Dragon Express review

If you’ve used Dragon Dictate to transform speech into text, you’ll be impressed with Dragon Express, a light version of the application.
Once you’ve spoken into the program, you can transfer the resulting text to an application of your choice by clicking one of the window’s icons, or using keyboard shortcuts or voice commands. This works with either the front-most program or with one of a number of preset applications, such as Mail, Facebook or Twitter. You can also send the text to Google in your web browser, Spotlight or the clipboard.

Unfortunately, there’s no option to spell out words when the app can’t recognise them. Dragon Express does, however, allow you to train words; you can select words in the input window, right-click, and choose Train Selection. This will help with words you dictate often, but you won’t want to do this for every mistake the program makes.

While it’s tempting to compare Dragon Express to the more expensive Dragon Dictate (£179.99), the two seem to have been designed for different uses. The latter is for people who dictate for long periods of time, or who dictate frequently to specific applications. Dragon Express is for those people who need to dictate only occasionally.

The two programs do share the same recognition engine, and the results are similar if you use the same mic. Dragon Express says you can use your Mac’s internal mic, and in quiet environments, we were surprised by the quality of the recognition using that mic. However, once you get into a noisy environment, you need a better microphone.

OUR VERDICT

Dragon Express does exactly what it claims to do, and does it very well, at an affordable price. While its limitations will dissuade anyone who wants to perform lots of dictation, it provides a handy, easy-to-use way to dictate occasional texts and transfer them to other applications.

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