Q. Why should I choose Eclipse over another CAT system?
A. Innovation and Integration are the hallmarks of Eclipse CAT software. Eclipse was years ahead of the competition in creating features like intelligent prefix/suffix addition, intelligent conflict resolution, automatic number formatting, Global Magic (intelligent global suggestions), Auto-Brief (automatic realtime steno shortcuts), and Multi-Synch (up to 8 distinct channels of synchronized audio.)
While some of these features have been imitated with limited success, Eclipse continues to raise the bar with truly unique innovations like Translation Magic, AutoMagic, and Team Editing. Only Eclipse allows multiple reporters, scopists, and proofreaders to edit a document at the same time, in real time or anytime a transcript has to be delivered super-fast.
For steno that is not yet defined in the reporter's dictionary, the competition offers only basic phonetic translation that's limited to individual steno strokes; in contrast, Eclipse offers Translation Magic, which uses intelligent phonetics and dragged/dropped key rescue to make sense of multiple steno strokes for unexpected names and terms. No wonder Eclipse receives such high marks for the quality of its translation and has been used by so many NCRA realtime champions.
Since realtime transcription is so important to the future of our profession, Eclipse has led the way with the refresh technology found in Bridge PC and Bridge Mobile (for PC/Mac/Linux computers, iPads, and other portable devices), the CART window, AccuCap closed captioning, and YouTube captioning.
Editing, of course, is the most time-consuming part of a reporter's job, which is why Eclipse created AutoMagic. Each time you move your cursor, Eclipse offers as many as 10 context-appropriate choices that facilitate word replacement, spelling, dictionary building, punctuation, paragraphing, speaker identification, number formatting, Google searches, and much more. AutoMagic integrates years of innovation to make Eclipse easy to use and easy to learn.
In addition, there are over 350 short Visualizer movies that are integrated with the Help system and with an interactive editing tutorial that uses a built-in lesson player designed to teach steno theory as well.
As Louise Becker said when she beat Mark Kislingbury as the NCRA realtime champion a few years ago: "Before switching to Eclipse, I had never even managed to qualify in the annual NCRA Realtime Contest. Three years later, I was the national realtime champion. The many advanced features in Eclipse, especially Translation Magic, helped put me over the top. Eclipse is, without question, the finest CAT software ever written"
Translating is more than taking steno dictionary entries and tacking them together. Reporters should leverage as many specialty dictionary entries as possible, along with features that can perform automated transformations reliably enough to be used in realtime. Here is a list of intelligent translation features in Eclipse that can directly improve accuracy and make writing easier:
Auto-brief – Suggests briefs automatically, reminds you of briefs you already have, provides briefs on-demand, and makes live theory suggestions according to the advice of experts. Many Eclipse users have said they couldn't write realtime without it.
Translation Magic – An automatic accuracy booster. Phonetic words, including complex multi-stroke constructions, can be written with no dictionary entries, and misstrokes, including ones for complex multi-stroke entries, can be automatically detected and fixed. This feature can be adjusted by the user to fit writing style, and for expert realtime writers, can even have the automation turned off and executed on demand only for specific tricky words.
Prefix/suffix spelling adjustment – Handles every possible situation by virtue of the fact that in addition to hundreds of pre-programmed rules, users can create their own rules and variations.
Number conversion – Numbers can be written in any style, including “pen” styles or verbatim styles that mimic what people say directly. Triggers and automation with user-defined settings ensure that numbers will come out exactly as you want, including dates, times, quantities, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, bank account numbers, and not only dollars and cents, but over a hundred international currencies.
It's a significant confidence boost to know that you can go back and retroactively edit any mistake on the fly and have it fix the transcript, even for the viewers. Due to that principle, many of the editing features in Eclipse are relevant in realtime.
Macros – Any conceivable editing command can be reduced to a single keystroke, or in a single stroke from the steno machine. Built-in macros are provided for performing globals and adding dictionary entries, capitalizing, punctuating, changing speaker names, selecting conflicts, and dozens more.
