Dragon Outlook reading commands are flaky


Looking at the recognition history, it would appear that my commands are correctly recognised, however the results are unpredictable at best.
E.g. The following is a list of what the recognition history shows and what Outlook actually did:
message page down: preview scrolled down two pages
message page up: preview scrolled down to the bottom of the message
message page up: Outlook moved down three messages
Occasionally the ‘message page up/down’ command will do what it says on the tin, but more often than not the results seem to be a bit random.

MikeP2011-08-07 01:57:51


<p>First of all, what version of Microsoft Office (i.e., Microsoft Outlook) are you using<font face="Arial">?</font></p><font face="Arial">

</font><p>Second, are you talking about the preview pane or are you talking about the reading pane<font face="Arial">? </font></p><font face="Arial">
<p>Third, these are Outlook 2003 commands. If you're using Microsoft Outlook 2007 or 2010, these commands are not applicable. For Microsoft Outlook 27 or Microsoft Outlook 2010, try simply using page down/page up.</p> I also got the following from Ron::<div> </div><div><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">

</font><p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;" ="Msonormal"><font size="3"><font face="Calibri">VoicePower had this  command for years but we removed
the command because with DNS 11 (maybe 10), Nuance introduced their own Message
Page Down command. It would now be difficult to reintroduce a new VoicePower
command because we wouldn’t know what to call it  since the Dragon command
is a natural language command so you can say, “Message page down”, “View page
down” “message window down”, “Pane page down” and on and on and on.</font></font></font></p></div><edited><editID>Chucker</editID><editDate>2011-08-06 14:09:49</editDate></edited>

Hi Chuck/Ron,

I am using Office 2010, and I used this command because it’s listed in the VP Outlook commands (near end of section 3). If it would work consistently it would be really useful - I mean really useful.
So by your explanation it’s Dragon’s command that’s faulty, and indeed I tested it by shutting down VP and get the same erratic behaviour!
For what it’s worth, it is the reading pane: I receive too much email for my liking as is, and switching between panes or opening each message individually is just an extra step that the “message-page-up/down” commands avoid: I can stay in my message list, navigate to a message, read it, action it. I have my most common actions set up as ‘Quick Steps’, so I can just say “Click My ToDo” to file it in my TODO folder - where everything seems to pile up anyway, but that’s an entirely different issue more related to the component between chair and keyboard Smile
Edit: Changed thread title to reflect the real state of affairs…

MikeP2011-08-07 01:58:32


Again, the commands that you’re looking at “show Outlook commands” only apply to Microsoft Office 2003 (Microsoft Outlook 2003). Look at the small print in parentheses underneath the main header. If you want to see what commands for VoicePower are available in Microsoft Outlook 2010, then say “show Outlook 2010 commands”. Yes, the commands which you reference do show up in section 3. However, these are only applicable to Outlook 2003.
Also, and again, if you simply shift to the reading pane, page up and page down work just fine.

Hi Chuck,

You’re forgetting about one thing: The customer is always right, even when he’s wrong. Smile
After installation it runs through the configuration and asks which version of Office I’m using. Questions whether this could be detected aside, I naturally assumed that when I am specifically asked if I’m using Office 2010 that it would show commands for 2010.
Anyway, yes I do now see that unless I specifically say “2010” each time, the default behaviour is to show 2003 commands, regardless of what I’m running or what I configure it to. Not intuitive IMHO.
I know I can switch panes, but having to issue extra commands 20-30 times/day is a pain and it seemed such a nice command.
At least I discovered a bunch of new Outlook commands in the 2010 guide that I hadn’t seen before, so I’m happy on that count.

[QUOTE] Hi Chuck,
You're forgetting about one thing: The customer is always right, even when he's wrong.

