Railway Preservation News

OT - Nuance Dragon Software for Document Archiving
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Author:  PCook [ Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:23 pm ]
Post subject:  OT - Nuance Dragon Software for Document Archiving

I recently had the need to be able to reproduce and save in both print and digital format a large amount of very old technical information that had originally been printed in grayscale dot matrix type that was on paper in very deteriorated condition and proved very difficult to copy legibly. After trying a number of scanning and photographic methods, none of which produced very acceptable results, I resorted to using Nuance Dragon voice recognition software and just reading the information into the computer.

For the benefit of those who may be interested in this solution, the home edition (usually around $99) is on sale several times a year for about $50 which is a very minimal cost for the value it provides. It proved easy to install, works well, and records speech at relatively high speeds. Each document takes just a few minutes to read into the software, and the voice recognition accuracy is quite good.

The one problem I did encounter was that the microphone test did not compete correctly, although I was using the microphone provided with the software on a recent computer with a good audio system and correct mixer settings. After several tries came up unsuccessful, I decided to skip the test, and the software worked just fine without the test having been completed.

Our resident experts may have better solutions, but this software gets the job done quite well.


Author:  dinwitty [ Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: OT - Nuance Dragon Software for Document Archiving

thats a pretty cool idea, I would however go ahead and make the digital photocopy, then only thing thats going to happen is further deterioration without some preserving protection for it.

There are softwares to soften, sharpen, etc, but the old traditional fix, dot by dot paint fix.
I've done that plenty in my video days cleaning up scans, they just about were never perfect.
Its time consuming, but does the trick. This if you want to preserve the atual artifact document design.

Author:  PCook [ Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: OT - Nuance Dragon Software for Document Archiving

I am going to update this old discussion by mentioning that in the several years since it was posted, I am still using this software, and each time you use it the program updates the user voice recognition file. As a result the program gets better and more accurate with each session that you use it.

Over the same period of time my typing skills have diminished significantly, so I am really getting to appreciate this software much more now. It saves a substantial amount of time and effort compared to manually typing, especially when you are writing long paragraphs.

It is presently being used to caption about 450 photographs and I would estimate that the word recognition accuracy is now better than 99 percent, and in the few cases where it does "miss" the errors usually involve punctuation or the formatting of numbers.


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