Dragon log file

What is the Dragon log file? How can I access it (I’m using Win 7 with DNS Pro 11) and how do I interpret what is in it? (If this happens to be something that one can’t really address in a posting because it would be too lengthy, is there a link to something that explains it?) Does VoicePower have a command that opens the Dragon log file for inspection? If not, specifically how would one create such a command?

As always, I deeply appreciate your expert advice! You have been an incredible resource!


The purpose of the Dragon log is to store all events relative to Dragon during a given session. It stores warnings, errors, initialization information, your hardware configuration, any specific events related to Dragon is functioning, yada yada yada.

Accessing the Dragon log is actually quite simple. If you click on the Start button | All Programs | Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11, in the drop-down list you will find an option for Show Dragon log (DNS 11). If you click on that option it will open Windows Explorer with the Dragon.log files highlighted. Simply double-click on that file and it will open in notepad.

The Dragon log is a standard ASCII/ANSI text file even though it has the extension*.log. The purpose of the Dragon log is for Dragon development and technical support. There is no information in the Dragon log that is designed for end-user consumption. Most of the entries are cryptic and referred to specific functions or events in the operation of Dragon NaturallySpeaking that are not easily understood or user-friendly. Some information is fairly straightforward, but most of it is not something the average user would understand. Also, teaching someone how to read the Dragon log would simply take far too long to teach. You’re better off in the long run, as far as interpreting the Dragon log, sending me a copy directly, unless you want to take a six-month long class to learn how to understand it. Not worth the time and effort. It’s better to learn from someone like myself explaining specific entries and what they mean that it is to try to learn how to read it yourself. In short, it’s a very complex technical log record of DNS functioning.

It isn’t necessary to create a command. The easiest thing to do would be to right-click and create a shortcut on your desktop and then simply use the standard DNS open commands to open up Windows Explorer. If you wanted to open the Dragon log in notepad directly, the best approach would be to create a step-by-step macro that simply goes to the Windows Explorer location of the Dragon log and then opens the Dragon log itself in notepad. Don’t waste a lot of time on trying to create a command for it. It’s easily accessible.

The Dragon log is a written record of what operations Dragon is performing, and what (if any) noteable events are occurring. Events recorded in the Dragon log include 1) when an utterance begins and ends 2) when the quality of your audio input drops 3) when there is an error among one or many of Dragon’s internal processes.

That’s a very vague explanation, but the Dragon log is a very cryptic document. It is written to be interpreted by Nuance engineers and support staff. It is not meant to be read or used by the average end users. Most end users who can read it have experience in developing the Dragon NaturallySpeaking product directly, or they are the users who are really good with the SDK. Most end users who can read it can only read parts of it, because much of it is proprietary language that can only be interpreted by current Nuance developers and support staff.

There is very little practical value in the average end user learning to interpret the Dragon log. The best we can hope for is that we can share a Dragon log with someone who has that development experience, and that person might be able to use that information to suggest likely fixes for a problem we might encounter. This is the same procedure that would happen if you, as an end user, were to call or e-mail Nuance technical support. With any problem that can’t be resolved by a simple step-by-step standard procedure, they will invariably ask you for a Dragon log.

I don’t think VoicePower contains a built in command to access the Dragon log, but it seems like it’d be fairly easy to access it using either a self-programming command, or just using VoicePower’s built in functionality to “bookmark” the Dragon log location. I’ve got Windows XP and Dragon 10 Pro in front of me, so in Windows XP the Dragon log is located in:

Start > Programs > Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10.x > Show Dragon Log

or more directly

C:Documents and Settings[yourusername]Application DataNuanceNaturallySpeaking10Dragon.log

In order to view it, you will need to change the extension from Dragon.log to Dragon.txt.

I hope this helps. I don’t have the Windows 7 location memorized, but the procedure will be very similar. Surely there are others on this forum who can provide additional insight into the purpose of the Dragon log, and walking you through accessing it with VoicePower…

…but again, the first rule of creating a custom command is “Why am I doing this?” Ask yourself what you hope to gain by creating the command, and whether or not the time spent creating the command is worth the benefit you will realize from it. Granted, the barrier to entry for creating commands in VoicePower is MUCH lower than in Dragon 10 Pro, so it shouldn’t take long to do… but that said, it’s probably not worth doing at all.

In my 2+ years of using Dragon daily, I’ve only recently had an occassion where someone’s interpretation of the Dragon log might shed some light on what’s going on. (I am one who is experiencing the DNS 11 “latency issues”). But there again, that is such a complex and evasive issue that it never occurs when I’m actually thinking about wanting to capture it in the Dragon log. It’s like bloodthirsty NASCAR fans say: a watched car never crashes.

Edit: or “what Chuck said!”

ewaccess2010-12-20 12:23:20

Thanks for all of your help on this! There is just so much “under the hood” of DNS… It’s great to have a forum like this to ask and receive assistance on various things.