After a while you more or less get used to the trials and tribulations of “typing” with voice recognition software. My particular beast is Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Tonight I managed to waste a chunk of time with it, though. I was shuffling some papers around on my desk (and mayhaps breathing too loudly), and I glanced back to the screen to see a bunch of gobbly gook along with those little paragraph and indentation symbols showing. I started hitting ctrl-z (undo), and it seemed to be taking forever, so I just closed the file (I hadn’t typed anything intentionally yet). Then when I went back to open the file, low and behold, the paragraph and indent symbols were still there, littering my screen like a bowl of spilt popcorn on a freshly vacuumed rug.
After spending about 5 minutes poking through my menus and trying to figure out what command would terminate them, I resorted to searching through MS Word’s help file. An exercise in futility. I found nothing about the symbols, much less how to turn them off. I finally resorted to the web. Eventually I discovered you can turn off these obnoxious arrows and paragraph signs by typing CTRL-* (How Dragon “heard” Control Asterisk from me shuffling papers and breathing, I don’t know). Total wasted time? 12 minutes. And then another 10 to complain about it in a certain blog. 🙂
The lesson of this late night rant? When using Dragon NaturallySpeaking, always always use the “stop listening” command when you’re going to pause in your work, shuffle papers, or otherwise breathe vigorously.