What is Dragon NaturallySpeaking Software?

“Dragon speech recognition software makes it easier for anyone to use a computer. You talk, and it types. Use your voice to create and edit documents or emails, launch applications, open files, control your mouse, and more. Quickly and easily capture your thoughts and ideas while Dragon helps you get more done faster.”

Nuance Communications website

Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a speech-to-text program currently employed by Carleton. Students may find Dragon a useful option for word processing and voice-controlled computer navigation. Disability Services for Students and the Assistive Technologists at ITS work together to provide students with as much information and assistance as possible for continued use of Dragon on and off campus. 

How do I start using Dragon?

Dragon software only runs on the Windows operating system and is located on several public lab machines.

To start using Dragon, use any one of the computers listed above. The first time you use the software you will be asked to complete a four to ten minute voice training session. We highly recommend this process (best, we found, when used “with prompting”), as it will greatly improve the accuracy of the software. Dragon offers tutorials on the software, available both upon first use and later, if desired. We strongly recommend using the Assistive Technology headsets which can be checked out from the Circulation Desk of the library. If you are interested in one-on-one consulting or help setting up your Dragon account, please email aztechs@carleton.edu

Updating Your Dragon Profile:

Dragon’s accuracy will increase the more you use it, but only if you correct the program when it makes a transcription mistake. When Dragon records something incorrectly, correct its mistake using one of two options:

  1. Highlight and right click the incorrect word or phrase, and select “Correct That.”
  2. Use the voice command: “Correct [word/phrase].”

Either of these will prompt Dragon to display a list of alternative choices; select the correct option, or say “Spell That” if none of the generated options are correct. Then spell or type out the correct word(s).

When quitting Dragon at the end of your session, you will be asked to save your profile. Do this. This will permanently record the recognition corrects you made, helping Dragon to improve its performance in the future. 

Helpful Resources:

While the Dragon software contains a large volume of its own documentation within the program, to the right are some additional resources we have found useful.

Additionally, Nuance has made a series of instructional videos about the Dragon software.