Dragon Naturally Speaking 11 Premium
The world's penultimate voice recognition software returns
with several versions available to the end consumer such as Home, Mobile
and Professional. The product that we
are reviewing in this article is Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 11
that once again improves the capabilities of this software package and
more importantly, better voice recognition. It should also be noted that
the the Premium edition comes with a headset and even a Phillips Digital
with up to
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In laymen's terms, this program allows you to translate your voice into
text and more importantly, the ability to control certain facets of your
operating system such as opening programs and files. Compared to the
home version, the premium adds some additional features such as the
ability of transcribing digital recordings to text and even support for
Bluetooth devices. The Premium version also allows for additional
customisation commands. With that said the program is compatible with the Windows
operating system, including Microsoft Office and even OpenOffice,
however unfortunately this version is not compatible with the Mac.
Before we could test this program, we first needed to install the
software package which was a relatively easy although long exercise. Once installed,
we needed to setup an account for the Dragon and also train the software
to recognise our voice. It should be noted that like previous
versions, the more time you spend training the program, the better the
voice recognition capabilities of the program will be.
Windows 7, Vista & XP, 2.5 GB of free
hard drive space, 2GB of RAM, 1 GHz Intel Pentium processor, sound
card supporting 16-bit recording and DVD-ROM.
However one interesting fact is that even if you only engage in the
short training exercise, the voice recognition capabilities are
considerably improved over the last version that we tested. Given that,
of the program can be quite arduous and you need to ensure that you have
some time to yourself and that you are not disturbed. You basically need
to read a variety of set text boxes in order for the program to
recognise your voice, pronunciation and accent.
Once we trained the program, we were ready to test Dragon
NaturallySpeaking Premium 11. On Windows 7, the software installs a
dragon icon in the system tray and also the Dragon Slidebar which
creates another ribbon on the top of your operating system. This allows
you to tweak various facets of the software, edit settings, check your
microphone levels and run diagnostics and scheduled times. Needless to
say, lots of tweaking!
also features a new streamlined help system that has tips and lots of
other information techniques to assist you with any queries that you
might have. With that said, the
learning curve of the program is relative low if you have prior computer
knowledge but even if you don't, it's quiet an easy to use program.
We were actually quite surprised at how accurate the program recognised
our commands in the operating system and more importantly, it was quite
responsive. The first test that we did was navigating
Windows 7 as we opened up programs and accessed the windows menu with
considerable ease. For example, we opened up Microsoft Excel and
Microsoft Word by speaking into the microphone.
To an extent, you can
even surf the internet as we accessed Google and loaded a few pages via
the search engine. Social media sites like Facebook and
Twitter are also part of the equation which is kind of cool. In terms of
some of your controls for example, some of the voice commands
that you might use in Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 11 might be
"Search eBay for video games" or "Load Starcraft 2" or "open My
Documents". The scope is unlimited.
However where the program does shine is through Dictation and this
review was actually written... err spoken with Dragon NaturallySpeaking
Premium 11 with minimal editing later on.
In terms of accuracy when we
completed the full tests for the program, we almost achieved full 99%
accuracy as indicated by Nuisance and ours was around 98% which is very
impressive. The new correcting and editing feature is far superior than
the previous version as it now recognises simple and quick voice
commands like "Underline Review Heading". For those words that it does
not recognise, it's quite easy to add these words or phrases into the
vocabulary of the program so next time, Dragon will have no issues.
If you are a slow typer, this program is perfect for you because it can
definitely translate voice to text at considerable speeds. There are
quite a few professionals where the dictation of this program would work wonders such as
a writer, university students or people that write large reports. I have
also heard that this program has been used with people with disabilities
as it not only allows them to navigate windows and the associated
programs but also surf the internet and communicate with others. I also
recorded a lecturer with my iPhone and then translated the voice to
text. It was not my perfect but it sure did beat writing notes.
In the end, Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 11 is easily one of the
best programs on the market and Nuisance continue to fine tune and
refine this excellent voice recognition software. The accuracy and speed
if this software package is unparalleled and its
integration into Microsoft Windows is almost flawless.
This review only touches the surface of
this powerful program. Recommended!