166 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally... They get it right
Just purchased the NaturallySpeaking home edition 11.5 - and I have to say I think it is absolutely amazing.
It works straight from the box and only needs a minimum amount of training in order to understand your voice and to transcribe it onto the page. In the past, I bought earlier versions of the NaturallySpeaking range and I will be honest- I didn't think...
Published on 16 July 2011 by J. George
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not good enough - not by a long way
This is not a desperately good program. I first used version 11, and did the upgrade to 11.5 as soon as it was available, and I haven't been particularly impressed by either of them. When it works, the dictation is okay, with a reasonably high rate of accuracy. It still has irritating habits, like typing 'the' when I very clearly said 'a' and vice versa, and frequently...
Published 19 months ago by Peter Smith
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166 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally... They get it right,
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 11.5 (PC) (DVD-ROM)Just purchased the NaturallySpeaking home edition 11.5 - and I have to say I think it is absolutely amazing.
It works straight from the box and only needs a minimum amount of training in order to understand your voice and to transcribe it onto the page. In the past, I bought earlier versions of the NaturallySpeaking range and I will be honest- I didn't think they were that good. I was always left with the overwhelming feeling that more training was needed before you could start dictating at the speed required to get the results you desire.
The NaturallySpeaking home edition 11.5 finally put this right- especially for me. I am dyslexic, and have the continual problem that the sentences I construct in my head are not appearing in the same way in typed text. I continually have to read, and rewrite sentences before they are correct. My problem was further compounded, by the fact I had to use an electronic read back facility in order to do my proofreading. NaturallySpeaking has this particular functionality on board as standard, so anyone reading this review that has a learning disability such as dyslexia, can rest assured that this will make their life a lot easier.
So to sum up, the NaturallySpeaking 11.5 home edition is money well spent. So, stop thinking about buying this and press the `purchase now' button.
(This review was created using the software)
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not good enough - not by a long way,
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 11.5 (PC) (DVD-ROM)This is not a desperately good program. I first used version 11, and did the upgrade to 11.5 as soon as it was available, and I haven't been particularly impressed by either of them. When it works, the dictation is okay, with a reasonably high rate of accuracy. It still has irritating habits, like typing 'the' when I very clearly said 'a' and vice versa, and frequently adds words to sentences which I neither need nor want, and is always notably reluctant to ever type a plural: if I say 'houses', for example, usually it will type 'house is', regardless of the fact that this makes no sense in the context of the sentence, and it is supposed to have a context checker. Sometimes it's so reluctant to make a noun a plural that it even inserts the word 'a' or 'an' in front of it.
Other niggles: often it will only print a verb in the present tense. Even if I clearly say 'would', it still prints 'will', and 'have', not 'had', and so on. Frequently it fails to leave spaces between words, meaning I have to move the cursor back and insert them manually. It doesn't do this regularly, just often enough to be really irritating. It frequently deletes the first letter of a typed word, so beginning a sentence with 'But' it actually types 'Ut'. Sometimes it adds a random capital letter after a full stop. It frequently types 'stop' instead of printing a full stop.
This is one particularly nifty trick it does: frequently when I'm correcting text, it erases words, then duplicates another word or phrase and puts it in the wrong place, several words to the left of the cursor position, and sometimes in the middle of another word. Just as an example, I was trying to insert the word 'it' after the word 'wanted' in the phrase 'who wanted to remain'. I placed the cursor in the appropriate place, and dictated 'it'. The program altered the phrase to read: 'whit to remainto remain'.
Too many words are printed with initial capital letters by default. Ideally, NO words in the dictionary except undeniable proper names like 'John' should be capitalized, and the user should be able to just say 'cap' before the word if a capital is required. I get really fed up having to back-track and change these letters.
Despite turning off all the menu commands I can find, it's still not possible to disable everything. Saying 'view' in a sentence generates the View menu, not the word, 'file' the File menu and so on. There should be an overriding option to disable everything. I don't want to use the program for surfing the 'net and controlling other programs - Dragon is a dictation program, and that's all I want it to do. If they pulled some of this other rubbish out of it, it would probably be a lot better.
