View Full Version : Dragon Naturally Speaking-Voice Recognition Software

08-11-06, 12:56 PM

The Back Story-Skip Ahead to Links if You are Impatient-I Understand :D
I was in a large bookstore one evening and because of my ADD ability to talk to people, met a wonderful man who works with disabled adults at Goodwill in STL. I was able to talk to him about ADD and discuss several books we were looking through.

When I mentioned wanting to earn my Phd -he has one-but my ADD makes it so time consuming to write my papers that I was having second thoughts about returning. He pulled out a little digital voice recorder and proceeded to tell me about Nuance software's Dragon Naturally Speaking-Voice Recognition Software and how he can download recordings from his digital recorder and they are translated into text. Plus, add a microphone and use it on your computer to speak your papers and other assignments.

A friend of mine has severe dyslexia and uses this software to write his papers and other work, including his dissertation. PHD candidate in Anthropology. I get no money for this-how could I-but, wouldn't it be nice. Oh well. They get the money, I just feel good for helping. I am just sharing info about a product that is used in universities for diabled sstudents, and in many other areas that can hlep you succeed, save time, and make life easier.

-----------------ESSENTIAL INFO HERE-IMPATIENT ONES----------------

Dragon software by Nuance is highly recommended by students with disabilities including para and quadrapelegics at SIUC-one of the most diability friendly campuses in Illinois-and the first, designed before ADA! OK, I am proud of my alma mater.

I can't adequately go into all the details-but there is a $70.00 rebate thru Amazon-possibly others right now that makes Dragon Naturally Speakingversion9preferred $94.99, instead of the the $199 retail. The offer ends soon so I post now.

Here are links to Nuance and Amazon and a link to the list of the software compatible digital recorder and microphone devices with quality ratings. I You want the preferred version-it has more features and will meet your needs better. For you visual types-here is a picture of the box-Preferred9
You will pay full price here. They have digital recorder sets that come with version 8-you want the newest version, 9. it is considerally improved and easier to use. (The medical and legal versions are big buckeroos-don't accidentally order then unless you are a doc or lawyer.)

The Amazon link with rebates and lower price: (
Print out your rebate forms, send in UPC and invoice. Don't throw out box . There are customer reviews that really offer good insight.

Device Compatibility
All the devices are certified by Nuance to work with the software. I also ordered a compatabile headset microphone for my computer with a long cord so I can walk around while I "write" my papers. Two links to devices:
This links you to the compatible hardware page for digital recorders. I bought the Olympus DS 2.
Find headset and microphone compatibility here-pull down menus.

More info from CNet -including price comparisons. ckage/4507-3528_7-31988682.html?tag=nav

Amazon had the lowest price when figuring in shipping, taxes, and other charges. I am not promoting Amazon. My one OCD trait is finding the lowest price possible for anything I buy. It just seems like Amazon is often, but not always, the lowest.

I am waiting for my order to arrive but wanted you to know about this before the rebate ends. Everyone I know who has a disability and uses it loves it. It is also used by doctors and lawyers. You train the software to recognize your voice. I will tell you more about my writing difficulties later in the college forum. As a teacher with ADD-it takes me a long time to write unit and lesson plans and I look forward to using this so I have a life outside of teaching! Let me know what you thing, and any suggestions.

Becky-working for better living with ADD!
Will keep you updated on the arrival and experiences using my software.

08-11-06, 03:01 PM
Thanks for posting about this Becky. I have been thinking about voice recognition software lately, and have been wondering if that technology has evolved much.

I know I will be able to use this, and this appears to be exactly what I have been wanting.

08-11-06, 03:55 PM
Thanks. I think it was serendipitous and more than just a chance meeting. I had always assumed software like this was much more expensive to buy and had not pursued this avenue.

But, the $94 or so price is the same as the education version of MS Office Educator/student version making it very doable.

