Dragon for Mac

Celebrating 20 years of Dragon speech recognition!

celebrating 20 years of Dragon

Dragon celebrates its 20th anniversary

Twenty years ago, Dragon NaturallySpeaking made its debut, and what began as an innovative computer software for converting speech to text has left an indelible mark on the technology industry – setting forth the next generation of voice-enabled applications, devices, cars, healthcare systems – and so much more.


On April 2, 1997 Dragon NaturallySpeaking was unveiled a groundbreaking solution that was light years ahead of speech technologies previously available. Dragon NaturallySpeaking was the first-ever continuous dictation product – capable of understanding about 100 words per minute. And while the product required training, the use of a headset and the need to be tethered to a desk, never-before had there been a software technology that allowed people to speak somewhat naturally and have their words appear right before them on a computer screen. Suddenly, the ability to speak to machines as we’ve seen in movies from Star Trek to the Jetsons was becoming a reality. Even Richard Dreyfuss volunteered to participate in the very first launch for sheer admiration of the technology.

Twenty years later, Dragon continues to transform the way people work and live. Proving to be an incredibly empowering accessibility technology for creating documents and commanding and controlling the computer itself, Dragon also quickly evolved into a consumer software must-have for just about anyone who wanted to get more done faster. Over time, Dragon has become faster and incredibly accurate, supporting multiple languages and with accuracy in the high 90th percentile.

Today, Dragon’s core speech recognition innovation is at the heart of so many solutions, including automotive, healthcare, enterprise customer care and a wide range of speech recognition capabilities for the rapidly emerging Internet of Things. The technology set forth an evolution where even twenty years ago it was thought to be the start of where you could use your voice to finally set your VCR correctly or tell your microwave to not burn your popcorn. For those of you born around the same time as Dragon – yes, we had microwaves, and no, we’re not misspelling DVR – which now thanks to our Smart Home and TV solutions inspired by Dragon you can actually talk to, and find virtually any movie from any genre.

Nuance’s Dragon Dictation and Dragon Go! Mobile applications brought speech and natural language understanding from embedded technology to the mobile cloud, and quickly proved to the consumer market that simply using your voice to send text messages, search the Web – even make dinner reservations – was just easier. And that sparked an evolution across a wide variety of mobile applications that are now considered must-haves for any mobile device.

A lot has happened over the last two decades. Now we’re talking to automotive assistants in our connected cars, virtual agents intelligently guide us through our banking transactionsvirtual assistants are assisting physicians in the most remarkable ways to give them back more time with their patients. It’s hard to think of a place where we can’t simply use our voice to get the most out of technology.

Today the promise of Dragon remains the same, inspired by ways in which the solution can make people work smarter and more productively. Dragon has moved from the PC to the Mac, to the cloud – and has evolved to deliver incredible time and money-saving values to the legal, financial, corporate enterprise and even law enforcement markets.

So, what do the next twenty years have in store? Nuance’s speech and language technologies will undoubtedly be at the heart of the world’s next generation of cognitive and conversational innovations that have moved beyond recognizing just the words we say, but understanding what we mean and responding in ways that in another twenty years, will become standard in how we engage the digital world around us.

This adapted article was originally posted by Mark Geremia and is copyrighted to Nuance




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Command pack for Dragon Dictate for Mac

New command pack for Dragon Dictate for Mac!

Although Dragon Dictate for Mac is very good and will help you to quickly and accurately dictate your text, one of the drawbacks to me is the current shortage of commands that will enable you to work hands free. To get round this problem, Talking Typist provides a free command pack for Dragon Dictate for Mac of over 100 additional commands when training is taken!

These commands are for applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook, Apple Mail, iCal, iTunes, Finder and Safari, and come complete with documentation.

Good examples are commands such as ‘Click Bold’ or ‘Click Underline’ to format your text quickly and easily, and the pack was put together to extend the range of commands that are built-in, and make it easier for you to work.

Please contact me if you would like more information about the contents, or if you would like to purchase a pack!

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New features in Dragon Dictate v4 for Mac

What are the new features in Dragon Dictate v4?

Mac users who want to be more productive and use their voice to command their computer will really benefit from the new features in Dragon Dictate v4 for Mac. It is ideal for writers and bloggers, creative professionals, school and college students, journalists, business people, home users, teachers, and many others.

Dragon Dictate 4 now also provides a powerful, accurate transcription capability from any audio source. Examples of use include:

Writers/Authors/Bloggers/Content Creators

  • Compose while away from the computer using a recording device to capture content from your own voice, or from another single speaker, and transcribe this content later.
  • Also transcribe recorded speech audio from Internet sources, such as podcasts.

Teachers and Students

For transcription of lectures and presentations, either by the speaker, or by another individual. Examples may include:

  • Professors who want to make transcriptions of their lectures readily available to students without having to manually transcribe the results.
  • Teaching Assistants, some of who may need to transcribe recordings of multiple professors’ lectures.
  • Students who record their professors’ lectures and transcribe them.

