Dragon NaturallySpeaking training with the SpeakEASY DVD

Learn to be more efficient at Dragon NaturallySpeaking by using the SpeakEASY DVD developed by Jim Bendewald.



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Dragon NaturallySpeaking Legal 11

Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a Productivity Tool

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Versions Compared

SpeakEASY Online Training for Dragon NaturallySpeaking

Why purchase the professional products?

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional 11

Today there are a variety of NaturallySpeaking versions to choose from.  There is Dragon NaturallySpeaking Medical with its many specialty vocabularies for the various medical fields.  There is Dragon NaturallySpeaking Legal 11 which also offers a specialty vocabulary and the ability to dictate legal citations.   There is Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional 11 whose features are also part of the Medical and Legal versions.   Medical, Professional and Legal is for anyone who is serious about using Dragon NaturallySpeaking to become more efficient in their work.  Anyone who creates word processing documents and email will greatly benefit from Medical,  Legal or  Professional version 11!

What is the difference between the professional programs (including Professional, Medical and Legal) vs Premium which is only $199?  Answer: it’s the power to perform amazing feats with a single phrase.   Custom commands have the power to produce amazingly efficient documents.

Learn more about macros with the video below:

There are several other features but this is the most significant one for most users.   Using the professional grade programs one could use  custom macros to navigate the screen very quickly, change the format of the document and edit the text with simple two word, easy to remember commands.   A second major feature only available in the professional programs is called Delayed Edit.  It is the ability to dictate the document, save it and return another day to edit the document.  The reason this works so well is because the dictated audio remains connected to the text.  For those who don’t have the time to do their own editing this feature allows for an efficient way for the support staff to check it over and complete the editing!  Simply save the file, and make it available to the staff via network and the staff will not only see the text but have access to the audio (caution: there are a couple of settings for this feature that must be turned on).

Learn more about Delayed Edit with the video below:

There are a variety of other advantages to the professional programs.  Learn more about the features of each program by going HERE.

History of Dragon NaturallySpeaking


Dragon Dictate

Jim Bendewald, the owner of CompuTALK has been supporting, and delivering Dragon NaturallySpeaking products since 1996.  In those early years the primary market was with those with disabilities.  Dragon allowed the physically disabled to not only dictate text but also control and navigate about the computer.  In the early years leading up to 1997 the dictation was done as “discrete speech”, meaning dictating — one — word — at — a — time.   It was pretty slow and inaccurate but for those who really needed it, the program was the great equalizer enabling the disabled to go back to work and lead more productive lives.   As computers got faster the software got better.  In 1997 continuous speech recognition was introduced.   It won numerous awards and was expected to quickly change the way people worked on their computers.

Version 2 came with the Deluxe Edition including custom macros.

Though version 1 of the Dragon NaturallySpeaking program was vastly more accurate and faster than Dragon Dictate (discrete speech) it was limited in its use.  It was not able to be customized with macros, a hallmark of the Dragon software.  It had limited vocabulary and the computers it ran on were still very slow compared to today’s standards.   Fast forward 13 years to 2010 and we now have version 10 of Dragon NaturallySpeaking.  We now have computers with dual and quad cores, running much more RAM than computer users in 1997 even dreamed of having on their hard drive much less for RAM!

So it is a different world today.  With version 10 there are a variety of versions to choose from.  There is medical with its many specialty vocabularies for the various medical fields.  There is legal which also offers the legal specialty vocabulary and the ability to dictate legal citations.   There is professional whose features are also part of the Medical and Legal versions.   Professional is for anyone who is serious about using Dragon NaturallySpeaking to become more efficient in their work.  Anyone who creates word processing documents and email will greatly benefit from Professional!  To know why the professional products are so helpful go HERE.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional helps people with disabilities?

Disabled with Dragan

People with physical disabilities will likely use speech recognition for the rest of their lives.  In that circumstance it makes sense to invest in the program that will help them be the most productive and efficient.

Depending on the severity of the disability some people would require the Professional version in order to fully control the computer.  But anyone who needs to reduce stress to their limbs will greatly benefit from Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional’s ability to voice control most any computer action.

The single most predominant benefit for using Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional is its ability to be customized through macros.  Any action that can be done with the keyboard can be reproduced with a macro.  Fortunately thousands of custom macros have been produced into a set.  The CompuTALK Custom Macros are $195 for the set.  Here are more examples of the CompuTALK macro set.

Using the CompuTALK macros gives a giant boost toward enabling people to use the computer hands-free. The CompuTALK macros is a set of preprogrammed commands that help people work faster.  The easier-to-remember commands are also a giant step toward helping people overcome frustration with using Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

The Professional Edition gives users the full capability of Dragon NaturallySpeaking.  The additional features are tools that solve problems and improve efficiency.

The Professional, Medical and Legal Suites also come with these features:

  • Delayed Editing. This feature will save the audio with the text file.  One may edit later or have support staff do the editing.  This is a huge time savings.  No longer do people need to do all their own editing.  Just dictate the text and have the support staff review the document and edit it right in Microsoft Word!
  • Use of Multiple Vocabularies. A user could have one vocabulary designed for medicine and another vocabulary for personal use.  A single user could also have various-sized vocabularies.
  • Roaming User. This allows users to keep their user profile updated from any networked computer.  The profile could be on a network drive or a single computer’s drive that is accessible to the other computers.
  • Custom Macros. Though it is mentioned above, I must stress again the importance of custom macros.  These macros are easier to remember and they solve problems.  This is the main feature that helps people use Dragon NaturallySpeaking with success and satisfaction.
  • Specialty Vocabularies for Legal and Medical Suites. These vocabularies are optimized for their specialties.   Accuracy is everything.  The right vocabulary will do the best job.