I can't, of course, use the add-in module with Word, because it either freezes or crashes the program. On re-start, Word confirms Dragon add-in as the problem and recommends disabling it. Other add-ins work perfectly with Word. Dragon is the only one which causes any problems. Dragon's customer support - whose motto appears to be 'all assistance short of actual help' - confirmed that the problem was definitely Word, not Dragon, and suggested I contact Microsoft for a solution.
But all that I can live with, I suppose. What I find infuriating about it is the way that if I get up from the computer to go make a cup of coffee, by the time I get back to the machine Dragon has usually forgotten who I am, and has dumped my profile. Reloading the profile does not, as one might reasonably expect, reload the profile I last saved. It reloads the profile, but insists on enabling all the useless commands that I'd previously specifically disabled because they're completely pointless for what I do, and I have to go through them all again and disable them once more. It usually also helpfully enables both the sidebar and the tips screen, neither of which I want or need, and so I have to disable those as well. And in order to save my profile and retain those changes, I have to shut down Dragon, and then restart it. I've now found the fastest way to continue working is that if I have to leave the computer for more than about thirty seconds, it's best if I shut down Dragon completely, and then restart it when I come back. Not what you might call the easiest option.
Periodically, it decides it has no idea who I am at all, and I have to go through the whole identification and dictation routine all over again, because it won't recognise any of my saved profiles. And even if it does recognise one of the profiles, it frequently tells me that the acquisition module or whatever it's called hasn't been run for that profile, and it then sits there for about twenty minutes scanning my Word files and e-mails.
About once a month, it simply stops working, generating an error message stating that it will shut down. It then dumps everything I've dictated up to that point and the program closes. It then frequently won't start again unless I restart Windows. At other times, it suddenly freezes and has to be shut down, again losing all the work which has been dictated.
In summary, this program is expensive, unreliable and really irritating, its faults far out-weighing its good points.
Just as a follow-up to the original review, as posted above, the program has now decided that it will actually forget who I am while I'm in the middle of dictation, and about every second time that I start the program it tells me that the language module, or whatever the hell they call it, hasn't been run for that profile, even if I actually ran it 5 minutes earlier. It is probably the most infuriating piece of software I have ever used. If there was anything else on the market that would do the job I would absolutely use that in preference. I can think of no circumstances in which I would recommend this program to anyone at all, unless it was simply to drive them mad.
71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!,
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 11.5 (PC) (DVD-ROM)I have just installed my new copy of Dragon 11.5. I encountered problems initially when setting up my profile as the software did not recognise the microphone. I was hesitant about calling technical support as I've read poor reviews of it elsewhere. However after a little searching to actually find the number and faffing about registering, I got through to somebody who appeared to be in the UK and was very helpful and informative. He explained the problem was due to an incompatibility with the real tech soundcard that comes with the Dell computer and he directed me to Amazon and the cheapest option with which to solve my problem (this was a USB to audio converter just over two pounds).
I ordered this and once the headset was plugged into this and the correct option chosen when setting up a profile, I was able to setup my personal profile with no problems.
I had it up and running within half an hour and was able to dictate this passage quite easily using the very basic initial commands and learning very quickly new commands as I went along. The commands are very straightforward and easy-to-use. You can search the Internet you can open a Word document. I absolutely love it and I am completely amazed at how easy it is to use and how effective is. I have only been playing with it for half an hour but an impressed at how few errors there are so far. There have only been three or four and as soon as I go back and speak more clearly they are easily corrected. I'd say the only drawback is that the headset is a little large for me and it's making my left ear hurt at the moment. However this is a minor thing.
I am a brand new user and also a brand-new convert and I can thoroughly recommend it.
76 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing,
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 11.5 (PC) (DVD-ROM)I'm genuinely astonished at how awesome this product is. I'm using it in a very specialised away and it is almost completely flawless, I say 'almost' only because of the -very- occasional misunderstandings that occur due to the nature of what I am dictating. Here are two short examples of the type of text that I am challenging it with:
Reactions to post-operative conditions, especially those involving mutilation (mastectomy, ileostomy, amputation of the limb, etc) can be powerfully modified by hypnotic work.
