Hi Valerie and Adam,

And all the members of the SignWriting List,

We are very happy to know so many possibilities that we can realize with this wonderful tool, which is the SignWriting RAND keyboard.

Valerie and Adam, you are always attentive and helpful, again thank you for the valuable help in guiding and directing us with the clarification of our doubts.

Em qui., 19 de nov. de 2020 às 16:36, Valerie Sutton <[log in to unmask]> escreveu:
SignWriting List
November 19, 2020

Thank you, Adam. This is very helpful.

Guess what? I just had fun using the RAND Keyboard, and it is indeed still functional! It works very well indeed ;-)

Here is a screen capture of my little experiment.

I went to:

I typed the sign for DEAF. I then copied the FSW of that sign and opened SignPuddle 2 and clicked on Import. I pasted the FSW into Import and the sign was ready to be moved into a SignPuddle 2 dictionary.

So the RAND keyboard is a web-based keyboard that can be used to write signs and documents and if you have another program like SignPuddle 2 or Wikipedia, that can accept and read FSW, then it is very useful -

The RAND Keyboad can also be used as a keyboard for SignText (inside SignPuddle 2). Pretty fantastic! Thank you, Steve and Yair!

it is a way to create sentences in SignText without dragging and dropping but using a Keyboard!

Here is a screen capture of my morning experiment ;-)


On Nov 19, 2020, at 11:02 AM, Adam Frost <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I have answered questions 1-4 below as question 5 has been answered by Val. ;-)

See my answers below.



On Nov 19, 2020, at 6:56 AM, Profo Rubens Almeida <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi Valerie, Adam and Steve,

and also to all members of the SignWriting List!

The research group in Santa Catarina - Brazil, needs your support to explain the following questions that will help direct research related to the use of the specific keyboard for Libras Writing by the SignWriting system:

1) Is the SignWriting RAND keyboard functional?

Yes, the keyboard is still functional within the Wikipedia environment.

2) Is it possible to type SignWriting more quickly and quickly using the RAND keyboard than other software?

There is a learning curve, as with any keyboard, and there hasn’t been much research - that I know of - to point to it being faster or not for typists as compared to other methods of writing SignWriting.

3) Is the keyboard in question still active? If so, are there reports of people using it to write Wikipedia articles in written sign languages? How many can you measure?

I know that some of the Wikipedia articles have been written with the RAND Keyboard, but I have no way of knowing which and how much was written with only that keyboard. In fact, I know that I have use the keyboard to make edits to various articles, including articles that I had written before the keyboard was available.

4) In addition to Wikipedia, is it possible to use the SignWriting RAND keyboard in another virtual environment, websites? Or install it on the computer for producing texts in SignWriting? As in Microsoft programs?

My understanding is that the RAND Keyboard is a web browser application written in JavaScript. It is possible to use this coding to convert text fields in the web browser to use that keyboard. I don’t believe the application has been converted to be useable as a desktop application, so it wouldn’t be useable within other Microsoft programs outside of the browsers. It would take some time to do so, but it would require someone with the skills and expertise to create such a conversation.

5) How to learn to use the SignWriting RAND keyboard? Are there courses? Or teaching materials for this purpose?


We thank you for your attention and support.

On Nov 19, 2020, at 10:36 AM, Valerie Sutton <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

SignWriting List
November 19, 2020

Hello Rubens Almeida, Yair Rand, Adam Frost, Steve Slevinski, Jonathan Duncan, Rich Gleaves and the research group in Santa Catarina, Brazil!

What a pleasure to hear from you, Rubens. Your LIBRAS SignWriting projects, and Wikipedia articles in LIBRAS using the RAND Keyboard, are an inspiration to me and so many around the world. Thank you for our continued communication.

There are actually several different Keyboards designed to type SignWriting symbols, however, in this message, I will focus on the RAND Keyboard:

Wikipedia articles can be written in SignWriting with the RAND Keyboard. For example, here are two examples of articles in Wikipedia written with the RAND Keyboard. One article is Brazilian and one is Tunisian (must be viewed on a computer):



The RAND Keyboard was developed by Yair Rand, first presented at the SignWriting Symposium 2015. Plus there were updates in 2016. Thank you Yair!

Here are some important links:

Use the RAND Keyboard on the Web:

The version without the plaintext options:

SignWriting Symposium Presentation 41:
"The Javascript-based SignWriting Keyboard for Use on Wikipedia and throughout the Web” by Yair Rand

Instruction Manual #1 for the RAND Keyboard by Dali Balti

On the web, Yair’s email address is:

Yair Rand
August 30, 2016
[log in to unmask]

As far as I know, the RAND Keyboard is still functional but maybe Adam and I and others can test it to see? Can you help, Adam?

Thank you again, Yair, for your generous gift of a keyboard, which has been used to write many articles in Wikipedia and it works on the web too...

Val ;-)

PS. Next message I will tell you about other keyboards for SignWriting.


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