Spell Everywhere

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about the Dragon NaturallySpeaking “Spell XYZ” command. This command lets you say, for instance “Spell s a”. People are complaining that it sometimes doesn’t work. They’re right.

This command doesn’t work everywhere. It only works in text boxes. This is an unfortunate oversight in the Dragon user interface.

Logically, any speech command should work in all contexts where it could be useful. It’s unnecessarily difficult to make the user remember different commands to carry out the same operations in different contexts. Something as basic as pressing a letter key should work anywhere you might want to use a letter, including menus.

This is what people are complaining about. Those who are complaining have gotten adept enough at speech that something basic like pressing letter keys becomes second nature. They have a habit of saying “Spell” and then a letter, number or symbol name whenever they have to hit separate keys. The definition of habit is you don’t have to think about it. And this is where they get in trouble — the habit kicks in everywhere, including when you are in a drop-down menu that doesn’t respond to full words.

If you’d like to use the “Spell XYZ” command everywhere rather than having to stop and think about where you can and can’t use it, complain to Nuance, the company that makes Dragon (there are couple of ways to do this — details are posted on the Redstart wikki: http://redstartsystems.com/Wikka/wikka.php?wakka=NatSpeakUtilitiesandResources).

Leave a Reply