Dictation Tips

Here are some tips to help you improve your dictation skills with Dual Writer.

Turn off the Shared Speech Recognizer


The Shared Speech Recognizer is not used by Dual Writer. You should turn it off while using the Dictation feature. Turn it back on when you want to use it to control Windows or other applications.

Get a good microphone

If you are serious about using speech recognition, a good microphone is a must. Make sure that it is a USB microphone. USB gives you a higher quality input.

A headset microphone is also a good choice, since it keeps the microphone a constant distance from your mouth.

Say punctuation

The Speech Recognition System does not automatically add punctuation for you. You need to say the punctuation as you dictate. Say the words “period,” “comma” and “exclamation point” where needed, like this:

“Today is Monday period”


“I have a book comma pencil and paper period”

Speak clearly

This seems like an obvious tip, but it takes practice. So make an effort to speak in a very clear, crisp manner like a newscaster. Try not to run your words together.

Also, speak in a consistent, level volume. Speaking too loudly or too softly makes it difficult for the system to recognize what you’ve said.

Try to find a quiet place to work

It’s best to work in a quiet environment, so that the computer hears you instead of the sounds around you.

Speak in phrases

The Speech Recognition System can understand very long phrases and complete sentences without the need to pause. Speak in multiple word phrases as much as you can. It’s much harder for the system to understand single words than it is phrases.

Do not pause between words. For example, the computer has a hard time understanding speech such as, “This (pause) is (pause) another (pause) example (pause) sentence.”

Use the mouse and keyboard along with dictation

You can take your time learning the editing commands that Dual Writer understands. Remember: you can still use the keyboard and mouse along with dictation. You might find it’s easier to just select text with the mouse, rather than saying something like,

“Select the next three words.” You can edit very quickly by selecting with the mouse and using speech to replace the keyboard.

Turn off Dictation when not speaking

Remember to turn off the Dictation feature or say “Stop listening” when you are not using it. Stray words can accidentally get entered into your document while Dictation is on.

Use speech to quickly complete first drafts

When dictating, finish a complete section of your work before going back and making corrections and formatting changes. Dictation is a great tool for getting your ideas on the page. Organizing and correcting are best left for the second draft. Just start talking and let the ideas flow.

Don’t give up!

Learning to use the Speech Recognition System effectively takes some time to master.

You will find that speaking your thoughts is a different experience than typing. You need to express your ideas in multiple words at a time, and say those words clearly and distinctly. Think about it as similar to learning to type. It’s not something you can instantly do. Ultimately, speaking is much faster and easier than typing, so the investment is worth the time and effort.

And at the same time you are improving, the Speech Recognition System will also improve by learning your voice and the subjects you dictate.

So practice, practice, practice. Don’t get discouraged. It takes time to get better.



Getting Started with Speech Recognition

Before trying out Dual Writer, follow these steps to set up Speech Recognition on your computer.

Dual Writer uses the Speech Recognition System that is built into the Windows operating system. You don’t need to install or buy any additional software to use speech recognition with Dual Writer. Speech recognition is included in Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Note: Windows XP does not support Speech Recognition, so dictation is not available with Windows XP.

The Windows operating system makes it extremely easy to get started. Go to the Windows Control Panel and select:

Control Panel > Ease of Access > Speech Recognition

You will see this screen:


Go though each of the steps in the list.

  1. Start Speech Recognition
  2. Set Up Microphone
  3. Take Speech Tutorial
  4. Train Your Computer to Better Understand You

Make sure to complete all of these steps before using Dual Writer to ensure that your computer is set up correctly, and you know how to use Speech Recognition. By the time you have finished, you’ll have no problems using the Dual Writer Dictation feature.

Sharing a Computer

If you share your computer with another person who will also be using speech recognition, it’s best to have a separate Windows user account for each of you. That way, each person who logs in to Windows will have their own personally trained version of the Speech Recognition System.

If you need to share the same Windows user account with another person, it’s best to switch the speech profile to your own profile when you start dictating. You can do this in the Control Panel.

Review documents and mail to improve accuracy

During setup, make sure to select the Control Panel option “Review documents and mail to improve accuracy.” This tells the Speech Recognition System to go through your documents and learn the vocabulary you use. You may not notice immediate improvements in accuracy, but over time, the system will get better as it learns more about you.