Tips for Novices
[Please read the three-page explanation if you
Don't give up if it takes you a minute or two to get started - within
ten minutes, you'll be blazing along.
It's a lot like driving a car. You should start by driving cautiously.
If you can't tell where you are going, stop going.
Indeed, you will probably learn Dasher faster if you come to it
with car-driving analogies in mind, rather than standard computer
analogies. For example, the way navigation works
is not by DRAGGING but by STEERING:
if cars worked like windows computers,
you would have to "grab" the piece of road you want, then "drag"
it towards you;
but in a car, when you wish to drive right, you
POINT RIGHT with your steering wheel.
Dasher does not work by dragging either. Do not try to grab things
and drag them. Just decide where you want to go, and point there.
The single most important concept that a novice user needs
to understand is that one should always
continue inside the
text written so far: to select the book that contains "all"
as its first word, one does not enter the "a" section
of the library, then exit the "a" section, and
enter the "l" section.
One enters the "a" section, then finds the "al" section that is
within the "a" section, then enters the "all" section
within the "al" section.
It's just like finding a name in a phonebook. To find "Alison",
you don't go to the "A" section of the phonebook, then the "L" section:
you go into the "A" section, then find within it the "Al" section,
and so forth.
The second most important idea is
that what you have written depends only on
where you finally end up in the library, not on how you got there;
so there is no need to steer accurately on your way to
your destination. You are allowed to cut corners.
(For example, in the
top image on the demonstration page,
if you wanted to write `objects_are', it would
be fine to move the mouse straight towards the letters `are',
even if this takes the mouse across the unwanted grey `i' square.)
Two More Tips | tips for pocket PC users |