Dragon Dictate 3 for Mac PROBLEMS

HI ALL - Just an update on Dragon Dictate 3 for Mac. I’ve been using it for about a week with a variety of programs, including MS Word 11, Pages, Mail, TextEdit and, of course, our beloved Scrivener. It works pretty well with every program except for Scrivener. In Scrivener, it transcribes my dictation fairly well, but when you try to get it to do any editing, or to position the cursor, or select some text, it’s an unmitigated disaster. It puts the cursor in random places, starts selecting everything in a document, then won’t stop selecting, and finally crashes the Dictate program, requiring a ForceQuit. I cannot recommend it for Scrivener users unless all you’re going to do with it is dictate and NO editing at all.

I’ve tried repeatedly to figure out what I’m doing wrong. I’ve cached the document, I’ve started up new voice profiles, you name it. Nothing will make this piece of crap program run right in Scrivener, and it is breaking my heart cause I had such high hopes for it. If someone out there has cracked the code on how to make this work (and please don’t say “dictate and edit in Text Edit and then copy and past to Scrivener” because that utterly defeats the purpose), I would be greatly appreciative.
Scriv On!

Oh dear, I’ve just ordered this for Mac to try for 30 days, waiting for it to arrive. Have you rung technical support? I spent twenty minutes on the phone to them before ordering where they answered all my questions, and asked me what I wanted to use it with. They seemed aware of Scrivener.

UPDATE: I’ve started using this but have had no issues with dictating into Scrivener. Still trying to get used to it but surprisingly accurate nevertheless. However, dictating punctuation is a bit of a drag: Sheila turned COMMA looking at Mark FULL STOP OPEN QUOTATION MARK What are you doing here QUESTION MARK CLOSE QUOTATION MARK NEW LINE TAB KEY. :neutral_face:

Dragon Dictate in general is awful (especially when compared with Dragon Naturally Speaking). I have DD 2.5 and DNS 7.3 on two very similar spec laptops, albeit one running MacOS and the other WinXP (if anything, the WinXP laptop has a slightly worse spec than the Mac in terms of processor speed and memory). On the WinXP machine, DNS works extremely well. On the Mac, DD works well for a few minutes and then just goes haywire. Even freeing memory doesn’t help. The only thing I can do is shut DD down and restart. But, I’ve just bought a new MacBook Pro, so will give DD one more chance.

Dragon Dictate appears to have a poor reputation to judge by the Nuance forums (and Nuance’s own customer relationship management seems worse than woeful), but some people still get it to work well, at least for dictation (feature-wise, DNS still is streets ahead on computer control).

You need to make sure you’ve avoided all the usual Nuance dictation “gotchas”, such as scrupulously disabling all text-expanding software, and not expecting Dragon to make much sense if you’ve mixed typing and dictation in the same document (except in Dragon’s own notepads, and, I think, latest versions of MS Word). You need to understand that dictation is a skill like any other, and requires learning, practice and, before each session, preparation.

You also need to ensure your computer processor has enough power, in particular enough L2 and L3 cache. Since DD3 uses the same voice-recognition engine as DNS 12, I assume it is best served by the same processor and RAM specifications. And, just as some users find that DNS works best on machines dedicated to dictation and writing only, in order to avoid corruption of their profiles, so the same may be true of DD3 (although I personally haven’t found this to be necessary).

This website is much more helpful and informative (and less depressing!) than Nuance’s own.


The voice-recognition engines used by DD 2.5 and DNS 7.3 are, as far as I know, quite different. DD 2.5, despite its flaws, is in theory a much more powerful recognition beast than DNS 7.3, of a different generation with quicker response, and greater accuracy, - but demanding significantly greater processor and RAM resources, an external USB sound card, and (I think) a more flowing dictation style. At a guess, that may explain why DD 2.5 works so much less well for you.

I’ve installed Dragon Dictate 3.0 for Mac today, and it is stunning. Accuracy is impressive. It even works in a virtual PC running inside VirtualBox.

I’ve had some issues with Scrivener (and, in some cases, with other applications) while Typinator was running. After quitting it, it seems that DD is working fine with Scrivener.

I can’t wait to dictate it my next masterwork!


Dragon Dictate works okay for me. I like to use Dragon’s own notebook first, and then copy things from there to where I need them. The most recent Dragon Dictate also seems to have better accuracy and speed. Admittedly, having 16 GB of memory also doesn’t hurt either. The last thing that made Dragon Dictate work really well was moving my airport extreme away from the computer. It seemed that the extreme was causing interference with the USB microphone.

I second the bit on using other software that may manipulate the editor, like text expansion and third-party spell checkers. There is a known conflict with Dragon’s software and these tools that can cause excessively slow editing in Scrivener. Dictation appears to be fine, but everything else is too slow to even bother with. Disabling, or excluding Scrivener from the third-party application’s scope should solve it.