Learning About Dragon Commands
In this article, I’m going to cover the basics of DMPE 2’s custom command functionality. Please note that this edition of Dragon Medical is only available on the Windows platform.
As you may or may not know, Dragon features four powerful ways to pair your voice and a key command phrase. In order of complexity, these commands are: text-and-graphics, macro recorder, step-by-step, and advanced scripting. While we won’t touch on scripting today—because it involves actual coding—I wanted to take a minute or two to help you understand how the other three work.
This is Dragon’s way of saying “templates.” A text-and-graphics macro comprises just that: text and graphics. Not only is it the simplest of Dragon’s commands, but also the one you are likely to use most often. Please note that I use the words “macro” and “command” interchangeably.
Essentially, if you can put it into a Word document, you can put it into a text-and-graphics macro. While there may be some formatting issues—depending on the complexity of your template—all you really need to do is decide what images and/or text you’d like to appear when you speak your command phrase.
There are two basic ways to make one of these commands:
1. Select some text and/or graphics. Say “Make that a command.” The MyCommands Editor will pop up. Give your command a title and save it.
2. In the DragonBar, click Tools > Add New Command. Copy the text and/or graphics that you want into the Content field of the MyCommands Editor. Give the command a title and click “Save.”
Then, when you’re ready to call forth the text and/or graphics you preselected, speak the command name. Your content will appear in the field or document where you have your cursor focused.
The macro recorder is a tool that allows Dragon to follow your mouse movement and to replicate any clicks or keystrokes you might make. So for complex operations, it actually simplifies things quite a bit.
But, as a client and I discovered while automating something, it is context-ignorant. It doesn’t care what program you’re in. The macro recorder is going to duplicate your keyboard and mouse actions, not your environment.
To create a command using the recorder:
- Go to Tools > Add New Command.
- Change the Command Type to “Macro Recorder.”
- Press the “Record” button.
- The recorder will follow your mouse and keyboard actions. Press stop when you’re done.
- Review the actions you recorded by pressing the triangular play button on the small Recorder window at the bottom of your screen. Simply moving the mouse around, with no clicks or keystrokes, will not generate a recording.
- Close the Recorder window. This will take you back to the MyCommands Editor screen. In the Actions field, you can see everything that the recorder is programmed to do. You may review it again by pressing “Play,” or make edits and deletions as needed.
Remember, this command is going to move, click, and press keys whenever—and wherever—you call it. You may need to do some experimentation to get the desired results.
Ready to Take Command?
If you’d like to learn more about Dragon commands, or have one of our technicians create commands for you, click the button below. Once you purchase a technical services membership, you can call us at 877-488-8280, or schedule an appointment that works for you.Get Dragon Support
Welcome to our final port of call on this outing.
The step-by-step command is, in some ways, an attempt to simplify the programming of a series of actions. While some will find the module easy to use and self-explanatory, some will not. Nevertheless, the concept is important to grasp.
Essentially, you will use this command to tell Dragon to perform a specific action: some keystroke, typing of text, opening of an application, etc. Almost anything but mouse clicks. Choose whatever action you need first, and then follow it up with whatever you want to come next. The sequence proceeds from the top down, performing the actions you specified in order, step-by-step. Hence the name.
Here’s how to create a step-by-step command in DMPE 2:
- Just as before, click Tools > Add New Command.
- Change the Command Type to “Step-by-Step.”
- To begin with, the Steps field will be blank. Click the New Step dropdown menu and select the first action you’d like Dragon to execute. Then click “Insert.”
- For most steps you select, a window will open up with action-dependent configurations. Make the appropriate selections and click “OK.” For “Open (application),” unless you know what you’re doing, ignore the Arguments and Start in fields.
- Choose another action to follow the one before, insert it and continue.
To verify your work, make a list each of the actions you inserted, and then perform them yourself—in order to see what results you get. If they’re unsatisfactory, retrace your steps. Search for actions you might need to add or modify in order to yield a useful, well-engineered command.
Creating Your Own Dragon Commands
Hopefully, you were able to follow along and are now ready to start putting your custom command(s) together. This is the fun part.
Be sure to remember what each of the three types of commands does, so that you can use the best tool for the job…
- Text-and-graphics: Pastes words or pictures into a field when the command name is spoken
- Macro recorder: Follows the trail of your mouse, and repeats clicks and keystrokes
- Step-by-step: Reproduces a user-determined sequence of available actions
You’ll also want to keep a few general principles in mind …
- Choose command titles that you won’t accidentally use in the normal course of dictation. You want something that is easy to remember and won’t be confusing.
- Unless your profile is networked (roaming), or you’ve shared your macros with others, your commands are only available on the computer, and in the profile, where you created them.