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November 14, 2010 10:27 AM   Subscribe

What's this little box in Dragon Naturally Speaking? I can't seem to figure it out, even though I've been reading the tutorial.

I've just gotten Dragon Naturally Speaking, and am making fairly fast progress. In fact, I am speaking this right now. However, there is something that I can't seem to figure out. When I speak text, there is a small box next to where the words enter the text. Usually it just displays the same words that I'm speaking. But sometimes, it displays words that won't go into the text. I assume that these are words the program doesn't understand. If I click on the small box, it disappears. This box has a small gauge of some kind at the bottom that shows either yellow or green lines. How do I use this box to fix the words that the program doesn't understand?
posted by crazylegs to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The little box is a sort of progress bar. When it is displayed, it means that Dragon is computing over your utterance, trying to find a sentence that best fits the sounds it heard. After a second or so, Dragon insert its best answer into your word processor. In the little box, you see the best guess so far. If the little box is displayed for a longer while, it means that Dragon is searching deeper than usual for a match, perhaps because you mispronounced something.

The little gauge below is the volume level of your voice in the microphone. When the gauge is yellow, your voice is too low. If it is red, your voice is too loud.

I wrote an article about using Dragon effectively, if you are interested.
posted by gmarceau at 10:56 AM on November 14, 2010

That box tells you what Dragon hears as you speak. Sometimes what will end up being inserted into your document will be different from what originally appears in that box, as Dragon is always listening for context and it may change what it thought you said based on hearing more information. You can move that text box down to the top or bottom of your screen, if it annoys you right there by your insertion point for text.

You actually correct any misrecognition errors from your document, once Dragon inserts them. Highlight the misrecognized text (either by saying "select that" or with your keyboard and mouse), say "correct that" and a small box will open where you can make any corrections.

There are some good resources online for learning to use Dragon, easily findable by googling. If you aren't the instruction manual kind of person, I've actually found Dragon pretty intuitive; just try speaking what you think might be a command (bold that, underline that, move 2 lines, move to end of line) and see what happens!!

I'm a former medical transcriptionist in the process of converting 9 physicians from dictating the old fashioned way to using Dragon. If they can do it, you can!!
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 11:00 AM on November 14, 2010

Response by poster: What confuses me is that from time to time, words will appear in that small box, but refuse to appear in the text that I am writing in. I'm sure that there is a reason for this but I can't figure out what it is.
posted by crazylegs at 8:14 AM on November 15, 2010

That can be caused by you dictating into an application that's not Word, Wordpad, or the dictation box, and Dragon is using their key-press-simulation trick they call "compatibility mode." It doesn't work well at all. Stick to dictating into Word.

Or it could be caused by a bug that makes Dragon lose track of which window has the focus at the moment. Just click on the window again.
posted by gmarceau at 3:20 PM on November 23, 2010

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