Wednesday, March 4, 2020

A Pattern for Stroking Symbols with Plover

Unless I use them on a very regular basis, I have trouble remembering the strokes for many of the symbols and punctuation. I figure that if they follow a pattern they should be easier to remember. Awhile back on the Plover Discord Elzed suggested such a pattern for (), [], and {}. I've extended it to include many more symbols.

The idea is that each symbol has a pair of strokes. The first stroke of a pair has -FPLT in the right hand, and the second stroke has -RBGS in the right hand. The -FPLT strokes allow a leading space before the symbol but supress the trailing space. Strokes with -RBGS supress the leadings space but allow a trailing space. This make it easy to do such things as (this) without having to fiddle with spaces. The left hand part of each stroke is either mnemonic or has a memorable shape to help me remember it. Here is the JSON file to show how it's done.

"KPH-FPLT": "/{^}",
"KPH-RBGS": "{^}/",
"KW-FPLT": "{\"^}",
"KW-RBGS": "{^}\"",
"KWHR-FPLT": "{=^}",
"KWHR-RBGS": "{^=}",
"P-FPLT": "%{^}",
"P-RBGS": "{^}%",
"PHR-FPLT": "+{^}",
"PHR-RBGS": "{^}+",
"PR-FPLT": "({^}",
"PR-RBGS": "{^})",
"PRAFPLT": "<{^}",
"PRARBGS": "{^}>",
"PW-FPLT": "|{^}",
"PW-RBGS": "{^}|",
"PWR-FPLT": "[{^}",
"PWR-RBGS": "{^}]",
"SKP-FPLT": "&{^}",
"SKP-RBGS": "{^}&",
"SKWR-FPLT": "_{^}",
"SKWR-RBGS": "{^}_",
"STRAFPLT": "*{^}",
"STRARBGS": "{^}*",
"T-FPLT": "'{^}",
"T-RBGS": "{^}'",
"THR-FPLT": "~{^}",
"THR-RBGS": "{^}~",
"TK-FPLT": "${^}",
"TK-RBGS": "{^}$",
"TKPW-FPLT": "@{^}",
"TKPW-RBGS": "{^}@",
"TPH-FPLT": "#{^}",
"TPH-RBGS": "{^}#",
"TPR-FPLT": "{\\{^}",
"TPR-RBGS": "{^\\}}",
"TW-FPLT": "`{^}",
"TW-RBGS": "{^}`",
"TWR-FPLT": "{\\^}",
"TWR-RBGS": "{^}\\",
"WR-FPLT": "-{^}",
"WR-RBGS": "{^}-"

Here's the logic behind the left sides of the strokes:

KPH the shape looks a bit like /
KW q for quote "
KWHR eQuaL for =
P Percent for %
PHR PLus for +
PR PaRen for parentheses ( )
PRA the shape looks a bit like < >
PW the shape looks a bit like |
PWR BRacket for [ ]
SKP the Plover brief for "and ", for &
SKWR the shape looks a bit like _
T Tick for '
THR TiLda for ~
TK Dollar for $
TKPW the shape is reminiscent of @
TPH Number for #
TPR FRench bracket for { }
TW the shape looks a bit like `
TWR the shape looks a bit like \
WR the shape is reminiscent of -

I'm not saying this is the final word, just that it's what I'm using right now. The file is available at  and is called symbols.json.

See  for help understanding the JSON file above.