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Levels of Control in Windows with NaturallySpeaking

In addition to entering text into another application’s windows, Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice commands can also control another application’s menus. When you combine these techniques with desktop control commands and dialog box techniques, you get a true no-hands computer experience.

One of the most frequently asked questions about NaturallySpeaking is, “Does it work with <name of application>?” The answer is yes. If the application has menus, dialog boxes, or a window into which you can type text, then you can use NaturallySpeaking with it. The more interesting question isn’t whether NaturallySpeaking voice commands work with some application, but which commands work with which applications.

Over the years the NaturallySpeaking software has evolved to the point where it’s very hard to even demonstrate a mistake. The out-of-the-box accuracy is truly stunning. The number of programs and apps available to dictate into has exploded as well. For this reason, you can now consider a way of thinking about using other applications so that you know what to expect.

NaturallySpeaking has different levels of control with different programs (on the web, as software, or as a mobile app). Commands that work in some applications don’t work in others. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration if you understand the level of control you have in a particular type of application.

The list and table summarize these basic control levels:

  • Desktop: Even if you have no applications other than NaturallySpeaking open at all, you still have a few dictation powers:

    • Open files and applications on the desktop or the Start menu.

    • Switch from one open window to another.

    • Use the mouse commands.

  • Nearly Any Windows Application: You have all the desktop commands plus

    • Basic menu control

    • Dictation

    • Navigation

  • The Dictation Box with another application: You retain all the desktop interactions. You can enter text by dictating. You can use the application’s hotkeys and menus. You can move around in a document by using the Move and Go commands. You have a limited amount of selection and correction capabilities.

  • Full Text Control: You have all the Dictation Box capabilities, plus the capability to create, edit, or format content. In other words, editing and correcting work exactly the way they do in the NaturallySpeaking DragonPad.

    You can check if an application has Full Text Control by looking at the DragonBar and seeing if the check mark is green. If it is, you have Full Text Control. For example, if you use OpenOffice.org Writer, version 3.1 or 3.2, you have Full Text Control.

  • Natural Language Commands: These allow you to speak commands in a more natural way. For example, rather than having to say, “Click File→Click Save As,” you can simply say, “Save Document.” You speak as you normally would. You have the full editing, correcting, and formatting control of the NaturallySpeaking DragonPad, plus a Dragon NaturallySpeaking menu is visible above the other application’s menu bar.

    Using this menu, you can do virtually anything that you can do with the DragonBar: Create a new User Profile, launch Accuracy Training, check your microphone, and so on.

    This level is available in applications such as Microsoft Word, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox.

NaturallySpeaking in Different Applications
Application Windows Desktop Nearly Any Windows Application NaturallySpeaking Dictation Box with Another Application Full Text Control Applications Natural Language Commands
Launch applications X X X X X
Control windows X X X X X
Clipboard X X X X
Basic menu control X X X X
Dictation X X X X
Navigation X X X X
NaturallySpeaking DragonBar X X X
Menus X X X
Full Text Control x X
Additional formatting x X
Additional natural phrases X
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