Tuesday, October 18

Using speach to text software for writing

I've tweeted about this article, but it is so good I wanted to post about it too. Here are Karen Ranney's tips for using Dragon Naturally Speaking:
Buy the best microphone you can afford. (I’m currently using a Plantronics DSP400 Foldable Multimedia Headset which is soft, comfy, lightweight, and folds up and fits in a pouch.)

Always back up your User Profile. I’ve had to restore mine twice, even with this new version of Dragon.

If you’re having a problem with Dragon recognizing your speech, and you’ve used the tools under Audio, create a new user profile. Make sure you select the available accents if they’re applicable.

Train Dragon for words that are uncommon. For example, I write both Scottish historical romance and murder mysteries, and have a varied vocabulary for each. I use the Vocabulary/Import List of Words and Phrases command, which also allows me to train Dragon.

Train Dragon for your writing style by going back and having it analyze documents you’ve already written (Vocabulary/Learn from Specific Documents.)

Dragon is a tool, one that I’ve found to be very helpful for three reasons:

I’ve never had the dreaded blank page syndrome with Dragon. I’m forced to start talking about the book and before I know it, I’m writing it. (Besides, if I remain quiet for too long it picks up the sound of my breathing.)

It also enables me to maximize time. Granted, there are places I can’t use Dragon – for example, standing in line somewhere. But there are more places where I can use it, and I take advantage of those.

Using a speech to text program forces me to know what I’m about to say/write. Dragon helps me stay on target.

And, yes, this was dictated on Dragon.
Here's a link to Karen Ranney's article as it appears on The Passive Voice blog.


  1. I haven't trained my Dragon very well when I use it I'm the one blowing smoke ;) I forget to save properly.

  2. Ha! My only experience with the software is the Dragon Dictation app. It doesn't require any training -- or at least I don't think it does. Even so, I've found it to be very accurate when I wear a headset.

    Thanks for the comment.


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