Field workers such as Insurance, Law Enforcement and Social Services 

For note taking and report writing in the field – anyone who is away from the desk or computer but needs to capture information from one or more sources. Examples may include:

  • Claims Adjustors for insurance companies who will use a digital voice recorder or smartphone to record notes and/or compose text for use in reports.
  • Police officers or social services workers who need to quickly capture information for report writing, taking notes or writing “on scene” reports.
  • Letting agents who may want to quickly describe the contents and condition of each room as they move around a house.

Video Producers

For transcribing the audio portion of a video of a single speaker to produce, for example:

  • Text for subtitles.

 The new powerful transcription feature allows you to:

  • Accurately transcribe an audio file of any single speaker’s voice from podcasts or pre-recorded audio files.
  • Create transcription-only profiles to accurately transcribe based on recorded sources, instead of requiring a live source.
  • Only a 90 second audio clip is required to create a profile for the speaker.
  • Great for college lectures, interviews, business users with recorded notes…and more!
  • Transcribe from many different formats, including .mp3 audio files, aif, aiff, wav, mp4, m4a, m4v.
  • Use multiple transcription sources within a profile so one user can easily manage different recordings.
  • Expanded profile capability to allow multiple transcription sources per profile, making it even easier for one user to transition back and forth from personal dictation to one or more transcription files within the same project.
  • Not only can you easily transcribe your own voice memos from a smartphone or portable voice recorder into text, but you can seamlessly mix and match transcribing from other recording sources.
  • You can keep all the customisation and vocabulary from your profile without having to switch out to a different profile.

Have more control

With voice commands you can…

  • Compose and reply to emails in Gmail using full text controls, doing dictation and editing natively without having to transfer any text.
  • In Safari and Firefox, use voice commands to control your Gmail inbox, giving you even more voice capability within popular applications.
    • Use your voice to click on any visible link.
    • Use your voice to open emails.
    • Mix talking and typing with Full Text Control in Pages 4.3.

Be more accurate and faster

  • Higher performance with drastically reduced latency and faster editing
  • Improved accuracy over version 3, with optimisation for latest speech recognition technology.

Use flexible voice commands

With just your voice…

  • Create and edit documents in Pages® 4.3, compose and manage email in Gmail™, surf and search the Web and update your Facebook and Twitter status, to get things done quickly.
  • Smart Format Rules automatically adapt to how you want abbreviations, numbers and more
  • to appear, so you don’t have to correct it every time.
  • Easily create custom word lists and macros for frequently used text, giving you the flexibility to customise Dragon® Dictate for the way you work.
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Does Dragon Dictate for Mac work?

Many people have asked me “Does Dragon Dictate for Mac work?” and the simple answer to this question is, yes it does, but you would expect me to say that!

I recently read an article by Gareth Huw Davies, a writer for the Daily Mail and freelancer for the Times on Sunday, who also writes for various companies. In this article, he summarises his experience of using Dragon on both a PC and a Mac, and thought it would be good to paraphrase the article here, and have also included the link to the full article below.

In this article, he states that he started using Dragon many years ago on the PC and that it was a revolution in his writing life, and that he used to write feature articles based on hour-long interviews, and it would often take a morning or more of heavy keyboard labour to transcribe them.

He progressed through several upgrades on the PC, and Dragon became gradually more accurate, but in 2010, switched to a MacBook, and for a time was adrift. He recalls that there was a rather unsatisfactory alternative which did work on the Mac (MacSpeech), but it was not very good!

Then in 2011, the first version of  Nuance’s Dragon Dictate for the Mac was introduced.

Now, he is using Dragon Dictate version 4 for Mac, which has been recently released.

Mac users will know that there is a dictation tool in the Mavericks operating system, but it is very basic. Dragon Dictate however, is a fully-fledged dictation programme, and has a lot more features to make life easier!

GH Davies suggests that he is not a fast typist but that one of the benefits of dictating text is that it lets you try forms of words very quickly, and then try another just as quickly to see if that works better. He says that writers have always done this with pen and paper or typewriters, but it is a lengthy process!

Dragon Dictate also works well with the microphone built into the Macbook!

It is also very useful for proof reading your work…

“Dragon Dictate can read text back to you, whether you want to hear a specific selection, or an entire document. Hearing your text can help you catch mistakes, especially ones that a spelling or grammar checker might miss, and it lets you listen to the flow of your writing, so you can decide where to make changes during editing.”

This is very helpful when working to tight deadlines!

It is also possible to transfer a pre-recorded file from another device such as an iPhone, although this technique is possibly not as accurate.

The overall verdict? Dragon Dictate  for the Mac has become a powerful assistant, willing to take over most, if not all, of the tedious work we used to do on the keyboard.

 The link to the full article is here…


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