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Madtown John Level 1 Level 1

I used Dragon Naturally Speaking for years on my PC.  Switched to an IMac.  Dragon for Mac leaves a lot to be desired - training, recognizing, editing.  Any suggestions about how to improve performance or other voice recognition software for Mac users?  I dictate a lot of reports using MS Word.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • MGW Level 7 Level 7

    The latest version is much improved, make sure that's the one you have.








  • Dan@sayican Level 1 Level 1

    For help with Dragon Dictate for Mac, check out the new training video from speech recognition expert and educator Dan Newman. There are 12 easy-to-follow lessons that show you how to get the most from DragonDictate, including a free video lesson on Punctuation and Capitalization at .




    Belinda Newman

    Say I Can



    I may receive some form of compensation, financial or otherwise, from my recommendation or link. <Edited by Host>

  • christopher rigby1 Level 4 Level 4

    You're in the iMac PPC discussions. I think you must have an Intel Mac not a PPC? Dragon won't run at all on a PPC.

  • Thomas O'Connell Level 1 Level 1

    Anyone who uses a Nuance product better be able to sort problems out for themselves... They have the WORST support in the technology exaggeration. If you can get it running, it's pretty decent, but if anything goes wrong, you will never get it fixed.


    I'm downgrading to Mac Dictate 1.5



  • belindafromberkeley Level 1 Level 1

    Speech recognition expert Dan Newman of has a training video for Dragon Dictate. There is a free lesson that you can download.

  • Thomas O'Connell Level 1 Level 1



    My problem was soo weird that no training tape will cover it.


    I downloaded the DMG file and when I clicked on it, all I would get is a screen that urged me to keep the dvd in a safe place in case I needed it... The file was large, but that was all it would do.


    Calling support was and experience of the WORST order... The support and customer service people don't know anything and can only take new orders. I was transferred to four different departments (one had their phone disconnected) and no one could tell me what the problem was or how to fix it other than to go back to the Web site... Of course I could not get into the support areas of the Web site because my product was not registered... And yes, I tried to but the site did not like the format of the serial number that I cut and pasted from my purchase email. So I could not even see the support files.


    Believe me, this is NOT like buying something from the APP STORE.


    It's just a shame that there aren't other choices for mac users like there are for windows....



  • the m and m man Level 1 Level 1

    Tom i have the exact same problems.

    product key format does not match.

    support really *****.

    it opens up with please insert disk,I got the electronic disk

    I also downloaded the zip file and it won;t even open.

    Then I go to the liabrary folder to delete the file and it is not even there.

    Because I have the  iphone and iPad app..and use it daily for  work...I thought it was the time to get it for  the iMac....Right now I am so ****** about support.

    I give them a few days tops ...or its adios to nuance




    m&m Man



    It is never simple!

  • Thomas O'Connell Level 1 Level 1

    It's a shame there is no competition... Mac dictate works "fine" but lacks many of the features that windows users have had for 10 years.


    Nuance treats apple users the way Intuit does with quicken. But at least with Quicken, you can replace it with many fine "made for apple" apps like iBank...


    I guess my advice to you would be to get a refund like I did and then if you really want Dragon, order a CD version.


    Good luck,



  • Frangelica Level 1 Level 1

    Many of the criticisms on this thread are well placed.  Have been trying to use MacSpeech iListen since V1. Thought I would try Dragon Dictate 2.5. I had similar problems to the previous post and was a hair's breadth to asking for a refund.  Then I tried the installation on another computer and had no difficulty.


    Back to the first computer, still didn't work.  Kept asking for a data disk.  Loaded the data disk, still didn't work.


    I did call support (my cost of course since the 800-number only seems to work for sales issues.)  After a long wait, I did get very detailed and helpful support information that took me step-by-step through the installation process.  It didn't take me anywhere I hadn't been but I couldn't have figured out the process by myself.  The person also explained that 2.5 had been very buggy and he helped me install 2.5.1, the link to which is way down in the text on the following page:



    See the paragraph -


    To manually download and install the Dragon Dictate update, follow the steps below:

    1. Close Dragon Dictate.
    2. Click here to download the update file.
    3. Double-click the "" file to extract the application file to the desktop.
    4. Locate the new Dragon Dictate application icon on the desktop.
    5. Drag the icon into the "Applications" folder.  Replace the existing file when prompted.
    6. Dragon Dictate is now updated to version 2.5.1.