After installation it runs through the configuration and asks which version of Office I'm using. Questions whether this could be detected aside, I naturally assumed that when I am specifically asked if I'm using Office 2010 that it would show commands for 2010. [/QUOTE]


I have never forgotten that the customer is always right, even when he or she is wrong. However, that principle applies to customer support and customer service. What I was trying to point out here is a simple fact, that being that each version of Microsoft Office is different, with the exception being that Microsoft Office 2007 in Microsoft Office 2010 a reasonably close to one another in terms of features and functions, as well as their interfaces. But, Microsoft Office 2003 is completely different from 2007/2010 and commands that work for 2003 are not applicable to 2007/2010 because of the differences in the design and user interface.

However as regards to the setup, identifying which version of Microsoft Office that you're using is for the purpose of ensuring that VoicePower works correctly for those versions of Microsoft Office when issuing and executing those commands specific to the detected version. It's also designed to tell you when Windows is not correctly identifying the installed version of Microsoft Office.

[QUOTE] Anyway, yes I do now see that unless I specifically say "2010" each time, the default behaviour is to show 2003 commands, regardless of what I'm running or what I configure it to. Not intuitive IMHO. [/QUOTE]

You bring up a good point. Perhaps we could make it more intuitive by adding a link to the "show Outlook commands" that takes you to a specific version of Outlook that you're using. It might also be possible to use the information in the setup could take you to the specific Outlook commands for your version of Outlook. We can certainly take those options under consideration for a future release of VoicePower and I will definitely pass them along to Ron for consideration. However, we need to be careful that whatever we do doesn't further exacerbate any potential confusion.

Software developers always work in the netherworld of the "Catch-22 syndrome". We are always damned if we do and damned if we don't. Even when we take a user's concerns to heart and make appropriate changes, we're always subject to someone not liking it. Just something that we have to live with. Take into consideration another quotation: You can please all the people some of the time, some of the people all the time, but you can't please all the people all the time. Regardless, we try to modify VoicePower in every way possible when someone makes a suggestion like yours. When you consider how far VoicePower has come as 1994, and if you were to go back to that point and look at it as it was then vs. as it is now, I think you would see just how much time and effort we put into making VoicePower more usable and more user-friendly. So, bear with us and we will find a way to accommodate your concerns.

On the other hand, it's important to take a look at what we don't want to do. For example, it would be significantly less intuitive if we were to combine all of the Outlook commands together. There's just too much information and it would be too easy for a user to become totally confused trying to figure out which commands apply to which version of Microsoft Office. So, we do have to separate them out in some way. The current method is the way that we have done so up to this point. On the other hand, as you get more used to VoicePower, you begin to understand that there are special commands that you can use to find information. For example, have you tried the "show command lists"? That command brings up a VoicePower help screen that shows you all of the lists of commands available to you in VoicePower and Dragon.

Another thing we don't want to do is to confuse the user by not specifically distinguishing between Dragon commands and VoicePower commands. We don't duplicate what Dragon can do by itself without VoicePower's help. Where Dragon functions perfectly well on its own, we leave well enough alone. The same applies to applications. The best way to put it is, If it ain't broke, don't fix it. In short, we do the best we can to try to render unto Dragon that which Dragon does well and render unto VoicePower that which Dragon doesn't do or doesn't do well. Even so, applications often change so quickly or change so radically that it's difficult to keep up. For example, we have a command in VoicePower for working in Microsoft Word that duplicates and overrides the new command in DNS 11.5 for "quote that". The result is that when you issue that command in Microsoft Word, our command takes precedence and doesn't give you the expected result. So, now we have to fix this by eliminating our command. Even so, there is a command that will give you the correct results in Microsoft Word, but it's not as straightforward and functional. Hence, the Catch-22 syndrome.

[QUOTE] I know I can switch panes, but having to issue extra commands 20-30 times/day is a pain and it seemed such a nice command. [/QUOTE]

Actually, you don't have to if all you want to do is to review the text in the reading pane for a specific e-mail. You can set up Microsoft Outlook to do this very simply, even though you do have to at least mouse click on the reading pane to use the page up or page down commands.

