In this issue:
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13 Premium has been released. However, Nuance has released no information on when Professional 13 or Legal 13 will be available. We're still expecting them to be announced soon, but have no official information. Keep in mind that Dragon Medical is produced by a completely separate programming division, and we are only a year out from the release of Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2 - Zephyr-TEC does not expect a new Dragon Medical Practice Edition release in the near future.
So what's new in Dragon 13 Premium?
While all those things are true, there's some marketing at work. It is faster - but speed is more dependent on outside factors like your PC and what other software is running. Profile creation is easier - very short, but that means you are giving Dragon less information in the beginning about your voice, which could frustrate some users with strong accents or unique speech patterns.
So what has really changed?
WHAT'S REALLY NEW IN DRAGON 13
Having had the privilege of testing Dragon 13, we agree that it is faster (system dependent) and more accurate along with good improvements in when using web based email and browsers.
New Dragon Bar:
Version 13 adds an option for a DragonBar that will auto-collapse, taking up even less space.
It sure looks to us like this is pretty clearly designed for Windows 8 and touchscreen usage; we all still preferred the old DragonBar. And the new DragonBar still covers up part of my maximized windows, where the old ones don't. But the old DragonBar choices are still all there, so having this as an option is nice.
Dragon 13 now officially supports WordPerfect X7 and Open Office Writer 4.1, along with Microsoft Office 2010 and 2013. In addition, there are improvements to support for dictation in internet windows (Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox) - though you do need to enable the Dragon 13 browser add-on. That support extends to additional button and command support for Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Outlook.com, which makes them much easier to use by voice.
Additionally, Dragon 13 supports any web program that adheres to ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications). That should make Dragon work better with some of the custom programs that many companies use - assuming that they meeting those programming standards.
However, note that Dragon 13 no longer officially supports Microsoft Office 2007 or 2003. We aren't sure exactly what that means - most likely, Dragon will still work, but the built in commands for those programs won't exist.
Dragon 13 is also designed for use with Windows 7 and 8 - but not Windows XP or Vista. We did not test that, but we would not recommend upgrading if you are still in one of those operating systems. With Dragon 13, the DragonBar is also available in both interfaces for Windows 8 - desktop and modern.
Tweaks to Existing Items
Lastly, there are a number of tweaks to existing parts of the program. The Vocabulary Editor window has a slightly redrawn interface that makes searching for some obscure words easier (though it does make adding a word take an extra step). There are improvements to Dragon's Smart Format Rules - you now get more choices when that box pops up.
The biggest tweak to an existing feature is the change to the acoustic optimization wizard. In older versions, this needed to be scheduled for a time when the computer was on but Dragon wasn't running, and it would run every night, whether it had an appropriate amount of data or not. Now, it will prompt you to run it once you have generated enough data - you can either run it then (though you can't use Dragon while it is running), or tell it to run later. We think that will be a much better solution and make it much easier for people to take advantage of the acoustic optimizer.
Overall, Dragon 13 looks like another step forward with a great program. The improved compatibility with internet windows may be very useful for many corporate users, and some of the other tweaks seem quite useful. The removal of support for old Operating Systems and Office versions may be concerning, but had to happen at some point.
Our biggest outstanding question is when version 13 for Professional and Legal will be available. Watch this newsletter for answers - or just give us a call and ask!
In 2014, healthcare professionals have seen the value of speech recognition - words appear as fast as you talk. But there are some limitations - mostly involving setting up the computer. Wouldn't it be nice if you could sit down at any computer and dictate, with no preparation?
Well now you can. Introducing SayIt™ - a cloud-based subscription software for speech recognition.
In sum - use your profile on any computer (Windows or Mac) that has internet. Subscription service - quit at any time. Easy to learn and use.
Sound interesting? Want more information? Give us a call, and we can set up a demonstration for you:
Over the past 20 years, Zephyr-TEC has worked with injured workers at various local and state government agencies helping them to retain their jobs by implementing Dragon NaturallySpeaking into their workday.
While these employees do use mainstream programs like Word and Outlook, they often are working in proprietary, terminal emulation programs or proprietary Internet-based applications.
Recently, Zephyr-TEC trained just such a worker at a large government entity. They use an Attachmate type mainframe database into which workers enter information as well as another Internet-based contact management software.
The programs are quite keyboard intensive; entering data, hitting keyboard keys to change screens, etc. Says the employee…
"My job involves keyboarding all day. During the course of my employment I developed bilateral Carpal Tunnel requiring surgery. I was advised by my doctor that my Carpal Tunnel symptoms would worsened if I continued doing the amount of keyboarding that my job required. He recommended I be provided with the Dragon NaturallySpeaking program."
Now, trying to use Dragon right out of the box in her proprietary programs could be frustrating or slow at best. She was told by several at her employment that NaturallySpeaking wouldn't work.
However, working with the employee, Zephyr-TEC trainers developed custom macro sets to voice enable her not-Dragon-friendly applications, thereby relieving her constant keyboarding. She goes on to say…
"After I was provided with the Dragon NaturallySpeaking program and the outstanding training that was provided by Zephyr-TEC trainers, I have been able to use this program to remain in my position and continue to do the work that I enjoy. Thanks to the availability of the program, I can remain employed for many more years without the chance of causing further damage to my hands."
With the release of Dragon 13, our thoughts turned to upgrades, and two issues that occurred when upgrading to Dragon 12. These were settings that automatically got turned on when you upgraded to version 12. We don't yet know what will happen with Dragon 13 ... but watch this space.
The first issue with the Dragon 12 upgrade was the Dictation Box would appear automatically. Dragon would displays the Dictation Box if you started to dictate in an "unsupported application" - such as Google's search field in Firefox. Unsupported applications are those applications which only support basic text control. Using basic text control, you can't reliably select, format, or revise text.
NOTE: The Text Control Indicator is on the DragonBar and green when all of Dragon's selection and dictation capabilities are supported. The Indicator is white when these capabilities are not supported.
If you decide you want to dictate directly into the unsupported text field, you can turn off the automatic popping up of Dictation Box.
On your Dragon bar, choose: Tools > Options > Miscellaneous. Uncheck the box entitled: Use the Dictation Box for unsupported applications
NOTE: Should you need it, you can always open the Dictation Box by saying: "open dictation box."
The second issue was requiring the word "click" before saying the names of buttons and menus. With 12, when you upgraded, Dragon turned those options on, and you now had to say "click yes" rather than just "yes".
The fix was simple - on the Dragon bar, choose Tools -> Options -> Commands. You'll see a long list of options - the ones that matter are the buttons for require "click" for menus and buttons. Uncheck those boxes, and you'll no longer have to say "click yes."
We'll see what this upgrade brings!