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What's new

New Android release

An early / beta release of dasher is now available on the Android Market, or from the download page.

New iPhone release

Version 2.0 of dasher for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad is available from the App Store featuring:

  • speech synthesis
  • control mode
  • clipboard integration
  • actions menu

New MacOS X release

A version based on slightly newer than 4.11 code is now available from the download page. Resizing should now work, and the application panel of prefrences offers control mode which can be used to trigger speech synthesis.

Dasher 4.11 released

  • Dasher 4.11 source code and Windows XP/Vista build

is available from the Download page.

This stable release features a new two-push, one button, dynamic mode; easier switching between alphabets; and many internal simplifications and bug fixes.

Alan Lawrence has made a version of dasher which runs on the iPhone. It is now available for free from the iTunes Store.

September 1 2009 - Digital Planet, BBC has a long feature on Dasher being adapted for use with a mobile phone tilt sensor by Kevin from IBM Hursley. The Dasher segment is from minute 9.00 to 15.00 in the show.

Dasher 4.10.1 released

  • Dasher 4.10.1 source code and Windows XP/Vista build

is available from the Download page.

This fixes a nasty bug which caused crashes when navigating exactly vertically.

Dasher 4.10.0 released

  • Dasher 4.10.0 source code and Windows XP/Vista build

is available from the Download page.

Users of Hebrew and Japanese Dasher under MS Windows should notice an improvement!

Portuguese email list created by Fernando Botelho E-mail list for discussions about Dasher for Portuguese speakers: Address to Subscribe: Address to Unsubscribe: List Address: dasher [AT]
Para inscrever-se na lista sobre o Dasher, por favor mande um e-mail ao endereço: Para sair da lista escreva ao endereço: Para escrever a todos os assinantes use o endereço: dasher [AT]

New Dasher wiki for 2008 - in use for Chinese Dasher development

Bliss-Dasher - Efficient semantic writing with any muscle (pdf file) - by David MacKay, Seb Wills, and Annalu Waller.
[See also The Bliss-Dasher project webpage.]
Google video by Paul Tingey showing Dasher hooked up to RoboRealm (machine vision software) "Writing sentences with a red plastic ball"
Dasher - information-efficient text entry (19th April 2007)
Google tech talk (54 minute video) by David MacKay
The complete works of Dasher in 60 seconds
This version of my tech talk (1 minute video) may amuse you, if you've already seen the Dasher show
The English download directory contains Emma dictation scripts for users to read before taking dictation and mp3 files of dictation of all the passages (created by David Ward, and put in the public domain). If you would like all the mp3 files, download this zip file.
Efficient Communication Through The Timings of One Or Two Buttons. New paper by James Mead, Phil Cowans, and David MacKay.
New Dasher wiki. This is where we plan to put all the documentation for Dasher. We encourage users to add to this documentation too. There will also be a user forum. Good helpful threads from the forum should be archived by putting their key points into the wiki.

A brief question for English/European language users. In this file there is a new colour scheme called European/Asian Mild The main change is that the letters a..z are coloured in a milder way with no pink colours -- just blues and greens. A possible idea is to make this the new default colour scheme for european languages. What do people think? Like it / hate it? Any further colour suggestions or tweaks while we are discussing it? You can see comparative screenshots here: old look | new 'mild' look

Dasher in Korean - a new six-page paper: | pdf | postscript |

Dasher in Java working in your browser, by Chris Smowton

Another piece of free software from the Dasher team! Tapir - a simple 12-key disambiguating keyboard. By Piotr Zielinski.

Tue 9/5/06: Dasher version 4 launched.

Tue 7/2/06 EyeTech Digital Systems (Quick Glance) are featuring Dasher in their email newsletter.

Turkish training text provided by Bulent Celasun now on the Dasher Download page.

Thu 26/1/06: We are proud to announce the freevim project - making a free gazetracker based on the `VIM' work of Ollie Williams and Roberto Cipolla.

Tue 29/11/05: Tablet PC version David Ward has got version 4 of Dasher working on the tablet PC.

Fri 4/11/05: Dasher for the blind -- an all new demonstration program by David MacKay is available at the new VIDasher website

Sat 22/10/05: Dasher Manual and Special Needs Guide added to the Publications page. Manual (15 pages) (Draft) (postscript) (pdf)

Keith Vertanen's Speech Dasher prototype is available for windows. The idea of Speech Dasher is, you speack your text and use a speech recognition system first, then you use Dasher to correct the bad guesses of the speech recognizer. To install, you just need to extract the zip file and then run the SpeechDasher.exe file. It will default to using the Microsoft SAPI recognizer, to use Dragon you need to go change this in the Options->Speech Options menu. It should work with Dragon 7 or 8.

