Simple commands for GTD

I’m using “revvy” to move in Outlook email message to a review folder, “reedy” to move a message to a research and reading folder, “ani” to archive messages to a folder for new investment issues which may wish to refer to, “acky” to archive the message to an archive folder. These are all easy to vocalize, I will leave it as an exercise to you to figure out how to build these commands using Dragon NaturallySpeaking and any plug-ins or add-ins (i.e. Vocala) that you have installed for it.

I built my commands using Dragon professional Advanced Scripting, but I intend to eventually move to Vocola or something like it because I find Advanced Scripting  difficult.




Some tips for making commands

I have found it rather tiresome to use voice commands to work in Microsoft Outlook in particular. However, this technique will work for a number of applications that you may come across.

I using a couple of commands in outlook “archive new issue” which was bound to keystrokes “control-shift-seven”, “archive which was bound to “control shift 2” and the built in “delete message” command which was bound to the delete key.

I duplicated these commands to something easier to say, “ani” (sounds like annie), “acky”, and “wack”. I also mapped “dubby” to execute the most double-click action. “wack” I have globally mapped to the delete key, so I can use it in any application.

So far I have done the scripts in the Dragon scripting language, but you can achieve the same thing with Vocala.

Inserting Building Blocks and Quick Parts with Dragon NaturallySpeaking

For years, I have wanted to insert a building blocks available from the quick parts menu of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Outlook into the current document or message. For me, this is preferable to using the Dragon Auto-Text (Text and Graphics), because I also want to be able to access the building blocks from the keyboard or by navigating the application menus. That would also enable me to insert the quick parts with ActiveWords.

This turns out to be fairly simple. Create whatever building blocks you like in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Outlook.

Create a script in the Dragon command editor, with type of “Advanced Scripting” called “insert block” with the parameter “”. Use the Name Editor edit the list “buildingblockname”to add in the names of any building blocks you would like to be able to insert with Dragon.

Here is the Visual Basic script you can paste into the command editor:

'This function since the text of the argument to the document
'which should be a Microsoft Word or a Microsoft Outlook document.
'To use this, type the name of the building block you want to be able to insert
'into the list "buildingblockname" using the Name Editor

Sub Main
SendKeys ListVar1
SendKeys “{F3}”
End Sub


All the script does is type the building block name
into the application, and then press the F3 key.

And here’s what the user interface would look like when you are adding a building block to the list of building blocks you would like available in Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

Repairing a Broken Dragon Naturally Speaking Profile

My Dragon profile self-destructed again. I’m pretty sure it is related to adding numerous dictation sources over the time I have been using the product.
I just completed a rather unsatisfying call with technical support from Nuance. Their position is that the profile was corrupted through no fault of their own. I.e. they think it is my fault or Windows fault. The reality is Dragon is corrupting its own profiles, they should be able to save their profile without fault whether it windows crashes or not (which has not been the case). Further, he said there was no way to rescue my vocabulary customizations from the last several years of Dragon use, nor my custom commands. His solution was for me to create a new profile and start over.
So if you find yourself using Dragon naturally speaking, and you find all of a sudden you cannot turn the microphone on, or manage dictation sources, the following might help you out:
  • From your broken profile, export the vocabulary to a file using the vocabulary menu.
  • Create a new Dragon profile and get a dictation source working. Import your vocabulary file using the vocabulary menu.
  • Exit Dragon
  • Copy C:\ProgramData\Nuance\NaturallySpeaking15\Users\your-old-profile-name\current\MyCmds.dat  to C:\ProgramData\Nuance\NaturallySpeaking15\Users\your-new-profile-name\current\MyCmds.dat
  • restart Dragon
That should allow you to have a new profile with your old commands and your old vocabula

Dragon – Too Many Audio Sources Will Break Dragon

I recently reported a Dragon profile from another computer, and then tried to add a new dictation source (a new Dragon Bluetooth headset). Initially it worked. However, the next time I try to use Dragon, would not let me enable microphone (just annoying audio feedback and no error messages to give a clue as to what the problem is), and the options to manage dictation sources were greyed out.

I found this thread on removing dictation sources for an older version of dragon. Moving a few dictation sources by deleting the appropriate folders did seem to work.








Replacing CopyTalk With Dragon

I tried out CopyTalk for a couple weeks and found their transcription service wasn’t as accurate as  making a recording and using the Dragon Naturally Speaking transcription agent.  I also found the the turn around time for a CopyTalk transcription was  over a day, which is too long for my use.

The problem is getting your dictations from your phone into dragon.

The Dragon Recorder App is, in my opinion, horrible.  If you don’t believe me, download it onto your phone, make some dictations, and try and get them onto your computer and transcribed.  You can make it work, but it requires an excessive amount of clicking.

Fortunately, for a few dollars, you can buy DropVox  for iOS.  If you have an Android rather than iPhone there is likely a similar app.   Press a button, make your recording, press another button to stop,  and you are done;  the app will automatically name your recording, and upload it to a predetermined folder in dropbox  you select.

When you get back to your office, run the Dragon Naturally Speaking Transcription Agent (I have mine as a startup item).  It will transcribe your recordings, and you can review your audio if you need to make corrections. If you leave the transcription agent running, your transcriptions will be waiting for you when you arrive in your office.  Or you can arrange for your Transcription output folder to also be in Dropbox, and you can have dictations transcribed in a few minutes.



Selecting Dragon Hotkeys for Laptop

There are so many different short key combinations in use in Windows 10 that it is difficult to select one to turn the Dragon NaturallySpeaking microphone  on and off that doesn’t conflict with something else.

The default for Dragon is the numerical keypad key “+”, but my laptop does not have a numerical keypad. I have chosen instead to use “control-q” as the hotkey to turn on or off the microphone. This does not seem to conflict with anything else.

I have also remapped one of the mouse buttons to send “control-q” when pressed. I use an Evoluent vertical mouse which has a number of mouse buttons that can be configured to send keystrokes.