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Information & Advice

...for Students

...for Staff

...on Assistive Technology

Dragon Naturally Speaking Version 8




Dragon Naturally Speaking is a speech-to-text package which supports users with reading and writing difficulties. It is compatible many Windows based programs including Microsoft Word. The main features include:

  • Voice to text (dictation);
  • Playback of own voice at different speeds;
  • Making corrections to spellings;
  • Transcription of audio files;
  • Ability to convert files into Microsoft Word.


Please note that. If you have not used Dragon Naturally Speaking before, you will need to create a voice file with your name. You will only have to do this once – in future you will just open your voice file. This usually takes about 20 minutes

Using Dragon

Select either Dragon icon on your desktop, or go to programs and select the Dragon option


The Dragon toolbar will now open:

All of the features of Dragon are controlled through the toolbar. This can be positioned on the screen by clicking on the toolbar and dragging it to the chosen location.


Training Dragon to recognise your voice:

Do this by clicking on NaturallySpeaking > Open Manage Users. Click New and then follow the prompts



Text Box: •	Select the correct type of Dictation source mic plugged into the mic socket.  •	Adjust the Microphone – Position the microphone headset on your head so that it is comfortable and then adjust the position of the microphone.   •	Train NaturallySpeaking to recognise your voice - You will now have to train the program by creating your own voice model.   A yellow arrow shows you where to start reading:  •	You will now be offered a choice of stories to read, to train Dragon NaturallySpeaking. If your computer has a fast processor and lots of memory, training involves reading for five to ten minutes.   •	When you are ready to start, click on the story you want to use and click OK.   •	Follow the onscreen instructions  •	When you finish dictating, the computer will take a few minutes to create a voice file for you.









You can then open the word processing software of your choice, for example Word. 

 This is where the text is input.





You can choose to switch the microphone on or off.


This allows you to set up a new user or manage existing users.


This is where all of the settings are stored and you can adjust things, such as accuracy, speed and voice style for playback.



This allows you to:

Add, edit or train Dragon in new words


This allows you to playback the speech that has been input. Highlight a specific section or select all to playback.

It also allows audio file conversion to text.


Access Dragon online help manual.


To exit Dragon, click on the dragon icon  and select close




Getting help

You can use the built in help menu. To access this:

Click on the help icon on the Dragon toolbar