Dragon Naturally Speaking is a voice recognition program that not only includes text to speech functionality, but it also offers the user a limited level of voice control over his or her computer. Dragon Naturally Speaking is incredibly effective and accurate at dictation in programs like Microsoft Word. With only a limited amount of programming it can transcribe  speech into text with few errors. Its promise at controlling the entire computer is rather limited however. There are a wide range of commands built in for controlling your computer, but they are not necessarily intuitive and can at times be cumbersome. Dragon Naturally Speaking works best in conjunction with a mouse as a keyboard replacement.


Installation and Setup Guide

  1. First Insert the Dragon Naturally Speaking DVD into your DVD drive.
  2. After the Installer begins it will install Visual C++ Version 9.0 Runtime. This can take some time.
  3. The Installation Wizard will now begin, click Next and continue through the License Agreement page, making sure to click I accept the terms.
  4. Next you will be prompted for your User Name and Organization, and the Serial Number. For User Name enter your name, for Organization enter Colby College, and for Serial include the serial provided with the software. Press
  5. The rest of the installation is straight forward. Just make sure when prompted to choose a Setup Type, select For the vast majority of users this will suffice.
  6. After clicking Install a progress bar will appear and complete.
  7. When the installation completes, click Finish.
  8. Now launch Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 from your Start Menu and the Dragon Bar will appear on the desktop.
  9. At this point, if you do not already have a microphone set up with your computer you would like to use, insert the Dragon Naturally Speaking USB headset provided into the USB port of your computer. During Profile Creation and initial setup you will be able to select the USB headset as the choice method of input.
  10. The Profile Creation will now appear when you run the program for the first time. It will prompt you to create and User Profile and then continue as instructed by the program, to train the user profile. This process can take a few minutes. It trains Dragon to recognize your voice. Dragon will also ask you to select your microphone of choice, if you are using the USB headset provided make sure to select this from the options.
  11. After completing the installation and initial setup you are now all set up to use Dragon Naturally Speaking.


Using Dragon with Microsoft Word

  1. Make sure that Dragon Naturally Speaking is open and running. If it is you will be able to see the dragon bar at the top of the screen.
  2. In addition, make sure that you USB microphone is plugged into the USB port of your computer.
  3. Open Microsoft Word.
  4. Then turn on the microphone by clicking the microphone power button in the upper left hand corner of the screen. It is a red square.
  5. Once the microphone is on, a command bar will appear on the right side of the screen.
  6. Now simply speak to begin dictation.
  7. Remember that you must say out loud all forms of punctuation.


Making Dragon More Accurate

  1. To make Dragon more accurate simply look at the Dragon Bar along the top of the screen and click on the Audio
  2. Then click on Read text to improve accuracy…
  3. This will take you into the General Training window.
  4. Now follow the on screen instructions and the training window will guide you through a series of prompts and allow you to read text out loud to the program and improve its accuracy.


Using Dragon in a Web Browser

  1. Open up a web browser of your choice.
  2. Make sure that your microphone is on.
  3. If it is not you can turn it on by clicking the microphone power button in the upper left hand corner of the screen. It is a red square.
  4. Once the microphone is on, a command bar will appear on the right side of the screen.
  5. You can use these commands to move the cursor, press enter and indicate where you would like to input text.
  6. Alternatively, you can use the mouse to select any place you would input text (the URL bar, or on an email box) and then speak. This provides dictation functionality.
  7. To finish dictation and turn the microphone off, press the yellow circle in the upper left hand corner of the Dragon Bar. This turns the microphone off.