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.

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

There's no reason to spend thousands of dollars to get started. To begin the StarTranOnline Realtime Theory program, you only need:

1 - A STENO MACHINE (WRITER). This is not included in the StarTran Online starting costs. You do not need an expensive, professional model to start. In fact, we would prefer you start with an inexpensive manual machine.  Ideally, you want a court reporting machine that allows you to write to paper notes. If you go with a manual machine, you can pick one up off eBay or Craigslist at most times for around $100.  The Stentura 200 is the best option for a manual machine.  You will need steno pads to write on (20 pads will be more than enough) and possibly a new ribbon cartridge. You can try PengadAcculawJMSteno and others. Make sure your machine has a working tripod and a number bar.


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.


The Stentura 200SRT is the gold standard for student court reporting machines.  It can be purchased with a paper tray and be used as a manual machine, which teachers like, but is also computerized and can be used with CAT software to do realtime writing to your computer screen, which you will want to do sooner or later in your court reporting education.  There are also many other computerized steno machines, and they will all work for your purposes.  You do not need whistles and bells while you are in school.


But you do need to be able to see and read your steno notes.  So if you do get a paperless machine, it will need to have a flat panel screen which displays steno notes, such as the Wave writer, or you will need to use a CAT software system right from the start, which will display your steno notes, as well as the translation of your writing, on your computer screen. 


Most CAT software companies have a reduced-price student version of their software.  At this time Stenovations gives DigitalCAT software free to students.  Though we may be able to help you, especially with Case Catalyst, StarTran Online does not teach how to use CAT software, so if you are going paperless and screenless, you will need to familiarize yourself with the very basics of your court reporting CAT software in order to get the benefits of the StarTranOnline program.  Consider getting a machine with paper notes or a display screen if you aren't too tech savvy.  You can learn the CAT system after theory.


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 with machine purchase.  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 pieces of equipment.
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.

2 - COMPUTER. You may use a laptop or desktop. 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.  Bear in mind that most CAT systems are Windows based.

3 - 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. 

4 - 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. (When downloading, make sure to uncheck the McAfee options if you don't want them.)

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

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


7 - 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.