Thursday, September 2, 2010

3 Methods For Manually Adding Custom Words To The DNS Vocabulary: Single Word, List Of Words, Document Of Writing Samples

Note: This article applies to version 10.1 of Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking (DNS) has a very large dictionary of words that it uses to translate what you say into the text that appears on the screen. To improve performance, only a portion of the dictionary is stored in memory while you run DNS; this is called the "active vocabulary." The entire vocabulary is kept on disk in what is called the "backup dictionary."
If DNS has not recognized a word that you've dictated, it may be because the word is not in the active vocabulary. But the word could be in the backup dictionary. In my previous blog post entitled Controversy re. Unselecting "Automatically add words to the vocabulary" Option in Dragon NaturallySpeaking, I explained how you can have these words added to the active vocabulary automatically. To review, here are the steps:
  • enable the "Automatically add words to the vocabulary" option (DragonBar -> Tools menu -> Options menu item -> Correction tab)
  • because the word isn't in the active dictionary, DNS won't recognize it when you dictate it -- it will display something else, so correct the word you dictated: say "Select <word>", "Correct That", and then spell the word in the Spell dialog box
  • save your user files for this change to take place permanently (this happens when you exit from Dragon, either automatically or you are prompted).
However, some specialized words, names, acronyms, and abbreviations you use may not be in the backup dictionary. In this case, you must add them to your active vocabulary manually. DNS defines "custom words" as the words that are in your active vocabulary but are not in the backup dictionary. So the purpose of this blog post is to explain how to add custom words to your vocabulary manually. You can add a single word at a time, add multiple words in a list or have DNS analyze samples of your writing.
Adding a single word is good for those occasions when you anticipate that you'll be using a word that won't be found in the backup dictionary. Note that you can also add phrases: adding "multi-words" such as names of people, places, products or institutions can help DNS resolve spelling and capitalization ambiguities.
Adding multiple words in list form is more efficient than adding a single word at a time. Use this method when you plan to start dictating a lot of specialized vocabulary that is new for you e.g. at the beginning of a course in a new discipline. You can use Kurzweil 3000 to scan textbook glossaries and edit them so they are in list format appropriate for this method.
There are two benefits to having DNS analyze a sample of your writing. First, words that aren't in the backup dictionary will be added to the active vocabulary as custom words. Second, the language model will be updated to reflect your writing style. This means that DNS learns which words are used with what frequency, and what words appear near each other. This will allow DNS to better guess between words you dictate that sound alike.

Add Word

To add a single word or phrase:
  • open the Vocabulary Editor: say "Edit Vocabulary" or click DragonBar -> Words menu -> View/Edit menu item
  • type the Written Form, Spoken Form (if different), then click the Add button
    • e.g. written forms only: "Nickle Arts Museum", "TELUS"
    • e.g. written and spoken form: written form = "tauscher@example.com"; spoken form = "my email address" (so when I dictate the phrase "my email address", the text "tauscher@example.com" is displayed).
There is an excellent tutorial on the Vocabulary Editor on pages 8-12 of the DNS End-User Workbook.

Add List Of Words

To add multiple words, prepare a list of words and phrases as follows:
  • create a document in a word processor that will allow you to save it as a plain text (.txt) file
  • put each word/phrase on a separate line
    • ensure everything is spelled, capitialized and spaced correctly
    • to include a spoken form, follow the written form with a backslash, then the spoken form e.g. tauscher@example.com\my email address
  • save the document as a plain text (.txt) file; close it
  • Say "Import custom words" or on the DragonBar, click Words, Import
  • check the "Preview the list of unknown words" checkbox; click Next
  • on the Add Word Lists dialog box, click the Add File button; browse to the .txt file you created and click Open; click the Next button
  • on the File Analysis dialog box, click Next
  • on the Add Words to Vocabulary dialog box, review the list of new words that will be added to your vocabulary; uncheck any you decide not to add, click Edit if you wish to change both the written and enter a different spoken form of the selected word, then click Next to add the words
  • on the Train Words dialog box, check the words you wish to train and click Train; you will be prompted to speak each word/phrase
  • click Next to view the summary of how many new words were added to your vocabulary; click Finish.
See pages 14-15 of the DNS End-User Workbook for a tutorial on this topic.

Add Words From Document

To have DNS analyze a sample of your writing so that its language model will reflect your writing style (i.e. learn frequency information including which words are used with what frequency, and what words appear near each other -- this will allow DNS to better guess between words that sound alike):
  • create a document in a word processor that will allow you to save it as a plain text (.txt) file
  • paste into the document previously written material that contains the text you are likely to dictate
  • remove all formatting (the plain text file format will facilitate this) and separate each paragraph by a blank line
  • ensure that the punctuation is correct
  • spell check the document
  • save the document as a plain text (.txt) file; close it
  • say "Add words from documents" or on the DragonBar, click Accuracy Center, then click or say "Add words from your documents to the vocabulary."
  • check all 4 of the checkboxes (though you may wish to uncheck "Find known words with unknown capitalization"); click Next
  • on the Add Documents dialog box, click the Add Document button; browse to the .txt file you created and click Open; click the Next button
  • on the Document Analysis dialog box, click Next
  • on the Add Words to Vocabulary dialog box, review the list of new words that will be added to your vocabulary; uncheck any you decide not to add (e.g. common words that are capitalized), click Edit if you wish to change both the written and enter a different spoken form of the selected word, then click Next to add the words
  • on the Train Words dialog box, check the words you wish to train and click Train; you will be prompted to speak each word/phrase
  • click Next to have DNS adapt to your writing style
  • click Next to view the summary of how many new words were added to your vocabulary; click Finish.
See pages 16-18 of the DNS End-User Workbook for a tutorial on this topic.
Note: Be sure to save your user files after adding new words or the new words will not be saved.
Also, keep a copy of any word lists or documents that you import as you may want to repeat this process should you ever create a new user profile.

No comments:

Post a Comment