Dragon NaturallySpeaking Quick Reference Guide

Dragon NaturallySpeaking software is a speech-recognition application. Users with repetitive stress injuries, mobility impairment, or learning disabilities, or users who prefer dictating to typing, can use Dragon to dictate essays or take notes more easily than by typing. This quick reference guide aims to provide a starting point for new users of Dragon to learn the software.

Getting Started

The DragonBar is a special toolbar that appears at the top of your screen when you start Dragon NaturallySpeaking for the first time. When you see the DragonBar, you can use Dragon NaturallySpeaking to dictate into word processors, e-mail, and other programs.

The second icon from the left is the microphone icon. Click the microphone icon to turn the microphone on and off. When the icon is red and horizontal, the microphone is off. When the icon appears green and vertical, the microphone is on, and the program is ready for you to dictate. The volume display indicates how well the program is hearing your voice.

Starting to Dictate

Follow these steps when you want to dictate:

  1. Make sure the program you want to dictate into is running.
  2. Put on the microphone and position it correctly.
  3. Click in the program you want to dictate into to make that window active.
  4. Turn on the microphone (see Getting Started).
  5. Start talking and watch your words appear on the screen.

Helpful Commands

  • New Line or Paragraph- Say "New Line" or "New Paragraph."
  • Enter Punctuation Marks- Say name of the punctuation mark, such as "Exclamation Point."
  • Spell- When you want to add a new word to the vocabulary, say "Spell" or "Spell That" (immediately after a recognition error) and the characters of the word or words you want to spell. Say the characters continuously and quickly, not one at a time. If you use the "Spell That" command, you can wait for the Spell Dialog box to open for more options.
  • Move the insertion point- To move the cursor, say:


Right / Forward / Left / Backward

"<1-20> characters" / "<1-20> words"


Up / Down

"<1-20> lines" / "<1-20> paragraphs"

Using the appropriate direction and distance.

  • Move the insertion point to specific words- Say "Insert Before <text>" or "Insert After <text>," where <text> is a word or phrase in the document.
  • Sample Commands - Say "What Can I Say?," "Display Sample Commands," or "Open Sample Commands." You can also click Sample Commands on the Help menu of the DragonBar. This window displays a selection of the most useful commands that Dragon NaturallySpeaking recognizes for the current context, whether it is a particular program you are using or the Windows desktop.

Text adapted from Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Preferred help files by Nuance Communications.