    So ordering the DVD of 2.5 wouldn't have been a solution.


    Telephone support is free for a period of time, so take advantage of it immediately if you are having difficulty.


    Technical Support



    Now on to seeing how well this version actually works in the long run.  BTW in a very quiet environment it works equally as well with or without a microphone.


  • Thomas O'Connell Level 1 Level 1



    Thanks for your post.


    Two questions... Can  I start the process with this update file or do I need 2.5 installed first? (I could not install 2.5, it just would not run and could not access suppport since it didn't like the serial number they supplied in the purchase email).


    Since the original download files wouldn't install, did you have to do anything to remove "secret remnants" from your mac? I'm interested enough to try it again but don't really relish the conept of 45 minute waits for tech support.


    Thanks a lot for filling us in on the update



  • Frangelica Level 1 Level 1

    First of all I have no expertise in installing programs if they are problematic, I can only pass on my experience which relates to trying to purchase and install an Upgrade from MacSpeech Dictate 1.5 to Dragon Dictate 2.5 and the past experience I have had with MacSpeech, the company before Nuance.


    The 800-number doesn't get you to Technical Support and I think I was hung up on as well.  The wait for technical support was about 10 minutes.  If you are paying for the phone call by the minute that could be costly.


    Technical Support




    The tech was patient and his directions were easy to follow.  He logged into my screen using Join Me and if you find that too invasive, it may also be a reason not to continue with Dictate.


    Do I understand that you purchased a physical copy of the program on disk? Was it as an Upgrade that Nuance shipped to you?  And it wouldn't let you register the product?  The other criticism I had of MacSpeech and it seems to have carried on to Nuance was that the matter of accounts and registration accounts can be a forest. 

    The website to register the program is (There is another site for registering other Nuance products but it doesn't recognize your account for products that have been registered on the MaSspeech site.).To register the product you will need to set up an account (not an uncommon process) but that account will not be the way you access the download if you purchase the product by digital copy.If you purchase the program as a physical copy, I would suggest you register the product before you start installing but it really shouldn't be necessary because the program will prompt you to register if the install goes well.


    I can't recall which identification they asked for when I called technical services - the product code, the order number, or my registration account but I was prepared with all of them.


    Once you do register a program, the code can be accessed in the future if you keep track of the account and website on which you registered it.  I see there is also an option which downloads the code to your computer but heaven-knows-where it is stored.  On some other programs the code is stored in the application icon menu. My account on the Macspeech registration website stores the codes for 3 programs I have had since Nuance took over from MacSpeech.


    If you have purchased a physical copy and the registration site I listed above won't let you register it, I would call the 800-number which is

    Customer Service



    What I was trying to do was purchase the Upgrade of Dragon Dictate 2.5 as the result of an email offer because I was a previous customer of MacSpeech Dictate 1.5.  The website only seemed to offer to send me a physical copy with shipping of either $24 or $30 to Canada. When I decided I wouldn't buy the Upgrade because of the shipping cost, I found that I couldn't remove the item from the shopping cart and eventually couldn't even access the shopping cart.  When I called the 800-number to complain they told me there was a problem on the website which wasn't offering the download which was my preference.  They offered to sell me the digital download over the phone which I could then retrieve from the website with the login which asks for the order number and a password (which I think was assigned when I placed the order, but as I said, registration, download access, etc can be a forest and I was very confused by this time.)


    At the website, there were two files to download, the program for 2.5 and the data disk. When I tried to install the program and the data, the process started going around in circles asking for things over and over again.I wondered what I was doing wrong (a common reaction) so I tried to install the program on another computer.  The install on the second computer was easy and although I hadn't yet registered the product the program prompted me to register it. It also updated to 2.5.1 (although I only am aware of that in retrospect.)  So I went back to the first computer and tried to install again. The same problem happened.  At one point I exceeded the number of downloads which is 5 because I was trying to get rid of downloads that didn't seem to be working.  I called the 800-number and without too much difficulty, the person reset the downloads.  But the same thing happened, with the program asking for the data disk.  That is when I called Tech Support.


    After the tech showed me where to retrieve 2.5.1 from their website (because he said 2.5 was buggy) and I reinstalled the data disk from the website, the install worked well.  BTW I found it hard to understand on the download website which file was which.  I got very confused and ended up not getting the data disk.  The program disk image which is listed second is called Dragon_Dictate_Englishes.2.5.dmg.  The data file listed first is Dragon_English_Data2.5dmg.  You need both files normally but if you are getting the 2.5.1 file, I don't believe you have to have installed 2.5 first.


