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Using Dragon Naturally Speaking to access a website

19 September, 2018 by Jayshree Sharma

A world beyond the Keyboard! Until I met Alex, I couldn’t imagine using a computer without a keyboard.

Alex has a love for numbers and finding answers through data. We were studying economics at the same university. One day, I noticed this guy talking away to his computer and not really using the keyboard. It got me intrigued. As we became friends, I got to know that Alex had very little mobility in his arms and he was using his speech to control the computer!

Alex uses Dragon Naturally Speaking and he makes it feel so simple and easy, that I just had to learn it.

So, let’s explore how Dragon Naturally Speaking works on the Web.

Dragon Works with multiple browsers, for the purpose of this blog we will be working with Internet Explorer.

Whenever we launch a browser for the first time after installing Dragon NaturallySpeaking, a prompt appears stating to install Dragon Web Extension. It will enable Commands that allow you to click Web page elements, such as buttons and links, navigate as well as access all the content and functionalities.

Screenshot of "Enable Dragon in Internet Explorer" prompt.

Let’s start with opening the browser, to open the browser give the command Open Internet Explorer. Now that we have opened the browser, let’s go ahead and open a website and say the following commands:

  1. Go to the Address Bar.
  2. Dictate the Web address. (For example, www.barrierbreak.com)
  3. Go.

Now to navigate through the page, whether it is to a link, button or form controls, use the following commands

  • Tab – To navigate from one element to another
  • Click < link name > – To directly activate a link
  • Page Up or Page Down – To go up and down a page

Tip:
If the computer is idle for some time, Dragon will go to sleep, give the command “Wake up” and Dragon will be ready to go!

So want to have some fun, find a few more Dragon Voice Commands in the table below:

Commands Action
Go to sleep Enable sleep mode
Wake up Exits sleep mode and activates the microphone
Press enter Activates the element which currently has the focus
Open <Browser Name> Opens respective Web Browser
MouseGrid Dragon will overlay a grid on the screen
Backspace Gives the same result as pressing the Backspace key on the keyboard
Scroll Up/Scroll Down Scroll the current page up or down

Can we give mouse commands using Dragon? Yes, we can!

Let’s understand how Dragon uses a concept called the MouseGrid before we actually try it. The MouseGrid breaks up the screen into a transparent three-by-three grid over the screen with the sections numbered one through nine. Notice, that each grid has been assigned a number.

Screenshot of a webpage displaying three-by-three MouseGrid with the sections numbered one to nine.

Now let’s try the Mouse Grid, using the following commands:

  1. MouseGrid
  2. < Number of Grid > – Say the number you want to focus on

You can repeat the process as many times as you need. When the grid area becomes too small to display numbers, you will be able to click the required link or button.

Screenshot of webpage displaying a narrowed down MouseGrid with the sections numbered one to nine.

When the MouseGrid is enabled, we can use voice command “Click” to restrict the mouse movement and activate the element.

Using the MouseGrid, we can also access elements on a page that cannot be focused using the Tab command.

Navigating a web page using Mouse Grid is a tedious process but fun to perform!

Why don’t you give it a try and share your views on using speech recognition!

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