There is now a training text for Lithuanian on the download page.

New colour scheme intended for red/green colour blind people

Sat 16/7/05: Dasher working in Korean - for this to work, you need a font that understands how to combine the elementary vowels and consonants of Korean into the syllable characters. This works in Dasher 3.2 under linux (Ubuntu operating system) if you select one of the korean fonts. (Apparently microsoft windows is behind linux on this: MS's korean fonts do not do combining.) For this version of Korean you need this alphabet file and a training text that is in DECOMPOSED form like this one. [We need a bigger training text!] You can decompose a regular "combined" korean text such as this by using (eg) korean.txt training_korean_KR.txt
Thanks to Son Yeoyoung and Matthew Parker for help. We plan another version of Korean, using the nested alphabet when Dasher 4.0 is released (October 2005).

Simon Judge demonstrated Dasher at the Schoolforge-UK FLOSSIE conference and it was very well received.

Sat 16/7/05: Dasher working in Persian

New project idea, suggested by a visitor from the the NLM foundation -- could Dasher be useful for hyperlexic people who do not communicate verbally?

Iain Murray pointed out this video game SF Cave (which works in your browser); a lot like one-button mode of Dasher. In fact what it's most like is the now-abandoned metronome mode. (The button in SF cave determines the acceleration, rather than the velocity.)

Anyone for Runic?

Tue 5/7/05 Would you like it to be easier to distinguish between the apostrophe (') and comma (,) in Dasher? In the latest alphabet for English, we have introduced two modifications: (1) we render the apostrophe in the dasher display using ⍘ (an underlined apostrophe) by specifying this alphabet symbol:

<s b="105" d="&#x2358;" t="&apos;" note=" apostrophe"/>
(2) we have coloured all the parenthesis and quote-like characters (including apostrophe) in shades of magenta, and all the comma and full-stop like characters in shades of slate blue.

At the same time, we have added a TAB character, shown by a diamond (◊), to the English alphabet. We've coloured its square white/grey, like the other space-like characters. Here is the alphabet entry.
<s b="9" d="&#x25CA;" t="&#x9;" note="TAB (represented by a diamond)"/>

We have made the same changes in the following alphabets:
Danish French German French with combining characters It would be great if users could let us know if these enhanced alphabets give any problems.

New Korean nested alphabet for 2350 syllables

Two-button Menu Dasher and three-button Direct Dasher: User Trials by Ingrid

koyama has implemented a javascript version of button dasher (with no language model)

January 2005: Breath Dasher paper finished: Efficient communication by breathing.
Button Dasher paper published: Efficient communication through one or two buttons
December 2004 Dasher now working fine in Arabic. See screenshot.

Dasher Wikis

Sun 7/11/04 - The inference group wiki includes several pages for Dasher
DECO project, ACE Centre
New Dasher alphabet for French, using separate combining accents. See here for screenshot.

Enhanced eyetracking mode

Fri 3/9/04 In the latest windows release, enhanced eyetracking mode offers
  1. improved dynamics for easier un-zooming;
  2. automatic calibration of the eyetracker, correcting systematic errors in the y-coordinate.
Movies demonstrating this enhancement are going on the movie page today.


July 2004: Lots of new alphabets added - Dasher now supports 80 languages, from Azeri to Zulu. Please see this table of Alphabets supported by Dasher to see what help we need.

Speech-Dasher prototype

Keith Vertanen has made nice videos of his prototype speech-recognition/Dasher hybrid.

PPM wrapper

For people who want to play with Dasher's PPM module:

Here is a link to an example program which uses PPM without the rest of Dasher. You'll need to get the Dasher source tree from CVS and put the files from the zip in a subdirectory below the 'Src' directory.

(by Keith Vertanen)

Tue 10/8/04:

Dasher's PPM model is now available in convenient COM packaging. The DLL, test harness, and source code is available at

The COM object's API is documented in ProbModel_API.txt. Let me know if you find any problems.

Version 3.2

Mon 27/10/03. Version 3.2 is ready. This page has information

Breath Dasher

Fri 15/8/03. A new way of using Dasher has been created: a breath mouse moves the mouse up and down the screen as your breath is in and out respectively. In the first trials, an expert Dasher user achieved ten words per minute by breath alone.

