Dragon Naturally Speaking & Word & Movie Magic Screenwriter

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Dragon Naturally Speaking & Word & Movie Magic Screenwriter

Postby Fortean » Jun 11, 2012 10:58 am

About three weeks ago, I purchased the Home version of Dragon Naturally Speaking (11.5), during a sale, to see how it might work. I was wondering if I might be able to dictate a rough draft of a screenplay into Word 2007 and then import the rough draft into Movie Magic Screenwriter 6 for editing and formatting. I was a bit lazy and tried the program out first with MMSW6. I was surprised by the result, tho I still needed to use the keyboard and mouse to make it work.

In response to a thread at the Done Deal forums, I looked into the matter of Word templates that might be used for either typed input or dictation with voice commands.

A week ago, I succeeded in writing a brief screenplay using DNS and MMSW6, without using a keyboard or mouse, (other than to correct my errors). And, I tried out my Word template with DNS and succeeded in writing a brief screenplay, entirely by dictation and voice commands.

My aim has been to enable either keyboard or voice input, to produce a decent draft in Word 2007, which could be imported into MMSW6, and to demonstrate that input into MMSW6 can be done with only dictation and voice commands.

I have set up a Word template that utilizes the Function keys for the styles of screenplay elements: F3 for "Title / End", F4 for "Scene", F5 for "Shot", F6 for "Action", F8 for "Character", F9 for "Parenthetical, F10 for "Dialog", F11 for "Dialog (Lyrics)", and F12 for "Transitions". The margins were set to match those used for screenplays in MMSW6. I used "Courier New" as a Theme font, (which comes with Microsoft), which can be easily switched to another font, (such as Courier MM Screenwriter), for the body of the screenplay.

One does not "dictate" in the same way as to a secretary, as one is controlling the keyboard by voice commands and indicating how the screenplay is punctuated. If one already has MMSW6, one might type a screenplay, (much faster), but I am aiming at "hands-free" writing. I find that a "type Function (number)" voice command is more easily recognized than a "type Shift Control (letter)" voice command, (which could be used with MMSW6). Here is an example, of how I "dictated" the start of a brief screenplay:

"Type function three, Dragon, naturally, cap that, speaking, cap that, test, cap that, press enter. Type function four, fade in, colon, press enter. Type function four, spell i-n-t-period, [from a display of choices] choose one, office, dash, day, press enter. Type function six, Mr. X, comma, a mysterious, done, cap that, deal, cap that, member, comma, speaks into a headset in front of a computer console, period, press enter. Type function eight, Mr. X, press enter, [automatically goes to dialog], I am dictating into my computer with, dragon, cap that, naturally, cap that, speaking, cap that, comma, without using the keyboard or mouse to write this brief screenplay into, word, cap that, two, hyphen, thousand, hyphen, and, hyphen, seven, period, press enter. Type function six, on the computer monitor, comma, the words appear"....

Extensions, such as (V.O.), can be added, thus: "Type function eight, Mr. X, space, open paren, spell c-o-n-t-apostrophe-d, [from a display of choices] choose one, close paren, press enter," and the cursor goes directly into the next line for dialog, (which can be switched to a parenthetical by the command, "type function nine", (which after "press enter" goes to dialog).

The same template can be used for typed input. I saved the draft in Word, converted it into a plain text file, and copied it from Notepad into MMSW6. Apart from minor errors, easily fixed, the only problem was that MMSW6 wanted to put song lyrics into one continuous paragraph, (whereas Word let me break it apart, line by line). That, too, can be fixed in MMSW6, but this was just a test to see how these programs could work together.

If one has Word, the template can be used to mimic what one can produce with Movie Magic Screenwriter 6. If one has Word and Dragon Naturally Speaking, one can write a screenplay by typing or by voice input. If one has Word and MMSW6, the Word screenplay drafts can be imported into MMSW6. And, if one has DNS and MMSW6, one can choose either typing or dictating to write a screenplay.

Tho I have posted much of the above information at the Done Deal forum, I would add that I am trying to improve my Word template a bit further. For example, the F4 and F5 Function keys are really the same style, but the F5 Function key might instead be used by those wishing to use a "Series of Shots" with an additional indentation of the Shot element.

Also, I am considering the different margins that might be used on Metric A4 paper. The BBC format for screenplays is much the same as that used by MMSW6, but the paper is narrower and longer. If one uses similar margins for the same elements, I suppose that, (stripped from its pages via Notepad), one can easily import a "plain text" file of a screenplay into MMSW6. Thus, one could dictate or type a screenplay in Word 2007 (or Word 2010) with margins for A4 paper, then import the text more readily into MMSW6 for either its default screenplay template on Letter size paper, (8.5" by 11"), or onto a new MMSW6 screenplay template with margins for A4 paper. This may be handy for screenwriters who'd like the flexibility to correctly format and print their screenplays on either size paper, simply by changing the template in Word or MMSW6.

Letting you know, it works.

Published Writer
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Joined: Sep 12, 2010 1:40 pm

Re: Dragon Naturally Speaking & Word & Movie Magic Screenwri

Postby drutgat » Mar 19, 2014 9:53 am

Hi Fortean,
I was very interested in a 2012 post that you wrote here on the screenplay.com forum about using Movie Magic Screenwriter 6 with Dragon Naturally Speaking, and I was hoping to pick your brains a bit about this.

I have been trying to use MMS 6 with DNS 11 (in a Win XP environment), and cannot get any kind of dictation working.

Are there particular settings that you had to adjust in order to get the two programs to work with each other? Or, are there any suggestions that you can make about how to get the programs to work with each other? (By the way, DNS works perfectly on my computer with Word, and in Email, and on this forum - in fact,I am writing this message to you now using DNS).

I would like to avoid having to create a template in Word, and then import that and clean it up in MMS 6.

Looking forward to your reply,

Many thanks,


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