Dragon Naturally Speaking for control of PC, is this as good as it gets?
April 22, 2020 2:11 PM   Subscribe

I recently switched to using Dragon Naturally Speaking, Professional Edition v15. I am trying to minimize my typing and save my wrists. I find Dragon software very underwhelming, and Google search provides no clues to hacks for the software. Special snowflake details inside.

I last used this software eight years ago, and found it underwhelming then. Supposedly it is the best software for voice to text and controlling one's computer, but I find it incredibly lacking. I cannot, for example, give it simple Windows 10 commands like "minimize window".

It can't "see" most software. For example, it doesn't work with Microsoft Visual Code, a text editor, and even simple commands in many programs, like File > Preferences do not work. Navigating webpages is clumsy.

Are there hacks or tricks I am missing? Is there anything better?
posted by 4midori to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Have you looked at the KnowBrainer forums? It is not just for people using the KnowBrainer add-on.

There are a lot of commands you have to dig for. Also you can create your own command macros using VB-style code.
posted by hijol at 2:42 PM on April 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Try adding VoiceComputer Lite for their screen overlay function and KnowBrainer -- those in combination with Nuance Dragon should give you about or over 90% voice control of a PC. Feel free to Memail if you'd like to talk. KB may have implemented their own screentagging by now, but it may not be as solid as VCL.
posted by vers at 3:25 PM on April 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

It has been maybe 6 years since I tried Dragon and I don't use speech recognition often. But when I do, I use Windows Speech Recognition (WSR), which is included with all recent versions of Windows. A big reason that I ended up using WSR over Dragon is that I found it better for controlling the PC. I don't generally bother with speech-to-text, for which Dragon is widely regarded as superior, so I'm OK with using WSR. Since you're on Windows 10, it's free to try and see if it meets your needs.

With any speech control software, knowing your keyboard shortcuts is helpful, so that if the speech software can't access a menu, you can at least say "Press alt eff" or somesuch. If you want to go down this rabbit hole, you can also use AutoHotKey to make custom keyboard short cuts.

For navigating web pages, with WSR try saying "show numbers", which will particularly work well with Microsoft browsers. Some other browsers have plugins that will show a short character string next to each link that you can then "type" via voice control (I use Vimium with Chrome).
posted by Advanced_Waffler at 4:02 PM on April 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you, everyone. This is very helpful.
posted by 4midori at 11:14 AM on April 25, 2020

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