dasher



DASHER(1)                        User Commands                       DASHER(1)




NAME

       dasher - graphical predictive text entry system



SYNOPSIS

       less [-wop] [filename]



DESCRIPTION

       dasher is an information-efficient text-entry interface, driven by nat-
       ural continuous pointing gestures. Dasher is a  competitive  text-entry
       system wherever a full-size keyboard cannot be used.



OPTIONS

       dasher takes the following options:

       -o     Dasher  will  appear without a text edit box and will default to
              entering text into other windows.

       -p     Dasher will open a preferences window and not the main window.

       -s     Dasher will output the entered text to stdout whenever  stopped.
              Only text entered since the last stop will be output.

       -w     Whenever Dasher is stopped, the time taken, number of characters
              entered, and number of bits of information  will  be  displayed,
              along with ratios of these quantities.



USAGE

       After  startup,  Dasher  will present the user with a window containing
       two major sections. The top portion is the edit box - text entered  via
       Dasher  will appear here, and the text may also be edited directly. The
       bottom portion is the main Dasher interface and will  display  a  blank
       background  with  a  column of letters on the right hand side. Clicking
       the mouse button will start the model, and the screen will zoom towards
       the  point  underneath  the mouse pointer. To select a letter, move the
       mouse pointer into it and watch how it zooms underneat  the  crosshair.
       Within  the selected letter, a new column of letters will appear.  Move
       the pointer over one of these letters to select it as the next  letter.
       To  correct  mistakes,  move  the  mouse  pointer  to  the  left of the
       crosshair and Dasher will zoom out allowing you to select new  letters.



MENUS

   File
       New    Restore Dasher to the state it was in when started


       Open   Read a text file into the Dasher edit box for further editting


       Save   Save the contents of the Dasher edit box to a file


       Save as
              Save the contents of the Dasher edit box to a file chosen by the
              user


       Append to file
              Add the contents of the Dasher edit box to the  end  of  a  file
              chosen by the user


       Import training text
              Use  a  file  to  further train Dasher (for instance, a training
              file containing scientific terms to add to the  initial  English
              training). Training files must be UTF-8 encoded.


       Exit   Quit Dasher


   Edit
       Cut    Remove the highlighted text from the edit box and copy it to the
              clipboard


       Copy   Copy the highlighted text from the edit box to the clipboard but
              don’t remove it


       Paste  Paste  the  contents  of  the clipboard into the edit box at the
              position of the cursor


       Copy all
              Copy the entire contents of the edit box to the clipboard


       Select all
              Highlight all of the text in the edit box


   Options
       Preferences
              Opens the preferences dialog (see THE PREFERENCES DIALOG below)


       Edit font
              Choose the font used in the edit box


       Dasher font
              Choose the font used in the Dasher canvas


       Dasher font size
              Choose the size of the font used in the Dasher canvas


       Reset fonts
              Reset the fonts back to the defaults


       Enter text into other windows
              Make Dasher  enter  text  into  the  currently  focused  window.
              Requires Dasher to have been built with Note that some languages
              will only work correctly if XFree 4.0.2 or higher is being used.


       Control mode
              Provides a control node at the bottom of the screen. This allows
              various tasks to be performed inside Dasher, such as editing the
              text  written,  speaking  entered  text  and stopping or pausing
              Dasher. If compiled with and using a desktop supporting the  ATK
              accessibility  framework, compliant applications will have their
              menu trees exported to Dasher and these may be accessed via this
              node.


   Help
       About Dasher
              Display information about the current version of Dasher



THE PREFERENCES DIALOG

       The preferences dialog is split into several panes.


   Alphabet
       Choose  a  different alphabet. Dasher will automatically retrain itself
       if the alphabet specified training file is present


   Colour
       Choose a different colour scheme.


   Control
       Alter various control options


       One dimensional mode
              Map the Y position of the mouse to a 2 dimensional  position  on
              the Dasher canvas (useful for limited mobility users)


       Eyetracker mode
              Similar  to one dimensional mode, but behaves normally except at
              the right-hand side  of  the  canvas.  Designed  for  eyetracker
              users.


       Start on left mouse button
              The  left  mouse  button  will toggle Dasher between running and
              paused state


       Start on space bar
              The space bar will toggle  Dasher  between  running  and  paused
              state


       Start with mouse position
              When  paused,  Dasher  will display a red box. If the pointer is
              held in the red box until a yellow box appears, and then in  the
              yellow  box  until  it  vanishes, Dasher will start. This allows
              users with no button input to start and stop Dasher.


       Copy all on stop
              Toggle whether the current text is automatically copied  to  the
              clipboard when Dasher is stopped


       Speak on stop
              Toggle  whether  the  newly  entered  text should be spoken when
              Dasher is stopped.  Requires --with-speech  to  have  been  used
              during Dasher configuration and building.


       Pause outside window
              Toggle  whether  Dasher pauses if the mouse cursor is moved out-
              side the Dasher window


   View
       Orientation
              Change the relative position of the letters to  the  crosshairs.
              Alphabet Default will allow alphabets to set this automatically.


       Show toolbar
              Toggle whether or not the row of buttons at the top of the  win-
              dow is displayed


       Show speed slider
              Toggle whether or not the speed slider at the bottom of the win-
              dow is displayed


       Show mouse position
              Toggle whether Dasher should draw  a  box  showing  the  logical
              position of the mouse cursor


       Draw line between crosshairs and mouse
              Toggle  whether Dasher should draw a line between the crosshairs
              and the logical mouse position


       Draw box outlines
              Toggle whether Dasher should draw a box outline around every box
              it draws


       Change colour scheme automatically
              Alphabets  may provide a preferred colour scheme. If this option
              is enabled, Dasher will automatically change to it.


   Advanced
       Smoothing
              The greater the smoothing value, the greater the  uniformity  of
              the  box sizes.  This will reduce the predictive capabilities of
              Dasher, and so may reduce writing speed.


       Timestamp new files
              Include the time at which a file is saved in the filename


       Distance from centreline for start on mouse position
              Controls the distance from the centre of the Dasher screen  that
              the mouse position start boxes will appear.


       Number of pixels that should cover the entire y range
              Controls  how many pixels of input should correspond to complete
              coverage of the Dasher canvas.  Only  used  in  one  dimensional
              mode.



CONVERTING TRAINING FILES TO UTF-8

       Dasher  requires  that  training  files be in the UTF-8 format, whereas
       most text files are likely to be in ISO-8859 format. This doesn’t  mat-
       ter for plain text, but accented characters are encoded differently. In
       order to convert them, use the iconv(1) program. For instance, if  your
       training file is in ISO-8859-1 format (Western European), run

       iconv -f ISO-8859-1 -t UTF-8 trainingfile >newtrainingfile



FILES

       /usr/share/dasher/
              System-wide configuration files
       ~/.dasher
              User configuration files

       dasher will utilise data from both of these directories. Training texts
       from both will be used, allowing users to add their own  training  data
       to the system wide data

       alphabet*.xml
              The files defining the alphabets available to Dasher
       colour*.xml
              The files defining the colour schemes available to Dasher
       train*txt
              Files  containing  the  training  data used by Dasher. These are
              UTF-8 encoded text and should contain a representative sample of
              the relevant language.



AUTHOR

       The  Dasher  Project  <dasher@mrao.phy.cam.ac.uk>  -  http://www.infer-
       ence.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/



3.2.15                           January 2004                        DASHER(1)

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