Making Eclipse Work For You: The Speaker List

© BrenDeBev (all publication rights reserved)

The speaker list is a very powerful tool that needs to be understood in depth to reap its full benefit. With the advent of Version 7 and the speaker table being shared between reporter and edit team, it is even more important to be aware of its functions.

Set up your default speaker list by going into the Translate tab and click the Speaker list button. Here is where you set up your main speaker table. These settings will apply to each future job you open in that user.

The 0 slot, by default, is devoted to THE WITNESS. If that has been changed, it is highly recommended to restore it to that default. Click the blank next to 0 and fill in both the Current and Master fields with THE WITNESS. If you notice at the top of the window, it says Shortcut 0. That refers to a built-in macro, which will be covered later in this article.

Before you leave this window, notice Color at the upper right? This is where it gets fun – and very useful. Click that. It takes you to the same color chart you use to define other colors in your display. Choose a color. This will make that speaker name the color you’ve chosen.  Assigning colors gives the user a visual cue as to a potential speaker conflict.  Version 7 applies this color to that speaker’s BY line, another prompt to assure the proper speaker name is in place.

If you use speaker tokens, such as STPHAO and SKWRAO, and have those defined in your dictionary as something like LEFT1, ATTY1, PLAINTIFF1, etc., that is where you start to fill in your table. For the first slot, fill in the Master field with your dictionary entry, not the steno. Leave the Current field blank to be filled on the job. Assign a color to each slot.

Regardless of how important your judge is, put THE COURT at slot 8, filling in both sides of the table with THE COURT.

Before you leave your speaker list, make sure the Save in and Load from boxes are checked in the lower left corner under Job dict.  When you select this job dictionary, these speakers will be loaded, which is a great help for continuing cases.

Below is an example of what a speaker table should look like. Note that the entries under Master will change based on your own speaker tokens. Screenshot 2015-06-04 16.08.31

When beginning a realtime file, the speaker table should open.  If it doesn’t, use F2 to manually open it. On the top line of the table, type the name of the speaker that you are assigning to your first speaker token. The first empty field will automatically be populated with that name. Continue on in the same way with the rest of the speaker names. Another way of doing this is to click the space you wish to assign, click Change or use Alt+C and fill in the Current field.

Now, as to why it is important to have THE WITNESS in slot 0 and THE COURT in slot 8. Edit macros. These are built into the macro list already. Pgh.>THE WITNESS, Speedkey Ctrl+0 Pgh.>THE COURT, Speedkey Ctrl+8 Pgh.>Speaker 1, Speedkey Ctrl+1 Pgh.>Speaker 2, Speedkey Ctrl+2 up through slot 6. Slot 7 and 9 on are not preassigned macros.

The speedkey designations are the shortcut numbers in the speaker list. This changes the current paragraph label to the corresponding speaker label, whether it be a misidentified speaker or an unlabeled paragraph.

Scopists and proofreaders are familiar with these shortcuts and use them instinctively, particularly Ctrl+0 for THE WITNESS. If the table is set up in a different manner, efficiency is affected. Scopists will often rearrange these speakers to suit their needs when editing locally; in Version 6, scopists build their own speaker tables to their liking as they learn the names in Connection Magic Shared Editing (CMSE). The reporter’s speaker table setup has been less important because of this flexibility.

Now that Version 7 shares the speaker table in CMSE, it is important that everyone is using the same system. Any change in the table will apply to everyone’s view, so individual modification is not an option.  Following these steps will help your team be more efficient and accurate in editing your daily transcript. Understanding the power of the speaker table will help you, as the reporter, be more efficient in your own editing as well.

Note: For the experienced user who has assigned THE COURT to a slot other than 8, there is no reason to change your ways. The Ctrl+8 macro will insert THE COURT regardless of where your speaker is in the list. The speedkey where you have assigned THE COURT will work as these macros are meant to do. The only caveat we offer is to reserve 0 for THE WITNESS as that is what most scopists know and use, whether with Ctrl+0 or F2+0.

The Perfect Partners Transcript Brigade understands the importance of efficiency and accuracy. Through teamwork and preplanning, we can accomplish our common goal:  a stellar transcript in the shortest time possible.

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