©2007 Jim Bendewald

NaturallySpeaking Bad Experiences

Frustrated with Dragon NaturallySpeaking

Have you ever wanted to scream?  If you have used Dragon in the past I would bet that you have!  I see it all the time during training as people get frustrated.  But screeming into the computer does not help the recognition accuracy!  You can bet on that.

Unfortunately, there are too many people who have had more than a little bit of  bad experience using Dragon NaturallySpeaking.  Possibly you are one such person or know someone who has had a bad experience.  There are many issues involved here and so I would like to discuss a few of them on this page.

Recently I was training one of my clients.  She told me about her friend who had used Dragon NaturallySpeaking previously; someone who had tried it for a while and then gave up on it.  Because of this story my client was apprehensive about whether Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional 10 would really work for her or not.

I assured her that with the training she was receiving she would greatly benefit from using “NatSpeak”, as some people like to call it.  While working with NatSpeak on her own she experienced some errors that repeated often and this frustrated her.  In a succeeding training session I learned of the repeating errors and showed her how to resolve the problem using the Vocabulary Editor built into Dragon NaturallySpeaking.  Seeing this work so well gave her more confidence.   I also continued to work with her to help her learn to correct properly.  Correcting properly is essential for resolving recognition errors and helping the program to “learn” and not repeat errors.

Because my client works with a lot of medical terminology her employer soon upgraded her to the Medical Suite which greatly improved her recognition accuracy.  She also took my advice to have her employer purchase a Philips SpeechMike.  This microphone helped her to relax and her accuracy continued to improve.

Recently, I was speaking with her and she told me that she uses the program constantly now.  It has become her regular source of word processing input.  She loves the Dragon Medical Suite and raves about the Philips SpeechMike too.

My client’s friend who had given up using Dragon NaturallySpeaking had never received training and was instead given a “sink or swim” situation.  She “sank” because she became frustrated and did not have the training to help her resolve the efficiency issues.  Though there are people who are able to use Dragon NaturallySpeaking on their own they likely will not make use of such fundamental features as Vocabulary Editor and how to correct in the most efficient manor.  They likely won’t know about Sample Commands,  which provides a very helpful list of commands one can use.

Too often Dragon NaturallySpeaking is tried discarded as not making the grade.  But when someone is there to resolve the issues quickly the program quickly takes  on new status as no longer an experimental toy but is instead an efficiency tool.  The difference comes down to personal support and training.

CompuTALK offers personal training, both in person, and over the Internet.  In addition, we provide an inexpensive training solution through the SpeakEASY DVD.  This complete training program is a great way to get started on the right path.  But as a caution, CompuTALK does not recommend that a new user rely upon the training DVD as their sole source of training.  CompuTALK strongly recommends that people invest three or more hours into personal training.  As the new user gets helped with Dragon NaturallySpeaking issues quickly then they will confidently use it every day.

©2007 Jim Bendewald

What are Natural Language Commands?

Natural Language Commands

Microsoft Word Commands

The programmers of Dragon NaturallySpeaking have added Natural Language Commands to several programs.  Natural Language Commands are designed to let one guess how to execute a particular task.  There is less guessing when you know some key words to use such as, “Format that . . .” and “Make that . . .”.

With text selected in Microsoft Word say:

  • Underline That
  • Format That Bold Italics
  • Format That Upper Case
  • Make That Italics

There are other ways to format words too.  To bold, italicize, underline or capitalize, one could use some of the following commands:

Bold the Last Three Words
Cap That
All Caps That
Italics On
or Italics Off
Underline the Next Two Words

It is essential that the Natural Language Commands option be turned on.  The option is turned on by default.  To check your system, go to the NaturallySpeaking toolbar, Tools, Options, Commands; Enable Natural Language Commands should be checked.

Below are some sample Natural Language Commands from CompuTALK’s booklet, QuickNotes.  This booklet lists commands so the user knows what kinds of commands can be given.  The commands are arranged topically.  For example, to find a series of commands for Outlook, just go to the Outlook page.

The following are a few of the QuickNotes commands for Microsoft Word:

  • Set Font  Arial/Courier/Courier New/Garamond/Helvetica/Palatino/Times New Roman/Times; for example, say, “Set Font Arial”.
  • Set Size  6-300; for example, say, “Set Size 16”.
  • Set Font  Bold/Italics/Bold Italics/Underline/Strikeout/Plain or Plain Text or Regular; for example, say, “Set Font Bold”.
  • “Format That”; say the font name or size or font face.  For example, say, “Format That Arial 14” will affect the last utterance.
  • Bold/Italicize/Underline/Strikeout That
  • Restore That
  • Center/Left Align/Right Align That
  • Increase/Decrease the Font Size to 6… 300; for example, “Set the Font to 24 Points Arial in the Word/Line/Paragraph”.
  • Set Line/Paragraph to Bulleted/Numbered

Another way to learn Natural Language Commands is by going to the help menu of Dragon NaturallySpeaking.  Click on Revising Text and choose a subtopic.

QuickNotes makes learning commands quick and easy.  The printed booklet is $15.  The material is included in the SpeakEASY DVD in PDF format.  The SpeakEASY DVD provides an inexpensive way to learn Dragon NaturallySpeaking from beginning to end.

©2007 Jim Bendewald