November 27, 2014

How Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Can Help Increase Your Efficiency

dragon naturallyspeaking

Sometimes you just don’t want to type. Many of us long for the day when we can speak our thoughts into written form for others to read. If you like that idea, then this review of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 is the voice recognition software for your small business.

A couple of years ago I reviewed version 8, but felt it was time to reassess it and experience the updates of the newest Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Review

Voice recognition software used to take a lot of training the computer to understand your voice, but Dragon has made that process easier than ever. Whether you have a strong dislike of typing, suffer from carpel tunnel syndrome, or just want to improve your productivity, voice recognition software may be the solution.

It is designed for anyone who types, and it can be used across applications, not just word processing. As far back as I can remember, Dragon has allowed you to manage other apps, including navigating your mouse around the screen and clicking by verbal command.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12

When you first use Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12, it will seem like magic. You will notice your minor typos change into correctly spelled words. As long as your computer processor is fast, the program should keep up with your speech.

To be clear, you have to make some investment when you set it up, teaching it how you speak, and learning how to use its commands to edit and perform other actions, but it is not difficult. The company provided me with a media review copy for this post.

What I Like:

  • The tutorial is interactive.
  • Like other versions, help files pop-up when you need them.
  • You can allow it to scan your documents and email so that it will learn how you use words more rapidly.
  • It allows you not only to use it for email (Gmail and Hotmail), but also it allows you to use it when posting to Twitter or Facebook.
  • If you add your iOS or Android device, you can record yourself in a digital voice recorder. When you sync with your PC later, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 will automatically transcribe the document for you. This is one of my favorite aspects – using it on a smart phone to record, then transcribe.
  • It has incredible AI that learns as you use it more. It will learn whether you make corrections verbally or with the keyboard.

What I Would Like to See:

  • A way to import or upload my prior settings. Even if you have used Dragon before, you will have to go through the tutorial again because some of the commands have changed since previous versions.

This last item is not so much a “would like to see,” but just a heads up to readers. This program requires a hefty computer. The recommended requirements include 2 – 4 GB of RAM and a 2.2 GHz processor. The better your processor, the faster the program will work. I recommend at least an i5 or equivalent. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 works best on Windows 7.

The bottom line is that Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 is tremendous productivity tool and a great “personal assistant” of sorts. Once you set it up, it will save you time and effort in running your business.

Images: Dragon

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TJ McCue - Product Editor


TJ McCue TJ McCue served as Technology/Product Review Editor for Small Business Trends for many years and now contributes on 3D technologies. He is currently traveling the USA on the 3DRV roadtrip and writes at the Refine Digital blog.

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