Dragon Naturally Speaking 12.5

I’ve watched the tutorial video showing Dragon working seamlessly with Scrivener on a Mac…is it a ‘feature’ that when I use it on a PC, instead of being able to dictate straight into Scrivener, I get a temporary window to talk into and a transfer button that spits what I said into Scrivener? Or am I missing a trick somewhere that lets me just talk straight into Scrivener like the video shows?


I have the Mac version but I assume its very similar. Just close that document, put your cursor in a Scrivener text field, press the red mic button and you’re away. That built in text document is the most accurate way of dictating (so you could you that to get the words down and then cut and paste into any application) and I use it a a kind of spark file; but after the training Dragon works very well direct.

See the discussion here

Okidoki - seems my assumption of Mac/Windows similarity on this was incorrect.

Mystery solved! It’s a Dragon thing, not Scrivener. Hidden under Tools|Options|Miscellaneous is a checkbox (Use the Dictation Box for unsupported applications) that turns off the temporary window. Then ta-da, it works just like the tutorial video.

So are you saying that Dragon 12 works seamlessly with Scrivener?

I am New to Scrivener, yet used Dragon years ago to dictate technical writing into a Windows XP Desktop.

I am thinking of spending $30 for Dragon Home to use with Scrivener on a Windows 8 touchscreen laptop.

From this forum, it seems they can be used together to input text with a little patience and effort. I have handicaps which make the task of using the keyboard difficult now.

Nuance advertises a $30 Dragon Home version that comes with a headset.

Are there other versions that work easier with Scrivener on Windows 8?

Will I end up buying a better headset?

Would it be better to shop elsewhere?

Thank you

I recently purchased Dragon Naturally Speaking 12.5 Home Edition to use on Windows 7. (Newegg was offering it with an instant rebate and a mail in rebate that brought the cost 0.00 USD.)

The installation goes without incident (albeit v e r y s l o w l y) but it throws the following error as soon as I try to run it:

Failed to launch UI Automation Server.

Searching for the error turns up exactly 11 hits, none of them helpful, including the one from developer Nuance, which advises settings already in effect.

So I thought I’d ask here. Does anyone here have any experience with this error, and maybe know a way around it?

I suspect at this point I’ll have the rebate back before I get the program working. (There’s no such thing as a free dragon, naturally speaking.)

I’m dictating this with Dragon NaturallySpeaking right now.

I had bought it, not even thinking that it may not work with Scrivener. I installed it, got it working, and realised that when I spoke, it when into the weird dialogue box instead of going straight into the program. However I phoned the options in the settings to disable this, and it instantly started working properly.

I just successfully dictated that outline of my story for this years NaNoWriMo and I’m looking forward to it been a lot quicker than my already quite fast typing.

I did a search for “Failed to launch UI Automation Server” (without the quotes) and got a lot more than 11 hits - more like 40000+, so you might have been too specific with your search term :question:

I don’t know what anti-virus you’re running, but zonealarm seems to give the problem you’re seeing - zonealarm.com/forums/showth … peaking-10

There’s an Amazon review that discusses the problem as well, although that may be the thing you’ve tried.

Just thought I would add another, final update to this saga.

I don’t believe I’ve ever dealt with a more incompetent, couldn’t-care-less software company than Nuance (whose Swype keyboard for Android I use and love.)

The error I posted about is well known to them, but they apparently have no way of reliably dealing with it. Each time I called, the routine was different but the results were the same. Most recently, they had me download and install their custom Dragon-remover program, which I ran ahead of reinstalling the software, as directed.

The reinstallation took an extraordinarily long time – in fact the first time I tried, I aborted after about 5 minutes where the status bar indicated no activity at all. I was about to abort the second attempt after at least that long when it all of a sudden started crawling. About 10 minutes later, the shipped version was installed, but was recommending that I update to a later point update. After much fuss the download finally completed, started running, and konked out during the extraction stage.

When I ran the sw as installed from the disk, I received the same error, at the exact same point in the launch.

Giving up on tech support, I called customer service, explained the problem, and when they asked what I would like them to do about it, I suggested a refund might be nice. I was told they can not give refunds after 30 days, and I’m well past that. And so the only alternatives I had were to either work with tech support (who would happily have me disable the UAC when running their mess), or buy a new version of the software, “if you want to continue using Dragon.”

I know people have used Dragon successfully – I used it back in the Windows 2000 days and it worked fine, or at least fine-ish. But this round has been a complete failure.

The only positive thing I can say about the experience is is that I have received my mail-in rebate from Nuance, which brought the cost of the package down to about $1.00, counting postage for the mail-in. Given the rebate, I probably couldn’t have gotten a refund even if I was still within the window. But there is some small satisfaction (not really) in letting them know a refund was requested.

