Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 – turn talk into type!

Those of you who can speak faster than you can type or suffer from RSI might like to know that the latest version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking (version 10) has just been launched.

This software allows you to type at around 160 wpm without typing – you just speak the words and it turns them into text for you. It’s 20% more accurate than the previous version – which claimed to be 99% accurate – so that’s pretty accurate! No spelling mistakes! It can also cope with regional accents and speech impediments, and the words appear on screen 50% faster than in the previous version. It knows that umms and errs shouldn’t be included, which is very clever. And even cleverer – it can automatically insert all the punctuation too!

As usual there are several different editions. The ones that most writers will be interested in are the Standard, Preferred, Wireless and Mobile editions.

The Standard edition does everything that most writers will need. You can dictate into Word and most other Windows applications, though not Outlook Express or other Office applications such as Excel or PowerPoint. You can open, close and control applications such as Internet Explorer. It also comes with a noise-cancelling headset that plugs into your computer’s microphone socket.

The Preferred edition does everything that the Standard edition does, but also allows you to dictate into Outlook Express and Excel. It can also read text back to you in a natural-sounding voice. This edition will also work with dictaphones and digital voice recorders – so you can record your speech while you’re out and about, then come back later and plug it into your PC and it’ll type it for you.

The Wireless Edition is the same as the Preferred edition, but comes with a Bluetooth wireless headset. So you can get up and wander around the room as you speak. It also comes with a Bluetooth adapter to plug into your PC in case it doesn’t have it built in. Bluetooth has a range of about 10 metres.

The Mobile edition is the same as the Preferred edition but comes with a certified Philips digital voice recorder and  the necessary leads.

There are other editions that are unlikely to interest you but I’ll mention them for the sake of completeness.  The Professional edition works with additional Office applications including PowerPoint and Outlook, supports specialist dictionaries that can be bought separately – such as a medical dictionary, works over office networks, and can support multiple users. There’s also a Legal edition and an Education edition.

I’ve decided to treat myself to the Mobile edition as I need a new digital voice recorder anyway. I can picture myself lying in an autumn field (weather permitting) with the outline of my new book at my side, dictating away at 140 wpm, then coming home and letting the computer type it into Word while I have a nice beer … you’d be mad not to!

If you haven’t tried voice recognition software before, or you haven’t tried it for several years when the technology was still in its infancy, now would be a good time to give it a go – it doesn’t get much better than this!

Dave Haslett, ideas4writers, www.ideas4writers.co.uk


11 thoughts on “Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 – turn talk into type!

  1. Pauline – why can’t you use this software yourself to run your transcription service? Play their recording into the software, leave it to run on its own, give it a quick check afterwards and you’re done. You could get through twice as much work with hardly any effort.

  2. I use the old Dragon Nat Speak7(provided for a recent posthrad degree) it’s good if you have physical handling problems(I’ve got arthritic hands) but you need excellent spelling and grammatical ability to check what it produces is correct and overcome the problems of the default setting of American English. It’s also very rigid, everything has to be wrtten in conventional sentences, hard work when doing dialogue.

  3. I think you’ll find that the newest version is a lot more flexible. Obviously it’s not going to suit everyone, but for a non-fiction author like me, who knows exactly what he wants to say and just wants to get it into the computer as quickly as possible, it’s a wonderful thing. But I’ll definitely be using it for novels too.

  4. I thought i was the only other person who would think of this i guess not.Anyway its a great idea to talk into a microphone or blue tooth & turn what your saying into text.Prefect for book Writers who are not great at typing or have writers block hurts like hell,my granma had it.
    While we are on ideas why is there no air filterer that cleans our ozone layer,A cruise ship that transforms into a submarine for recon & saving people,& a wall around our cities like ny,florida,virginia,washington,cali,ect. Just to insure our safety from rouge ways coming inbound or a rise in water lv thanks to melting ice caps.

  5. I appreciate the work that you have put in, in this page. Really good, also I wish to quote a few lines from this article in my site, I will give a link back to this article. Again.. it is really a good work.

  6. I am very interested in trying this as I have writers block all the time and think way faster than I can type… thanks!

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