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The name of the product is Dragon Naturally Speaking. Specifically, the version I have is version 10 preferred. I don't generally get excited about software, but I do like anything that saves me time. Right now, I am really diggin' this.

It's possible that many of you out there are already using this, but I just recently installed it and have been playing around with it. For those of us who write primarily narrative style reports, this could be a real time saver. I researched the product before I bought it, and realized that for it to be the most accurate would likely require the purchase of an aftermarket headset with a better microphone. That certainly turned out to be true. The crappy and uncomfortable headset included with the program should be junked. I bought a Logitech headset for less than $50 which works beautifully. It uses a USB connection which is an important distinction. The benefit to this particular set is that it also has headphones, so I can listen to music quietly while I work. (That is absolutely necessary for me, since I have two boys still living at home. When they get to arguing, it's hard for me to focus.)The microphone has noise canceling features so it is not distracted by random external noises that it may pick up. It doesn't hear anything from the headphones either. The headphones are not audiophile quality by any means, but for very soft background listening they are fine. Other units are available if ultimate sound quality is more important to you.

Anyway, if you're not familiar with this software, what it does is take the spoken word and translate it into text. It can work in many different programs including about any Word-based programs or e-mail, and when it is set up properly, it will write about as quickly as you can speak. I've only messed with it for about a week, and the accuracy rate is amazing. (With a good microphone and the proper training which you do with the program)

It does require some time to train it, but it isn't overly odious, and it really is amazing how much time it has already saved me. If you work it properly, it gets more accurate over time. On sale, it generally runs about 100 bucks around here.

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It's astonishing. I'm working to integrate it into the comic book. Import pics, sort, tab through comment section, dictate what I'm looking at in the pic, tab to next pic, etc.

Did I say it's astonishing? It's been giving me giggles.

I might start calling my softare set Hal......maybe Hal Pro......

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I've dictated every report for 23 years.

Our "equipment" is able to type about as fast as we speak, knows all the terms not usually found in common language, corrects grammatical errors, calls us when they catch something that doesn't seem right and saves our butts when we make mistakes in the reports.

I really don't understand why more HIs don't do the same. It's good enough for reports written by physicians, lawyers and research scientists, to name a few.

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As a FYI Microsoft Word has speech to text built in.

Open Word.

On the Tools menu, click Speech.

You're asked if you want to install the feature. Click Yes.

After the installation is complete, click Next to train speech recognition.

Training begins with help in adjusting your microphone

I've never tried it so can't say whether it's good or bad.

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As a FYI Microsoft Word has speech to text built in.

Open Word.

On the Tools menu, click Speech.

You're asked if you want to install the feature. Click Yes.

After the installation is complete, click Next to train speech recognition.

Training begins with help in adjusting your microphone

I've never tried it so can't say whether it's good or bad.

It must be in a new version. I have an Office Premium package from 2003 and that version of Word doesn't have it.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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As a FYI Microsoft Word has speech to text built in.

Open Word.

On the Tools menu, click Speech.

You're asked if you want to install the feature. Click Yes.

After the installation is complete, click Next to train speech recognition.

Training begins with help in adjusting your microphone

I've never tried it so can't say whether it's good or bad.

It must be in a new version. I have an Office Premium package from 2003 and that version of Word doesn't have it.

OT - OF!!!

M.

I have Office 2003 as well Mike, it's the student edition. I buy all my software at the local college book store - great savings.

If you go here

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/usin ... ber23.mspx

you can read up on it. You can download Microsoft Speech Recognition Engine v5.0 for free as well.

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I have Dragon Naturally Speaking working pretty well, this post is dictated with it, and I'll post it exactly as transcribed.

It does take a good deal of training to get reliable recognition, and the software is a bad habit of dropping and, it's, that's and the like, however you can greatly improve the accuracy for technical dictation by deleting nontechnical words unlikely to appear in reports which are confused by NaturallySpeaking with normal report material.

Having done those things I find that I can get through a substantial amount of dictation without heirs, and with the great advantage that there no spelling errors.

One interesting thing about Dragon NaturallySpeaking is it is able to transcribe rapidly spoken dictation at least as accurately as more slowly and laboriously spoken material, since the previous comma I have been dictating with very, very rapid speech and as you can see it's transcribing it well.

Looking back over this I see only one error: the substitution of heirs for error.

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Kevin, you mention that Dragon is about $100. I'm assuming that's the Standard version.

I'm not sure Standard would work for me.

Does anyone have advice or experience with the Preferred or Professional level product?

I have V. 10 Preferred -- I got it on sale. Just be sure to allow another $50 or so for a good headset.
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