I spent a lot of time researching this and am pleased with what I learned. It will be so nice really use my learning skill strenths! I am an aural processor, meaning I talk through problems, resolve things verbally-even when alone. Add that to ADD and I really talk a lot. The idea of having it all convert to text without having to type everything sounds like heavenl.

Why I need Voice Recognition Software
I am a poor typist, despite classes, and concerted self-study methods to improve my skills. in nearly 40 years I can still type only about 35-40wpm, with very poor accuracy. I continually backspace and retype. I have to visually picture where each key is on the keyboard as I enter words. This interuppts the flow of my thoughts. I have lost a lot of really good sentences and ideas that way. Plus, the effort of composing sentences while typing is very time consuming for me.

When writing by hand, I get lost in creating the individual letters and how they could interconnect or stand on their own. I love calligraphy-not very proficient because of this problem, but love to see the different ways of wrting the same word. I have to think about spacing, margins, if I an spelling it correctly-I am a phenomenal speller when not typing.

I am trying to focus on what is going on in my thought processes as I write and type so my psydoc and I can pinpoint the specific diagnostice tests I need. My goal is to start writing in my field and doing some research so I improve my phd admission chances. Writing takes me hours longer than others who do not struggle with this. Now, I can focus my thoughts on writing, not on the mechanics.

Ideas for using Dragon-

Inventory your books verbally, download and voila! the inventory list is printed.
Use in car to record ideas-then download into text! no more retyping recorded notes after the fact.
recording quotes, sources, dates and authors for literature reviews and bibliographies-the things I hate most to type.


08-11-06, 05:34 PM
I went out to get my new glasses, came home and my Amazon order was on the doorstep. I am beginnng the install and following the instructions on how to train my Dragon to know its master' voice.

Will keep you updated.


08-11-06, 07:30 PM
RaddMom, it might interest and encourage you to know that this software is also used for transcription in the medical field, and other fields where there are repeat dictators. It has come a long way, and saves everybody time and money for dictators that can take the initial time to train. My son's laptop even has some sort of voice-dictation program that came with it included, and he can edit it afterwards. What a fun new toy for you, hope it goes well with installing it!

08-11-06, 09:57 PM
Thanks 1kid

OK-This is the saga-I am just now getting the software installed. Over 4 hours later. HP tech support deserves a big hurrah!!! I have the AMD Athlon 64 processor on my laptop and it should have allowed the installation. The long and short of is--He showed me how to update the athlon processor with downloads on HP's site. It is a very new update and had not hit my auto update schedule.

Disk 2 of Dragon is now installing-Then, I get to play Dragon Master-

One nice bit-as long as I am the only user of this software, I can install it on as many computers as needed. Thus, I can put it on one at work, home, laptop, or anywhere else that I regularly use a computer. No one else can use it since it is trained to recognize only one voice pattern. So, you can accommodate yourself for low cost at home and work!!! Will be great to not have to lug my laptop everywhere and risk damaging it.

Of course, the school would have to have a compatible computer. My last school gave us Windows 98 compaqs-I spent 1/2 hour at least, everyday fixing crashes.


08-11-06, 10:38 PM
So far the program is very easy to learn. The tutorials have a large type copy of the text being narrated by the trainer.

You choose from a list of reading selections based on the type of writing and speaking you usually do. My selection was Dogbert's Management Guide or something.

It is rather weird to take to your computer-I know I talk to myself, but this is rather strange. I will get used to it, but until then will keep the door shut.

Off to practice some more-and learn to Victor Borge the punctuation :D .

08-11-06, 11:19 PM
My 10yo daughter has learning disabilities and ADHD and uses Dragon to do alot of her written work for school. It works very well for her. She has version 8 prefered. As stated by 1kid2dogs, there are professional versions for medical and law offices (very pricey). Please watch the of them for $50 is for when you upgrade from an earlier version (you have to send in the old disc).