Global Magic – The powerful steno analysis features used by the Translation Magic feature are also used by the features for globaling and adding dictionary entries. Simply put, it can look at any sequence of steno and make intelligent guesses about whether it was a misstroke for a dictionary entry you already have or a phonetic representation of a word. It's so accurate that for the majority of globals, you won't need to type anything and can just select a guess by hitting a single numbered choice. Fingerspelling is practically obsolete.
Automagic – Just placing the cursor on the location where you would like to edit something is usually enough. AutoMagic suggests the ten most likely edits that you would want in that location, starting with the Global Magic choices, but including common typeovers, punctuation modifications, word reversals, number conversions, and dozens of other possible edits. Learning dozens of command keys or steno stroke macros can be hard. But learning to hit 1-9 to pick a pre-selected edit? Easy. Even from the writer.
What if you just don't have time to edit while you're in realtime? How can the benefits of the Eclipse editor help you? Well, who said you have to edit by yourself?
The Connection Magic Team Editing feature means that multiple scopists and proofreaders can be in your document with you, connected over the Internet, even in realtime, and their corrections are also transmitted to your client viewers. This turns daily copy into instant copy, making the realtime transcript as close to the final product as you can possibly get.
This feature includes all sorts of helpful functions such as messaging, color-coded edits, audio synchronization over the connection, team roles, paragraph progress colorization and tracking, and many more. It's a game-changer for transcript production teams, and the fact that it works in realtime can make your work look flawless.
Realtime doesn't do you much good if your audience can't receive it. Eclipse pioneered realtime compatibility with the development of the Bridge refresh protocol which allows sending live edits to the many different realtime viewing software programs that support it, including not just our own Bridge/Mobile, but Thompson-Reuters' LiveNote, LiveLitigation/LiveDeposition, LegalCraft's Transcend and others. The Bridge protocol has also been adopted by many other CAT companies in order for realtime edits to work across the industry, and it's freely available to everyone. No royalties, no trademarks, no catches, no hidden agenda. Compatibility makes everyone better.
Eclipse also supports more than a dozen other protocols and connection methods from serial ports to Internet connectivity. It includes a CART window viewer for large-text viewing that can even be used directly on an external monitor or projector without any networking or serial devices at all.
In order to be compatible even with devices that have no special software installed, the Bridge Mobile viewer will appear on any device with a web browser so clients can get instant access easily.
The cornerstone of Eclipse is flexibility. Every feature can be customized down to the last detail. That means that Eclipse can perform exactly as you wish. For realtime, that means that you have complete control over the translation of steno, and over the presentation of the results. For your own convenience, it means that you can tune the editing and display features for peak efficiency. Here is a list of just some of the features over which users have direct control:
Keystrokes – All editing commands are configurable.
Toolbars, Windows and Dialogs – The content, size, location, arrangement of toolbars is completely user-definable. Font size and style, transparency, arrangement, etc., are modifiable across the scope of the entire program.
Colors – The dozens of color-coding cues can be set by the user to adapt to different screens, environments and vision preferences.
Dictionary list – Use as many dictionaries as you like in translation.
Dictionary entry behavior – The Metadictionary allows users to define exactly how all paragraphing, punctuation, numbers and other special entries behave rather than having to modify individual entries in the main dictionary. One simple change in the settings can save having to edit dozens of dictionary entries manually.
Steno theory settings – Changing the phonetics table, the Auto-brief steno theory, the integral prefix/suffix settings, the Translation Magic rules, and many other settings allow you to essentially teach your personal steno theory to Eclipse so that it can translate the way you write.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it does underscore the significance of many of Eclipse's features and their relevance for realtime. All users should be encouraged to explore the degree to which the software can be configured to meet their needs down to the last detail, and to consult documentation, support techs, trainers and seminars to leverage all of the features that can lead to polished, accurate realtime writing delivered seamlessly to clients and viewers.
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