Dragon NaturallySpeaking is voice recognition software that allows you to speak into a microphone or headset attached to your computer to type what you are saying. With Dragon you can create documents, reports, e-mails and more - all by speaking. It interacts with commonly used programs like Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Excel, Corel WordPerfect, and many other Windows based products.
It is not 100% accurate and it may not recognize everything you say right away, but the software "learns" your voice as you correct its dictation and gets more accurate the more you use it. So the next time it will correctly type what you dictate. Dragon NaturallySpeaking not only types what you dictate, but can be used to open up documents, navigate through your programs, or search your computer for a file.
One thing we really liked about this software is you don't have to be at a computer to use it. Meaning, it will interact with certain handheld digital recorders and PDAs so that if you need to take notes between meetings or record personal thoughts you can do so without sitting at your computer. Later you download that recording to your computer and Dragon will transcribe your recording into text. This is truly a software that can simplify your life, especially if you are a slow typer like me or possibly have other diabilities that make typing difficult.
For those of you who are wondering if it is MAC compatible, don't worry. Dragon Natuarally Speaking has a sister software called MacSpeech.
The MacSpeech Dictate company was recently purchased by Nuance, makers of Dragon NaturallySpeaking software. Many Dragon users wonder whether they will be able to convert to MacSpeech for voice recognition if they buy a Mac after using Dragon on a PC. The quality and functionality of the two programs is similar. There are a few commands that work differently in the two programs and some features are labelled with different names, but for the most part the two are very similar and you can use one if you are familiar with the other.
(Photo Courtesy of Jacob Bøtter)