    In retrospect I may have not understood how to install the two files - the program file and the data file but I can't remember exactly what was happening. By that time I was pretty lost.


    Back to MacSpeech Dictate 1 or 1.5, I assumed that I would have to have this installed on my computer in order to install the Upgrade of Dragon Dictate 2.5. Remember, I was trying to install 2.5 on a new computer. Although I had done this before I tried to purchase the Upgrade 2.5 (because the computer was new and MacSpeech 1.5 hadn't been installed on it yet), I am not sure it was necessary.


    There didn't seem to be any "secret codes" that hadn't to be removed first.  You may be talking about old or corrupted plist files which sometimes interfere with applications.  The tech just told me to drag any 2.5 applications to the trash after we got off the phone, of which by now I had about 5 on the computer.  I have had old versions on a previous computer and they never seemed to interfere with one another. I think I still have iListen 1.0 on a very old computer as well as every fresh version and upgrade.


    I hope this reply wasn't too long and didn't add to the confusion.  As I said in the first message, the criticisms are well founded.  Installing MacSpeech iListen and accessing services has been a minefield from the beginning and it isn't improving.  For someone interested in easy-to-use voice recognition I would suggest the Dragon Dictate app for an iPad or iPod Touch.  Works wonderfully but it has very limited features.


    My husband, who has physical disabilities but until recently could type better than MacSpeech Dictate was working for him and didn't have a computer that would work with MacSpeech Dictate, has been using Dragon Dictate 2.5.1 on his new computer without a microphone for a couple of days.  He believes there is hope, although with past versions he was frustrated after an hour and quit.  One new thing in Dragon Dictate 2.5 is that editing on the keyboard before you finish the document does not mess up further voice input.  He continues to struggle with voice control (a good exercise for the voice) and his tendency to talk as if there he has a secretary taking shorthand.  You really do have to talk to the computer in a conversational way, speaking in full sentences or full phrases if possible, not in separate words.


    From iListen 1.0 I kept saying that voice recognition would work well for everyone.  It has been a long road but I can see on the horizon that it will be available for everyone.  The iPad/iPod app is close.



  • Thomas O'Connell Level 1 Level 1



    Thank you so much for all the detail... Call me crazy, but your experience has me going back to download the upgrade again and if it doesn't work, I'll call the numbers you used.


    You really are a champ for providing this much detail... Above and beyond and I and other appreciate it.





  • kirbyrs Level 1 Level 1

    I purchased nuance 2.0 dragon dictate for Mac. I can not get the computer to recognize the microphone provided by nuance. This microphone is recognized by my dell computer. How can I get the mac book pro to recognize this microphone?

  • Frangelica Level 1 Level 1

    It seems to me that not all microphones for speech recognition that work on PCs work on Macs. Nuance puts out a list of acceptable microphones. I suggest you check their website.


    The Nuance website also makes these suggestions.


    There are multiple reasons why the microphone may not be working.  Please attempt the following suggestions:

    • Confirm that the user is in a quiet area without too much background noise.
    • Verify that the headset being used is a supported MacSpeech-certified headset.
    • Try creating a new profile when first launching Dictate.
      Note: When creating the new profile, make sure the microphone is properly selected to the "USB microphone".  Sometimes the microphone will be set to "Built-In microphone" by default.
    • Change the audio device by going into the Apple Menu and selecting "System Preferences > Sound". Try switching the audio to something else, closing the Sound preferences window, re-opening it, and then setting it back to your microphone.
    • If the problem continues, please try uninstalling and reinstalling Dictate.  For steps on uninstalling Dictate, please seeTechnote 6444.  For steps on installing Dictate, please see Technote 6441.


    Since you just recently purchased Dragon Dictate, you can call Nuance for support.  See my previous posting for the phone numbers.  I also suggest you upgrade your version to 2.5.


    Have you tried dictating without a headset/microphone?  In my last posting I mentioned that my husband dictates directly to his computer, a new iMac.  His voice is not strong but he works in a very quiet environment. Dictating directly to the computer's built-in microphone also works for my 2006 MacBook.


    Please let us know if this works out for you.



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