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Need for Read: Part 3

dragon-naturally-speaking-11What does Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 voice-recognition software have to do with video games? Nothing. Except that the fact I will be doing most, if not all, of my GameHounds writing using my new Dragon software.

In fact, I’ve only been using this software for about 10 minutes and already I learned how to program “GameHounds” into my personal vocabulary list. Pretty cool.

I am writing this, er, speaking this, with my arms crossed and having the software do everything for me in WordPad.

It does an excellent job of recognizing the dictation versus the commands. For example, I can tell it to go and use the “file” command and save the document just by telling it to. I can also have it use the “edit” command and select all and copy into the WordPress program so Edie can review it before going live to the website.

My laptop is old so I don’t get to use all of the bells and whistles that Dragon offers, but all I really wanted was something to save me from hours of typing by hand, and this does the job very efficiently. I heard some horror stories about the Dragon software and how it takes hours and hours to learn how to use it, but I literally am writing this article just minutes after installing.

It does have a very in-depth tutorial and also comes with a quick reference card which shows you some of the more common commands you can say. Again, I am quite surprised at the job it does between recognizing the dictation and the commands, and there are a lot of commands.

You have the ability to really get this to be a hands-free device for most of your applications on the computer. From searching Amazon and other websites to opening programs, if you take the time to learn you can pretty much do everything without using the mouse or keyboard at all. The only drawback I’ve found it just doesn’t seem natural to speak so quickly and have a software program pick up your every word. It’s not a bad thing, just not how we normally do things. It’s also a little funky when you have to say the word “comma” or “period.”

But what is nice about this program is that you can intervene with the mouse and keyboard at any time to make your corrections quickly, even though you can make corrections just by speaking into the microphone. But that is taking me longer, as I’m still learning this program. And speaking of that, pardon the pun, just in the few minutes it took to speak this article I’ve already learned how to do so many new things. My ultimate goal is to be able to make and drink Scorpion Bowls while I “write” my GameHounds articles. Right out of the box, I’m giving Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 some very high marks. If it does anything it gives your hands of break and is a lot of fun to use.

Be sure to check back soon as my Need for Read series continues.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11
Nuance Communications
For Microsoft Windows
$94 on Amazon.com
Available now

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