08-12-06, 12:26 AM
This the third time to try this postevery time I work on it an Ambien commercial page takes over my post so, this is a quick post done with Dragon Master for the first time. I'm going to try and post this and see if I can avoid the commercial interruption.


08-12-06, 12:29 AM
This is totally amazing! You can use it in any application??

08-12-06, 01:04 AM
This the third time to try this postevery time I work on it an Ambien commercial page takes over my post so, this is a quick post done with Dragon Master for the first time. I'm going to try and post this and see if I can avoid the commercial interruption.

RADDI've never gotten a pop-up ad here at this site.

Becky did you get pop-ups here before installing that software?

Did you have to proof that post & correct any errors, or did it work as expected?

Do you have to talk really slow?

08-12-06, 01:47 AM
This is working out better than I even thought it would. It is not perfect, but it sure beats the heck out of my typing skills. I need to learn how to do possessives and other types of formatting, such as making text bold or italic.

I've are to used it to send e-mail in my Yahoo browser, post on the forum, and in Microsoft Word, there are very few spelling mistakes. Most of those come from my mispronouncing various words. I do not have to speak extremely slowly, just very clearly and distinctly. When you first install the software, it takes you to a tutorial where you read passages of text that teach the software how to recognize the way you speak.

I never realized how long it actually takes me to type my keyboard compared to just speaking what I want to write. I need to go real quick my battery is depleting and I think I'm going to need to send my computer in for repairs. Good thing we have a desktop too.

I've only used the keyboard a few times while writing this post and I didn't struggle to get my ideas across while trying to type and correct all my mistyped words. So far I'm a very happy camper, whose posts are going to be way too long unless I learn to shut up!

Get a good night sleep, I need to rest my neck,

08-12-06, 01:53 AM
We use the prefered version 8 with word, internet explorer and outlook. We got a call today to upgrade to 9 and they said it now works with exel. You might look at the links that RADD posted for all the information. The prefered version comes with a headset.

08-12-06, 09:21 AM
i find raddmon very hard to use so iam waiting for tec tomopove......>< befor i try that...i wish you well dorm

08-12-06, 10:25 AM
It's the next day and I am still amazed at how easy this is.I feel like a whole new world is opened up to me, I don't have to think about what key to strike or whether my fingers are on the right row and then I'm not misspelling words by accident all time. So basically I can just sit back relax and if I wear my glasses and set my screen to large enough to size I can just talk to screen.

Now my focus is only on the task that I need to be doing, which is writing. It's amazing when I don't have to think about the mechanics of writing.

I haven't come up with a name for my software yet playing with Hal but I think Daisy might be perfect.

RADD and Daisy

08-12-06, 10:45 AM
what softwer is this radd??? plazss dorm????????????

08-12-06, 11:57 AM
It is so nece to see you enjoyong the dragon. It made a great difference for my daughter and her homework load. It was even useful for my older daughter on her large reports. The hardest thing for them was to try to say whole thoughts rather than single words because the dragon guesses the correct word better if it is in context.

08-12-06, 12:30 PM
You sticky I am getting used to speaking in longer sentences than more quickly the hard part is to speak clearly ending pause long enough for her to put everything down on paper

the above sentence was not edited, that is exactly what was put down as I spoke into the software. It is much more accurate if you speak naturally as the software scalds rather than trying to speak in a few words at a time. When you need to breed (it read me as breed, not breathe) it'll put your statements down on paper. As you might notice some of the words come out a little bit funny so you do have to do some editing. If you speak too slowly it won't put spaces between words and you have to go back and add spaces.

What a difference this would make for kids in high school who dread writing papers and put it off the last minute. Sometimes writing papers is overwhelming especially for kids with ADD and learning disabilities.

If I was apparent of a child with a disability, I would insist on the software as part of the IEP and normal accommodations for my child. It is not that expensive, and schools can probably get bulk discounts. It is your right as a parent to have an equal voice in your IEP meetings and to advocate for your child. I should probably put this in a different thread somebody stop now and just more work and what I need a break I'll post an IEP thread in the school forum for parents.


