Just wondering opinions on which is "better." lol. I have Eclipse now, but have to be honest in saying I don't really know how to use a lot of the functions I don't think. I just kind of do my realtime for myself and then basic edit with an ascii after finishing it. What are the pros and cons of each?


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Comment by Glen Warner on October 6, 2009 at 0:26
Hi, Erica.

Not sure what Denny meant about the include files. I can see if the includes were made with another software how that might cause a problem, but otherwise ...??

Denny, can you elaborate a bit?

That said, digitalCAT does NOT use a hardware key, but each copy is protected by a (software only) license key ... and you can use DC on three different computers.

Page layout is a simple matter of opening a new page in the Transcript Editor, setting things the way you want them, and choosing "Save as Template" from the File menu ... then opening a new page, and selecting Edit --> Apply Template.

The software is free to try for 90 days. I highly recommend that you download the new version and give it a try.

You might try exporting your current dictionaries in .rtf format to easily import them into DC (use the Dictionary Maintenance program to do that).

Eclipse-native commands probably won't work without some tweaking, but if you're just doing the basics, you probably don't have to worry about those too much.

Finally, have you looked at Keith Vincent's videos (for Eclipse)? They should be able to get you to the point where you're using more of Eclipse's bells and whistles ... but, since DC is free for 90 days, you might as well give it a try ... and should it be a bit confusing (that manual is a bit daunting), you could take this course.

Enjoy ...!

"For a Good (steno) Time ....."
Comment by Dennis C. Johnson on October 5, 2009 at 17:26
Erica, I tried to switch from Eclipse to Digcat several years ago and had to give it up, but that's not to say you wouldn't like it. Here is my experience, and things could have changed since then. I think Digicat is good software with nice people running the company. It's simpler and costs less. Mark K uses it and loves it and lots of other people do too. Whatever software you use, you need to take the time to learn it.

1. I use about four different theories with lots of conflicts, and Digicat doesn't have any artificial intelligence at all to help with them. There was a button to check to resolve conflicts, but don't be fooled by it. It didn't work at all for me ... and I mean didn't work AT ALL. If you don't have too many conflicts, you'll be fine there.

2. You must delete your include file dictionary entries, because Digicat goes into a crash cycle when it tries to tran one of those commands. Tech support didn't tell me this, and I was frequently trying to figure out why it crashed so much and they sort of danced around it and never told me why it was crashing.

3. It's very hard to format your page layout. You can do it in two minutes with Eclipse, but with Digicat you have to send your paper in and they make the layouts for you. This shouldn't be a big deal once you get properly set up.

4. I get lots more work done with Eclipse than with Digicat because of the above. It's amazing how the time adds up with the little things. The newest features are wonderful. When you have a name or term that is a real mouthful, you put it in once, and after that you get a list of suggested words when you make a slight typo in writing it.

5. Eclipse has many, many software "traps" that require you to carry a key around to use a laptop on your jobs and call tech support a lot. Digicat trusts their customers and lets them keep the software key on their home desktop only.

But Digicat seemed to be good software other than these few problems I had. Ended up paying $$$ to reinstate my tech support and get updated and current on tech support and am paying $695 per year for support. Believe me, Eclipse requires a current support agreement. They are very ... how do you say it ... interested in making sure you have to pay it every year.
Hope this helps! And JMHO,
Denny :)
Comment by Gina DiLuzio on October 4, 2009 at 19:25
I've been on DigitalCAT for 7yrs and have had no problems with it like other reporters who have been on Catalyst and Eclipse. There are shortcut keys to use instead of the mouse, but I just never had the time to learn them all. Actually just printed out the list last week to study them and maybe start using them..lol. The thing I love about DigitalCAT is the audio files..they're digital and take up so very little space, like 7mgs/hr. i had all my audio files on my laptop since 2002 until I downloaded them onto a hard drive a couple of years ago and erased them off my laptop. DigitalCAT is for the reporter who is not into all the bells and whistles, like me. It's very basic and gets the job done. I'm the same way that I write realtime for myself, make an ascii, and use the basic edit functions.
Comment by Julie Samford on October 4, 2009 at 15:05
Tami, the live seminar is approved for CEUs. I'll submit the DVD to NCRA for approval once it's done. I have no idea how many CEUs that will be, as this is my first time to do something like this that's pre-recorded. I'm pretty sure if it's not live, you'd have to pay a fee to NCRA to get credits. Thanks!
Comment by Tami on October 4, 2009 at 14:37
Do we get NCRA CEUs too??
Comment by Julie Samford on October 1, 2009 at 11:55
Hilarious! Those are two of my favorites, too! My intention is not to advertise here, and I hope it's not perceived that way. I've just been doing this a long time, and I know from personal experience that when people know the good stuff, it does make a difference, and I get excited about being a part of that and seeing the light bulbs go off. Anyway, my idea of super cheap is 99 dollars for what I feel like are the top 50 best features that all Eclipse users should know. :)
Comment by Tami on October 1, 2009 at 11:37
Two of my favorite words, "super" and "cheap." :)

How much, Julie?
Comment by Julie Samford on October 1, 2009 at 10:07
Hi Erica -
I can't speak to the differences because I've never used DigitalCat, but if you're wanting to learn all the best features of Eclipse, I can definitely help you with that. You might have gotten an invitation in the mail from me recently about a training seminar in Sturbridge, Mass. I'm not sure how far that is from you, but there's also a DVD of the class for super cheap if you're interested in learning the material but can't make the class. If you look under the Events listed on CSRnation, you'll see the details.

It really, really makes a huge difference when you learn how to use Eclipse. I know the last thing you want to do when you've been sitting at your computer cranking out transcripts all day is get back in front of your computer to learn software, but I promise you a little time investment will pay off! It can be overwhelming to go over everything on your own, but with a little help, it's painless. I'd love to help you get over the hump!

Comment by LizBeth on October 1, 2009 at 9:55
I tried Digital Cat a few years ago and if I remember correctly, you can choose what basic keyboard "quick keys", "hyperkeys", "hotkeys", (keyboard shortcuts) that you wish. Since I'd previously been using Eclipse I chose that set of shortcut keys and it seemed pretty much the same. I never got much past the basics of editing (adding new dictionary entries, that sort of thing) before switching back to Eclipse. I liked Digital CAT fine but there was just a problem that couldn't be worked around. Hope this helps! LBJ
Comment by Janet on October 1, 2009 at 5:29
I am a very happy Eclipse user. I've been using it since 1991. I edit from my steno machine, which is my favorite feature of Eclipse. I have the commands tied into my hyperkeys. That's another feature I like, the hyperkeys that you can customize to what works best for you. The programmable phonetics is another great feature, translation magic. There's a long list of features. Since you already own the software, you might want to look into training. I know they offer online webinars if you can't make it to a convention. I know Michael Starkman gives frequent webinars. If you're interested, here's a link:


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