Dragon Naturally Speaking Review: Day 1

“I want to buy Dragon but I’m not sure if it will be useful…”

“I’ve been thinking about buying speech recognition software but I’d like to know more about it first…”

If you are a translator and that sounds like you, I’ve got you covered! I’ll do progressive reviews while I use it and get used to it.



Download and Installation

I got Dragon Professional Individual, v15 since it’s the version that supports Spanish.

Downloading the file was quick and easy.

The installation took 2/3 hours, so I left the computer on while the program was being installed and I went out for dinner with friends 😃.

Once downloaded, you need to activate the product by adding the serial key.

Then, you need to read a passage for the program to recognize your voice and your microphone.

Last, there is a tutorial for you to learn the basic functions of Dragon.

First Time Using It

Ok, so… It’s easy to use and the commands are intuitive.


It doesn’t fully work with CAT tools! ⚠️

You are supposed to be able to say “Select [word]” or “Correct [word]” and the program should select and correct automatically, but those commands didn’t work on Memsource (online version), the CAT I was using on my first day.

I knew Jenae Spry uses it regularly, so I asked her about this issue. She suggested that I

should be able to download Memsource without having to use Chrome and connect to your client’s project that way — this should improve Dragon as it is more limited inside of a browser 

and that

Dragon doesn’t support CAT tools so certain things might not work like “correct that” and while it’s unfortunate, it’s been my experience that it is still faster to correct certain things manually.

Finally, she added that

For me, I use it successfully in CAT tools and LOVE it even with its limitations but you just have to know how to use it while mitigating the limitations.

So I started combining typing + dictating and I managed to go faster (or at least that’s how it felt).


☝️ Oh, something important:

The program comes with some shortkeys that are pretty annoying. It uses *, / and from the numeral keyboard to activate the microphone and other functions. I normally use these keys a lot, so I was like “What’s going on, why aren’t they working anymore?!”

Then I realized that it was because of Dragon.

You just need to go to Settings > Options > Shortkeys, where you can edit them.


🤔 What about the Dragon bar?

Dragon Naturally Speaking comes with a menu bar.

dragon bar

You can choose to have the “new version”, the “classic version” or “just an icon” (that appears in the taskbar).

just icon

The new and classic versions can be annoying because they are on the top of the screen, where I normally have a lot of tabs open. So I think I’ll use the taskbar icon option.


I’ve chosen the shortkey Ctrl+Home to turn the microphone On/Off, and that’s pretty much all I need for now.



So I feel learning how to use Dragon must be like learning how to use a car.

At first, you feel overwhelmed and clumsy and you go really slow.

With time, you master all the features and customize the program to your own needs, and you are able to travel longer distances way faster!

I ended Day 1 with a headache. There were too many things my brain needed to get used to. But I can honestly say that after a couple of hours I felt more comfortable with the whole thing and that it was pretty fun to start using Dragon.

Next week, I’ll be working on a 10K project; I’ll measure my productivity and let you know how it goes!

Thanks for reading.



Let’s connect on LinkedIn. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Dragon Naturally Speaking Review: Day 1

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