Switch to the View tab (Ribbon), click on the down arrow under Reading pane and click on options. Make sure there is a checkmark, it should be checked by default, in the "Single key reading using spacebar". If that option is checked and you are scrolling down through your e-mail messages in your inbox, or any other folder for that matter, all you have to do is to say "spacebar" and your message will scroll one page at a time without ever having to leave the focus on the e-mail message that you're reviewing. This is provided care of Dragon by virtue of Active Accessibility (Microsoft Active Accessibility - MSAA). Granted, in order to use page up and/or page down, you have to at least mouse click in the reading pane. However, this at least gives you the ability to scroll down through your messages by page without having to switch to the Reading pane. This is also automatically set by default in Microsoft Outlook 2007.

[QUOTE] At least I discovered a bunch of new Outlook commands in the 2010 guide that I hadn't seen before, so I'm happy on that count. [/QUOTE]

As you go through VoicePower you will discover much more. I suspect that you're being go to VoicePower there are a lot of commands that you are unaware of at present. I take issue become more familiar with what VoicePower can do, you'll begin to appreciate some of its features, some of which Dragon absolutely cannot do and never will be able to do without infringing on our patents. For example, if you haven't already done so, take a look at the copy and paste commands. These commands even let you copy and paste from a client window with the dictation box open. Try doing that with either the mouse and the keyboard or Dragon. Can't be done. Only with VoicePower, pardon the plug.

Chucker2011-08-07 13:34:57
<div>No, when <strong>he</strong> is wrong. It was a joke. The customer is me, I was wrong because I missed the '2003' small print. Maybe it's a case of that self-deprecating British humour irony stuff that doesn't always arrive as intended across the pond - even though I did add a smiley for good measure, so I do apologize if you took exception. </div><div> </div><div>However, regarding your other points: whilst I greatly appreciate the detailed explanation, I do disagree that you're trying please too many people or even just addressing 'my concerns' here. If a program asks what version it should be configured for, nobody should expect it to then go and show the instructions for a different version. </div><div>This is not just in the installation: saying "configure Voice Power" brings up the same options. OK, <em>technically speaking</em> it does say in the small print (see, I'm paying attention to it now <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" height="17" width="17" border="0" alt="Smile" title="Smile" />) that it's configuring the Voice Power <em>macros</em>, and thus not necessarily the <em>command help</em>. What I meant by intuitive is that it's a no-brainer (no pun about other Dragon add-ons intended here either) that the version should be consistent across the application once configured.</div><div> </div><div>That's the only point I was making, and the one where I believe that this customer is right. I wasn't saying it 's a bad product or anything like that - I do think it's great! </div><div> </div><div>Thanks for the tip on spacebar reading, that is an excellent alternative and does the job perfectly! And yes it's definitively an ongoing learning process of discovering the best ways to tame the Dragon and his/her accomplices.</div><div> </div>

Thanks for all this! I was having the exact same problem (or at least I thought it was a problemEmbarrassed) trying to get the “message” commands to work in Outlook 2007. Pressing the spacebar is a great alternative (You may have to say “press spacebar” instead of just “spacebar” although I was able to get it to work without saying “press”). If it doesn’t work for some reason, you can try going to this link for more instructions:


MikeP & rj,

This is just a quick heads up let both of you know that we have taken several suggestions and issues under advisement and have implemented your suggestions, which will be available in the next release (hopefully shortly).

Among other changes, we have implemented the following:

1. With the next release any time that you say "show Outlook commands" VoicePower will open the Outlook commands based on your current settings for Microsoft Office. Therefore, if your initial or reconfigured settings are for Microsoft Office 2010, saying "show Outlook commands" will bring up the Microsoft Outlook 2010 commands VoicePower help, or whatever your current configuration is for Microsoft Outlook as appropriate (i.e., Microsoft Outlook 2003, or 2007, or 2010). The same applies to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

2. We will also be introducing a new command that will work across all versions of Microsoft Office supported by DNS. That is, when you have Microsoft Outlook open and a specific e-mail message highlighted with the Reading pane open, you will be able to say "read/reading [pane] ".
Everyone will be sent a download link when the new release is available for download. We just wanted to give you a heads up that we have taken your suggestions seriously and implemented such.
<edited><editID>Chucker</editID><editDate>2011-08-13 13:18:23</editDate></edited>