Dragon Naturally Speaking 8 Preferred

by Matthew Harris on May 31, 2006 in Software

There are literally tons of productivity software out there to be had. Some are applications that allow you to do specific things such as create documents, graphs, spreadsheets and do image editing. Others are used to improve your productivity by allowing you to have better control over the software you are using. Some increase the abilities of the software and some increase the abilities of the user. Today we’re looking at one that does the latter.

About DNS 8

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 is the most accurate speech recognition product Nuance has ever developed – delivering up to 99% accuracy! No other product delivers the power, accuracy and ease-of-use that make Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Preferred the ideal solution for the PC enthusiast or home office user! Talk to your computer and your words instantly and accurately appear in Microsoft Word and Excel, Corel WordPerfect, and virtually all Windows-based applications. Listen to incoming e-mail and documents read aloud. Search the Web by speaking URLs and links. Use dictation shortcuts that enable you to insert blocks of texts or bitmaps-such as your name, title, and signature-with a single voice command. Dictate directly into a PC or any Nuance-approved handheld digital recorder. A noise canceling microphone is even included. Now is the time to use the power of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Preferred, and forever improve the way you work with your PC.

    Key Benefits

  • When you use Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Preferred, it will change the way you think about PCs. You’ll be faster, and have more fun, as you create letters, reports, and e-mails all by speaking. Just talk, and you can surf the web, open and close applications, even control your mouse and the entire desktop!
  • Works With All Of Your Favorite Programs!
    Dictate, edit and control applications all by voice with programs like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook Express, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Internet Explorer, America Online, and Corel WordPerfect.
  • Faster Than Typing!
    Most people speak faster than 160 words per minute, but type less than 40 words a minute. That means you can create letters and e-mails about three times faster using Dragon NaturallySpeaking!
  • More Accurate Than Ever Before!
    With a 25% increase in accuracy, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 is up to 99% accurate and frequently more accurate than typing. Dragon NaturallySpeaking never makes a spelling mistake, and it actually gets smarter the more you use it!
  • Easy To Use!
    Simply install the Dragon NaturallySpeaking CD, and in just a few minutes, you’ll be dictating letters, e-mails and surfing the web by voice! We even include a free noise-canceling microphone.
  • Mobile
    Be productive on-the-go! Import recordings from any Nuance-certified handheld device for automatic transcription.

If you’re interested in what the various versions feature compared to one another you can go here and see for yourself. As to what Dragon Naturally Speaking 8 Preferred offers physically, just read on and I’ll show you in pictures :)

Inside the box you’ll find the software, instruction book (no mere booklet here!), headset users guide and headset along with a flier and quick reference card. Trust me on this, unless you plan to do a whole lot of reading (the book is 200+ pages) keeping the quick reference guide handy isn’t a bad idea. For instance, when you say a word and Dragon places the wrong word in the sentence you can retrain Dragon to better understand you. The method for doing so is buried in the book but is handily included in the quick reference sheet. I ran into this issue several times and I’m thankful that the quick reference sheet has the needed info for the quick fix.

The bundled headset is serviceable at best, it’s uncomfortable, the sound isn’t great but the mic does at least work decently. Any failings in Dragon can’t be attributed to the mic. If you do have a decent stereo or better gaming headset though, I would suggest using it instead and giving the Emkay (no, not a joke) headset a rest. your head will thank you.