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MacSpeech Dictate: start up tip #1

One user one account By Ko Maruyama
Unless you use MacSpeech Dictate in different settings or use it on a shared computer there isn't much reason for you to create different accounts, or least I haven't found a reason to create different accounts quite yet. Although you can put MacSpeech Dictate into your start items on your Mac, the dialog box that allows you to check for different accounts comes up before you start using the software. As the sole user of the computer that MacSpeech Dictate is on, and having only one profile for this software, I don't need to see this dialog box unless I'm going to change this set up or introduce another user.

In the General preferences for MacSpeech Dictate, in the same spot you'll find preferences for other Mac software: the pulldown menu found under the name of the application, you will see that there are two different start of actions. The first startup action is to show this start up window when the software launches. If you're one user like me, and you don't need to see to start up window, simply uncheck this option.

In these preferences you also find that in startup mode, the first option in the General preferences, you can set the microphone to enter a specific mode as soon as the application launches. Although it set to idle  when the application launches, if you're going to use it regularly, you may want to set this startup mode to sleep. Remember,  "sleep mode"allows the  microphone to be active, but it does not accept commands other than "wake up".

In the same panel for general preferences, under the start of actions you can have dictate launch a  new notepad window. However, I have had dictate crash once while using it. And, unless you are in the habit of using the command "save this document", you run the risk of losing your text if the dictation application unexpectedly quits. So this to you can uncheck, especially if you use text edit to write most of your text documents.

As with any software, especially those pieces of software which allow you to use shortcuts or shortcut keys to navigate the application, MacSpeech Dictate is full of  commands that will allow you to efficiently navigate your document, and navigate various applications. While it might be easy to fall back on some of the long and time-consuming process is that you were familiar with before you got MacSpeech Dictate, I suggest that you try to use as many of the available commands and preferences in your first days with the software as you can.

 Fill one gotcha I have experienced while using the dictation software, is that unlike a person who may transcribe dictation recordings that you've made and passed along, MacSpeech Dictate takes you at your word. If you make comments, especially those which shouldn't be included in your final draft, you may want to become familiar with the command for "sleep mode", or use the microphone mute switch that comes on the Plantronics headset included with some versions of MacSpeech Dictate.

After a few days of training, you may find yourself saving weeks of time. You can find out more about MacSpeech Dictate by visiting their website at www.MacSpeech.com. In the coming weeks, as I learn to use the software more efficiently, I'll be sure to share with you the simple tips and tricks that I've picked up along the way.

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:tip, product review, tutorial, apple, macspeech, dictate, auto transcription, word recognition, dragon


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