In the management of burns, most writers report substantial benefits in various aspects of the management of dressings and post-trauma lack of appetite gained through hypnosis. The use of suggestions of coolness in the affected area has been shown repeatedly to reduce the physical damage through heat and to promote healing.
Hellmut W.A. Karle and Jennifer H. Boys, 2010. "Hynotherapy: A Practical Handbook". London, Free Association Books.
I was quite amazed that words like "ileostomy" were recognised without anything more than the initial 4 minute training done during the program setup. Quite astounding.
I continue to be amazed.
I use the Dictation Mode which means I'm not asking Dragon to navigate menus and do fancy stuff, just the nitty-gritty of writing down what I am saying as accurately as possible. Dictation mode still allows all the text formatting commands of course. To be honest I'm still too unfamiliar with all of the facilities of the program to comment further, but what I have seen so far just "blows my socks off". :-)
As to my speech, it's a sort of average English, not very posh but not slang either, but there are quirks in how I pronounce some things that Dragon seems to be quite unphased by and transcribes correctly. Even minor hesitations and on the fly corrections seem to be understood correctly. Clever stuff.
I don't like the default hot-keys for turning the microphone on and off but a quick trip to Tools | Options makes short work of that - I like to use the otherwise unused Scroll Lock key for things like turning listening on and off as this makes more sense to me than using the pad keys, which I use from time to time.
That's it folks. I need to get back to my note taking.
I do genuinely recommend Dragon Naturally Speaking 11.5 with the caveat that I do not know how well it deals with regional accents since I don't have a strong one. It does however ask if one has an Asian or other accent during the setup so I'm guessing a lot of work has gone into accounting for different inflections and modes of speech.
A marvellous product with a well deserved 5 star rating from me.
55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very impressed,
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 11.5 (PC) (DVD-ROM)I have to say that I'm very impressed with this product. I last used voice recognition software about five years ago and the reliability was too poor for me to continue. I do a considerable amount of writing and website production and having recently suffered with upper limb symptoms from excess typing decided to give this a try again. The increase in my productivity that this product has afforded me is simply startling. In my daytime job I use dictation a lot so have found the transition from typing to speaking that difficult. Set up time was about 15 min but the results are excellent. I can now produce a page of manuscript in a fraction of the time that it used to take me and with very few errors. A lot of my terminology is medical but the software copes with this admirably. I'm still learning to use software but it does seem to be adapting more and more to my voice and individual needs. I'm absolutely certain there is more for me to learn and use with this software which can only be good news.I bought a separate Logitech USB microphone to use with the product and it seems to work very well. I have no doubt that I will recoup the cost of this product in a matter of a couple of weeks thanks to the increased efficiency in my workload that it delivers. And yes, in case you're wondering I did dictate this review!
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing,
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 11.5 (PC) (DVD-ROM)This product is brilliant and so so accurate. It requires very little set up and yet it is word perfect. I have just dictated three A4 pages with absolutely no errors at all - I can hardly believe it. It even spelt the place names perfectly without any prompting - Thoroughly recommended
56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dragon Naturally Speaking - very poor customer support,
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 11.5 (PC) (DVD-ROM)Product seems to work fine, but try and load it on a different computer when you change PC's - then you will find that the software wont work as the serial number is invalid, and when you try and get hold of SUPPORT, well there is no one to talk to - the phone just rings and rings and rings .... and look for an email address for support , well keep looking - I never found it ...
So, until they get SUPPORT working properly, just buy this for the lifetime of one computer - you are probably going to have to buy the product again if you want to change your computer .... very unfriendly and unhelpful - I now wish I had not wasted my money on this software
62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazingly good voice recognition system!,
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 11.5 (PC) (DVD-ROM)I've spent the last eight years using ViaVoice and while it took a great deal of effort and training to become effective I found it a superb and useful voice recognition product. Unfortunately ViaVoice wouldn't install on Windows 7 and I've had to upgrade to Dragon.
