28 Mar 2009

Dictating my blog

Sometimes it really takes an effort to sit and type a blog post, not only thinking of what to say and how to say it but also the effort it takes to type.  I have found a quicker solution.  For the past three days I have not been typing at all.  Instead I have dug out my old copy of Dragon Naturally Speaking, which is software designed to take dictation.

I have not used this software for at least two years but now that I am again using it I realise how great this is. I also have IBM Via Voice, another similar programme. I bought Via Voice for £9.95 from Serif Software on a special offer.

I have to "train" this software to recognise the way that I sound out my words, especially with my Trinidadian accent, since I pronounce words differently to the English. However the software comes with the ability to "learn" and one can even correct mistakes by dictating.  For example, to remove the last typed phrase or word I only have to say "scratch that" and the software deletes it. It includes punctuation marks of every kind.  I can even spell unknown words, which are then included in my user dictionary.  So far it recognises over 90% of everything I say.

To move to a new paragraph I just say "new paragraph" and the software jumps to the third line skipping one.

It is easier to dictate all my correspondence instead of typing.  It saves me time and prevents me from ‘hunt and peck’ typing since I am not a great typist at all.  By the way, it works also in emails, on the web, and many instances where typing is used to input information.

I could get used to this!