Touch Type or Speech Recognition?

10 replies
I would like to increase my productivity on the computer. I'm thinking either learn to touch type or use the speech recognition software that came with Vista.

Those of you who are pretty good at typing AND have used voice recognition software, what are your thoughts?

Thanks for the input.


Joe Mobley
#recognition #speech #touch #type
  • Profile picture of the author DireStraits
    Originally Posted by Joe Mobley View Post

    I would like to increase my productivity on the computer. I'm thinking either learn to touch type or use the speech recognition software that came with Vista.

    Those of you who are pretty good at typing AND have used voice recognition software, what are your thoughts?
    I'm definitely no touch-typist, though I'm pretty fast (when I know what I'm going to write, anyway ).

    Vista (and Windows 7) speech recognition is, in my experience, complete garbage.

    I've tried it repeatedly with several microphones now, and it just makes error after error. Then again, my accent is probably not the best ... but even if I put one on (and I'm quite good at accents and impressions ), I still can't get it to be of much use.

    Definitely not too efficient for full-on writing anyway, in my experience - but maybe that's just me.

    There's another piece of software called Dragon Naturally Speaking, which I haven't tried myself (but am looking to try soon), which seems to be held in high regard by a lot of people here. I hear it's leaps and bounds better; more accurate, and more efficient than Windows' own speech recognition.

    I'm not sure any software, for me, would ever fully replace good old fashioned typing though. My intentions are just to use it to knock out rough article drafts/outlines, since I seem able to better and more easily articulate my ideas and thoughts through the spoken word at times.

    Good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lee MacRae
      I use Dragon Naturally Speaking for my content creation. I've tried others but found Dragon to be the best. I can type fairly quickly but I have found it a more efficient use of my time to use Dragon. I can create more articles/content per hour than I can do on the keyboard. If you go through the training recommended when you first start up Dragon it can become extremely accurate.

      One of the problems I was having with all the keyboarding was repetitive stress problems in my hands. Dragon NaturallySpeaking took all that away. And one of the neat things for me starting with with version 10 was wireless Bluetooth headset capability [I just picked up version 11 which came with a Bluetooth headset]. When I was in a position where I used to have to create presentations to deliver at various functions I found I worked best when I was walking around and thinking about what I wanted to say. It seemed to stir up my creative juices and with the wireless headset I'm able to get back to roaming around the room as I create the content.

      I guess that's just a long-winded way of telling you how I do it and how you can use technology to your best advantage.

      Note I'm also long-winded because I use Dragon to create posts like this.
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      • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
        Originally Posted by Lee MacRae View Post


        One of the problems I was having with all the keyboarding was repetitive stress problems in my hands.
        Great point. I'll keep that in mind should it come up.

        Thanks,

        Joe Mobley
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  • Profile picture of the author danicat
    I type 115 wpm. Thats straight copy though mind you. I've been using a computer for 24 years. I learned to type like...16 years ago? So it will take awhile. That said, i love love love my dragon naturally speaking. Get a good headset. Learn to type, but it went give instant results like dragon will.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    I can touch type and have also used Dragon. Ultimately, I still prefer touch typing as I find my thoughts constantly getting interrupted while dictating using Dragon, as I am still not used to the lag between rattling off one or two sentences and having it appear on the screen.

    I'm still much more at home touch typing, as there is an instantaneous connection between what you're typing and what appears on the screen, and I find that to be a crucial component of my content creation process.

    Your mileage may vary, though. With touch typing your eyes are always focused on the screen/monitor, and I've become pretty accustomed to the instantaneous response of the screen to what I type in, and this immediate connection is missing for me when dictating using Dragon.

    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author LetsGoViral
    Originally Posted by Joe Mobley View Post

    I would like to increase my productivity on the computer. I'm thinking either learn to touch type or use the speech recognition software that came with Vista.

    Those of you who are pretty good at typing AND have used voice recognition software, what are your thoughts?

    Thanks for the input.


    Joe Mobley
    I've tried speech recognition software and I don't think it is the right answer. Why? Well, first of all you will have to talk all the time, it will get tiresome. Secondly, you have to talk perfectly. The software has problems with grammar as well and you will have to reread the text. Not worth it.

    Just learn to type really fast, around 80 wpm and you will be set to go There are plenty of free software available online that can aid you at achieving this.
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    • Profile picture of the author profitsforall
      i'm a touch typist and i still feel speech recognition would be useful.
      I turned on microsofts speech recognition in vista and it is a complete waste of time.
      It continually gets things wrong and it's frustrating trying to get it to correct things.
      I did have an old version of dragon naturally speaking on an old pc and after training it had far better recognition than microsofts.
      However i found I was self concious when i tried to use it - silly really.
      I'm probably going to get a new version and see how that goes.
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  • Profile picture of the author dexcell
    I'm the still using keyboard to write articles and content because i've been used to it.

    As stated by some people above, i also tried Vista speech recognition, and found its not very useful because continuously getting wrong words, and very time consuming to fix it. Maybe i'm gonna try Dragon sometime.
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    • Profile picture of the author AprilCT
      I bought Dragon, and hope to be trying it out soon. When you are writing articles, it sure would help to have your hands free to perform other tasks for research while you talk.

      If you get tired of talking, then just shut it off for awhile. Every article that gets written, by either dictating it or typing, needs a thorough look and changes made -- several times -- so that's no different than just typing.
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      • Profile picture of the author donhx
        I have been using Dragon Naturally Speaking (DNS) since version 7 -- it's now at version 11, and it is the program of my dreams. I write for a living and it is hard to beat.

        DNS needs just a little training to be useful. It needs to learn your vocabulary and speech inflections. It used to require a lot of such work, but ver 11 is wonderful -- you can hit 85-95% accuracy right out of the box.

        That said--YOU will need training, not DNS or your computer. Most of us are taught a mind/hand connection in our thinking/writing process, so our best creative work is usually done by handwriting or typing. It is an entirely different skill to be able to collect your thoughts and speak them, and is a skill that needs to be learned.

        It seems like it should be easy since we talk all the time anyway, but its not. In writing we pre-process words before we write or type them, so what we put down has structure and meaning. In normal conversations there is little, if any, pre-processing (and is why people say so many stupid things ), so it is easy to run out of mental gas doing dictation.

        So, I say get DNS. Let the program do the required learning (about 30 minutes), then train yourself to dictate (about 30 days), both in terms of presenting unified ideas and accuracy. My best tip for learning to dictate is to start by working off a fairly detailed outline. Once you can dictate in an organized and profuse way, you will never want to type another word.
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