How to Use Dragon Voice Recognition Software

by ContributorUpdated September 15, 2017

Items you will need

  • Windows 2000 or higher

  • 1GB of RAM

  • Minimum of 650MB of free hard-drive space

  • 1GHz processor or greater

  • Microphone/headset

  • Dragon voice recognition software

Voice recognition software makes it easier to do two things at once. There are many different programs on the market, but among the most popular is the Dragon NaturallySpeaking software package from Nuance software. It lets you dictate text and control most features of your operating system and applications by speaking, freeing you up to do other projects at the same time.

Confirm that you have the minimum system requirements needed to run Dragon voice recognition software. To use Dragon, your computer needs Windows 2000 or higher, have at least 1GB of RAM and a minimum of 650MB of free hard-drive space. Additionally, your computer should have a 1GHz processor or greater. For optimal usage, it's recommended that your computer includes a 2.4GHz processor.

Purchase the Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice recognition software. Dragon NaturallySpeaking can be obtained at most software retailers in various packages. The Dragon NaturallySpeaking Standard Edition is recommended for home use while the Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred version is recommended for office use (or home use with office programs like Microsoft Word).

Plug your microphone or headset into your sound card, USB port or the line-in jack of your computer. Though a wide-area or integrated-laptop microphone will work, it's better to use a headset or handheld microphone to reduce background noise.

Close any open applications and shut off any antivirus programs while the installation file runs, as installer programs can sometimes trigger false virus warnings.

Place the Dragon NaturallySpeaking disc into your CD or DVD drive and follow the on-screen directions to install the software. If the installer doesn't automatically launch, click on "My Computer," the letter of your CD or DVD drive and "setup.exe." When asked, provide the serial number that came with the software.

Activate the software before using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Start Dragon NaturallySpeaking from the start menu or the desktop shortcut and click "Activate Automatically."

Create a new user, as Dragon NaturallySpeaking relies heavily on speech profiles. Each user of the software will speak slightly differently, so he must have his own speech profile.

Set up the microphone. For Dragon NaturallySpeaking to analyze your voice effectively, the microphone must be positioned and configured correctly. Follow the onscreen directions to configure your specific microphone.

Train Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Dragon NaturallySpeaking will ask you to say a sequence of words to get a sense of your speech patterns and sounds. Speak normally into the microphone.

Dictate your text. Dragon NaturallySpeaking works with most applications for which text entry is necessary. You can use it to compose email messages, documents or participate in chat rooms.


The software serial number is usually located on the back of the CD/DVD sleeve. If you can't find it, check the inserts that came with the software and the back of the box. Eventually, Dragon NaturallySpeaking will learn more about your voice and become more accurate, but at the beginning it will struggle to understand you. Use it frequently to improve its accuracy.

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