dasher - graphical predictive text entry system
is an information-efficient text-entry interface, driven by
natural continuous pointing gestures. Dasher is a competitive text-entry
system wherever a full-size keyboard cannot be used.
takes the following options:
- -a, --appstyle=STYLE
- Application style. STYLE can be any of
traditional, direct, compose, or fullscreen.
The default is whatever was specified on the previous invocation of
Dasher, or traditional when Dasher is started for the first
- -?, --help
- Describe command line options.
- Describe the options available with --options.
- -o, --options
- Override stored options. Options values are remembered for
subsequent invocations of Dasher.
The main Dasher interface is a window with a blank background containing a
column of letters on the right hand side. Click the mouse button to start.
When the pointer is to the right of the crosshair 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 underneath the crosshair. A new column
of letters will appear. Staying within the box for the selected letter, move
the pointer over one of these letters to select it as the next letter. Moving
the mouse pointer to the left of the crosshair, or outside of the box for
previously selected letters, allows you to change previously selected letters.
- Dasher displays an edit box above the main window.
Text entered via Dasher will appear in the edit box allowing the text to
be edited directly.
- The edit box is not displayed. Dasher runs without focus
and the text goes into whatever window does have focus. This way you can
use it more practically to run your desktop.
- dasher expands to the entire screen.
- Clear the edit box and associate a random filename with
- Read a text file into the edit box for further
- Save the contents of the edit box to its associated
- Save as
- Save the contents of the edit box to a selected file.
- Append to file
- Add the contents of the edit box to the end of a selected
- Import training text
- Use a file to further improve Dasher's prediction of the
next letters to present (for instance, a training file containing
scientific terms to add to the initial English training). Training files
must be UTF-8 encoded.
- Exit Dasher.
- Remove the highlighted text from the edit box and copy it
to the clipboard.
- Copy the highlighted text from the edit box to the
clipboard but don't remove it.
- 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
- Select all
- Highlight all of the text in the edit box.
- Opens the preferences dialog.
- About Dasher
- Display information about the current version of
The preferences dialog is split into several panes.
Choose a different alphabet. Dasher will automatically retrain itself if the
alphabet specified training file is present.
Choose a different colour scheme.
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
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 matter for plain text,
but accented characters are encoded differently. In order to convert them, use
(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
- Directory containing system-wide configuration files.
- Directory containing user specific configuration
will utilise files of the following form from both of these
- The files defining the alphabets available to Dasher.
- The files defining the colour schemes available to
- Files containing the training data used by Dasher. These
are UTF-8 encoded text and should contain a representative sample of the
relevant language. User specific training files can be used to augment
system wide data.
Refer to the Dasher manual for more information regarding the format and editing
of these files.
The Dasher Project <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
The Dasher project web page is
⟨URL: http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/ ⟩