Dragon Naturally Speaking 10
Dragon Naturally Speaking is a range of voice recognition software created by Nuance. With this software, you can quickly dictate the content of documents, emails and spreadsheets. When you consider that most people speak over 120 words per minute but type less than 40 words per minute, you can appreciate how big a time saving you can make by dictating your content.
One of the problems that speech recognition software faces is that of accuracy. That is, how much of what is dictated is recognised correctly. When using Dragon Naturally Speaking, you "train" the software to recognise your voice and thereafter, it improves its accuracy the more you use it. Nuance boast an accuracy of up to 99%.
You can use Dragon Naturally Speaking with the most commonly used programs, like Microsoft Word, Internet Explorer, Firefox and more.
What's New In Dragon Naturally Speaking 10
Version 10 is faster and claims to achieve 20% more accuracy than the previous version. There is enhanced accuracy for regional accents resulting from a large data collection and analysis exercise.
Using Dragon Naturally Speaking 10
After installing the software, you must complete a sound check where Dragon Naturally Speaking calibrates itself to your microphone. Then you must train it to recognise your voice. This step involves reading aloud one of a selection of passages of text that come with the product. The software learns how to match your spoken words with the words it transcribes. You'll spend between five and ten minutes training the software in this way.
There is a series of short tutorials that get you up to speed with using the software, and it is worth spending the time to follow them. It will take under 30 minutes to follow each guide and they give you the experience to start using Naturally Speaking confidently.
If additional users need to use the program, it's a simple task to add them and create a new profile for them. They will need to train the software to recognise their voice, in the same way that the original user did. This enables Dragon Naturally Speaking to differentiate between your voice and the new user's. Each time you start the program, you can then select the user who is going to be dictating.
Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 Capabilities
Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 is an impressive tool. Here is a selection of some of its capabilities, assuming that you are dictating into Microsoft Word:
- When dictating into Word, you can apply basic formatting such as bold, italic etc.
- You can select text you have previously dictated by saying "select" and then the text. Multiple words - in fact, entire sentences - can be selected, and then you can perform tasks on them that are presented clearly in a drop down menu.
- The last thing you dictated can quickly be removed (similar to using control-z) by saying "scratch that".
- You can reposition the cursor to any point in the document.
The installation and setup process is simple and straightforward. The microphone check involves you speaking a couple of passages of text into your microphone, and Dragon Naturally Speaking does all the work in the background to assess volume settings and also audio quality. You then have to train the software by reading aloud substantial chunks of text. Ten minutes should cover it this step. If you are familiar with Dragon products, you might like to just start using it immediately, but I'd actually recommend working through the short tutorials.