Just some notes on DNS from my experience…

Scrivener and DNS: Scriv only supports the barest bones of what DNS has to offer. Scrivener will handle dictation straight into the window, but that is about it. Do not expect anywhere near the functionality DNS offers in word processing apps like MS Word.

Dump the free headset: Yes EdenGrey, in my opinion YOU MUST buy a better headset - allow around £30 ($40-$45?). I know, more than the software! But if you persevere with the the one that comes in the box, you will be correcting forever and get very frustrated. Best thing is to never use the supplied headset at all with DNS. Since the software starts building personalised profiles from the off you will only have to start from scratch again when you get a ‘proper’ headset. After all your profiles are the real deciders for how effectively DNS recognises your speech patterns and intonation and whether what you actually say ends up anything like on the page.

Dragon recommend the following headsets: http://support.nuance.com/compatibility/Search.asp?PRO=DNS&CID=15. Oddly, all of these are USB headsets while the set they give you in box is audio jack! I use Sennheiser PC36 for £22. It’s USB and wired and works fine for me.

Home vs Premium edition of DNS: As I found to my cost, Home version does not offer ‘transcribe’. So if as I do you are thinking of recording to a hand held voice recorder while out and about and then transcribing to DNS when you get home you will need the DNS Premium edition.

What customer support?: DNS has the market cornered; Nuance are notoriously bad - or indifferent - about supporting their products. Until a competitor makes an impression in the market expect this to continue and go to online forums for help. They are NOT Literature and Latte!

Hope this helps someone

Using: DNS Premium 12.5, Sennheiser PC36, Scrivener, on Vista OS.

I’ve been using 12.5 pro for a long time and it works great. I just upgraded to 13 Pro today and it works as well, but much, much faster.

And to add what @mpersand said, it not only handles dictation, but basic commands, too (i.e. scratch that, select line, quote that, etc.) Not speaking for those who need all the added select and say functions, I think it does a more than an adequate job.

And some suggestions:

Make sure you deselect the option for dictating into a Dragon Text box for unsupported applications (in the options menu.) And, if you’re having problems with weird things like capitalization and extra spaces, just make sure Scrivener is not fully maximized—make it into a window just smaller than full screen. I know it sounds odd, but it fixed a bunch of my dictation problems into Scrivener after I did this.

Hope this helps.

hey. Hearing you guys talk about it makes me wish I could get the thing to work. :slight_smile:

What I want to do is, be able to mumble into a digital voice recorder and have it drop that into Scrivener or Word or whatever. Being able to actually control the app through voice commands is intriguing (and I enjoyed doing it many upgrades ago) but I imagine I would end up swapping a new mechanical layer between my thoughts and their existence as bits and pixels, for the old layer that voice recognition promises to remove.

I am a big fan of digital voice recorders. Interestingly, Nuance’s Swype Android keyboard is installed as ‘Swype + Dragon’, and does some kind of voice recognition. I have made passing attempts at playing my voice recorder into my phone and seeing if I could get a reasonable transcription. It worked, kind of. Speaking into it directly is accurate enough, for a first banged-out draft, if you’re deliberate enough.

DNS doesn’t seem to have any commercial competition, just some open source things that come up on on a search. It’s the kind of functionality that Google will one day commodify and Nuance won’'t know what hit them. (Though I hope there isn’t much fallout, I live not far from their main offices.)

There is voice recog as part of Google Now Android. I haven’t used it, and it might be difficult to tell at first, but I can’t imagine it’s dependent on Nuance’s Swype + Dragon being installed, and that Google isn’t using their own engine. And, taking into a phone, is infinitely (or at least googolly) a more natural way of speaking than into a headset. (I never actually got what you needed the head set for.)


Yes, I hear you. I got into this years ago writing film scripts and actually invested in a moderately priced voice recorder back then. It didn’t work so well, so I stopped using it.

I finally upgraded this year to a Philips Digital Pocket Memo DPM8000 and it’s accuracy is phenomenal with Dragon. My friend tested his phone recording against it, and it was like 60% or so accuracy on his, to mid to upper 90’s for the DPM. He actually bought one afterwards.

They are around $300-$350, so it’s not a cheap investment, and you still need to get at least the Premium version of Dragon. He’s on a mac, so he’s running Dragon on bootcamp to use it. But it works well for him.

I had some friends telling me you can’t write by speaking very well, but that same friend above told me he read an article where Dickens used to dictate all his novels and it was done a lot back then. He said we are sort of coming full circle with voice recognition.