Dictating to NaturallySpeaking But Nothing Happens?

There is a problem if words leave your mouth when you dictate to Dragon NaturallySpeaking, but they don't appear on the screen. Obviously, they must have taken a wrong turn somewhere. Suppose we follow the path the words should have taken, and see where they may have gotten diverted.

But before we take that trip, are you sure that nothing is happening? Say a few words into the microphone and see what happens. Does it say, “Please say that again? Okay, back to following the words after they leave your mouth.

  • First stop: the microphone. Is it connected to the computer? In the right microphone jack? (The red one is usually the correct one.) Try using the microphone for something else, like the Windows Sound Recorder. If you can record a sound through the microphone, then it isn’t the cause.

  • Second stop: the sound card. A poor sound card makes for poor recognition, but even poor recognition is a far cry from nothing. The sound card would have to be broken rather than just be poor quality in order to cause NaturallySpeaking to stop dead in its tracks. Seems unlikely.

  • Third stop: Windows. Double-click the speaker icon on the taskbar and look at the Microphone Balance. Is the little Mute box checked? Uncheck it, if so.

    Another possibility is that Windows (for its own unfathomable reasons) has changed your device settings — redefined your microphone to be a printer or something equally helpful. Running through a complete setup with the Audio Setup Wizard will either fix the problem or give you a more specific complaint to take to Dragon Technical Support.

  • Fourth stop: microphone icon. Is NaturallySpeaking asleep? Check the microphone icon on the Windows taskbar or on the NaturallySpeaking toolbar. Is it lying flat on its back? Click it so that it stands at an angle.

    If you are dictating directly into the NaturallySpeaking document window, the preceding are all the obvious sources to check. But if you’re dictating into a different application, there are other places to look for problems.

  • Fifth stop: the application. Maybe you don’t realize which window is active, and text is actually piling up somewhere that you aren't looking. Click in the window you want to dictate into to make sure that it’s active. If you use the keyboard to type something, does it appear where you expect it? If not, the problem has nothing to do with NaturallySpeaking.

  • Sixth stop: the DragonBar. Look at the DragonBar and see if the check mark is green in color. If it's not green, that means you've lost support for the application you're in or you never had it.

Also, if you’re using a nonstandard Microsoft application, it might be a good idea to use the Dictation Box. If this happens inside Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Word, make sure you close them down along with NaturallySpeaking and then restart them. This usually fixes it. Also, make sure that WinWord.exe or Outlook.exe is not running in the processes tab of the task manager.

Still stumped? You need some one-on-one help either from Dragon Technical Support or from other NaturallySpeaking users.

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