Dragon NaturallySpeaking never misspells a word; however, NaturallySpeaking can make some mistakes by choosing the wrong (if perfectly spelled) word. A person who writes to the bank, “I have trouble paying this year” rather than, “I am double paying this year” is going to have a big problem. No computerized grammar checker or other kind of checker is likely to catch that error. Proofreading is the only answer.

Of course, you don’t need to hear your text in order to proofread it. But in NaturallySpeaking, you can hear your dictation in one of two ways:

  • Playback of your voice. NaturallySpeaking records your voice as you dictate and can play it back to help you proofread (not available in the Home edition).

  • Read the text. You can read what NaturallySpeaking has generated from your dictation — or of any other text you bring into the NaturallySpeaking DragonPad or any other supported application. The NaturallySpeaking text-to-speech feature uses a computer-synthesized voice to convert any text into speech.

Why play your own voice back? For one thing, it tends to make the NaturallySpeaking errors stand out. If you read what NaturallySpeaking typed, as you listen to your voice, the discrepancy between, say, the written word double and the word you spoke, trouble becomes obvious.

Also, playback lets you know what you actually said, rather than what you think you said. Knowing what you actually said is important when you correct NaturallySpeaking. If NaturallySpeaking has typed fourth-quarter profits are down, for instance, and you think you said, “in the fourth quarter, profits are down,” you should correct NaturallySpeaking — even if you like its phraseology better!

If, on the other hand, you really did say, “fourth-quarter profits are down,” do not correct NaturallySpeaking. Playing back your voice helps you do a better job of correcting NaturallySpeaking.

What about text-to-speech read back? Why listen to synthesized speech, instead of your recorded voice, when you proofread? Text-to-speech, though not a perfect reader, lets you hear what NaturallySpeaking actually typed. The NaturallySpeaking errors (wrong words) are sometimes more obvious when you hear them than when you see them.

Text-to-speech can be useful for other purposes. If you have a visual impairment, for example, you can verbally copy documents or e-mail messages to the NaturallySpeaking window and play them.

A quick way to access the commands to Read That or Play That Back is by going to the DragonBar→Audio and selecting the command from the menu items.