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Why is Dragon so slow in Studio in my case?

I have been using Dragon for a while, but in all honesty I can't lay claim to any productivity gains and I'm purely using it to avoid RSI!

I'm aware of the incompatibilities/problems with DNS and Trados, but I can cope with those.

The main issue I'm having, is the speed (or lack of) of Dragon in Studio. Every time I dictate a segment, the little cursor whirls away, and I sit back and wait. I'm very aware that I could have typed the segment three times over in this time (I'm a very fast touch typist).

There is another problem, where in longer segments (I *think* this is what triggers it) I get the Trados "Index and length must refer to a location in the string" error message, a few characters in. This results in having to press Enter to OK the message, re-dictate the segment, and then go back and correct it, as there will be either an extra space or unwanted capital letter, where dictation was interrupted.

I have tested Dragon in other apps, and it works fine. I also use MemoQ and Across, both of which fare better. But Trados is my most used (and most favourite by far) tool.

I just wondered if anyone else had experienced anything similar? I am running SDL Trados Studio 2015 Freelance and DNS 13 on Windows 10, on a very fast and powerful Dell that experiences no performance issues anywhere else.

Grateful for all and any ideas!



6 Replies Latest Replies: 20 Aug 2016 1:40 PM by Michael Beijer < 1   2  >

6 Replies

  • Dragon is running very nicely (and fast) for me here, with Studio 2015 + Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13. However, I am getting an occasional error. Can't remember if it is the same one as you mentioned, but something pops up and forces me to manually delete it before I can continue.

    What are your PC specs? Your computer might not be fast enough, or you might not have enough RAM. It is also extremely helpful to have your C:\ drive on an SSD.

    My work computer (laptop):

    Windows 7 64-bit
    32GB RAM
    3x SSDs



  • In reply to Michael Beijer:

    Speak of the devil: I just now had the error again while trying to dictate into an empty segment:

  • Hi Francesca,

    Take a look at the Dragon Miscellaneous options (Tools->Options then the Miscellaneous tab), and see where you are on the "Speed vs. Accuracy" slider. If the slider is all the way to the right, i.e. "Most Accurate", then you might play around with a setting closer to "Fastest Response".

    Given that you have a "very fast and powerful Dell", this probably isn't the problem ... but maybe worth a try anyway.

    You might also want to look at the KnowBrainer forums (knowbrainer.com/.../index.cfm) to see whether DNS 13 operates properly on Windows 10. Nuance is already offering DNS 15 (actually Dragon Professional Individual 15) and I think I saw something about Windows 10 compatibility somewhere.

    Good luck!

    Bruce Campbell
    A S A P Language Services
  • Hi Michael and Bruce,

    Thank you both so much for your helpful responses.

    Michael my spec is identical to yours, without the SSDs. I'm not about to invest in that technology when I suffer no other performance issues in any other software.

    And yes, that is the exact error. Which led me to wonder, whether it's down to the fact that we have very fast setups, and therefore simply a case of Dragon being able to process speech, faster than Studio is able to cope with it.

    Bruce with a combination of your suggestion, and deleting a whole raft of redundant projects from Studio, I managed to fix the massive delays I was experiencing. So thank you very much! Thank you also for the link, it is extremely useful and I wasn't aware of that forum. The error message still appears occasionally, most often I find with a longer segment, and always at the start of a segment.

    So I was going along OK. Then yesterday I decided to upgrade to the latest DNS version (15) in the hope I might get a better response from the DNS/Studio combination. To my horror I have discovered that my delay problem is back, and that I have deleted my Studio projects down to those that are active only, yet the problem persists.

    The problem is definitely with Dragon, as it will start off fine after opening. Then, over (a very short period of) time, the performance issues begin. At this point, if I shut down Dragon and reopen it, I'm back to normal again.

    My experience with Dragon tells me, that the recognition logic is outstanding, however I don't so much trust the front end implementation of it. Even things like, I no know other way of shutting Dragon down, than right-clicking and exiting it?? This seems so odd. It has no close button, even? Am I missing something here?

    There is definitely something being held in DNS's memory that is accumulating and inducing the performance problems. At least I have found a workaround, but it is annoying. I feel that the interface software is letting down the incredibly strong and well-written heart of Dragon, i.e. the recognition and processing logic. It has seven(!) background processes running at all times, and one Windows process. What are all these, and can I shut any down? I note that, when uninstalling/reinstalling (as I have done a lot of lately, in attempting to fix my issues) Dragon is unable even to shut down its own services when it attempts to. It all seems a bit messy. I remain very jealous of those who report massive productivity gains, but I intend to carry on pursuing the same! :)

  • In reply to Francesca Collodo:

    Hi Francesca,

    I definitely feel your pain. I went through the uninstall/reinstall ritual repeatedly after installing DPI 14. I also asked Nuance support for help, but they were unable to identify the problem, even after working on it for months. After 6 months of trying anything and everything, I found out it was an intermittently defective microphone. (I discovered this by setting the microphone so that I could hear myself dictating.) Once I got a replacement from the manufacturer my problem with Dragon was solved.

    There are just so many possibilities for what could go wrong, it is a bit overwhelming ...

    As far as shutting down Dragon, people on the KnowBrainer forums also talk about the fact that the Dragon processes quite often fail to terminate when you "Exit" Dragon.

    When I want to shut down Dragon, I now generally try to close my profile first. There is so much talk in the KnowBrainer forums about damage to profiles that I just want to avoid all possibility of damaging my profile if I cannot terminate the program properly. After closing the profile, I watch the Windows Task Manager ("Processes" tab, sorted by "Description" to gather the Dragon processes together), and wait for the memory size of the "natspeak.exe" process to drop from half a gigabyte to around 70 to 90 megabytes. Note that if Studio is running, Dragon sometimes refuses to close the profile until I terminate Studio. (Also note that the Studio process can hang around in the background for a while before terminating, so I watch in Windows Task Manager to make sure the Studio process ends.)

    Once the profile is closed, I try to exit Dragon. Quite often, however, the Dragon processes simply do not terminate. I wait a while and then manually end the "natspeak.exe" process using the "End Process" button in Windows Task Manager. Usually this also closes the "dgnuiasvr" process after a short period. If it does not, then I manually terminate this process, too.

    Needless to say, during those 6 months I was looking for the problem I also repeatedly created new profiles. The intermittently defective microphone led to cumulative problems with the profile, causing performance to deteriorate.

    But Dragon runs so well now that I probably only exit the program once a week. I just turn the microphone off and let it run in the background until I need it again.

    I do, however, rarely dictate directly into Studio. It is just too frustrating to be unable to edit text without the full range of voice commands. (Dragon also does not learn if the "correct" commands are unavailable, so the same dictation mistakes occur ad infinitum.)

    I hope you find out what the problem is. Nuance support is actually very responsive and supportive. Since you have just installed DPI 15, I am sure you are still within the support period they offer for installation problems. Maybe they can help :-)

    Bruce Campbell
    A S A P Language Services
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