Saturday, February 6, 2016

Dragon Naturally Speaking 12.5 Speech Recognition and Dictation Software

Image from the Amazon website
As I stated in my previous post, I have been using the Dragon software for the past two days, and even though I have not explored all of its capabilities, I have really enjoyed using the software.

I know, this has nothing to do with art, right? Well, it is does, sort-of,  because right now I cannot use my right hand, which means I cannot do any kind of art. At least I cannot do the kind of art that I like to do. I have tendinitis of the wrist and thumb, and the only way to heal this is to avoid using the hand altogether. At first, I was using the speech recognition program that comes in Windows 10, but I have been extremely frustrated with this program. One good thing about Windows speech recognition is that it gave me some practice dictating before I started using the Dragon software.

First of all, it takes a while to get the program loaded and optimized. You have to go through all of the set-up steps like any other program, but then you have to spend some time reading aloud so that Dragon can get used to your pronunciation. The program takes an additional hour to build your profile, which it does by going through your documents folder, reviewing all of the text documents you have in there. At a later time, you can have Dragon do the same with individual folders on your hard drive.

Affiliate Disclaimer: For full transparency, you should know that many of my links in my posts are affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small commission when readers purchase items using my affiliate links. This helps me fund the blog domain costs, and you will not be charged extra if you buy anything using my links. 
image of Logitech ClearChat Comfort/USB Headset H390
Image from

Your microphone headset is probably one of the most important tools for using Dragon effectively. The software comes with a headset, but I already had a nice one by Logitech. The one I use is the Logitech ClearChat Comfort/USB Headset H390, which I found in Walmart, but Amazon sells it for a better price. If you have Amazon Prime or you take advantage of free shipping, you can save up to $10.

I have not tried to use the headset that came with the program, but many of the Amazon reviews state that it is not the best quality.

Why Dragon Naturally Speaking rocks:

  • Much faster than typing.
  • Start dictating right away and learn Dragon's capabilities as you get comfortable with the software.
  • Use DragonPad when you do not want to open Word
  • Have Dragon read your writing back to you – excellent for proofreading!
  • Customize Dragon to use your desired formatting.
  • Edit text without even touching the keyboard.
  • Click, position, drag and move mouse with voice commands

Why Dragon Naturally Speaking Sucks:

I cannot write much about why Dragon would suck at this time, but I can tell you that if you have a processor with less than 2.2 GHz, you may experience some lag when running multiple programs. I use Dragon on a basic laptop, and so far I have had few problems. I have no doubt that a typical desktop (made in the past five years, of course) can run it like a dream.

Let me close by saying that I used Dragon to create this post, which took half the time I normally use to compose them. I am comparing this dictated post to my typed blog posts from before I hurt my wrist. Even if you do not have a problem with your hands or your wrists, you may find this software indispensable. It takes a little while to get used to dictating, but with a little practice, it will get much easier.

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