For a couple years I have had my eye on the Dragon NaturallySpeaking program. I have a friend whose son can't use his hands. He has used Dragon NaturallySpeaking for years to complete school projects and she constantly raves about what a great product it is. So I'd done a lot of looking at the program trying to decide which version I wanted to buy, and finally settled on the home version - which I bought just a couple weeks ago.
When my friend first told me about Dragon NaturallySpeaking, I looked into other talk to text programs that were free. The one I tried..., well let's just say it didn't work too great. That made me a little leery of shelling out money for a program when I wondered whether it would even work. However, I kept hearing from various sources what a great program Dragon NaturallySpeaking was. So I finally decided to give it a try.
The box claims that Dragon NaturallySpeaking will give you 99% accuracy straight out of the box. Based on my experience with the other speech to text program I had used previously, I figured that was probably an exaggeration. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by how accurate Dragon has actually been straight out of the box. I did about 10 min. of training with it, reading one small paragraph, and a few paragraphs of a short story, and then launched right into using it.
I've only had the program for a couple of days, but I'm very excited to see what doors this will open for my writing. Some of the commands are not exactly intuitive for me, for instance, to create an action like hitting the enter key you have to say, "new line." I'm always wanting to say, "enter." Also, there's a certain knack to learning to pause before you give commands, so they aren't typed out in your document. For instance, if you don't pause before saying "new line," then the program might type "new line" right in the body of your document.
Due to the fact that you have to "train" Dragon to recognize your voice, the program really is only a one user program. My son put my microphone on and tried to dictate a passage, however the program totally did not understand what he was saying. You can create multiple user profiles within the program, however the terms of service state that for each additional user profile you create you need to buy an additional license. Also,if you train your program in a totally silent environment and then try using it with background noise going on, the program will not understand what you're saying. So I suggest training your program inside the environment where you will use it most often. However, as time goes on the program continues to perfect your user profile. So at first this is much more of an issue then later on.
The only other drawback I see to the program is that you also have to dictate your punctuation. That takes a little getting used, but I've been surprised at how quickly it comes.
I'm sure as time goes on I'll learn a lot more about the program and the program will learn to understand me better and since I'm a visual-audio learner I think this program will help me to be a lot more productive.
So if you've been looking at Dragon NaturallySpeaking, I can say that I highly recommend the program. Maybe some of you already use the program? Do you have any tips and tricks to share with the rest of us?
Incidentally, I have typed this whole blog post by "talking it."
Linda Apple is the author of Writing From Your Soul, Writing Life ~ Your Stories Matter, Connect ~ A Simple Guide to Public Speaking for Writers, POW; Promises Kept and Women Of Washington Avenue, her debut novel and the first book in her Moonlight Mississippi series. Her personal experience stories have been published in 16 of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her devotions have been published in numerous devotion magazines and books. She lives in Fayetteville Arkansas with her husband, Neal, their five children, five children-in-love, and ten grandchildren.
Jody Bailey Day writes inspirational fiction from west Texas. Her debut novel, Washout Express, released June 2013 from Harbourlight Books. Her short stories, poems, devotionals, and articles have appeared in Mature Living, Splickety Magazine, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Southern Writers Magazine, and Christiandevotions.us, She is a two time Grand Prize Winner at the East Texas Christian Writers Conference, and a Faithwriters.com Best of the Best award winner. She and her pastor husband have six grown children and nine grandchildren.
Deborah Dee Harper writes from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, by way of Michigan, Kentucky, Alaska, Mississippi, and Alaska (again). Deb is a graduate of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild classes and writes Christian humorous and inspirational books for both children and adults. Her children’s adventure series, Laramie on the Lam, available in both e-book and print, is being re-published as six individual print books. Her Road’s End series (Misstep, Faux Pas, and Misjudge) for adults is also contracted and should be published soon. She is currently nearing completion on the first book of another series. She is represented by Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency.
Lisa Lickel is an award-winning multi-published inspirational novelist, blogger, reviewer, and writing mentor. A freelance editor, Lisa loves all things historical. Her work has appeared in Writer's Digest and Christian Fiction Online.
Liberty Speidel has been a voracious reader since reading her first Nancy Drew book. But she was telling stories long before then with her figurines from Disney's Rescue Rangers. When she's not writing, you may find her gardening, baking, crocheting, or hiking. A lifelong Kansan, she now resides in the Kansas City metro area with her husband, children, and chocolate Labrador, where she could rival Captain Jean Luc Picard in consumption of Earl Grey tea. She is the author of Emergence, Retaliation, and Capitulation, novellas and novels in her series featuring superhuman and police detective Darby Shaw.
Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he earned a PhD in English literature (Renaissance) and for eighteen years taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His poetry has appeared in leading journals and is collected in his book Dust and Diamond: Poems of Earth and Beyond.His fiction includes a light-hearted mystery, Rhapsody in Red, and two suspense novels, Deadly Addictive and The Lazarus File, and a historical romance, Lightning on a Quiet Night. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ groups and conferences. He lives near Houston, TX, where he continues to write fiction and poetry, as well as essays on writing, ethical issues, and U.S. foreign policy.
Editor/Author Linda Yezak lives with her husband in a forest in east Texas, where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. She is a speaker/lecturer for various writers' groups and conferences. Her fiction books include Give the Lady a Ride, The Simulacrum, and The Cat Lady's Secret. Her nonfiction books include Writing in Obedience, co-written with Hartline Literary agent Terry Burns.
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