StarTran Testimonials


"Thank you for the feedback! I've been really loving the program."

Amy Herty, StarTran Online Student


"Marlene, thanks again for all your hard work.  (Wish I'd had this theory from the get-go.)"
Chris Herndon, RPR CRI Official Court Reporter
Neosho Community College CR Instructor


"I was a student in Kansas learning the theory from your Star Tran materials, so I have them already. but I had to return to CA. I decided to try to learn on my own at home. The school in Kansas was first-rate and, during the short time there, I was able to learn what I needed to do in order to be successful. 

"Years ago, I was first a student at another school in this area but became frustrated largely because of a theory which was full of conflicts. It was so bad that students regularly made up their own theory in order to pass tests-- with all the problems that can make for a reporter later on. During the first few days at the school in Kansas we were put on the Case CATalyst system with student machines hooked up to write in realtime. I was shocked by the difference in the Star Tran theory and the old theory I had used before--little differences, but in every way better!

"I have never waivered in my desire to do this for the rest of my life. I am a college graduate and this will be my third and final career. Thanks for the chance to correspond with you and your obvious wish to sell me only what I need. My machine is a new elan Mira. I wanted to get the dictionary most compatible with the excellent Star Tran I'm learning."
Mary Hargis, StarTran Student


StarTran - Supplies You Need to Start
Everything you need to get going with StarTran Online.

To begin the StarTran Online Realtime Theory program, you need:

A STENO MACHINE (WRITER). This is not included in the StarTran Online starting costs. But you do not need an expensive, professional model or any whistles and bells to start.


Machine purchasing for beginners is in a bit of a state of flux because the manual (non-computerized) machines, as well as any machine with paper notes (the ribbon of paper that falls out of the machine all over the floor in old movies), are not being manufactured anymore, even though they are a good choice for learning theory. Bottom line, you need a machine that will enable you to see and read your steno.  There are basically three choices:


1) A manual or computerized machine with paper:  Examples of this are the refurbished Stentura 200 (manual steno machine with paper notes), the refurbished Stentura 200SRT and 400SRT (computerized steno machines for CAT with paper notes as well).  If you plan to read steno notes from paper, make sure the machine's printing is legible, the ink cartridge is not dried up, and there is a paper tray with the machine.  About 20 pads of steno paper should be enough to complete the program. You can purchase these court reporting supplies from PengadAcculawRPM and others.


2) A computerized machine with an attached screen that displays steno notes:  An example is the Wave writer or the Stentura 8000LX. 


3) A strictly computerized machine and a CAT software system:  An example is the Elan Cybra.  It has no display for steno notes and no paper tray, so needs to be used with a CAT system (computerized translation system).  


There are only three free student CAT softwares right now:  Apeiron, Plover, and DigitalCAT. StenoCAT 32, CaseCatalyst, and Eclipse student version CAT software can be purchased for under $500. Though we may be able to help you, especially with Case Catalyst, and we supply you with the StarTran CAT dictionary used in conjunction with CAT software, StarTran Online does not specifically teach how to use CAT software.  That is usually taught towards the end of or after you finish your court reporting training.  So if you are going paperless and screenless, you will want to familiarize yourself with just the very basics of your CAT software in order to get the benefits of the StarTran Online program.  We also have instruction manuals for most of the CAT systems.  If you aren't too tech saavy and want to ease into using a CAT system, it is best to choose from the first two catagories above.


StarTran Realtime Theory requires a wide asterisk key (right side) and either wide  -TS keys or wide -DZ keys, no matter what type of writer you purchase.  If your machine doesn't come with these wide keys, they can be ordered from StenoWorks below or other steno machine supply dealers.  Also, make sure the machine you purchase has a working tripod and a number bar.


The machines listed above are considered "student steno machines."  But any machine will work. It is fine to get a used or refurbished steno writer.  You should be able to find one between $300 and $1000. (Note:  Some of the machines that were around in the days of DOS, such as the Baron Transcriptor or the Xscribe or any machine with disk or tape slots will not run with modern Windows operating systems.)


To make sure you get a clean, working steno machine with a warranty, we suggest going to StenoWorks. They have refurbished student steno machines, rent-to-buy options, and free CAT software.  Here are links to their Student Steno Writers page and to their least expensive student steno machine, the Stentura 200SRT:


Student Writers -  Most of them are refurbished.  Don't worry.  Writers are pretty hardy machines.

Stentura 200 SRT Package - $395 - This steno writer has basic CAT capability.  It is more expensive with a paper tray.


If you need help getting the correct machine, just let us know and we'll point you in the right direction.

COMPUTER. You may use a laptop or desktop. Bear in mind that most CAT systems are Windows based. You need to be able to connect to the Internet for our online theory lessons. Our theory program does not require a high-end computer, but you should be familiar with the basics of your system. For most of your practice activities, the smaller screens on a tablet or phone will not be appropriate, so we don't recommend you try to complete the course using those devices

MICROSOFT WORD OR SIMILAR WORD-PROCESSING PROGRAM.  For testing you will be required to type your work and turn it in to be corrected, so you must have some means to do that other than a CAT translation file. Word, Open Office, AbiWord - there are many options out there. 

ADOBE READER 10.0 OR HIGHER. Most computers have Adobe Reader on them already. It's a free program, one you'll use often to read pdf files.

RELIABLE INTERNET CONNECTION. Your StarTran Online Theory lessons will be presented on our online platform, so you must have a reliable Internet connection to access your lessons each day.

TYPING SKILLS. Ideally, you should be able to type around 60 words-per-minute on a standard computer keyboard.


GRAMMAR AND USAGE MANUAL. Get any manual, such as a Gregg Reference Manual (recommended), where you can look up grammar, punctuation, and usage rules.  It doesn't have to be the latest edition — grammar and usage rules don't change radically.

Again, if you need help with any of these things, we can help point you in the right direction. It's important to have all these things before you start the StarTran Online Program.

If you're ready to roll, check out the Join Now page.