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Voice Recognition SoftwareWindows Vista or NaturallySpeaking voice recognition software can really catapult a freelance writer’s productivity by leaps and bounds. It’s similar to the way that computers increased writing productivity from writing with pen and paper.

Think about it for a moment. In the old days, research had to be done at a library or other information repository.  Notes were handwritten on sheets of paper. Today, thanks to the computer, freelance writers have the ability to sit in the comfort of their own home and bring the research to them.  The Internet allows writers to take digital notes.

Advances in Voice Recognition Technology

By similar leaps and bounds, voice recognition software can catapult ones writing productivity. Even the fastest of typists have a difficult time typing faster than they can speak. Capitalizing on that fact, voice recognition software has been all but perfected over the past few years.

For writers with computers equipped with the Windows Vista operating system, the option to use Windows Vista speech recognition software is included as a freebie. Systems operating on Windows XP and earlier Windows operating systems have the option to use Dragon Deluxe NaturallySpeaking software created by the folks at Nuance.

In years past, the NaturallySpeaking was pretty much the only game in town when it came to accurate voice recognition software. Writers would utilize the software to dictate their work much faster than they could if they were typing.

The Windows Vista speech recognition software, however, has encroached upon the NaturallySpeaking market. The fact that the software is bundled in with the Vista operating system makes it readily available to individuals who might not have considered using it in the past.

For freelance writers deciding whether or not to upgrade to Windows Vista to use the Vista speech recognition software or purchase NaturallySpeaking, here are a few things to consider:Vista vs NaturallySpeaking

Cost for Speech Recognition Software

Windows Vista speech recognition software is included with the Vista operating system, so there is no need to purchase additional software. Dragon Deluxe retails for anywhere from $99 to $350, depending on the software version (Standard, Preferred, Preferred Mobile or Preferred Wireless).

Software Training and Accuracy

No matter which voice recognition software one decides to use, the software must be trained. It has to learn the way in which the writer speaks. It becomes familiar with the vernacular and speech patterns during dictation. Training the Windows Vista speech recognition software is a rather quick and painless process. NaturallySpeaking, on the other hand, requires more upfront training in order for the software to begin to accurately understand the writer’s dictation. The accuracy of both software programs improves the more it is used and trained.

Voice Commands for Computer Control

Windows Vista does a good job of commanding the computer. One could conceivably operate the computer hands-free using Windows Vista software. While NaturallySpeaking It does a fine job with dictation, it pales in comparison when it comes to opening/closing programs and scrolling up and down on a web page.

Remote Dictation

Where NaturallySpeaking wins hands down over Windows Vista is that it has the ability to transcribe audio files. Therefore, freelance writers who use digital voice recorders can download and later transcribe audio files using NaturallySpeaking. Windows Vista does not offer this feature.

Best of Both Worlds

Writers who already have NaturallySpeaking software and later upgrade to the Windows Vista operating system can enjoy and the best of both worlds. The remote dictation capabilities of NaturallySpeaking plus the computer command controls of Windows Vista makes a formidable tool in any freelance writer’s arsenal.

FeliciaFelicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low tech blogger.

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