More control mode development (Fri 25/7/03)

Application control mode is now fully integrated into the Unix code, and is almost complete in the Windows version. We hope to make a new release including this code shortly, but you can check out the CVS version to try it now.

International Phonetic Alphabet (Sat 12/7/03)

With an appropriate XML file, Dasher works in the International Phonetic Alphabet (screenshot). If anyone can advise us on how to make this feature useful to users of phonetics, please let us know.

Gnome application control (Sun 22/6/03)

The current CVS version contains code that allows applications to be controlled from within Dasher. Take a look at this screenshot in order to see Dasher being used to enter text into a word processor - the bold mode was switched on and off entirely within Dasher. Code to add the same functionality to the Windows version is currently being worked on.

Beta version of Dasher for MacOS X (Tue 10/6/03)

A beta release of Dasher for MacOS X has been made. This version is still under development and so may behave unpredictably, crash, eat your files or be generally miserable. Download it from the download page. Thanks to Doug Dickinson and Iain Murray for their work on this port! Click here for a screenshot.

Dasher support IRC channel (Fri 2/5/03)

There is now an IRC channel for Dasher support and development issues. Simply connect to and join #dasher.

Palm developer volunteers wanted (Thu 1/5/03)

A port of Dasher to the Palm has been impractical up until fairly recently due to the low refresh rate of the screens and relatively slow processor More recent hardware solves both of these problems, so we're looking for volunteers to look at porting Dasher to PalmOS. If you're interested, please contact Matthew Garrett at dasher[AT]

Anonymous CVS access now available (Thu 1/5/03)

Anonymous CVS access to the Dasher development tree is now available. To download the current source, run

cvs -d login

and press enter at the prompt. Now run

cvs -z3 -d \
                    co -r stable30 dasher3

and the CVS tree will be downloaded.

MacOS X port in progress (Thu 1/5/03)

Thanks to Doug Dickinson and Iain Murray, an experimental version of Dasher is now running under MacOS X.

Dasher 3.0.2 released (Tue 8/4/03)

Dasher 3.0.2 has been released. This version includes the following changes:
  • Fixed bug regarding acceleration at edges of the window
  • Introduced keyboard control mode (intended for switch use)
  • GTK2 interface for the Unix version
Get it now from the download page

Dasher 3.0.1 released (Tue 18/3/03)

Dasher 3.0.1 has been released. This version includes the following changes:
  • Improved prediction
  • One dimensional input mode
  • Increasable font size
  • Various other bug fixes and feature enhancements

Get it now from the download page

API documentation

Documentation to help developers porting Dasher to other platforms is now available from here

Dasher 3.0.0 released

The final version of Dasher 3.0.0 has been released. Get it now from the download page

New project manager

Thanks to funding from the Gatsby foundation, the Dasher project now has a new software development manager and researcher, Matthew Garrett. Matthew will coordinate contributions to the source code and feedback from users. Please see the development page for the recommended feedback methods.


Wed 27/11/02: Version 3 is now released for Windows and Linux. You can download it from the Dasher download page. Windows versions for (windows NT, windows 2000, windows XP) and (windows 95-98) are available.

Version 3 is a complete rewrite of Dasher. It should have all the key features of version 1.6.8, and is intended to be far more development-friendly. One of its new features, which we expect many users will appreciate, is the "automatic copy" option, which has the effect of copying the written text into the cut'n'paste buffer whenever dasher is stopped. (Enable this option using the menus.)

Version 3.0.0 prerelease 2 supports several English alphabets. Support for other languages will follow soon. Portuguese is the first language in the queue.

Further information about Dasher version 3

A port to ipaq-running-linux is also being made by Hanna Wallach.

Version 3 was written by David Ward, Iain Murray, Phil Cowans, and Matthew Garrett.

Feedback on version 3 should be sent via the metafaq system please, or else by email to

Tue 1/10/02: cliffn has written a front end for dasher v1.6.8 in VB5 which allows to run Dasher, allows one click to save the text into a file, and allows the file to be read aloud. With a shortcut to the text file on your desktop it is easy to edit and copy and paste to another app.
Tested only on Win 2000 but available for download with a right click on the file name (StartDasherFS.exe) from:; this exe file should be put in the dasher folder alongside dasher.exe.

9/02: This text file gives Margaret Cotts's instructions for using Macro Express to connect Dasher 1.6.8 to etriloquist, and further information submitted by other users.

The Dasher Project is supported by the Gatsby Foundation
David MacKay
Dernière modification du site Fri Oct 1 10:33:26 BST 2010