Universal Access

Dasher – information-efficient text-entry interface

Dasher is an open source information-efficient text-entry interface, driven by natural continuous pointing gestures.

Dasher is a zooming predictive text entry system designed for situations where keyboard input is not practical (for accessibility reasons, on a palmtop or wearable computer, when operating a computer one-handed, by joystick, touchscreen, trackball, mouse or when operating a computer with no hands (i.e. by head-mouse or by eyetracker).

The eyetracking version of Dasher allows an experienced user to write text as fast as normal handwriting – 25 words per minute; using a mouse, experienced users can write at 39 words per minute.

Dasher uses a more advanced prediction algorithm than the T9 system often used in mobile phones, making it sensitive to surrounding context.

Dasher is designed to help people with physical difficulties and therefore this is where it is most accessible.

A new version is under development which is Electron based.

Features include:

  • Employs an intelligent prediction engine.
  • Mode-free: the user does not need to switch from a writing mode to an “accept-model-predictions” mode.
  • Easy to train the model on any writing style.
  • Two-push, one button, dynamic mode.
  • Alphabet descriptions for over 150 languages.
  • Letter colours settings.
  • Training files in all languages.
  • Support for USB joystick control.

Website: www.inference.org.uk/dasher, Version 6 (in development)
Support: GitHub Code Repository
Developer: The Dasher Project
License: GNU GPL v2


Dasher v5 is written in C and C++. Learn C with our recommended free books and free tutorials. Learn C++ with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Dasher v6 is written in JavaScript. Learn JavaScript with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Return to Universal Access

Popular series
Free and Open Source SoftwareThe largest compilation of the best free and open source software in the universe. Each article is supplied with a legendary ratings chart helping you to make informed decisions.
ReviewsHundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software. We offer helpful and impartial information.
Alternatives to Proprietary SoftwareReplace proprietary software with open source alternatives: Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Autodesk, Oracle, Atlassian, Corel, Cisco, Intuit, and SAS.
GamesAwesome Free Linux Games Tools showcases a series of tools that making gaming on Linux a more pleasurable experience. This is a new series.
Artificial intelligence iconMachine Learning explores practical applications of machine learning and deep learning from a Linux perspective. We've written reviews of more than 40 self-hosted apps. All are free and open source.
Guide to LinuxNew to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series. We start right at the basics and teach you everything you need to know to get started with Linux.
Alternatives to popular CLI tools showcases essential tools that are modern replacements for core Linux utilities.
System ToolsEssential Linux system tools focuses on small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.
ProductivityLinux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
AudioSurveys popular streaming services from a Linux perspective: Amazon Music Unlimited, Myuzi, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal.
Saving Money with LinuxSaving Money with Linux looks at how you can reduce your energy bills running Linux.
Home ComputersHome computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.
Now and ThenNow and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years. It can be a bumpy ride.
Linux at HomeLinux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.
Linux CandyLinux Candy reveals the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun and escape from the daily drudgery.
DockerGetting Started with Docker helps you master Docker, a set of platform as a service products that delivers software in packages called containers.
Android AppsBest Free Android Apps. We showcase free Android apps that are definitely worth downloading. There's a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series.
Programming BooksThese best free books accelerate your learning of every programming language. Learn a new language today!
Programming TutorialsThese free tutorials offer the perfect tonic to our free programming books series.
Linux Around The WorldLinux Around The World showcases usergroups that are relevant to Linux enthusiasts. Great ways to meet up with fellow enthusiasts.
Stars and StripesStars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments