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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good way to start typing or using computer
A good way to start typing or using computer and it is really easy to set up and use with many different computers and software. Really does recognise your voice very well after just reading a short piece of a story / words
Published 12 months ago by Big S

versus
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Even worse than the previous version
I thought that Dragon 11.5 was bad, but it was a masterpiece of stability and logic compared to version 12. The writing was on the wall during the installation routine when it insisted on shutting down my antivirus software in order to load. Then, at one part of the installation a little box popped up to tell me that the remaining procedures would take 816 minutes to...
Published 22 months ago by Peter Smith


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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Even worse than the previous version, 13 Oct 2012
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 12.0, Wireless (PC) (DVD-ROM)
I thought that Dragon 11.5 was bad, but it was a masterpiece of stability and logic compared to version 12. The writing was on the wall during the installation routine when it insisted on shutting down my antivirus software in order to load. Then, at one part of the installation a little box popped up to tell me that the remaining procedures would take 816 minutes to complete. After half a minute, it changed its mind to 8 seconds. I went slowly and carefully through the entire installation, following each step with as much care and attention as I could. Despite this, the routine stopped responding almost at the end and I had to sit down and do the whole thing all over again. I'd previously used version 11.5 and some part of the installer detected this and offered to import those profiles. What a good idea, or it would have been if the software had been able to do so. It didn't, just sat there for a few minutes and then told me that all the previous profiles had failed to import.

I had hoped that Nuance would have seen sense and stripped out some of the completely useless and pointless additional features and actually provided a simple piece of software that just did what it said on the box. Well they haven't. In fact, they've just added even more useless and pointless features that the vast majority of people will never use or want to use, and the actual dictation module is even more unstable than it was before. Using it this morning, for example, I made the mistake of not talking for about five minutes and then when I started dictating again it refused to recognise any of the words I was saying as text and try to interpret them as commands. So when I said 'This actually', after asking me to say it again three or four times, it decided what I was trying to say was the command 'Listen to me'.

And then it refuses to start the text where you position the cursor, adding in a single space before starting to type the words, which means that you have to keep going back and deleting all these redundant spaces. Another little trick it's just started doing is not starting a new sentence with a capital letter, but helpfully putting a capital letter at the start of any word you insert into an existing sentence. I've been using this program for about four hours now, and already I'm perfectly prepared to throw it out of the window.

Just like the previous version, this is an underdeveloped, terminally irritating and wholly unsatisfactory piece of software. As I said in my previous review, if there was anything else out there I would certainly use that in preference to Dragon. In fact, I'm going to give it another few days but if it doesn't start doing at least some of the things that I would reasonably expect it to do, then I'll probably be returning it to Nuance and asking for a full refund on the grounds that it is not of merchantable quality. It really is that bad.

And then, on the very first day of use, I noticed that the charging socket on the wireless headset is missing part of a metal clip, which means that to charge the headset battery I have to use Sellotape to hold the charging lead in place. Not what you might call the best quality product around, obviously.

Update: I tried to send it back for a refund, but Nuance's returns policy is so restricted that this turned out to be impossible unless I actually sued them. Perhaps significantly, I didn't even get a response out of their alleged support system until I asked for my money back, and then I was sent what amounted to a beta tester's form demanding screen shots and God knows what else for every single error that I had encountered. I estimated that I was looking at the least a day's work just to respond to this thing, and I declined, on the reasonable basis that I simply don't have the time or the inclination to help solve the problems that they have with this software. Something costing as much as this should work reliably and consistently straight out of the box, and it simply doesn't.

So now I'm stuck with this underdeveloped and rubbishy product. I've now been using it, or more accurately trying to use it, for about a month, and remarkably few of my initial thoughts and feelings about it have changed. There are, as far as I can see, only two slightly positive comments that I can actually make about this piece of software. First it doesn't forget who I am with such monotonous regularity as the previous version and, second, it is perhaps about 90% accurate in terms of dictation, which I think is very slightly better than version 11.5, though still nowhere near approaching the accuracy which Nuance claim.

The Word add-in is predictably useless, as on the previous version, the program only accepting dictation intermittently, and often just sitting there doing nothing. It also slows down cursor movement so much that when I press 'Home' or 'End' it actually moves one character at a time instead of the normal speed. Page up and page down are similarly affected, and the cursor frequently jumps about the screen so that instead of typing a piece of text where you want it, it helpfully starts it in the middle of the next paragraph. And this definitely is the Word add-in - disabling it returns everything to normal.

The only practical way to use the program is to dictate everything into DragonPad - which crashes a couple of times a day on average - and which has problems of its own, like being provided with hundreds of different fonts, but no way of selecting one as default, meaning that I'm stuck with Arial (Western), a font I never use, and have to reformat everything when I copy it into my Word document. DragonPad also frequently tries to open up commands - those same commands which I've specifically disabled, in fact - so occasionally a 'Format' or other command box pops up instead of whatever word I'm trying to dictate, and after I've cleared it off the screen, DragonPad simply won't work until I've closed it and reopened it again.

