Review – Dragon Professional v15

blur close up dragon figure
Photo by Anthony on


It’s been a minute since I’ve blogged, but I’ve been working hard at getting the Young Spades series read for release, and starting the series that will come after. Young Spades is still slated for a fall release – September 5th, October 1st, and October 31st.

In the meantime, I made a big purchase for myself – I bought Dragon Professional Individual v15. For those who aren’t familiar, Dragon (by Nuance) is speech recognition software, in which you can dictate, transcribe recordings, and voice edit as you go. Here’s my experience with it.

First – the price. It’s not cheap. It’s less expensive on Amazon than from the retailer, so if you’re comfortable with Amazon, that’s my recommendation. I set up a price alert on CamelCamelCamel to let me know when the price came down to something I could tolerate. It emails you when the price hits your goal. Right now it’s high for the disc and much lower for the download, but I ended up getting the disc because it was a few bucks cheaper. The lowest I’ve seen them both is the upper $170s. Camel will also tell you all-time low, if that helps you to set your price alert target.

In any case, I ended up with the disc, and when it arrived, I stared at the box for several hours before opening it. It’s an expensive piece of software, and what if I hated it? Once I opened it, I stuck the disc in the drive and hoped for the best. This was about 6pm.

It took a while. A long while. This is the one thing I wish someone had warned me about Dragon. I knew it’s a big program and would be a set of files. But I didn’t realize it would take SO LONG that I actually stopped the install several times, thinking nothing was happening. I started and restarted my computer over and over. I even tried using the code to switch to a digital download. Eventually, I stuck it in at 9 for about the fourth or fifth time and just figured I’d let it do its thing. And it did.

By 10, it was 1/4 installed. I turned off my sleep settings on my laptop and went to bed. The next day, there it was!

There’s a super user-friendly tutorial that launches upon first use. After that, you’re set to go. I had to explore a little, discover some nooks and crannies, figure out the tricks for the things I prefer, but I think I’ve got it figured out now, about two weeks later.

The verdict? I love it. I’m not at the promised land yet, in terms of production speed, but I can tell that it’s helping.  And I flat-out enjoy the simplicity and ease. The UI is easy to navigate. My ONLY complaint is that I have to hit “Paste unformatted text” to get it into Scrivener, rather than just hitting the “Transfer” button, or else it makes manually typing in the same document format incorrectly. That could be user error though! Either way, it’s minor and not enough to stop me from recommending it.

As I get more adept, I’ll post more details about my experience.

Does anyone else out there use Dragon? Tell us your thoughts!

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