just flat out said most reporters prefer either CC or Eclipse, that would be more accurate.

Rhonda, I am just trying to simplify the choices for those who will be buying software,  That's all.  This was supposed to go on the student page, so they can see the software available and the prices, give them a basic starting point. 


As you can see, I gave the price for each, said what were the two best (which they both are the best).  Everyone of this website who have Eclipse rave about how great it is.

I think everyone, no matter software they are on, raves about how great theirs is.  But to make a blanket statement that "most reporters prefer Eclipse," I don't think that's true, nor is it fair to say to students without knowing that it is, in fact, true.  Yes, those on Eclipse rave about it.  Those on CC rave about it.  Best advice for a student or new reporter is two pick one that is used most commonly by those they will be working with.  It's always a good thing to be on the same software as someone else you know so that you can ask questions of them and see their shortcuts on how to do things.

Back to "most people prefer Eclipse" -- my friend Lisa Moskowitz would totally disagree with that, as she was on Eclipse for many years and changed to CC last year and absolutely loves it, wouldn't go back.

Choosing software is an individual, personal choice.

I do know, Rhonda, one of my friends is on CC and she has actually lost files completely at a job.  I can say that has NEVER happened with Eclipse.  That would be enough to make me a believer for sure.

Kelli, I've actually seen Eclipse reporters online who have said they've lost files.  Perhaps you've been lucky and it has just never happened to you, but I have seen it mentioned where it has happened. I think I've seen someone have issues with every software that is available, as none of them are perfect.  We just have to find the perfect one for us.  To each his own.  It's like underwear.  We all have our preference, some bikinis, some briefs, some g-strings.  We just need to find which one makes us most comfortable and makes the most sense to us.

I like the "big girl panties" as my husband calls them - way more comfortable!!

My grandma used to always give us panties for Christmas.  One year, my sister pulled them out of the pack, and she and I was laughing at how HUGE they were.  She was used to wearing bikinis, and these were "granny panties," so they did look really big.  So I told her she should go try them on just for more laughs.  She didn't think it was so funny when she emerged and they were a perfect fit.  LOL  OMG, it was hilarious. 

If I ever expect to get any action in my house, I know not to bring those out of the drawer.  LOL. 

I know, TMI, TMI.  Just couldn't help myself.  Definitely way, way off topic.  Sorry about that.

"Best advice for a student or new reporter is two pick one that is used most commonly by those they will be working with."

Rhonda, do you think that's true in both freelancing and officialships? 

Judy, I would think so because if you have others in the same town to ask for help, I think it's a good thing.  I started out on BaronData.  Why?  Because that's what everyone in my firm was on at the time.  I wanted what they had because that's what everyone around me knew.  When someone had a question, we'd ask each other.  Also, if you get on a software that someone you're familiar with is already on, I'm willing to bet that reporter would be happy to give the new reporter/student a copy of the layout files, title pages, index templates, cert pages, etc.  I know I would.

Rhonda, I realize everyone who has been working for the last twenty years and has fantastic realtime skills (which I do not) are far more knowledged than I.  I was just trying to give starter help for those newbies having to buy software - in terms of what's available and their price.  I certainly wasn't trying to offend anyone or overstep my boundaries with any statements.  I really do try to be humble.


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