Why Use Voice Recognition Software?
The top performers in our review are Dragon Professional Individual, the Gold Award winner; Dragon Premium, the Silver Award winner; and Dragon for Mac, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing software to meet your needs, along with details on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 programs.
The best voice recognition software gives you the ability to streamline your workflow. In our increasingly busy world, this is a major reason it is gaining in popularity. Well-designed voice recognition software can help you dramatically increase productivity at work and at home. You can dictate a document at roughly three times the speed of typing it. And with the right software, you can do so with even more accuracy.
Customized voice commands allow for hands-free dictation. You can perform such tasks as telling your computer to open and edit a specific file so you don’t have to search through folders to find it. You can use your voice to dictate and edit emails. With a simple voice command you can open your email account. The program types out the email as you dictate it, then follows your command to send the email to a friend or colleague.
These voice dictation software programs adapt to you. By learning the words and phrases you use the most, the programs get better at dictating your messages over time. A job that requires a lot of multitasking can, at times, make typing an excess burden. With this software, you don’t even have to be in front of the computer screen to create documents.
Voice recognition apps also eliminate the need for holding a phone. Professionals aren’t the only ones who can potentially benefit from this software. Busy parents who want to send emails while using their hands for other tasks can benefit from this software. If you’re not a great speller, you’ll love the convenience of letting the computer spell tricky words for you. This software can also be a boon to people with disabilities or injuries that restrict keyboard and mouse use. Regardless of your station in life, and your reason for needing this software, the best dictation software is easy to use and will simplify your life. To learn more, we offer articles on voice recognition software.
Choosing the Best Voice Recognition Software
Voice-to-text software is largely about speed and accuracy. They vary quite a bit in price, and spending a little more pays off in features and overall accuracy. Though you may have to spend some time learning the program, once you've mastered it, you can seamlessly navigate your computer and dictate documents faster than you could with a keyboard and a mouse.
The busier your lifestyle, the more you can benefit from this software that helps streamline and simplify your life. The software packages on the market lend themselves to people of all stripes, including students, professionals and homemakers. You’ll want to find the software with the tools and functionality that best align with your lifestyle. There is also a version for Mac users. These software packages are, by nature, easy to use. Once you have customized the settings to your liking, you simply wake your computer up with the proper command and go to work hands free.
Dictation is the core strength of this software. Your spoken words become text on in a Microsoft Word document or other text editor. But the program must be good at recognizing speech in order to accurately transcribe it to text, so dictation is the true test of a good voice recognition program. A good speech-to-text program will allow you to select specific sections of text and change font size, and italicize or bold the text. You can correct text with your voice and change the punctuation. We tested the programs in dictation mode and assigned a score to each one based on how many errors they made in transcribing speech. The programs with the higher scores were better at handling all kinds of words.
Voice Recognition Tools
This specialized software will have you complete a voice profile to help the computer become familiar with your voice and your accent. You will want it to open quickly with a simple command and go to sleep with the same simplicity. The best voice recognition software lets you open emails, websites and programs that you use every day with your voice, so you can have immediate access to them as soon as you sit down to your computer.
You will want to have the ability to customize commands to your specific needs as well. This software will let you open textboxes either with your voice or from a pull-down menu to set your preferences. Numerical data can be displayed in a number of ways, either spelled out or with digits. You may want to display the digit for numbers 1 through 10 and spell out the rest. The best speech recognition software will have detailed default settings that will make dictation easy and accurate.
The primary function of this software is to let you navigate your computer with your voice. That means you must be able to open and close other programs and use the features within them all by voice command. Some of the best voice recognition programs offer options to customize commands you do regularly. You can open favorite websites with your voice when you save a shortcut on your desktop. You can open programs like Microsoft Word and specific folders and documents you have saved on your computer. You can set preferences within the program to streamline the accuracy and effectiveness of the commands you use while creating documents using your voice.
Help & Support
Having help available when you need it is always important. We looked at whether software had help via telephone, email, FAQs and online tutorials and user guides. Some of the software packages, such as those manufactured by Dragon, have a wealth of videos on its website and on YouTube that help you refine the way you use the software to maximize its usability and efficiency. The more sophisticated programs require more effort to learn intricate feature sets, so you should have capable help to become an expert in your software. A lot of your expertise can come through viewing online videos and FAQs, but one-on-one help is also available if you can’t find answers to your questions with a Google search.
Voice Recognition Software: Our Verdict and Recommendations
We identified the best voice recognition software on the market. The best options are Dragon Professional Individual, Dragon Premium and Dragon for Mac. Each one has the features you need in voice recognition software.
Some programs increase in accuracy the more you use them as they adapt to your voice and the words and phrases you use consistently. The Dragon Professional Individual package has a high rate of speech accuracy out of the box, but like other Nuance software, it increases in accuracy the more you use it. This makes it a great tool for dictating and transcribing documents at work. Dragon Premium is also a highly adaptable software program. Occasionally you may use an expression the software isn’t familiar with, but when you make corrections over time, it will begin to recognize it and spell it correctly in the formatting you use. In other words, it gets smarter and more accurate the more you use it. Dragon for Mac is the latest iteration of Dragon’s Mac software, offering Mac users all the same tools and functionality that its sister products offer Windows users.
Another software package in our lineup, e-Speaking.com, is extremely affordable voice recognition software that offers online support services that make it easy to learn. If you are looking for simple software with basic functionality, it is a nice option.
Familiarizing yourself with the features of the different products in our dictation software reviews will enable you to choose software that suits your needs. The best voice recognition software will work in sync with all of the electronic tools you use every day, including Microsoft Office, email applications and others. Students and professionals of all kinds can benefit from this software, as can homemakers who want to free up their hands for other tasks. It can help you overcome writer’s block, avoid spelling errors, brainstorm ideas and multitask. This software is fun to use and helps you accomplish daily tasks quickly and efficiently.