Nuance Dragon for Mac Medical 5 box

Dragon for Mac Medical v5: Setting The Stage

If you use Dragon® Dictate Medical for Mac® v3 or v4 for your healthcare documentation, you already know how much easier it is to fill out a patient encounter using your voice. Now, you have the opportunity to upgrade to a new version of Dragon with a new name: Dragon for Mac Medical v5.

In this article, we’re going to talk all about how this latest version compares to the previous one. But, before we do that, let’s set the stage for what we’re going to be discussing.

First of all, we’re talking about Dragon for Mac OS X—not the Windows® version of Dragon. If you’re looking for information on the latest version of Dragon for Windows, click here.

Second, if you would like to review some of the features of the previous version, Dragon Dictate Medical for Mac v4, click here. And, if you aren’t actually doing healthcare-related documentation, but you’re on a Mac, check out Dragon for Mac v5.


Dragon Upgrades And Updates


If you have Dragon Dictate for Mac v3 or v4, you can get a discount on v5 by purchasing an upgrade. And yes, the upgrade license does get you the full version of the program.

If you aren’t sure if you have version 3 or 4, click this link for instructions on how to find out.


If you already have Dragon for Mac Medical v5, you’ll want to get the latest update released since you installed it. Any bug fixes, improvements, and adjustments that Nuance has made to the application will be incorporated into Dragon, and you’ll be fully supported on the latest Mac OS operating system. And all for free.

Here’s how to get Dragon for Mac v5 updates.

Profiles And/Or Commands

If you have a profile from version 4 that you want to use in version 5, it should show up in your profile list automatically. You will need to run a brief upgrade on these profiles, which Dragon will prompt you to do so when you try to open them after installation.

If you don’t want to use your previous profile, but you have some custom Dragon commands that you want to keep, you can import them using these steps.

We Install Dragon for Mac Software

Why not let one of our expert Mac technicians install your Dragon software for you? Click the button to get started.

Dragon System Requirements

Now, let’s look at the specifications your Apple computer needs to meet in order for this version of Dragon to run successfully. All of this information can be found by following these instructions.

Operating System

Dragon for Mac Medical v5 cannot be installed on a tablet or a phone. It requires one of these three Mac OS X versions:

  • Mavericks OS X 10.9
  • Yosemite OS X 10.10
  • El Capitan OS X 10.11

If you have El Capitan, which is the latest version of the Mac OS, you need to be running at least version 5.0.1 of Dragon for Mac Medical. The chances are decent that you don’t have any updates installed, so be sure to check.


Nuance has announced that Dragon for Mac Medical v5 is now officially supported on Sierra OS X 10.12!


If you have a modern chipset, such as an i3 or i5, the thing to focus on here is clock speed. Nuance requires 2.4Ghz or higher.


If you have at least 4 GB, you’ll be fine. If you tend to have 3-4 applications open at once, or use Dragon heavily, 8 GB (or more) is advised.


You’ll need some free disc space, as the install files are quite large. Make sure your computer has at least 8 GB of hard drive storage space open—16 GB if you are installing from a download.


Dragon for Mac Medical v5 has full text control in MacPractice v5 notes fields. This means that you should be able to do everything Dragon can normally do in a text field. In other EHRs, Dragon will still transcribe your speech, but you may have limited functionality for selection, correction, etc.


Need Help Upgrading Dragon?

If you have already purchased Dragon for Mac Medical v5, why not let one of our technicians install it for you and provide training. Click below to purchase a service package, and then call us at 877-488-8280 to schedule an appointment with our next available technician.

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EULA Change

The EULA is the End User License Agreement—the document that spells out the legal details of using Dragon. In versions 3 and 4, the license agreement actually allowed you create profiles for more than one person. With this update, they’ve made a change to that provision.

  • You now need a license for every person who wants to dictate live (front-end dictation).
  • You can still transcribe recorded files for as many people as you need to on one license. Because of the change to front-end dictation policy, we have confirmed this with Nuance customer support.


Compared to Non-Medical

Aside from medical vocabularies, HIPAA issues, and EHR support, there are two other areas where Dragon for Mac Medical v5 differs from the non-medical edition:

  • For reasons related to HIPAA, you cannot use Dragon commands to post on social media.
  • Dragon Anywhere is not supported.


Dragon for Mac Medical: Version 5 vs Version 4

Now that we’ve reviewed some of the peripherals, let’s look at the major differences you’ll find in Dragon for Mac Medical 5 (compared to the previous version):

  • It is 15% more accurate than v4, and 35% more accurate than v3. That’s a pretty significant leap—roughly a 1-in-7 improvement.
  • They’ve added new terms to the medical vocabularies, which represent 90+ healthcare disciplines. Note: there were the same number of vocabularies in the previous version.
  • They removed the American – Inland Northern accent and added American – Teens.
  • There is increased speech recognition accuracy using the built-in microphone. If you prefer this method of dictation, it just got a little more viable.
  • Version 5 provides better speech recognition accuracy for these accents: Canadian, SE Asian, Indian, and Australian English.
  • You can now use Microsoft Word to transcribe recordings. This means your output can be set to either .DOC or .RTF, and you can edit documents without having to cut and paste. This is a definite improvement over using the TextEdit application in version 4.
  • Version 5 supports both Microsoft Word 2016 and Word 2011, whereas version 4 only supported the latter. If you have a newer computer, or like to stay up-to-date, this is an important factor for your documentation environment.
  • You can now install from either a download or a USB stick. That means that if you don’t have a DVD drive, you aren’t limited to just downloading the application. And if you do, USB is definitely faster than using a disc.
  • You can configure v5 to start when you boot your computer, and it’s able to stay open until you reboot. This helps incorporate Dragon for Mac Medical v5 into your workflow even more seamlessly.*
  • There is no more Express Editor. You’ll now use the DragonPad if you need to dictate into a field that doesn’t support full-text control.**
  • Version 5 incorporates some big changes to the Status Window and the Menu Bar. This makes it easier to find things like the Correction Menu, to change profiles, or to configure your Dragon settings.
  • The transcription process has been reworked, with more user guidance and the same remodel that other parts of the application have received. See Transcription Mode for more.
  • Text macros have been changed to auto-texts, and are generally easier to create, organize, and use. See Text Macros for more.
  • You have the ability to use voice commands to do what Nuance calls “menu walking.” This means that you can access any menu functions by speaking.

*Go to Preferences > General and then check “Launch Dragon at Startup.”

**Use the command “Show Dragon Pad” to open it.


If You Want to Know More

That’s it for now. Granted, we could go into further detail, but there’s a limit to how much you can take in at once. Hopefully, though, you got enough information to take your next step. We want to leave you with two things.

Free Dragon Resources:

A Bonus:

We’ve created a free Dragon command that will allow you to visit our site again by saying the phrase “Dragon support.”

Sign Up for Training

Learn how to use Dragon with your EHR

If you’re totally new to the Dragon for Mac experience, or just need a little assistance with a few key functions, why not sign up for some training? We’d love to show you how the application works, and help you figure out exactly what you need to be effective—whether that involves a broad overview or the development of a specific Dragon skill.