Last autumn I read several reviews of MacSpeech comparing it unfavourably to Dragon, so I opted for the latter. But since then a new version of MacSpeech has been released, which uses the Dragon NaturallySpeaking engine. In spite of Dragon’s phenomenal learning capabilities, it has a few annoying sticking points. In my experience, there are some words or phrases it simply refuses to learn. I have a friend and regular e-mail correspondent called Jacqui, yet Dragon persistently uses the spelling ‘Jacquie’ every time I write her an e-mail, even after being corrected hundreds of times.
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- If you’re not a fan of Google Assistant, you could try Microsoft’s Cortana instead.
- The app, which has been available on Android since 2017, also lets you take verbal notes.
- The simply named Speech to Text app is lightweight and easy to use.
Dragon does what it says on the tin – you can type as fast as you talk. One of the biggest initial hurdles I had was simply trusting that I could speak at my normal speed, instead of slowing down for the software. Counterintuitively, Dragon actually works better the faster you talk. I’m a reasonably fast touch typist, but there’s no way I could type as fast as I can generate text with Dragon. Even allowing for mistakes and corrections, I can still churn out text much faster than before. This quick guide walks you through the process of adding the Journal of Accountancy as a favorite news source in the News app from Apple.
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Not only does it do what it’s told; it’s trained in flattery too. The first time I spoke my name, it typed ‘Rich Journalist’. I’m not ashamed to admit that I haven’t bothered to correct it. Star Trek fans will be delighted to note that you can customise spoken commands, changing a dull request like ‘press the key enter’ to a much more satisfying ‘make it SpyBot Search & Destroy so’. There is a Mac alternative to Dragon – MacSpeech Dictate.
Ditto punctuation, which doesn’t seem to be included in the learning process. Dragon persists in giving me the words ‘will stop’ about 50% of the time I say ‘full stop’ (‘period’ to my American readers) – again, even after being corrected countless times. In my experience Dragon is about 90% accurate when taking dictation. But it does make mistakes – so you need to watch it carefully. Even writing a short e-mail, I often find myself switching to Dragon out of impatience because I know I can do it much faster via voice.
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Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to We regret being unable to individually answer all submitted questions. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, () is a technology consultant, a conference presenter, and a JofA contributing editor. Regardless of which device or voice-recognition tool you use, always proofread your voice-to-text messages before hitting save or send, to ensure your most professional image is consistently conveyed. “Understood” and related logos are trademarks of Understood For All Inc.and are used with permission. This website provides information of a general nature and is designed for information and educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or legal advice.
I do sit and stare into space more often than I’d like to, but even allowing for the act in certain that I get more done in less time. If you’re unable to use a keyboard or mouse, Dragon could be a godsend for you, allowing you to do work that would be otherwise impossible. In my case, RSI has prevented me from typing for several months – without Dragon, there’s no way I could have written all my articles on Lateral Action without hiring a PA. In his review of MacSpeech Dictate, RSI sufferer Victor Medina describes it as ‘the software that most likely saved my career’.