Nuance Dragon Dictate 2.0 for Mac review

The newest version of Nuance's Dragon Dictate voice recognition software for Mac is finally available. Is it a second-class port of a Windows app or a real boon to productivity? Julian Prokaza dons a headset and clears his throat to find out.

Vocabulary training can also be performed to extend the range of words that Dragon Dictate 2.0 knows about. The application already correctly recognises some technical terms such as "TCP/IP" and "DVD-ROM" without the need to specify capitalisation and punctuation. It can be further trained to identify more esoteric jargon by importing a suitable text document and performing voice training for the words that aren't in its database.

In addition to straight dictation, Dragon Dictate 2.0 can also be used for text editing, but the long list of specific phrases required for this (necessary to distinguish between dictation and spoken commands) make it a slow substitute for editing with the keyboard. Unfortunately, switching to the keyboard mid-dictation can cause more problems, since this puts a document's content out of sync with what Dragon Dictate 2.0 has recognised so far. This don't mix inputs' rule is spelled out in the manual, but the problem can be bypassed by uttering a command to rebuild the application's internal document cache after a keyboard edit to make it aware of the new, manually altered, structure.

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