It still refuses to type what I actually say, but instead produces what it thinks I ought to have said. For example, it still faithfully types 'it's' when I've actually said 'it', 'will' when I've said 'would', 'a' instead of 'the' and vice versa for some reason, and so on. It still won't type plurals, it still adds additional spaces between words on an intermittent basis, frequently refuses to begin a sentence with a capital letter and, just like version 11.5, has now started not only adding a redundant space before full stop, but also a randomly selected capital letter after a full stop.

In summary, despite the advertising claims, this is essentially exactly the same program as the previous version, with all of the problems 11.5 had, and with a few more additional irritations thrown in for good measure. The extra 'facilities' appear to me to be completely pointless, and it is still utterly impossible to turn off all of the redundant commands and formatting options and all the rest of the rubbish and just use the thing as a dictation program which is, after all, what it's supposed to be.

And, just to forestall any comments about it being either me or my computer, my background is in IT and I used to run a network for the RAF, so I do know what I'm doing, and my laptop is pretty much state-of-the-art: 750GB HDD, 6GB RAM and a quad-core CPU. And this is the very latest version of the software, including all the latest updates - if you can dignify a half-hearted collection of bug-fixes with that term - released by Nuance.

The bottom line: under no circumstances will I ever purchase another piece of software manufactured by Nuance. In fact, I wouldn't even want one as a gift. This program really is that bad.

A further update: Among the other tricks it's now started to demonstrate, about half the time when I say 'tab', instead of inserting a tab, it types the word 'Tabb', which as far as I know isn't in any dictionary so I have no idea where it came from. And if I close down DragonPad - about the only way I've found of using the program even partially successfully - it also shuts down Dragon. Frequently the only way I have of getting rid of the program is to use Windows Task Manager because it refuses to respond to anything else. It has also now decided that it knows far better than me where I want a piece of text inserted, and instead of adding it in the cursor position, it randomly selects a location in an earlier paragraph and inserts it there.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good way to start typing or using computer, 14 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 12.0, Wireless (PC) (DVD-ROM)
A good way to start typing or using computer and it is really easy to set up and use with many different computers and software. Really does recognise your voice very well after just reading a short piece of a story / words
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars pile of cr&p, 23 Mar 2014
This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 12.0, Wireless (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Does not let you open audio files for conversion to speech. This needs to be done through a dictation machine or more precisely a proprietary dictation machine.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really impressed!, 18 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 12.0, Wireless (PC) (DVD-ROM)
I was a previous user of Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred 8. When I changed my computer I have now bought this version. I have a Intel core i7 3770 with 16 GB of memory. This version was installed quickly and then updated itself to version 12.5, so it runs the latest edition. I have dictated this review using the wireless headset which pairs easily with the PC. I am really pleased because after just 10 minutes of training the dictation is working really well. I am a poor 2-fingered typist, so this software increases my productivity hugely. I'm not really sure why people have given this product such poor reviews, I can only think it is because they have not used an appropriate headset or trained the software as it assists you to do.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More trouble than it's worth, 21 Feb 2013
By 
J. Turner (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 12.0, Wireless (PC) (DVD-ROM)
I bought this product (having last tried it 10 years ago, when it was too awful for words) because early-onset osteo-arthritis means that I really should be reducing the amount I type. I have tried it fairly conscientiously for over 4 months before (manually) typing this review.

When this product is actually working, it is reasonably good at turning speech into text. But it spends way too much of the time slowing my (fairly highly-specced: well above the recommended minimum) laptop to a crawl or stalling it altogether. It seems to have a particular conflict with MS Outlook (2010 edition) even when it is not being used to dictate anything - though it is also happy enough to crash Word when it feels like it.

I have now checked this out on the Web and it seems that many have stability problems with this software. It is just incomprehensible that this should be so when running as good an OS as Windows 7 64 bit. Nuance does not seem to care - and why would they if mugs like me are prepared to go on shelling out north of 150, despite previous horrendous experience with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor headset, 26 April 2013
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This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 12.0, Wireless (PC) (DVD-ROM)
I sent the original back the replacement come pretty quick but alas headset did not work with my computer again
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent voice activated dictation software, 15 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 12.0, Wireless (PC) (DVD-ROM)
I have Naturally Speaking for several years now. This version is the best yet; very accurate and the translation of voice to text is also very fast.
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3.0 out of 5 stars This product works but the set up was horrendous, ..., 8 July 2014
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This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 12.0, Wireless (PC) (DVD-ROM)
This product works but the set up was horrendous, nearly put us off completely.
The wireless headset needs special attention and we had to pay someone to help us sort it out. For that I was not impressed.

Overall it takes time to program but once it's been done is generally OK.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dragon wireless, 11 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 12.0, Wireless (PC) (DVD-ROM)
Software works well and learns quickly and is remarkably intuitive to use. Even though I am a good almost-touch type typist, it has increased productivity especially for long emails. The one draw-back I have found is with the microphone. I bought the blue tooth version; the ear piece isn't that comfortable and goes flat after 3-4 hours. If you are dictating for a prolonged period (or get a lot of interruptions) that can be a pain.
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Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 12.0, Wireless (PC)
Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 12.0, Wireless (PC) by Nuance Communications, Inc. (Windows 7 / Server 2008 / Vista / XP)
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