08-12-06, 06:35 PM
Dorm, the software is called to Dragon naturally speaking, version 9. It is made by nuance software. It is earned some of the top awards in the field, and is used extensively in the medical, legal, and other professional fields. It has a very good reputation and is not a fly by night company.

The key here is to make sure your computer is compatible with the software. If you have an old computer you might have to use version 7 or 8. Version 9 requires a Pentium 4, 1 GHz processor or an equivalent AMD processor. I have an Athlon 64 and it took a few hours with HP tech to make some adjustments on my computer so the software would run. Since then no problems. You also need 512 MB of RAM and 1 GB of disk space. It requires a Windows XP SP1 one or higher home or professional edition operating system and a 16 bit sound card. Those are the technical details from the minimum system requirement list on the bottom of the box.

If you scroll down to the end of this thread to my first post, you will find links to the software company to reviews and other information about the software and digital recorders. Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions. This is what SIUC, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, recommends for its students with writing difficulties such as dyslexia and those who have an ability to use their hands to type. As long as someone can use voice commands, such as a quadriplegic, they are able to use any textbased software.

I still can't believe how easy this has been to learn. I got the basics down within about a 30 minutes, but there is a lot more to learn. If I don't talk clearly I get some interesting words for instance, I said hugs and it put in the word cocks, so that was a shocker. So you do have to edit and proofread.

Dorm, I wonder if you could find someone in the UK who sells us and will give you demonstration so you can see how it works, and try it out possibly. I didn't see a moneyback guarantee on it unfortunately. But perhaps if you e-mail them they might send your trial copy. It is always worth a try.

I hope this helps. Take care,

08-12-06, 11:09 PM
I bought it a few years ago, for big, big bucks. The recorder (part of the set) broke after a little while, nothing I ever said into it ever came out even close (i.e., it was worthless for dictation) and I still--after loading vocabulary, doing hundreds of redo's, and talking like a computer--have plenty of typos (or is that "talkos"?).
It is better than typing, though.
I hope it has come a long, long way. I hear ViaVoice is worse, though, and TalkItTypeIt is much cheaper, so I wonder about its quality. Maybe one day, maybe one day.

08-12-06, 11:41 PM
Johnny, From what you say, it must have come a long way. Maybe the same as from ENIAC to today's mobile laptop's. I have very few talko's and find the program easy to use, add vocab and train to my voice. The Preferred version 9 MSRP is $199, but you can find lower prices from many retailers.

I bought it a few years ago, for big, big bucks. The recorder (part of the set) broke after a little while, nothing I ever said into it ever came out even close (i.e., it was worthless for dictation) and I still--after loading vocabulary, doing hundreds of redo's, and talking like a computer--have plenty of typos (or is that "talkos"?).
It is better than typing, though.
I hope it has come a long, long way. I hear ViaVoice is worse, though, and TalkItTypeIt is much cheaper, so I wonder about its quality. Maybe one day, maybe one day.
I am typing this post beause I completed a training session where I read a chapter from 2001:A Space Odessy. The user selects passages based on the type of reading he/she does. It can be easy, teen-with slang etc. , hard-for college students and professionals. Your voice recording is then used to somehow customize the software's recognition of your inflection and accent. I was using it very easily within 30 minutes. You can retrain or do advanced training anytime you like.

I hate learning new software-there are so many details I seem to miss. Yet, this has been quite easy and actually fun. I suggest you look into it again if you really need this type of software.


11-22-06, 08:15 PM
Some people don't like Dragon, b/c they say it does not work, accuracy-wise. They often need better microphones, though.

I switched to a better mike, and my accuracy is WAY WAY better.

