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FAQ: How can I Improve Recognition Accuracy?


The key to good recognition accuracy is clear enunciation, speaking in phrases and consistent microphone placement. If you are still experiencing poor recognition accuracy Dragon NaturallySpeaking provides various tools to increase your accuracy.

Many of these functions can be accessed from the Accuracy Centre located under the Tools menu on the Dragon Bar.

Check your microphone

If you are not getting 95% accuracy, or above, and you are speaking clearly and steadily in phrases, then it is worth checking your microphone and soundcard combination. Check your microphone is properly positioned and correctly attached to the machine. Ensure you have the latest drivers for your soundcard.

A simple way to test the sound is to use the Sound Recorder facility that is built into the Windows operating system.
To start the Sound Recorder in Windows 7, click on the Start menu and chose All Programs -> Accessories -> Sound Recorder

How to test your voice:

  1. Click on the Start Recording button
  2. Talk into the microphone for roughly 5 seconds
  3. Pause for five seconds
  4. Talk again for a further 5 seconds
  5. Click on the Stop Recording  button to stop recording 
  6. In the Save As dialogue box save the file to the desired location
  7. Double click the file to play it back

Does the playback sound clear? You should get a good wave pattern, if not, then there is something wrong with either your microphone or your soundcard. During the part of your playback where you were silent can you hear any crackling or rustling sounds? These types of sounds during the silent time may be originating from faulty connections or noise being picked up from inside the machine. At this point it is worth testing with a new microphone and/or soundcard as this may be the cause of the loss of accuracy.

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Perform Additional Training

Carrying out additional training will help to improve your recognition accuracy. This can be carried out at any time but especially when

  • You have used Dragon for a few days and have become more accustomed to dictating
  • You move to an environment that is significantly quieter or nosier than your previous environment
  • You change your microphone and/or your soundcard

To access the Additional Training facility

  • Click on Audio on the Dragon Bar
  • Choose the Read text to improve accuracy option
  • Follow the instructions in the General Training wizard
  • Select one of the texts to read out, then follow the same guidelines as you did when you completed the initial training. 
  • Click Finish when you have finished reading the text.

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Add a single word or phrase to your vocabulary

Any word or phrase can be added to your vocabulary list by going to:

  • Vocabulary on the Dragon toolbar, choose Add new word or phrase. 
  • Type or say the word you want to add into the left hand box of the Add new word or phrase dialogue box.
  • If the word is pronounced differently from how it is spelt then enter a 'Spoken form' of the word into the right hand box of the Add new word or phrase dialogue box.
  • Make sure the check box for I want to train the pronunciation of this word or phrase is ticked.
  • Click Add.
  • Click Go  in the Train Words  box
  • Clearly speak the word or phrase you are trying to add

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Add Unknown Words from your Documents to the Vocabulary

To improve accuracy it is advisable to give Dragon samples of your existing documents. This will help it work out your writing style and the words that you use most often. Dragon will ask to do this process just after you have created your voice profile for the first time but you can launch it at any point thereafter.

To add words from existing documents to your vocabulary list

  • Click on the Vocabulary option on the Dragon Bar
  • Select Learn from specific documents from the list
  • Leave the default options as they are in the in the Learn from specific documents window
  • Click Next.
  • Use the Add Folder/Add Document buttons to navigate to the document or folder of documents that you want to add.
  • To add additional files repeat this process using the Add Document button.
  • Click Next for the scanning process to start.
  • Click Next to see a list of unknown words that Dragon can add into your voice files.
  • Use the Check all/uncheck all to select which words to add
  • Click Next
  • Select the words to train
  • Allow the process to Adapt to your Writing Style, click Next
  • Click Finish

NB: You should check carefully through the list of words for any incorrectly spelt words, if you find any, un-tick them to avoid added them to the vocabulary list.

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Import a List of Words or Phrases 

This is a useful way to add lists of words to Dragon. First, create a text (.txt) file containing each word or phrase you want to add. Each item should be on a separate line. Ensure that all words are spelt correctly.

  • Open the Vocabulary menu from the Dragon Bar
  • Click on the Import list of words or phrases option
  • Click Next to navigate to the location of the .txt file containing the new words you want to add
  • Click Add File to begin the process of adding the words

If you want Dragon to add words from more .txt files then repeat this process with each new file.

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Last updated: July 2014