Out of the box I was a little underwhelmed as instead of a manual to help you with your new voice recognition software. Dragon had decided to include a "leaflet" that has roughly the same area as two sheets of A4 paper (well probably quite a bit less in actual fact) to help you install Dragon on your computer, set up a profile and some sample commands. I'm distinctly unimpressed with this as I like flick through instruction manuals at my leisure to educate myself on the product. However if all you need is the basics then that is exactly what you're given.
Installing the product was simple and soon ready to create my profile. I quickly went through it to start with, recognising the microphone but then the next stage which I think was to do with the sound card kept failing to work. The help guide was quite useful but ultimately failed to work out what was going wrong. Fortunately I had a fiddle with Windows finding the sound area, where I located something where I could increase the gain on the microphone. I set this to maximum and tried again. This solved my problem with it coming up saying "acceptable".
Now came the voice training and I was expecting to do a lot of this as I had to do on my ViaVoice in the past. The on-screen message says it will take about 4 min. I guess it took me around 5 - 10 min complete including pausing a couple of times. At this juncture the computer analyses your profile and 5 min later you're ready to go.
At this point I was expecting to need to practice dictating to the computer to improve the accuracy, which with my old ViaVoice was a very time-consuming task. However with Dragon it is literally fantastic out-of-the-box. It's not flawless making a number of errors most notably being when I say full stop, the computer types stop. But amazingly the accuracy is extremely high. I would even go as far as saying far surpassing my old ViaVoice had I dictated this review using my old software. I definitely would have made more corrections than I've had to this evening with Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5.
I think it would be unfair to give a full verdict/comparison having barely use this product. There are definitely things I don't like about Dragon, probably because I don't know how to use it properly yet. So I may update this review in the future when I'm better placed to comment further.
However if you're reading this and pondering on the idea of voice recognition software. I would wholeheartedly recommend anyone this software. In particular if you have RSI and your wrists can't stand up to lots of typing and mouse clicks, voice recognition software has been a blessing to me personally, yet this Dragon software is just something else. A wonderful product.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well I sit here speaking to my computer to display and print these words.,
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 11.5 (PC) (DVD-ROM)I read about Dragon Naturally Speaking Home 11.5 (PC) on Amazon, and thought like you are now, NAAH this can't work. But I took time to read the revues and made a decision to buy. This has been the best £53 I have ever spent which includes a headset with microphone.
As one of the millions of unpaid volunteers I frequently find myself spending hours in front of my PC and wishing I had never volunteered to do the minutes, or write, print and post off information letters. But having bought this Dragon software my life has changed. In using this in junction with a Dictaphone I am able to sit quietly and breeze through what used to be an arduous task. Yes it was a little tasking to install, but that was probably due to me, but once you have done the voice recognition it's just wonderful. Even my son who works in IT is impressed with this product. It does so much that I will never cease to be amazed, and you can use this speech system and still interact with your keyboard. If you have been hesitating, don't.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Still not up to task and getting worse,
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 11.5 (PC) (DVD-ROM)Having seen the reviews I though I would get this to replace my version 10.
I ran into problems with installation when it got almost to the end of updating my user profile from version 10 then just hung up. After waiting ages I gave up on that - lost my user profiles. It meant going through re-training.
Some of the stories for use in speech training are quite bizarre but entertaining nonetheless.
However reality test will it work . Sadly the initial results provided an even more bizarre result than the story used for training. In fact it seemed far worse than version 10 for accuracy. No doubt it will improve in time with more usage but out of the box it would have been far quicker to type (and correct my typos) rather than have to proofread and re correct the weird things it put in.
Time will tell but sadly my out of the box experience hasn't left a good impression. Lets hope it does improve as I go on.
A follow on report. has it improved with use? A resounding NO if anything it has got worse and now keeps putting in line breaks when I stop to pause, bizzare capital letters where i dont wont them, the whole thing is now turning in to a frustating, totally useless piece of junk software an absolute useless waste of money. probably too late now to return and get my money back.
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Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 11.5 (PC) by Nuance Communications, Inc. (Windows 7 / Vista / XP)