Dragon Dictate For Mac OS Review And General Information
If you're on this page, you probably are either considering investing in, or want to Buy Dragon Dictate For Mac Software.Â I have recently purchased the software, and would be glad to give you my feedback. Other than a few bland Amazon reviews, there wasn't a whole lot of information on the Internet about this dictation software before I made my purchase. Considering the relatively steep price of the software for my budget (almost $200), I wanted to make sure that I was educated as I could possibly be before whipping out my credit card and buying Dragon Dictate for Mac online. After all, this was a pretty significant investment for me.
Dragon dictation software myths
I'm not sure if it's simply a lack of knowledge, or lack of understanding of the product, but there seem to be many misconceptions about Dragon Dictate on the Internet. One of the biggest misconceptions that I have seen, is the claim that you are required to use a specific headset in order to use this software. That's just nonsense. The software package that I purchased came with a headset; however, I have tried to use my dictation software without my headset and it worked just fine. I have a regular MacBook, and have had no problem using the built in internal microphone for my computer. I have not noticed much of a difference between using my internal microphone and the dictation software headset, other than the pleasure of not being tethered to a cord while I'm dictating.
Speaking of the headset, it is worth noting that Nuance was very generous with the cord attached to the headset. I haven't yet measured the headset cord, but I'm willing to bet that it is at least eight or 9 feet long, perhaps even a bit longer. This makes it easy for me to answer my phone or grab something across the table if I need to without becoming a victim of headset whiplash.
Another misconception that I had read online was that you have to speak extra s-l-o-w-l-y in order for your dictation to be accurate. I have found quite the contrary to be true. As long as I speak in a normal tone of voice, at my normal speed and not mumble, the speech-to-text transcription is extremely accurate. I also have a New York accent, and have not had any problems whatsoever (despite many bets placed by my co-workers and friends). No, the transcription is not always 100% accurate and I don't expect it to be. Even having to go back and edit the transcription when I am done speaking still saves me a tremendous amount of time. My biggest fear was that I was going to have to adjust my rate of speech which may or may not have been faster than I can type. This is no longer a concern; I can speak at my normal rate and the transcription is very accurate.
Dragon Dictate For Mac Truth
Of all the things that I read online about this software, I did find one thing to be consistent and true all across the board. Many people said the you cannot combine typing and dictating in one document. This is absolutely correct. When you are in the middle of dictating a document, if you find that you need to edit something manually, be sure to wait until the end of your dictation session. If you try to edit by hand and then go back to dictating, the software will get confused and do some very strange things, for example, it may begin adding the text in a place other than where your cursor is. Or, it may begin transcribing your sentence and then finish the sentence in another place on your document. I'm not sure about why this happens, and it could certainly use some improvement. However, as long as you remain disciplined and you not added by hand while you are speaking, you should be fine.
What comes in the Dragon Dictate for Mac software box?
I opened the box and I was excited to install the software. It comes with two discs. I inserted the first disc, and eagerly waited for the installation process to begin. After a few minutes, I received an error message that said I'm using the wrong version of Mac OS! Ack! My MacBook is relatively new, and I was running 10.5.8. I grabbed the Dragon Dictate box and sure enough, at the bottom of the box, under â€œSystem Requirementsâ€ there it was. It said, â€œIntel-based Macintosh running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or later". Normally, I would just have returned the software, because I'm not a big tech person, but this time, I was so anxious to use Dragon Dictate for Mac, that I actually went and upgraded my operating system. I went from Leopard to Snow Leopard and the process was relatively painless. The Mac Snow Leopard upgrade package was only $29, and it probably should have already been done.
Once my upgrade was completed, I ran the installation disk again. Success! I followed the instructions (which, by the way, were very simple) and inserted the second disc. I was instructed to connect my headset and follow the instructions. I was prompted to set up a profile with my name, and had to choose my specific dialect. I had to laugh when I saw that â€œteenâ€ was an actual option for dialect. Anyway, I chose my dialect and was taken to a short training session where I had to read about a paragraph's worth of sentences. As I read the words, and they were recognized, they were highlighted in green. The training session took less than 5 minutes to read. I opened up Dragon's notepad and began dictating. Because my husband spent the majority of my training session teasing me and distracting me, I decided to dedicate my first dictation words in my new dictation software to him:
My very first words for Dragon Dictate
I said, â€œJonathan is a jerkâ€. We both laughed when the words appeared on the screen, almost like magic. I started out by speaking very slowly, although I quickly realized that this was unnecessary and actually slowed down the process of dictation and transcription. Since I've been using the software, I noticed that there were a few words that I would use that were not typical vocabulary words. Because they were not typical words (such as pneumothorax and decortication), the software had difficulty recognizing what I was saying. I added a word into a list of vocabulary words and then â€œtrainedâ€ the software to understand what it sounded like when I said the word. I only had to say the word three times before the software understood what I meant. I was then able to use this â€œnew wordâ€ whenever I needed to and the software would recognize it easily.
There is still some room for improvement
I have only been using this software for a few days, but there are couple of things I wish Nuance would improve on. While individual vocabulary training works very well, there are still a couple of words that I have tried that I cannot get the software to recognize consistently. For example, when I say the word â€œdachshundâ€, it almost always shows up as â€œboxed inâ€, no matter now naturally or unnaturally I pronounce the word. I have tried to re-train the software on that word a few different times, and have not found any improvements. However, I am aware that the more I use the software, the smarter it will become. I'll continue to work and see what I can do to adjust the level of recognition.
Until then, I still think the software is great. Perhaps I'm overly thrilled because I don't have any prior experience with dictation software, but based on what I've already seen, I think it was a great investment. I purchased this software because I began to have severe pain in my wrists while typing. It was a frustrating feeling to have to finish an e-mail or a report and have to fight the pain and accompanying nausea. I can only imagine the long-term damage that I was doing to my hands and wrists.
I also wish that I could freely switch between tabs in Windows while I'm dictating. However, you have to be clicked on the window that you are dictating in or there will be no transcription. One more thing to keep in mind, there is an easily accessible button that you can press on your screen to turn your microphone on or off. Be sure to use it before you yell at your kids or significant other, or what you find in your transcription box may surprise you.
I do not use DragonDictate for Mac for certain functions, such as switching between tabs and windows, and executing commands that I am more comfortable doing manually. However, you can easily use Dragon Dictate for Mac software to control not only the Mac dictation software, but other software on your computer, including Microsoft Word and Internet browsers. You can even control the movement of your cursor, if you choose to do so. So, is there still some room for improvement? Absolutely. But for me, and what I use it for, I think it's great. Also, I have shopped around and found that you can Buy Dragon Dictate For Mac on Sale at Amazon and save money over your local office supply store.