Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Pros and Cons of Dragon Naturally Speaking

Dragon Naturally Speaking is a speech recognition program that types out the words you say right onto your computer. You can say, "Dang this is an awesome blog" into a microphone, and that is exactly what the program will type out for you. There are tons of benefits that can come from using a program like this, but there are also some disadvantages that you need to consider. Before you spend a ton of money on software and a computer mic, you may want to figure out if this is the right option for you. Here are some pros and cons to keep in mind.

The Pros of Dragon Naturally Speaking

In theory, Dragon Naturally Speaking can speed up your typing time because most people talk faster than they type. All you have to do is say what you want to write, and the program will translate that to the computer. This is a great option for people with disabilities that would normally prevent them from writing, and it is a great option for people who have to type for their jobs. I have a stepsister who can only use one of her arms because the other was hurt in a car accident. Dragon allows her to still work online effectively because it takes care of the typing for her. If you are in a similar situation, this program could change your life.

Dragon also gives you a chance to do other things while you type, like text people on the phone or eat a quick meal (assuming it isn't too loud). If you are like me and you need to multi-task all the time, this could be a fantastic solution for you. You can get everything done at the same time and still write an email to someone important in your life. Dragon works for just about any text editor, from MS Word to Gmail. You can customize it to suit your needs.

The Cons of Dragon Naturally Speaking

The main problem I have with Dragon is that it doesn't always hear things correctly. That can make your writing look awkward over time. If you don't enunciate and continue your conversation the whole way through, you run the risk of having a bunch of weird information in your writing. Then you have to go back and edit what you said, which eats up the time you were supposed to be saving with Dragon. It all turns out to be a big hassle in the end.

It takes awhile to get used to working with Dragon, and it is going to feel really weird at first. You have to command it to make punctuation marks for you, including commas. If you are a decent typist, this may seem like more work than you should have to go through. I found out the hard way that I actually typed a whole lot faster than I spoke, just because I was able to let my thoughts flow out of me. No pauses, no corrections…nothing. It would suck for you to waste your money just to find out the same thing.


I think there are definitely people in the world that can benefit from Dragon Naturally Speaking, but I don't think it is a program for everyone. I ended up giving my copy away to a friend of mine because I just didn't have a use for it anymore. This is definitely the best speech recognition software on the market, but it has a ways to go before it gets two full thumbs up from me. You can research it a bit more for youreslf and see what you think.


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  2. I am over 65 and have sight problems so checking for errors and correcting them causes a lot of eye strain. Yes, Dragon does learn but a lot of patience required.

  3. I am over 65 and have sight problems so checking for errors and correcting them causes a lot of eye strain. Yes, Dragon does learn but a lot of patience required.