Writing with the DragonDictate application V6.0.1
DragonDictate on the Mac Update- End of 2019
It’s three years since Nuance brought out their newest version of the software. It’s one year since they discontinued DragonDictate on the Mac. The only way you can use DragonDictate now on the Mac is to use the old version. DragonDictate version 6.0.6 is working fine with Mac OS Catalina. I’m still using it daily and I’m happy with how it works now.
There is a chance in the future version of the Mac OS that DragonDictate will stop working. I’m hoping if that comes to pass, Voice Control dictation which has appeared in Mac OS Catalina improves to the level of DragonDictate. Voice Control is already quite impressive and I use it for dictation on my iOS devices.
If I was starting from scratch with dictation now, I would use Voice Control dictation. I’m sure it would be good enough, with the promise of getting better over time. The only other option would be to run the Windows operating system in Parallels along with the Windows version of Dragon dictation. Personally I think that’s a lot of messing around and extra money. The accuracy of Voice Control is amazing. The editing with voice is not to the same standard as you get with DragonDictate, but it’s close. Whether you are writing using the keyboard or by dictation, there is always an editing phase. So long as the accuracy is high in the first place, then Voice Control will do the job.
Original First Thought on DragonDictate V6
This is with an update to the crappy first version came out with version 6. It’s still not showing the commands window and I’m a bit surprised because it’s supposedly fixed. It’s the same as before when I click on the show commands in the status window (That’s the right-hand of the three icons), nothing happens at all. The dictation seems to work quite nicely and the words are popping up on the screen quickly. Maybe I should try to do this with a new profile for this version and see if that makes a difference. I do already have a different profile that I could try that’s been created with version 6 of DragonDictate and maybe that will be good enough. Who knows, will have to wait and see. I did some tests to see if it would start working if I switched some of the other things off-line the correction window and the guidance window. It didn’t make any difference at all. I will have to send some emails to the people at nuance and ask them what’s going on. I don’t really have much hope for getting any help from them but it will be interesting to find out if they at least try. I suppose I could always do that thing where you turn it off and turn it back on again and see if it works then. It does seem to be the cure-all for many technological problems. I wonder if they have to do things like that when they’re in the space station in orbit. There would have to be be worried that it might not start again properly.
Loving Scrivener again
In some ways it’s quite nice to be using Scrivener again although I have got rather used to using Ulysses. The version of markdown is very good within Ulysses and the application also allows me to publish directly to WordPress. Sometimes that ability doesn’t work too well, especially when I’m trying to do it from one of my iOS devices. Something else I quite like about using Scrivener is the fact that it gives me the word count and character count at the bottom of the screen. I don’t get that when I’m using Scrivener I have to press a key combination to see how many words I’ve written using the voice dictation. The key combination is Command and 7. I am pretty sure I don’t get the ability from within Scrivener to upload directly to a WordPress installation. I can export out to a HTML text formats which will go directly into the text to side of a WordPress post within Safari. I used to use the application Marsedit for all of my blogging. It was pretty good as a way to have all of my blogging in one place. Then on the other hand I have the actual text of the blog posts within Ulysses and could also do the same within Scrivener if I want to. So the Marsedit application has kind of fallen by the wayside for the moment. One of the problems with using Ulysses as my method of posting to WordPress is that I don’t get any choice for how I want to set the images within the post. When I’m using Marsedit I can set the position of the image to the left, to the centre or to the right of the page and have the text flow around the picture. What I’ve done to get around this to a certain extent is just by putting in larger images and just having them all centred on the page. Quite a lot of the blog posts I make are long posts and having large images within the proposed works out pretty good. I don’t need to have text flowing around images to make the blog post look longer or more interesting.
Testing of DragonDictate for Mac version 6
I should have set up a timer to see how long I’m doing the dictation for. If the application does crash or starts working badly then I’ll know how long it took for Dragon Professional Individual version 6 to fall over. I really don’t know why they had to choose such a long name for the application. Nuance that made the name of the application sound like it’s a Windows program. It seems to me to be quite ridiculous and over-the-top as a naming convention. Dragon for Mac is what they called it with version 5 and before that it used to be just called DragonDictate. I think many people will still call the application DragonDictate because that is kind of what it is known as within the dictation community. There are a whole other people on Facebook who like to get together and discuss how to get the best from the application. Many times the questions are the same and get asked over and over again. Simple questions and often questions that indicate the person doesn’t really have a clue as to what they’re doing with dictation and using DragonDictate. Many and seem to want to do the transcription type of dictation where you record whatever it is you want to say into some type of recorder. That might be a specific electronic device meant only for transcribing speech or recording audio to be played back at a later stage. It can also be an application you use on either your iPhone or your android phone. I have tried to talk into one of these devices as I’ve been walking the dog and it doesn’t really suit me to dictate that way. I can’t get used to the idea of the silences I need in between saying one thing and the next thing. Sometimes I need some thinking time. When on the front of the computer and dictating directly into the application also get the opportunity to look over the sentences I’ve just dictated. This is particularly useful when I want to check to see that the speech to text has done a good job of converting what I said into text on the screen. DragonDictate does seem to be a rather good application for converting speech into text but sometimes there will be one or two words it doesn’t get exactly right.
There are still problems with this Dragon Dictate and it isn’t working quite right.
After writing 1000 words I took a break to watch a football game and when getting back to the computer I used DragonDictate to write into the application Day One. It didn’t take long before Dragon format started messing around and misbehaving. I decided it must be that it didn’t like that particular application. In the past it has worked well with Day One. So went back to work with Scrivener and immediately the problems continued. Within the space of dictating one sentence DragonDictate crashed and had to be restarted. One of my much used commands stopped working it wouldn’t let me Cache Document. I think I shall have two write a stern email to Nuance pointing out the continued bad quality of the software they’re putting out. As users we should keep on their backs to improve this software and get it to a decent standard. Especially considering the amount of money we paid to buy it and upgrade it.
How the best software behaves - Not like DragonDictate V6
This latest session of dictation I’ve put in a couple of hundred words and everything is going okay again. Whatever software you’re using for doing whatever task really needs to get out of the way to let you get on with the job in hand. If you spend half of the time worrying about whether the basics of the software are going to continue working it does tend to knock your confidence in the credibility of said software. I suppose we could just take a pragmatic approach to the use of Dragon dictate and to love it when it’s working well and we are able to write three or four times faster than if we were using a keyboard. We can take remedial measures to reset it ready for further use after the application has started to misbehave. Since my latest restart I’ve written another 300 – 400 words and everything is lovely in DragonDictate land again. We just have to look upon DragonDictate as a flawed but brilliant diamond.
There is a possibility that the document is getting cached but it’s not actually showing it. In the previous version it would look like it was selecting the whole of the text and put the cursor at the end. Now when I issue that command it looks like nothing is happening at all. I can see in the guidance window that it was able to recognise what it was I said correctly but there is no evidence as to whether it actually did what it was told to do.