If you haven’t used dictation software before, it really is a learning experience, and it’s well worth it. If you’re required to produce a large amount of text, it can be an arduous process, particularly if you’re not used to typing large amounts of material. If, for example, you’re doing a complex technical article on web application security, you may need quite literally pages and pages of formatting, notes and extensive technical details.
The average 3000-4000 word document also requires accuracy, and you really will need something that can do the job quickly and efficiently in the drafting stage. That’s where dictation software comes in, and can do a lot to help you.
Dictation software basics
Dictation software is actually a form of voice recognition software. When you first buy it, it needs training, and so do you. Dictation software typically has difficulties with homonyms (words which sound the same but are spelt differently and mean different things) and you and the software will need to get used to each other.
Dictation software can quite literally produce text as fast as you can speak. The effect really is quite dramatic when used to touch typing, or the masochistic situations which people who can’t really type at speed find themselves in. To see an entire paragraph appear on the page at the same speed as you speak for the first time really is quite an extraordinary experience.
The economics of dictation software really are based on time, and you’ll find that your accuracy improves dramatically in a very short period of use. If you lead to produce a document in a hurry, your dictation software can provide you with an excellent basic draft almost instantly.
However – You should be aware that dictation software quite literally reproduces every sound you make. Most people slur their words, and mispronunciations are quite common. The fact is people aren’t really aware of their own pronunciation, which they take for granted.
Vocabulary is another issue which may cause some bafflement for a while. If for instance you use a phrase like “penetration testing“, it’s quite possible that the dictation software, which also contains grammar components, isn’t familiar with the expression. You may wind up with text in which reads “penetrant tennis”, or something similar.
Microphone usage and dictation software
Dictation software is actually quite sensitive, and your speech needs to be received accurately to be transcribed accurately. If you yell into a microphone, whatever comes out as text is not going to be what you want. When using dictation software speak normally, but don’t worry too much about speaking like a newsreader. When the software is used to the sound of your voice it will usually accurately transcribe what you say.
Editing text using dictation software
The software will also help you correct any errors. It is absolutely critical to ensure that you read your transcribed text carefully and thoroughly. With good dictation software accuracy is usually pretty good, but do not assume that there are no errors. Simply read the text, sentence by sentence, and ensure that you do in fact do a complete edit.
This is a guest post by Sachin from HackLabs.