Learning Stenography

Ted Morin edited this page Jan 11, 2017 · 7 revisions

Stenography was traditionally taught in schools, and still is today. However, because of Open Steno, there are increasingly self-taught stenographers. Plover has everything you need to teach yourself stenography.

Also see this Wiki's Glossary to learn some common terminology that comes up in steno materials.

Table of Contents

Tutorial / Textbook / Drills

These sites aim to teach you steno, from the layout to the terminology to the strokes.

  • Learn Plover!

    Learn Plover! is a free online textbook by Zack Brown, based on his steno tutoring sessions with Mirabai Knight. It offers a step-by-step introduction to Plover for beginners, with practice material at the end of every chapter. The accompanying exercises are available online in several places, notably:

    • Steno Jig: Nice stroke hints and lookahead display, but only has the lessons that are written into Learn Plover (the first four chapters), plus drills for common words and random sentences with numbers.

    • Di's Plover, Learn! Has user-contributed lessons for the later chapters where Learn Plover doesn't provide exercises, plus some additional lessons of its own, including a large collection of fairy tales. Requires Adobe Flash or Google Chrome.

  • Qwerty Steno

    Qwerty Steno is a fantastic resource which has a tutorial on steno theory written by Mike Neale of the Open Steno community.

  • Plover Dojo

    A lovely visual approach to learning the keyboard and basic chords, using a standard QWERTY keyboard, by JR, Jay Liu, and Myrntillae Nash.


If you want to eventually caption speakers, you will need to be able to take dictation.

  • Steno Arcade Steno Arcade is a project funded by the Open Steno Project, developed by For All To Play. It contains Steno Hero, a game where you write lyrics in time with a singer and get graded on accuracy. You can create custom song files for use in the game by using wavelyric.

  • YouTube

    YouTube videos will offer a good start for dictation. You can find dictations on YouTube, as well as material designed for ESL students, and speeches by your favorite speaker.

  • Television

    Try captioning your favorite TV show once you are able to.

  • Court Reporting Help

    CRH has some free dictation posts. Especially useful is the Magic Drill, for beginners and experts alike.

Other Typing Sites

Sites not made for steno are not ideal for use with Plover, but they offer good quality practice material for the intermediate stenographer, or to judge your skills with a metric.

Materials to Print

When starting to learn the steno layout, you might be using a QWERTY keyboard and you'll need to map between them. It's helpful to have a chart printed in case you get lost.