speech recognition and scrivener

Does anyone here use speech recognition software, with scrivener ? What software ? And if you do that, what do you think about it ?.. Thanks

I’ve used MacSpeech Dictate, the Mac market leader, with Scrivener 1.x, and the two worked together reasonably well within the limitations of the dictation software.

MacSpeech is now Dragon Dictate, and I haven’t upgraded, because it requires Snow Leopard and I use Leopard. But even if I could upgrade, I’m not certain I would – because Dictate was and still may be a technical work in progress (though evidently improving all the time), and because I found that it was less useful for my purposes than I expected. I often write in longhand, then type up, editing on the fly as I do so; dictating instead of typing didn’t allow me to do this.

If you’re unfamiliar with the requirements of dictation software, it’s as well to know that dictating to a computer is a skill that takes time and persistence to perfect; IMO lack of that skill may account for a disproportionate number of the issues that often seem to challenge beginner-users.

So - no issue on the Scrivener 1.x side, probably fewer and fewer issues on the dictation software side, but remaining issues with the user…

I did upgrade to Dragon Dictate for the Mac and found it a huge improvement over MacSpeech Dictate. I confess I was hesitant about handing over the money (I regretted buying MacSpeech as it was slow, inaccurate and limited) but am now learning to use Dragon. Recognition is improved, navigation is improved, support for 3rd party apps is improved and unsupported microphone use is allowed. There are other “feature” improvements, but these are the ones that matter to me.

As for use with Scrivener - I haven’t yet used it with 2.0 (I’m still familiarising myself with the new Scriv), but using it with 1.x worked very well. I particularly enjoyed using it in full-screen mode.

Having said that, if I was starting again I probably wouldn’t spend the money on dictation software. I was sold on the idea by a very persuasive colleague who assured me it would end world hunger and solve climate change (or something like that) but my reality didn’t quite match his rhetoric. While I hope to use it with my thesis, I still get frustrated with the clumsy editing features - you really need to use it only for getting text onto the screen, and resist the urge to edit as you go (which is probably good advice for writers anyway). I’m sure as my familiarity and skill with dictation improves, I’ll enjoy it more. As Hugh said, the software is good, but there are issues remaining with the user.

I also upgraded to Dragon Dictate with the accompanying Plantronics Calisto Headset and Bluetooth USB adapter. Actually, I was pretty amazed by it. My work has some pretty long, technical words and I was dreading having to go through the training process again. However, Dictate’s ability to seem like its “sounding out the spelling” when you speak was a surprise.

I rarely dictate serious and original work without a draft or an outline (a relaxing glass of wine helps, too), but I use Dictate a lot to annotate pdfs, including commenting on dissertations and articles under review. Sometimes I batch up a number of small items like writing the reviews and answering emails and dispatch those more quickly in dictate than if I was typing (but I’m a slow typist, too). I’m sure that it’s possible to do more complex tasks (e.g., those involving drop and drag), but then I’m not too sure that it would save much time to both dictate and to use Dictate to move around the screen in the command-based mode. I think it works pretty well for my chores and work flow.

How do you do that? :blush:

i use dragon for windows. i got started with it before there was a good alternative for mac, and since i’m on that upgrade path, keep with it because it’s less costly and i already have it set up and know how to use it. i run it under parallels with windows xp. i use it mostly for transcribing notes i make with a little voice recorder that i take with me when i’m out and about. i transcribe the notes in dragon’s transcription file, then move them into scrivener or word or wherever they belong. (i also use this process to dictate notes for my real job) it’s no big deal.

i haven’t tried recording the notes on my iphone, but talking about it here has reminded me that i should at least see if it will work.

now that i think about it, dragon may be one of the reasons why i haven’t felt the need for an ipad. my little recorder is much smaller than an ipad, also easier to use for taking notes.