Talking Instead Of Typing: An Easy Way To Write

[Note to my readers. Lent is over and Easter has arrived. As my schedule becomes a bit less crowded, I hope to beginning posting on a regular basis again.]

I am often attracted to new kinds of technology. I really get excited when I discover an application that can help me be more productive. I recently stumbled across a new piece of software that has become very useful to me.

Photo on 3-12-12 at 9.48 PM The software I’m referring to Dragon Dictate. This software can take spoken words and turned them into text. It can also be used to give commands to your computer. Included with the software is a microphone with a USB adapter that can be plugged into a Mac. There’s also a Windows version, but since I’m not a Windows user I haven’t tried it out. It’s my understanding that the Windows version has been judged to be even better than the Mac version. If that’s the case, it must be pretty good because I’m quite impressed with my initial experience with the software.

When I first installed the software I did need to do a bit of setup. After installing it on my computer I needed to train the software to respond to my way of speaking. To do that I needed to read some text that was provided for the training. I don’t think that took much more than 5 minutes. Once that was done I could start dictating right away.

I am amazed at how accurately the software recognizes my dictation. I am using it right now to write this review. There are very few corrections that I need to make. If the software does make a mistake, I can train it to recognize a word or phrase that I intended. I can also quickly go to the keyboard and make corrections as well.

Keyboard 2 The program does seem to be able to learn some of the unique vocabulary that I use. For instance, when I 1st started dictating it misspelled my 1st name. But I’ve been able to teach it to spell my name correctly. However, I’ve not been able to teach it to recognize my daughter-in-law’s name which is Flor de Liz. No matter how many times I try to correct its mistake it keeps transcribing her name  as "for the lease" or  "Florida lease." It’s not very difficult for me to correct any mistakes using the keyboard, but I do wish I could train it to recognize a word that I use frequently. Perhaps if I work with the program more I will be able to correct mistakes like that.

So far I am having less success in mastering all the commands that the program is supposed to recognize. Besides the dictation mode there are modes for spelling, numbers, and issuing commands to the computer. I plan to keep working with the program to see if I can increase my skill at using it. If there are any significant new discovers that I make, I’ll be sure to post them about them later. In the meantime, if you do a lot of keyboarding, you might want to check it out. Overall, I think that using Dragon Dictate can be a significant time-saver.

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About Arlyn Norris

I write for anyone who likes to reflect on faith and life, but especially for pastors who serve small to mid-sized parishes. I am a person who enjoys prospecting for new ideas, looking for new connections and constructing new frames to understand what I discover. I draw on nearly 40 years of experience as a parish pastor and over 60 years of life experience.


  1. Mark Decker says:

    Arlyn, I’ve been researching the Dragon Dictate and appreciate your comments here. This post is a few weeks old now and I’m curious how much you are still using it and how the ongoing experience has been? Thanks, Mark

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