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I've got some previously print published titles that I'm now able to self-publish. What I don't have are digital files for them--at least not the final edited versions. A friend recommended that I read them (using Dragon Naturally Speaking) into a Word file then take them from there to e. As three of the titles are novellas, I thought this might be a good thing to do instead of scanning. (But then I'm a techno-idiot, so what do I know.) I'd have to buy the program for a hundred bucks, of course...

So my question is: has anyone used Dragon for this purpose? And how well did it work out?
 

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I just did a quick search for scanners and there seem to be several quite adequate ones available for less than you suggest for Dragon NS.

When I wrote patent abstracts in the past I always scanned the documents and ran them through Optical Character Recognition software which dumped them out as word-processor files. If you are scanning a good copy like a book there shouldn't be too many errors to correct.

On the other hand I recently acquired a dictation machine (small, hand-held) which outputs mp3 files to the Dragon software on my computer. I found it relatively easy to train in a short time and I'm looking forward to trying it some more when I begin writing again after the Christmas/New Year break.

My choice would be the scanner with OCR because it takes a few seconds to scan a page but minutes to read it out loud. Either method will generate errors but I think the scan and OCR will give you more accurate punctuation.

Just my opinion - I hope you get more responses to help you decide.

PS if you scan - don't forget to exclude the page numbers and whichever method you use only input a chapter at a time because there's nothing worse than getting to page 99 out of 100 when there's a power outage.
 

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Peter Salisbury said:
I just did a quick search for scanners and there seem to be several quite adequate ones available for less than you suggest for Dragon NS.

When I wrote patent abstracts in the past I always scanned the documents and ran them through Optical Character Recognition software which dumped them out as word-processor files. If you are scanning a good copy like a book there shouldn't be too many errors to correct.

On the other hand I recently acquired a dictation machine (small, hand-held) which outputs mp3 files to the Dragon software on my computer. I found it relatively easy to train in a short time and I'm looking forward to trying it some more when I begin writing again after the Christmas/New Year break.

My choice would be the scanner with OCR because it takes a few seconds to scan a page but minutes to read it out loud. Either method will generate errors but I think the scan and OCR will give you more accurate punctuation.

Just my opinion - I hope you get more responses to help you decide.

PS if you scan - don't forget to exclude the page numbers and whichever method you use only input a chapter at a time because there's nothing worse than getting to page 99 out of 100 when there's a power outage.
Have them converted using 1 Dollar scan - it doesn't cost much, then use Adobe Acrobat-Pro to transcribe via OCR into a text file. I do this often when needing a digital copy of old clients' printed works. (http://1dollarscan.com) If you don't Have Acrobat Pro you can download a trial version.
 

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Do you have an iPhone? I was considering purchasing Dragon until I realized my iphone 4 has a dictation feature. Now I just open an email, dictate my story, then email it to myself. It's also great for those times when I am away from my computer when an idea hits me and I want to get it down before I forget it. So far, I have found the dictation feature on my phone to be pretty accurate. I have not had a lot of errors show up.

Edited to add: Apparently Windows 7 also has dictation built in. http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2010/12/22/there-is-free-speech-recognizing-software-built-into-windows-7-that-will-take-dictation/
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I just want to say thank you for your information--and some possible resources. I will check them out. I just thought because of the novella length, giving Dragon a try might be a good idea. Now I'm not so sure.  :-\ 

Again, thank you!
 

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If you use a newer Mac, there's a speech to text editor built in and it's amazingly accurate.  And it's free!  ;)
 
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