As a Dragon Medical & Professional speech recognition trainer, one of my favourite activities is assisting clients improve their day-to-day productivity with the use of custom Dragon Voice Commands. I recognize that this sounds like a sales line or lofty advertisement, but after 17 years training end-users and over 20 years of personal Dragon experience, I can assure you that employing custom Dragon Voice Commands makes your life easier, saves you time, and possibly even reduces computer frustrations.
When a new user begins working with Dragon they are frequently elated merely by Dragon’s voice to text feature. So much so that they cease exploring this potentially life-changing software, disregarding the time savings associated with custom Voice Command creation. The most enjoyment I have with clients are those wishing to explore custom Voice Command creation.
Some clients have no interest in learning how to create Voice Commands, and are content with my creating them on the fly according to their particular needs. Other clients become independent, creating their own Voice Commands as necessary.
Regardless of how a client embraces custom Voice Commands, some Q&A is necessary. Observing a client work is extraordinarily helpful towards productivity improvements. For clients wishing independence, I create relevant commands, explaining their construction in detail, to be used as templates for future commands.
Is It Difficult to Learn How to Create Dragon Voice Commands?
The short answer is “no”. You need not have programming experience. You need not know the entire ins and outs of your computer. I teach what you need to know based on the types of commands of benefit to you.
Resources are available on our blog. If you receive Complete Training from Speakeasy Solutions, the training materials provided contain detailed instructions and explanations regarding Dragon Voice Command creation.
Moreover, as mentioned above, I create relevant sample commands to be used as a basis for your future commands.
What Are Some Examples of Beneficial Dragon Voice Commands?
I work primarily with medical and legal practitioners, however, there is some crossover in terms of helpful commands, and by that extension similar commands apply to professional business users. Extrapolate on the examples I cite below to suit your workflow.
There are 4 types of text commands to explore.
Simple Text Voice Commands are used for any length of repetitious text:
- “If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me…”
- Instructions to an assistant.
- Postal addresses.
- Stock answers to repetitious questions received.
Text with Lists Voice Commands are useful when repetitious text contains specific variables throughout the text. Create each list’s variables which in turn are transcribed within the repetitious text as designated.
For example, a physician prescribes one of several prescription sleep aids which all have the same side effects, and requires the specific medication to be noted in the chart. The list would contain the prescription sleep aid names, one of which would appear in the block of repetitious text as appropriate.
The Voice Command “effects MEDICATION” where MEDICATION is a list of medications including zopiclone. When the physician says “effects zopiclone” Dragon transcribes:
“Discussed the following side effects of zopiclone with the patient.…” In the aforementioned transcription zopiclone would be replaced with any medication from the MEDICATION list created.
Multiple list variables may be used in one command.
Text with Voice Fields Voice Commands comprise of repetitious text with navigable fields throughout the text that are then populated with situation specific text. Voice Fields may be left blank, prompt with instruction, or contain a variable that can be accepted instead of free-form dictation. Some examples include:
- A medical examination where only the vitals need be dictated.
- A legal precedent requiring free-form dictation throughout the templated document.
- Standard after meeting follow-up notices where a descriptor of the meeting and other individual’s name (among other details) only need be dictated.
Open-ended Text Voice Commands are similar to Text with Lists but instead of dictating an entry from a list, your dictation may be completely free-form. This free-form phrase is populated throughout repetitious text wherever indicated.
For example, we all receive email with varying degrees of importance. Responding to less important email may take several days, but you wish to inform the sender that you have received the email. Moreover, you wish such a reply to be more personalized. You might then devise a Voice Command where you say “defer reply SUMMARY OF EMAIL” where SUMMARY OF EMAIL is your free-form dictation which will be inserted into the repetitious text.
Issuing the above command prompts Dragon to transcribe: “Thank you for your email regarding SUMMARY OF EMAIL. A thoughtful reply will follow in a couple of days. Thank you for your patience.” where SUMMARY OF EMAIL is the free-form dictation you spoke in the command.
I also refer to Step-by-Step commands as computer control commands. If a task requires more than 3 mouse clicks and/or keystrokes, a Dragon Voice Command executes the task in a fraction of the time.
The possibilities are almost limitless with respect to what can be accomplished with a Step-by-Step command. As a result, I offer examples within the most commonly used applications below.
- Initiate a new email to a specific individual and move the cursor down into the subject field.
