The disadvantage: Talking to a computer is significantly slower than typing, at least for me. At a guess, as I write this, I am speaking perhaps 25 words a minute, compared with a typing rate of twice that. Nuance promises that, with use, eventually we will learn to dictate much faster, perhaps as fast as 140 words per minute, a rate matched only by world-class typists. As a beginner, I am much slower,­ and, of course, that is a frustration
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For people with physical problems, however, NaturallySpeaking is a first-rate solution. And for anybody who is tired of hunting and pecking at a keyboard, this software is well worth a try.

List price for Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9 Professional, the version tested, is about $750. Cheaper­ versions — even under $100 — are available, as are low-cost upgrade licenses for prior users. For more information, go to www.nuance.com/­naturallyspeaking/preferred.