MacSpeech updates Dictate speech-recognition program

A new vocabulary editor for adding new words leads the changes to the MacSpeech Dictate speech recognition software introduced by MacSpeech on Thursday. MacSpeech Dictate 1.5 also features new English profile options and compatibility enhancements as well as overall improvements to accuracy.

Unveiled in 2008, MacSpeech Dictate is a speech-recognition program that licenses the NaturallySpeaking technology from Nuance. Users can employ the program to navigate their Mac, launch applications, and dictate documents.

The vocabulary editor introduced in version 1.5 lets Dictate users add, delete, manage, and train the program to recognize words in their profile. This feature should come in handy particularly for users whose dictation includes uncommon words, technical terms, or abbreviations. With the vocabulary editor users can also customize behaviors related to words, such as capitalization, pronunciation, or the use of spacing around the word in question.

In addition to the vocabulary editor, the 1.5 update to MacSpeech Dictate also adds compatibility enhancements for working with Microsoft Word. Whenever a Word document is opened, Dictate will automatically execute a Cache Document command, which lets it read a document’s contents for navigation and editing purposes. The Cache Document command is also available on demand.

Version 1.5 introduces new profile options for Inland North American, Southern North American, and Latino North American accents. The speech-recognition program also adds a list of top 100 Web sites to its Jump To command options, a new Save Profile menu item for capturing phrase-training information prior to quitting, and other interface enhancements.

MacSpeech says underlying technology enhancements in the new version make Dictate up to 20 percent more accurate than in previous releases.

MacSpeech Dictate 1.5 is a $55 upgrade for existing users. The software costs $199 and requires Mac OS X 10.5.6 and later.

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