How to Get Help from the DragonBar - dummies

By Stephanie Diamond

Just like any good software product, NaturallySpeaking has Help files that are installed with the software. In addition, Nuance Communications has done quite a bit of work on the interface to provide help for version 12. Nuance also has a Sidebar so that you can see context-sensitive commands when you need them. Here are some of the ways that you can find help directly from the DragonBar on your desktop:

  • Help menu: To find help for NaturallySpeaking from the DragonBar itself, start with the Help menu. Here you will find major content areas, an index, and a keyword search area. To reach it 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 whenever you say, “What can I say?” (Yes, this is actually a command that NaturallySpeaking responds to.)

  • Tutorials: The tutorials can be accessed both from the Install files when you are setting up and from the Help→Tutorial and Interactive Tutorial

  • Help: This is the place where you can be guided to improve the performance of your software and your total experience. Periodic visits to the menu choice, “Improve my accuracy” are critical. 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. From the DragonBar, go to Help→Performance Assistant.

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

The Dragon software includes a Quick Reference Card that shows you how to accomplish some of the common things you will be doing with NaturallySpeaking.

The Sidebar is displayed by default when you launch NaturallySpeaking and open your User Profile. You can choose not to display the Sidebar. Choose Tools→Options→Miscellaneous Tab, and deselecting the box marked Show the Dragon Sidebar. You can always access it when you’re dictating. Go to the DragonBar and choose Help→Dragon Sidebar, or say, “Show Dragon Sidebar” or “What can I say?”

The Sidebar provides suggested commands for everything that you are doing while using NaturallySpeaking. This includes both global commands that work in most applications and commands supported only in specific applications, like Microsoft Word.

The Sidebar is divided into two major panes: a Commands pane on the top and a Tips pane at the bottom. You can resize these to suit your needs. It also has several menus and icons.


Look at the menu items first:

  • Home: Try these commands first when you are looking for answers. If you are working in a supported application like Microsoft Excel, you will see Excel commands. The Sidebar is context sensitive, which means that it displays the most relevant commands for the application or Window you are in.

  • Global: Displayed here are the Global Commands that can be used anywhere.

  • Mouse: Click the Mouse menu to see commands specific to moving your mouse, such as, “Move mouse up” and “Move mouse down.”

  • MyCommands: This section includes the commands that you have created specific to the way you work. For example, if you created a shortcut command for your e-mail signature, you will see it listed when you click here.

Now look at what the icons on the Sidebar do. These are pretty self-explanatory.

  • Open Vocabulary Editor (Pencil): Here you can add and train commands that are useful to you.

  • Open Command Browser (Magnifying glass): This icon opens the Command browser so that you can peruse the list of commands available to you. You can also type in keywords for it to search.

  • Open Dragon Options (Gears): The Option tabs help you control your NaturallySpeaking assistant to do things your way.

  • Sidebar Help (Question mark): Clicking here will produce the Help files. Alternatively, you can choose Help→Help Topics from the DragonBar.