Post about "application software"

Voice Typing Software

I’d been thinking for quite a while about getting some voice-activated typing software to help ease the strain I felt in my neck and shoulders if I typed anything longer than a few hundred words. I put it off for quite a while because without actually trying it myself I was a little bit skeptical about how well it worked. In the last six months though, after anything more than a half an hour or so of typing it seemed like the next strain turned into a headache fairly easily which got old really fast.

I’ve never learned to touch type, something I regret a little bit now– on the other hand getting real good at touch typing seems to lead to problems in the wrists and hands for a lot of people, so I was a little bit reluctant to learn to tell the truth.

Anyway I decided to treat myself to some voice typing software for the holidays after reading several reviews MacSpeech Dictate. As a Mac user my range of choices is narrower than it would be if I was a PC user, but I realized after reading quite a bit about it in the last year or so that hardly any of the reviews were negative, so I decided to give it a shot.

I’m not sure if it’s appropriate to give reviews of particular products here, but I thought it might be helpful to tell about how positive my experience has been with voice-activated typing software generally as a tool, in the last few weeks I’ve been using it.

The experience has been terrific! I’m actually not too sure that I write much faster than I did when I was typing with my hands, at least not yet, but I can definitely report that the whole experiences easier physically. It’s amazing how easy it is to produce several hundred words of content, whether it’s an e-mail or a blog post, and not feel at all tight in my neck or shoulder area.

Initially I found myself carefully watching the typing area to make sure that each and every word was reproduced accurately by typing software, which made the process pretty slow. A method that I have settled on that seems to really speed things up and even increase the accuracy of the software, is to simply speak my entire e-mail or article and then go back and correct errors later. The instructions actually suggest to avoid starting and stopping, claiming that accuracy is increased by simply speaking naturally. I found this to be exactly the case, which makes it a lot easier for me. Also, it’s hard to put a number on the error rate, but I’d say no more than one word out of 20 is wrong, maybe less.

So what are the negative aspects of voice typing software? Well it’s not cheap; I paid over $150 for my software. But aside from that I really can’t think of anything. It only takes about five minutes to “train” the software by reading text that is shown to you on the screen… that was hardly an inconvenience.