Guide for Using Dragon Naturally Speaking

Customer Portal

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Guide step-by-step workbooks, tips and tricks, instructional videos, etc.

Getting Started

Make sure the microphone headset is connected and that the microphone is positioned at the level of your mouth and slightly to the side.

Return to top

Create a Profile

Next, you will need to create a user profile. While having your own profile is recommended in many AT applications, it is absolutely essential in Dragon. The program needs to be fully attuned to the nuances of your voice in order to perform efficiently.

Steps:

  • Click the icon marked 'Dragon NaturallySpeaking 6.0' on the desktop (the picture of the friendly red dragon)
  • On the Manage Users box that appears, click 'New'
  • The New User Wizard appears. Follow the instructions presented.

The next time you use Dragon, select your user name in the Manage Users box and click 'OK' to begin.

Return to top

Voice Training

After the wizard checks your settings, it will take you through a voice training session. Once this is finished, many users will be ready to begin commands and dictation. If you wish to perform additional training at a later session, follow these steps:

  • Open the Tools menu on the DragonBar
  • Select 'Accuracy Center'
  • On the Accuracy Center box, select 'Perform Additional Training'
  • Perform training as you did previously when setting up your profile

Return to top

Speaking

When the microphone is on, you must be very minimalist in your speech, as well as in other noises made near the microphone. Any sound that comes out of your mouth, including half-formed words, grunts, laughter, or throat-clearing may be interpreted by Dragon as either a command or dictation.

If you wish to cough or speak to someone near you, turn your microphone off or make it go to 'sleep.' You can tell which mode it is in by the microphone symbol on the left side of the DragonBar, or the identical symbol next to the clock in the bottom right corner of the screen.

A vertical green microphone means that it is on, a horizontal red microphone means it is off, and a tilted (45°) yellow microphone means it is asleep. You can turn it on and off by either of the following:

  • clicking either of microphone symbols
  • pressing the addition key (+) on the far right side of the keyboard (NOT the key at the top next to backspace)

You can put it to sleep by saying "Go to sleep" or "Stop listening." The microphone hears everything when it is on, nothing when it is off, and only the commands "Wake up" or "Listen to me" when it is asleep.

Whether commanding or dictating, you should speak clearly and smoothly and at a natural pace. Speaking unusually slowly or pausing between words will only make it more difficult for Dragon to interpret your speech accurately.

Return to top

Commands

Voice commands in Dragon are numerous, and vary according to the application in use. Learning the ones necessary to operate the computer efficiently will take time and repetition. There is a list of some useful ones at the end of this section. In addition, the following tips might be helpful while you are still in the process of building a command repertoire.

  • A good phrase to keep in mind is "What can I say?" Saying this will bring up a list of commands relevant to the current application.
  • You can perform the equivalent of pressing any key on the keyboard by saying "Press____" ( "Press Enter", "Press Space Bar").

Return to top

Dictation

With an application such as Microsoft Word open and the cursor in the starting position, begin dictating. (You can open Word by saying, "Open Microsoft Word.") You will need to indicate punctuation marks by saying them out loud (e.g., "comma," "period"). You do not need to indicate spaces between words, as Dragon supplies these automatically. When you reach a point where you would hit the enter key, you can simply say, "New line." It is very likely, especially in the early days, that Dragon will make mistakes in interpreting your speech. These mistakes can be corrected through the use of editing commands.

One of the most useful commands in dictation is "Scratch that." Use this command if you wish to undo text that has just been written, whether because Dragon made a mistake or simply because you had a change of heart about it. Dragon will erase what it has just written and position your cursor where it was before (this is equivalent to the Undo Typing option in Microsoft Word).

You might wonder how to distinguish commands from dictation. For example, when you say, "Scratch that," how does Dragon know to execute a command instead of writing the words "Scratch that"? To give commands that are unambiguous, follow these steps:

  • Pause before the command
  • Speak the command fluidly, without pausing between words
  • Pause at the end of the command before resuming dictation

Thus, if you said, "Scratch that" and immediately continued dictating with no pause, Dragon would not delete anything, and it would write, "Scratch that," followed by your next line of dictation. The results would be similar if you paused in the middle of the command. If you said, for example, "Scratch—that," Dragon would write those words instead of carrying out your command.

Return to top

Saving

As is the case whenever you are composing, it is wise to save regularly. The command for this is "Save that." The first time you save a new document, the Save As box will appear.

If you like the name and destination of the file as they appear, simply say, "Save"—this is equivalent to clicking the Save button. (If you wish to change the name or anything else about the file using voice commands, this is a little more difficult, although commands such as "Next field" or "Tab key" will help.)

Afterwards, you can save periodically by saying, "Save that." When you close the document (say, "Close Microsoft Word"), you will see a box asking if you want to save your recorded dictation. This is merely a recording of your voice that can be played back, and is not related to the constantly growing bulk of data that Dragon keeps on your voice and pronunciation.

As these files take up a large amount of space and are not essential, you will usually want to say, "No." Next, if you did not save before closing, you will see a box asking if you want to save changes to your document (i.e., the written text). The answer to this will usually be "Yes."

At the end of your session, when you exit Dragon completely, you will be asked if you want to save changes to your user files. Since Dragon learns more about the way you speak every time you use it, you will usually want to save these changes. At this point, say, "Yes."

Return to top

Computing Commands

  • Open ____ (e.g., "Open Microsoft Word," "Open Internet Explorer")
  • Switch to____ (e.g., "Switch to Microsoft Word," "Switch to next/previous Window)

Return to top

Editing Commands

  • Scratch that
  • Insert before____ (e.g., "Insert before 'usually'")
  • Insert after____
  • Select____
  • Unselect____
  • Open quote/parenthesis
  • Close quote/parenthesis

Return to top

Pima County Website