Old Steno Machine With Paper


Realtime technology allows court reporters to instantly convert their stenographic notes into English text. The reporter’s laptop is connected to your laptop wirelessly or by a cable so as the reporter is writing into her steno machine, that testimony is going to her laptop and then immediately into your computer.  What you receive is a draft transcript that has not yet been edited or proofread by the court reporter.  The realtime reporter, due to her extra training and experience, is able to provide you with a  readable and useful transcript on the spot.

This is useful in the following ways:
  • You immediately have the testimony or your questions available for reference.
  • You walk away from the proceeding with a draft of the transcript that, while not suitable for citing testimony, is useful for preparation in situations of multiple-day proceedings when you don’t have the transcript yet, and is also useful in preparation of summaries or client reports.  Note taking is reduced to a minimum.
  • You get a better record because you can look and see that the question you asked or the testimony that was given shows in print in the same context and specificity as you intended.
  • Testimony can be issue coded as it is happening.
  • The search feature in your software allows you to access needed testimony within seconds.

What are you responsible for when receiving realtime?

The client who is receiving realtime is responsible for:
  • Providing the laptop to receive realtime. You will need realtime-receiving software (such as Summation, CaseView) loaded on it prior to the proceedings. Please advise if you require software, and we can load CaseView onto your laptop.  You can also download it at  If you wish to rent Dicta’s laptops which are pre-loaded, please advise our office as soon as possible and we will reserve them for you.
  • Set up a convenient time for a test session on your laptop.The driver for StenoCast wireless realtime will be loaded at this time and a test will be done to ensure everything is connected properly.
  • Provide Dicta with any spellings and important terms that may come up during the proceedings. The court reporter will input them into her job dictionary to ensure a more accurate transcript.

Realtime Technology Skills

To perform realtime writing, court reporters must learn a “conflict-free” theory. Court reporters continuously build their software translation dictionaries so possible words, names, places or events that may be mentioned will translate correctly. They also need to build and customize their software dictionaries to translate homophones (for example, three separate and distinct entries for their, there, and they’re). In addition, another important element of realtime writing is speed skills. Court reporters generally take down testimony at an average speed of 180 or more words per minute. To be certified nationally as a realtime writer, court reporters must be able to take down testimony at speeds up to 225 words per minute.