Cheat Sheet

Dragon NaturallySpeaking For Dummies

Dragon NaturallySpeaking puts you in control of your computer with the sound of your voice. You can dictate messages, browse the web, and control popular applications. Here's the straight scoop to take charge of your system with Dragon NaturallySpeaking:

Starting to Dictate with Dragon NaturallySpeaking

After you've installed NaturallySpeaking on a computer with all the necessary system requirements and performed the initial training, you're on the road to a beautiful friendship with your assistant. Take the following steps to dictate with NaturallySpeaking.

  1. Launch NaturallySpeaking by choosing Start→Programs→Dragon NaturallySpeaking12.

    You can use Dragon NaturallySpeaking with a large number of applications. If you intend to use NaturallySpeaking with another application, launch that application at this point, too.

  2. Put on your headset, and make sure the microphone is positioned as it was during initial training.

    The microphone should be positioned about a half-inch away from one corner of your mouth, off to the side. It should never be directly in front of your mouth.

  3. Turn the microphone on.

    The microphone icon in the system tray needs to be pointing up at attention, not lying down relaxing, in order for you to dictate. If the icon is lying down, click it or press the + key on your keyboard's numeric keypad. You can also click it on the upper-left corner in the DragonBar.

    The microphone icon in the toolbar of the NaturallySpeaking DragonBar works exactly the same way as the icon in the system tray. Make sure one of these is open and ready for you to dictate.

  4. Click where you want the text to go if the cursor isn't already there.

    Or select (highlight) text that you want to replace with dictated text.

  5. Speak carefully, just as you did when you read the text aloud to NaturallySpeaking during the initial training. Don't rush, and don't speak the words with . . . pauses . . . between . . . them.

    As you speak, NaturallySpeaking shows you your dictation.

Punctuating with Dragon NaturallySpeaking

If you can train yourself to do it, it’s great to add punctuation with Dragon NaturallySpeaking as you dictate. Here’s how to insert common punctuation marks as you speak.

Punctuation Mark Spoken Form
. Period (or Dot, or Point)
! Exclamation Mark (or Exclamation Point)
? Question Mark
, Comma
' Apostrophe
's Apostrophe Ess
& Ampersand
: Colon
; Semicolon
Begin Quote
End Quote
Open Single Quote
' Close Single Quote
. . . Ellipsis
$ Dollar Sign

Quickly Correcting with Dragon NaturallySpeaking

When you dictate, make sure to correct the mistakes that Dragon NaturallySpeaking makes so that its accuracy improves over time. Making quick corrections to your dictation will save you lots of time and help you avoid confusion. Here are some commands you can use to quickly correct your mistakes.

Say This Do This
“Correct <xyz> Select the text you want to correct.
“Scratch That” Delete what you just dictated.
“Delete That” Delete what you just dictated.
“Spell That” Open the Spell Window to spell the word you just dictated.

Getting Help with Dragon NaturallySpeaking

If you need help, it's never far away in Dragon NaturallySpeaking with the DragonBar open. Here are some of the ways that you can find help directly from the DragonBar on your desktop:

  • Help menu: To reach Help files from the DragonBar, go to Help→Help Topics and type or say what you are looking for. For example, you can say, "Search Dragon Help For <topic>."

  • Dragon Sidebar: The Sidebar is a specific help device that is available on the right side of the screen whenever you say, "What can I say?"

  • Tutorial: The tutorial can be accessed from the install files when you are setting up, or from Help→Tutorial.

  • Accuracy Center: This is where you can be guided to improve the performance of your software and your total experience. You can access it from the DragonBar by going to Help→Improve My Accuracy.

  • Performance Assistant: The Performance Assistant guides you to improve the speed at which NaturallySpeaking can understand your speech. To access it from the DragonBar, go to Help→Performance Assistant.

  • Tip of the Day: These tips pop up each time you launch the NaturallySpeaking software. When you are first getting started, they are especially helpful.

Using Dragon NaturallySpeaking with Another Application

The first step controlling other applications with Dragon NaturallySpeaking is to make the words you say appear in a window controlled by the other application. To get those first words to show up in the correct window, follow these steps:

  1. Open NaturallySpeaking and the other application.

    It doesn’t matter whether you open NaturallySpeaking or the other application first.

  2. Click the microphone icon in the DragonBar to turn the microphone on.

    If the icon is elevated, the microphone is on; if the icon is lying flat, the microphone is off. Change from one state to the other by clicking the microphone icon. By default, the microphone is off at startup.

  3. Activate the window of the other application.

    • If the application is already opened but not visible, you can say, “List Open Applications.”

      A numbered list of open applications pops up. Choose the application you want.

    • If the application has not been opened, say, "Open <application name>."

      The application should open and the cursor should be blinking in the text-editing window. If not, click in the text-editing window.

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