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Dragon Naturally Speaking


The most important software is software that can save you time. I have two all-time favorites for software to save your time. One of those is Dragon Naturally Speaking by Nuance. Why is Dragon Naturally Speaking my best pick?

Dragon was the first company (in the late 1970’s) to start producing dictation software.  Back then, it was called DragonDictate.  I became interested in Dragon around 1990 and a friend of mine purchased DragonDictate a couple of years later. Therefore, Dragon has the head start on the technology.

I’ve been using Dragon Naturally Speaking for several years now. I use it to dictate e-mails, legal papers, medical records, my entire website at HURT911.org which has almost 600 pages. PhilsBest.com is entirely written by dictating with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Dragon will type at up to 160 words per minute, just by dictating.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking is unbelievably accurate right out-of-the-box with only several minutes of training.  While using it, you can correct errors and it just gets better and better. Don’t forget to periodically let Dragon understand your errors by going to Tools, Accuracy Center, Run the Acoustic and Language Model Optimizer.

Of course, Dragon can save you an enormous amount of time at home, but at work it can save even more. At work, I used to have a secretary type everything. The problem is I would have to proofread it. Proofreading, took more time than dictating. Even worse, after being corrected, I would have to proofread it again. With Dragon, I don’t need a secretary. I just dictate and proofread while I’m dictating. Of course, I also save a fortune by not having to pay a secretary.

Besides saving time, another big benefit is the stress it takes off my wrists. I used to have serious carpal tunnel pain. The pain disappeared after I began using Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

A lot of people are writing on the Internet that Microsoft’s new operating system, Vista, has a built-in speech engine which is “almost” as accurate as Dragon NaturallySpeaking.  I have two comments about this.  First of all, Dragon NaturallySpeaking got its start in the late 1970s, many many years before Microsoft and has a long jump on engineering experience in that area.  Secondly, all the comments I have seen use the word “almost” as good as Dragon.  I don’t want to use dictation software that is “almost” as good.  I want it to be even better.  In fact, I wanted a better headset than the analog headset that comes with Dragon so I purchased a USB headset to make Dragon even more accurate.  Dragon is so inexpensive, it’s not worth wasting your time with any other software.

This brings me to the headset.  The headset I use is the NC-181VM USB Headset from Andrea Electronics which is rated the highest 6 Dragons by Nuance.  I found out about this headset when I called Dragon NaturallySpeaking tech-support and asked them which headset they use.  This headset is an enormous improvement and well worth the slight extra expense.  Using a USB headset is important to improve the accuracy of Dragon NaturallySpeaking because it bypasses your computer’s sound card.  An analog headset will utilize your sound card and most computers have been an inexpensive soundcard, which will produce poor results with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.  The most important thing you can do to make Dragon more accurate is to get a USB headset.  I replaced my previous USB headset, which was rated 5 Dragons, with the NC-181VM USB Headset from Andrea Electronics and I immediately noticed a significant improvement with the accuracy of Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

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3 Comments »

  • Dragon Software says:

    Just wondering if their is a newer article on Dragon Naturally Speaking 11.5?
    My recent post Dragon Software Features

  • admin says:

    I use the VXI Parrott Talk Pro USB-100 headset with Translator. The reason I use this headset is because tech support at Dragon NaturallySpeaking were using that headset at the time.

    I strongly suggest using a good USB headset because analog headsets are horrible unless you have a Sound Blaster sound card. Most computers are using an inexpensive onboard soundcard built into the motherboard. The USB headset will bypass the onboard sound card.

    The headset shipped with Dragon Naturally Speaking used to be an analog headset. I don’t know if they still ship an analog headset, but I previously suggested to them that a replace that with a USB headset.

    I wrote information about Dragon NaturallySpeaking and two USB headsets which work well with Dragon NaturallySpeaking at:
    http://www.hurt911.org/legal-software.php (Click on Software For Your Law Practice)

  • Jacqui says:

    I am looking to purchase V11 of Dragon Naturally Speaking Wireless with Dictataphone. Have you experience of wireless Microphone quality compared to usb? My 16yr old is Dysgraphic, cannot write efficiently.

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