- Initiate the forwarding of an email to a specific recipient and move the cursor down into the body field.
- Forward an email to a specific recipient, move the cursor down into the body field, transcribe a specific note (such as “for your information” or “please schedule”), and finally send this email.
- Add a recipient to the CC or BCC field at any time while creating an email.
- Insert one of several signatures available.
- Attach a specific file (such as a PDF or spreadsheet, price list, information document etc.) to an email.
- Move an email to a specific folder.
- Go to a specific folder in your email list.
- For those using a document management solution, additional steps are often required when sending an email, and the most frequent of them can be performed by Dragon in a fraction of the time it takes to mouse click and/or keystroke the sequence.
- Creating a calendar appointment with repetitious parameters. For myself, I frequently have 1 hour appointments scattered throughout my calendar accounting for travel time between locations. Dragon creates these appointments for me in the briefest of seconds rather than the 30 to 60 seconds it might otherwise take me.
- Create a new document based on a template. This template may incorporate Dragon Voice Fields.
- Open a specific document that is undergoing editing during the course of several days or weeks.
- Navigate to specific points in a large document (10 pages or more) based on a template. Legal contracts and medical assessments can be quite lengthy, and are often not dictated into in sequence from top to bottom but rather from varying section to section. Scrolling is time-consuming; although Dragon can position the cursor to any specified point in the document regardless of what page it is on.
- Apply formatting styles to a paragraph, table, image and more.
- Insert document specific details into the header or footer such as a name, date of birth, and so on.
- Save a document to a specific folder.
- Open a specific website; issuing the Voice Command from any application.
- Open a specific website, type username and password, enter a website, and go to a specific webpage or section. Again, issue this Voice Command from any application.
- Open a website and navigate to any webpage or section within that website.
- Enter repetitious text into a webpage and select options from data fields including drop lists, check boxes, radio buttons and more.
- Open multiple websites (one in each tab of a web browser), signing you in where necessary. A couple of my physician clients say “start my day” when they log on to their computer, prompting Dragon to load about 8 different work related and reference websites, some of which require logins.
Web-Based EMRs and Databases
- Select a specific template used for consults, follow-ups, letters and so on.
- Enter repetitious text across multiple fields and/or select specific options from drop lists, radio buttons, and check boxes.
- Navigate to specific regions of an EMR or database.
- Open any application and if necessary enter a username and password.
- Navigate through old DOS-based applications. Yes, it can be done.
- Copy data from one application to another application. I have a command that copies a client’s email address from QuickBooks, initiates a new email based on a template, pastes the client’s email address in the To field, and then positions the cursor in the body of the email.
- Change the computer’s audio output device from speakers to microphone headset or any other connected device.
- Print a file to a specific printer.
- Convert a document or email to a PDF and save to a specific folder.
- Open any file, website, or folder.
For Voice Commands that cannot be created with a Text or Step-by-Step command, Dragon offers two other command types:
Advanced Scripting commands use Visual Basic programming. This type of command is recommended when Step-by-Step doesn’t quite fit the bill. For applications that do not respond to keyboard shortcuts, Advanced Scripting is used for navigation and repetitious data entry, among many other individualized tasks.
Macro Recorder commands are used when all else is impossible such as clicking on a button that does not respond to either a Step-by-Step command or Advanced Scripting command.
I often say that the sky is the limit.
Yes, there are certain limitations with respect to what can be accomplished. Sometimes multiple commands are necessary where input is required between each command. However, the time savings possible is considerable.
Observe how you work. If there are repetitious actions you perform that require more than 3 mouse clicks and/or keystrokes, chances are Dragon can perform this task more quickly. Every command made is time saved.
Where Do I Learn to Make Custom Dragon Voice Commands?
For Canadians only, contact myself, Alexandria, at 604-264-9109 (Vancouver BC) or 1-888-964-9109 ext. 102.
Alternatively, book an appointment on line:
- Webpage: Speakeasy Solutions Appointment Scheduling
- Category: Choose “Dragon | Training“.
- Service: Choose “Dragon Training | Single Session (1 two-hour Session OR 1 60-minute Session) REMOTE“.
- Time: Choose your time zone, followed by 3 dates and available times.
- Provide Information: Enter your name, email, phone, plus other relevant information.
- Click “Done“.
If needed, view the Step-by-Step instructions for scheduling an appointment.
I look forward to working with you!