11-22-06, 08:23 PM
thanks raddmomo i have alook an see if i can be good to see if i could ,,,your point was good an it works well for you an thanks queen i think i get better mic as well i def look into all the diff ones out there an see whats going on thank you both an thanks raddmomo iam glade that your daughters going well vikic

11-29-06, 11:22 PM
Do you use a voice-to-text program now, Dorma?

12-04-06, 01:01 AM
The long story first. I love talking. When I find someone who is slightly interested or listening I am in heaven. I can talk, and talk and talk...
This can be good. At one time in my career I gave presentions on the software product that I was the worldwide product marketing manager for. It was the prefect time for me. A captive audience and one that actually was there to hear what I had to say. I was very successful at it. Times changed and I have not found that sort of enjoyment in awhile...but let's get back on track.

Often I was asked to write down or provide speaker notes for my presentations so others could expand our coverage. This was difficulult for me for a couple of reasons: 1.) i had lots of annectdotal material because I was truly a subject matter expert. I could read the audience, ask a few questions and modify the presentation on the fly. 2.) I could not get what I said with my mouth through my fingers to the keyboard. (an ADD symtom)

Well, in my last session with my psychiatrist we talked about this. I am worried about my next job (currently an unemployed Marketing Manager). My fear in my work has been writing. Normally, marketing managers have to write alot. I have avoided this, but might be the cause of my not so succesful career. Now that I know about my add, have begun taking Adderall XR, I'm actually looking forward to my next position. He reminded my about using a recorder and software to go from mouth to keyboard. You think I would have thunk about this....I was in the PC software business for years and on my speaking tours I was usually before or after the guy that did the voice recognition software (at the time a competitor to Dragon, now owned by them.) I even tried it a few times.

So, let's get to 2006. I'm looking at purchasing a digital voice recorder now, and when I am employed again ordering Dragon Naturally Speaking.

I'm looking at the Sony ICD-P320. It is on the compatible hardware list for Dragon. Not the most expensive recorder on the market, but should work. I'll start by just capturing my thoughts which still come and go at a phenominal speed. This will give me the opportunity to capture and review. The ICD-P320 has the ability to insert and delete in the middle of a recording. I'll be able to download and save to disc.

Soon after I am in a new position, I'll look for the best deal on the Dragon software.

SO...does anyone have anything new to add on Digital Voice Recorders and/or voice recognition software?

PS: There is a $10 off a $40 or more purchase at Staples. Go to ---> Merchants---> Staples to find the coupon.


12-05-06, 01:07 PM
There are some good forums about DNS. (

and (

12-11-07, 06:36 PM
Hey all, I found out how essential Dragon can be---for many parts of life.

I am being tested for Labyrinthitis or other ear/brain disorder (other than ADD smart alecks). Looking at the computer screen makes me nauseated-which does PO me-the near Geek. But-----with Dragon, I can write emails, papers, and do all sorts of other stuff without typing! Prevents vomiting!

May have to start using audacity or wavepade to record my emails and send mp3 downloads-at least to friends! I'm So Dizzy, My Head is Spinnin'--The Chicago V. Spinning wheel got to go round....

12-11-07, 07:19 PM
I bought Dragon Naturally Speaking last summer because I knew I would be having carpal tunnel surgery in a few months. It set up quickly and trained to my voice quickly. True, you do have to proofread your stuff pretty closely before sending it out, but the accuracy, especially if you are reading from notes or from a book, is really surprisingly good. It allowed me to "type" at about 100 WPM for the first time in my life.

I use the mike that came with it.


12-11-07, 08:21 PM
Improving Accuracy!

I wanted to let you folks know that I have wickedly improved my accuracy with the APPLE "iMic" adapter.

It fits between the Headset I'm using (Logitech) and my laptop USB headset plug-in.

03-05-08, 01:38 PM
Windows vista includes speech recognition and Microsoft have made this feature available for Windows XP (it is free). I am using it all the time, although it seems to work only on other Microsoft programmes (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.). Apparently it is as accurate as Dragon.