dictation compatible (Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11)

…i was wondering if you would take the time to look into how hard it would be to make Scrivener for Windows fully compatible with the Dragon Naturally Speaking API. I have no idea what that would entail… all i know is that i spent $1700 ($1200 on a quad core vaio) and $400 on the pro version of Dragon Naturally Speaking because my one good hand is falling prey to arthritis, and thus, after seeing the handwriting on the wall i very painfully made the move back to windows…

…but the pro version of DNS is worth every penny. I average 99.8% accuracy after 5 minutes of mandatory training and 45 minutes of voluntary training… plus manual input of the proper names i use for all my books… Its designed to integrate with any text box that adheres to the
“standard text box API” – but when I fired up the beta for Scrivener it went NUTS – it didnt crash all the way, but it may as well have because it started putting up random words that i wasnt even saying, and after talking to the people at Nuance they told me that usually means that the text box in question is either broken, under heavy development, or built with very very old visual C++ compilers.

Now I dont know anything about programming, and I know that its a lot to ask, but if you guys make it a priority to make sure Scrivener plays nice with DNS Pro you would be doing the handicapped crowd a great service… because the 2010 version of word sucks rancid ardvark testicles – they didnt even keep the full screen mode for anything other than reading… which makes no sense to me. And DNS isnt compatible with openoffice, though i havent bothered trying wordperfect yet (anybody know how much it costs?). The DNS SDK is free but I have no idea how hard it is to use… and im sure that the number of people that would benefit versus the number of people that stick to the keyboard is overwhelmingly one sided, but i would make it my duty in life to come up with a totally custom command set for Scrivener if you DID make it fully compatible (and based on the sheer volume of features there are and the sheer number there will be by the time that it officially launches – I’m basically offering to become a part of the development team that works entirely for free… But you have my word that i would do it. (Because I LIVED in Scrivener for Mac) and if I cant teach myself to dictate fiction (its a far harder thing to do than it would otherwise seem at first glance. Dictating email - easy. Blog posts - easy Fiction - HARD) I have no choice however - because within the year I probably wont be able to type at all anymore - and I already cant go anywhere - which means that writing, blogging, and the internet will be my entire life soon enough… But I would rather dictate everything in Scrivener if I have a choice.

If you dont have the time or the desire I understand… But I dont think you fully grasp how much money you stand to make if you put forth the effort. There are people that have it far worse than me - that cant manipulate a mouse at all to say nothing for using a keyboard and use DNS pro for upwards of 12-17 hours a day. It enables them to do everything that they can on a computer, and adding Scrivener to the list of fully compatible applications would be a big deal. I guarantee you that if you made it fully compatible, and i created the custom command list, and we sent the word out on the right forums mailing lists and newsgroups you would stand to make a lot of money… Just buying DNS and a computer capable of running it means the following:

  1. A Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate rig with a true Quad Core CPU - 8 gigs of ram (16 for the folks that cant use a mouse at all - because DNS pro has gotten better but it still takes a lot of ram to run well - not to mention 4 gig of harddrive space for the important data - then 8 gig of disk space to fully decompress the custom vocab / user profile every time it runs)

  2. An audiophile level sound card, and if you cant find a good laptop with one, you have to buy one that comes with a DNS certified mic (the USB soundcard and mic run anywhere between 4-600 for one that really works well and has been tested by the dictation software and hardware specialists like KnowBrainer)

  3. Then theres the Dictation software itself. If you want the full monte, and the ability to dictate as many places as possible and use it to control the mouse, as well as every major application – plus create your own commands the Pro version retails for $600. And they dont give discounts… the only rwason I got mine for less is because I wasted $400 on two versions for the mac – and even then I only got $200 off despite the fact that the mac versions were not worth the media they were copied to. And I just spent another $150 today for a better mic… the one they give you for $600 is laughably inferior.

For an example of a program that works perfectly with DNS and was not specifically built with DNS in mind is BlogJet. I bought it as soon as DNS performed flawlessly. I dont know if they will share any info with you, but the only other programs that work 100% out of the box are Office 2007-2010, IE8+, Firefox 4, Mozilla Thunderbird (though that has weird spacing issues where when you select words and correct them, corrected text adds extra spaces for no apparent reason) and WordPerfect (uncertain at what time they started supporting it - but it was after Vista arrived… if that helps) It would be a huge triumph to add Scrivener to that list. I know its a lot to ask - but if you make it work I give my word I will ensure that every command present and future will be fully supported and functional as long as you get the under the hood stuff right). And yes I was serious when I said that I would work for free… (Someone with pro would have to add custom commands for all the special interfacing thats [going to be] possible with Scrivener when its finally spit shined and polished, and make sure that when I say commands like “Add Scriverling” the command is recognized and executed).

p.s. i think the first step is turning off the autosave feature… is there a way to do that? and just for fun i will try dictating my next Forum Post… Time to find out how much WordPerfect costs.

Kind Regards,
Christopher Ryan

Quick response on the auto-save feature: yes, you’ll find a control for that in the General options tab. You can’t turn it off all the way, but you can set the idle interval to something high enough that it effectively never fires while you are working. It’s not an every-two-second thing, but a thing that waits for you to stop doing anything, and then saves. So if you set this to 120 seconds, it won’t save until you stop working in the project for two minutes.

And if that is indeed what is messing DNS up, let us know, as that will be a good tip to keep in mind for other people who ask.

The latest Scrivener Win beta 2.1 works fine with Dragon Naturally Speaking 11 Premium for me!
It is not fully compatible with Dragon, that is true, but in practice I can work comfortable with it. (or could, if my system was a bit faster, see below).

There is only one thing that really does not work, which is opening the correction dialog with the keyboard (but it does work using speech!)

See my post here:

I have nowhere near the system you are describing here, I have a Mac mini 2.0 Ghz with WinXP, 2 GB memory (which definitely is not enough!), the cheap headset that came with Dragon and a USB dongle “sound card” for a few Euros. Still recognition is very very good. I admit it takes a fair while to initialize on such an underpowered system. But after the first sentence came through the pipeline, I can continue to work at a comfortable speed, as long as I have only Scrivener and Dragon running.

I have to say that the first time I tried working with Dragon 11 after the first installation, I had some weird experiences too, I even de- and reinstalled it, and then suddenly everything was fine.

I have been working with Dragon 8 for years on various systems professionally, but Dragon 11 is much better, if you have the speed (>2 Ghz Core2) and the memory (4 GB).
Sorry for the off-topic rambling.

Anyway, Scrivener is not the problem as far as I can tell. It could be more compatible but it is workable.