I learned how to type on a manual typewriter. You had to press those suckers to make an impression. It wasn’t haptic feedback, it was more like haptic bludgeoning. Studio readers probably have an inkling or two about my feelings regarding typing on the iPhone. It’s like the anti-Smith Corona.
Enter this truly useful post from Art of the iPhone with some great typing tips for working your way around that sheet of glass that passes for a keyboard. Learn the ins and outs of quick edits with cut, copy and paste, typing in landscape (o.k., that’s a duh tip), sliding fingers for quick punctuation and numbers, typing accents, dashes and other special characters, quick-contractions, using auto-correction as an efficiency aid, avoiding auto-correction when you don’t want it, dropping the .com, changing keyboard settings, and shaking to undo your last action and enabling emoji (those cute little icons and smileys in messages).
And if you really get frustrated with the keyboard, just give it up and check out Art of the iPhone’s helpful tips on voice control commands.
I have been toying with purchasing Dragon Naturally Speaking. I just love the idea of pacing back and forth, turning to my computer and bossing it around, ordering it to perform tasks without being tied to the keyboard, mouse or glide point. I have held off to date due to the cost of the program and my uncertainty as to whether it would work for my particular situation.
ABA Law Practice Today has an article by Rodney Dowell about a new version of Naturally Speaking that is particularly attuned to legal professionals. Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 Legal gets a thumbs up from Dowell, who was skeptical due to his questionable results with Version 9 Preferred. I haven’t used the program yet, so I cannot review it. But I can encourage you to hit the jump above, as Dowell puts a lot of detail into his review of this new and improved tool.
That law degree doesn’t come cheap. While Version 10 Preferred can be had for around the $150 range, Version 10 Legal ranges between $749 and $1,299. A key difference is the ability to dictate in Outlook and PowerPoint. The “legal” comes from the software coming pre-configured with legal vocabulary – nearly 30,000 legal terms – and the ability to format legal citations.
To summarize Dowell’s findings, here is his parting quote:
If you will only dictate in Word or WordPerfect buy Dragon Preferred. For me, however, the power of dictating to a computer lies in my ability to move across applications, work in Outlook and deal with e-mails, create macros and custom vocabularies, and the ability to create templates. This ability to broadly use the product across multiple applications is what makes the Dragon Legal edition a worthy purchase, especially at the lower price points.
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