Stroke Dialer as QWERTY alternative

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The Stroke Dialer is also used as an alternative to the QWERTY keyboard layout in certain Eyes-Free applications such as the Marvin shell. Instead of thinking of the Stoke Dialer as a keypad, think of it as a compass with eight compass points: North, South, East and West, and North-East, North-West, South-East and South-West.

Each of the compass points has a pair that is adjacent to it. So North is paired with South, East is paired with West, North-East is paired with South-West and North-West is paired with South-East. Each pair is assigned a colour, namely:

  • North and South is blue
  • East and West is yellow
  • North-East and South-West is green
  • North-West and South-East is red

Finally, each compass point has a letter associated with it as can be seen in the diagram below.

  • The first 8 letters of the alphabet (A – H) are red, with ‘A’ at North-West and ‘E’ at South-East.
  • The next 8 letters of the alphabet (I – P) are Blue, with ‘I’ at North and ‘M’ at South.
  • The next 8 letters of the alphabet (Q – X) are Green, with ‘Q’ at North-East and ‘U’ at South-West.
  • The final 2 letters (Y, Z) plus common punctuation are Yellow, with ‘Y’ at East and the ‘Space’ character at West.
Compass point Paired compass point Colour Letter
North South Blue I
South North Blue M
East West Yellow Y
West East Yellow Space
North-East South-West Green Q
South-West North-East Green U
North-West South-East Red A
South-East North-West Red E


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