How to Record Dictation for Dragon NaturallySpeaking

By Stephanie Diamond

When you record text for NaturallySpeaking to transcribe, speak that text just as if you were dictating into NaturallySpeaking directly. Certain aspects of recording, however, make that process a little different than dictating directly to NaturallySpeaking.

Using commands, for instance, is tricky because you can’t see the transcription in progress. In addition, dictating into a portable recorder introduces some new issues that affect sound quality. The best thing to do is to limit your voice commands to dictation commands.

Because you can’t see the result of NaturallySpeaking’s transcription as you dictate, using certain commands in recorded speech is risky. NaturallySpeaking might, for instance, edit or delete the wrong text in response to a command. You wouldn’t know that until you see your text on the screen.

Because of that risk, NaturallySpeaking ignores most editing commands it encounters while transcribing your recording. NaturallySpeaking does, however, accept dictation commands in your recorded text — the ones that control capitals and spaces. The safest procedure is to use commands that apply only to your next spoken word, such as “Cap <word>.”

Even though NaturallySpeaking allows you to use the dictation commands that turn something “on,” such as “Caps On,” NaturallySpeaking may occasionally miss the concluding “Caps Off” or other “Off” command. You may end up making more work for yourself (or whoever does the final cleanup) by using those on/off commands.

Following are some of the commands that, in addition to punctuation, work most reliably in recorded speech:

  • “All Caps <word>”

  • “Cap <word>”

  • “New Line”

  • “New Paragraph”

  • “No Caps <word>”

  • *“No Space <word>”

  • “Spacebar”

  • “Tab Key”

You can also use “Scratch That” (which deletes back to the last time you paused) if you make a mistake. Use it only if you’re sure when you last paused, or you’ll delete more or less than you intended! You can repeat the “Scratch That” command to back up through multiple pauses if your memory for pauses is very good.

To avoid having to remember your pauses, a better command for amending recorded dictation is “Resume With <word>.” This command enables you to back up to a specific word within the last 100 characters and then dictate new text beginning from that point. (Of course, it only works if NaturallySpeaking got your word right in the first place!)