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Dictation on Mac

Torsten writes: >allerdings ist Dictation ebenso wie maschinelle Übersetzung oder das Windows-10-Pendant Cortona aus Gründen der Vertraulichkeit mit etwas Vorsicht zu genießen. Note that this is only valid for the default online mode. You can also download an offline package for each supported language.

Torsten's article is here:
Nice article about Dictation. The offline mode is called Enhanced dictation:

Thanks Hans, I must confess that I did not know this. My article has been amended now.

I did some testing, and I'd like to point out some pros and cons (only for dictating in CT):

Dragon Dictate

- better recognition (this depends on the speaker, of course)

- only two languages (for the German package DE and EN), switching means to switch the profile

- more system resources needed (assumption – I might be wrong)

- reacts irritated after any keyboard intervention, inserts double spaces or changes case

- "learns" the user language

Mac Dictation

- more languages (you can download any language pack, you can switch with a simple submenu)

- faster, but even for "standard terms" not as precise as DD

- no leading spaces, no double spaces inserted

 - "types" the text and corrects phrases as a whole afterwards (very fast, but irritating if you do not expect it), e. g. "fünfzig/fünfzig" becomes "50/50"

- sometimes wrong case, e. g. "konversion" instead of "Konversion"

- iTunes gets muted (no chance to listen to your music, at least not with iTunes...)

- starts immediately with a simple keystroke, stops when changing to another app / losing the focus

I think that the built-in Dictation in Yosemite with the Enhanced commands is already very powerful. I guess that El Capitan (the next version of OS X, to be released on September 30) will have improvements in Dictation, based on all the feedback that Apple must have gained from Siri on iOS and Dictation (on OS X).

So perhaps we should postpone any further experiments/evaluation until El Capitan has been released.

El Capitán will surely bring more improvements, but this comparison above based on a fresh download of the ED feature with an elder DD 3.0 installation that already has accumulated some voice data and that has been trained at the beginning. 

The faster/smoother start and function and the possibility of keyboard interventions and longer pauses inside a sentence are both important arguments for Mac Dictation. If Dictation gets extended with a kind of learning feature it will in any case be the better solution.

There is no keyboard shortcut to wrap a selection with tags. It has been requested, so hopefully it'll be implemented at a certain moment.

Until then you can use this work-around:

  • Activate mouse tag placement by clicking on the blue «» icon in the Target segment pane.
  • Create this Keyboard Maestro macro that detects any existing selection, by searching for the user-defined colour of the selection:

Example of a selected word:

  • In Dictation add a command "Tag wrap that" that triggers the keyboard shortcut that you've assigned to the Keyboard Maestro macro to find the selection and left-click on it:

Have you guys tried the new version of Dragon for Mac?

"Dragon for Mac - version 5".

Incidentally, I just upgraded my Dragon NaturallySpeaking Pro 13 to the brand new Dragon Professional Individual (version 14).

My wife uses an old version of Dragon on her Mac, and doesn't have any problems like: "- reacts irritated after any keyboard intervention, inserts double spaces or changes case". Wonder what's going on? I do know that her Dragon can get quite glitchy in large file though, and isn’t perfect.

Cool stuff in my version of Dragon: (my own very short screencast)


Well, the poor Germans are always some time behind the modern Englishmen, so we still must work with Version 13 at the moment. I have been using version 9, 11 and 13, and the changes between these versions were always a huge step forward. 


I must correct myself, I am using version 4 (yes, again only version 4 for the poor Germans), not version 3. As this irritated behavior is the case for Dictation and Dragon Dictate (but not for DNS, even not under Parallels on the same iMac) I should perhaps check my headset (Sennheiser C-Media via USB) or buy a better one. Any suggestions on this?


>Any suggestions on this?

Sorry, no.

I use a SpeechWare 3-in-1 TableMike (i.e., a desktop mic; not headphones), and get very good results with Dragon. Almost perfect. 

And funnily enough, I actually also get great results with my cheap Logitech desktop mic. 

This is with Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13, and now with the new Professional 14.

Hello everybody and good morning! Yesterday evening I have installed the new version of Mac OSx called L Kapitan! Now I'm testing the new Version of dictation! I can tell you that the recognition of the! It's very good! Bye by by I have to go to my office now Miley

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