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How To Save and Open Documents in NaturallySpeaking

By Stephanie Diamond

You save a NaturallySpeaking document the old-school way: with a menu choice or toolbar button. As in any other application, you can use a voice command to make the menu choice, such as saying, “Click File,” and then saying “Save” or just saying “Press Control S.”

The New, Save, Save As, and Open commands in the NaturallySpeaking File menu work as they do in nearly every other Windows application. So do the New, Open, and Save buttons on the toolbar (the first three). In case you forget (or nobody ever told you), here’s what they do:

  • To start a new, blank document, choose File→New (or click the New button).

  • To open an existing document file, choose File→Open (or click the Open button).

  • To save the document as a file, choose File→Save (or click the Save button).

  • To save a new copy of the current document under a new name or in a new location, choose File→Save As.

NaturallySpeaking enables you to save your work in one of the following ways (file types), so you can pass your work along to others or save it for a fun day of editing later on:

  • Plain text (.TXT) files: Text files do not preserve formatting, only the text plus line or paragraph breaks and tabs. (Tab stop positions are not saved, however.) Most everything can open a .TXT file.

  • Rich Text Format (.RTF) files: Rich Text Format files are filled with all the formatting you can do in NaturallySpeaking. Nearly all major word processors can open these files, so your formatting survives the translation if you use .RTF.

When you choose File→Save the first time (or anytime you choose File→Save As), you have to choose which file type to use. A NaturallySpeaking dialog box appears, warning you that saving a text file will lose formatting. It presents you with two buttons to choose between: Rich Text Document or Text Document. (If you press the Enter key at this point, NaturallySpeaking will choose RTF.)

Choose Rich Text Format if you want to import your document into a word processor or some other application that enables character formatting (such as bold) and paragraph formatting (such as center-aligned).

Choose Text if the application (such as a simple e-mail program) does not support formatting. When you click the button for your choice, NaturallySpeaking presents the typical Save As dialog box you will recognize from other Windows applications. Type a name for the file and choose a folder.

To open an RTF file in your word processor or other application, the usual menu choice is File→Open. In the Open dialog box that appears, click the box labeled Files of Type (or something like that) and look for Rich Text Format (RTF).

If you want to verbally edit documents, you need to load them into the NaturallySpeaking window. In addition to being able to open the RTF and TXT files it writes, NaturallySpeaking can read some Microsoft Word (.doc files). Using your word processor, check the dialog box that appears when you use the File→Save As command. Click the Save As Type box there and choose a Word version (.doc), Text (.txt), or Rich Text (.rtf).

You don’t have to rely on DragonPad to edit your text. If your first choice is to edit in your favorite word processor or other supported application, choose that.