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Lightning Shorthand

Traditional shorthand is remarkably fast, allowing speeds over 200 words per minute. However, it is very time consuming to learn, and is designed for speech recording, not typing. The PocketPC & Palm pen alphabets are simplified longhand, not shorthand, and are no faster than handwriting.

AlphaTap's Lightning feature is a simple, self-teaching shorthand mechanism that is based on the most common words and word fragments in English. Some 250 words account for over 50% of English usage. These words are mapped onto the AlphaTap layout so that you can type them with just one or two pen strokes. To become productive, you only need to learn the subset of these words which you commonly use.

Learning this vocabulary of pen strokes is easy. Your brain readily maps the gestures of short pen paths to words and syllables. The first few times you type a word, you trace over it slowly, pausing on each key, as AlphaTap highlights the next letters for vocabulary words from the key you are on. Each word has a specific path on the layout which you can stroke rapidly once you know the path. The practice of normal use is enough to cement the words in your memory after a short time. AlphaTap includes a practice game to walk you through the vocabulary and score your performance.

Stroke path for MADE: AlphaTap presents options as you go

Many words outside the built-in vocabulary can also be typed in a few strokes by using fragments of the built-in words. See the Lightning phrase list for examples written with Lightning shorthand. The Lightning vocabulary is user-extensible. See the User Guide for more on Lightning features.