Dragon Naturally Speaking

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Application Details:

Version: 12.5
License: Retail
Votes: Marked as obsolete
Latest Rating: Silver
Latest Wine Version Tested: 6.0-staging

Maintainers: About Maintainership

Test Results

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The test results you have selected are very old and may not represent the current state of Wine.
Selected Test Results

What works

NatSpeak is finicky, and people who like it best have fast computers with at least 8MB ram, good sound systems, and don't run many other applications while they are using it. 

Installation instructions:

Install winbind. Activate 32-bit registries. Create a 32-bit wineprefix. (NatSpeak "runs on" 64-bit systems, but the underlying program is 32-bit.)

If you do not use pulseaudio, set winetricks sound=alsa. 

NatSpeak's built-in word processor (DragonPad) has limited functionality, saves to RTF as a default, and usually crashes, but if you want to try using it do the following:
winecfg - under Libraries, set mscoree to (native, built-in)

You are ready to install. 

Installation goes smoothly. When installing I uncheck any options that do not impact functionality, including automatic updates and the like. 
Training goes well. I skip training myself, but most users do it, and it works fine.
When I open the program for the first time, a help box and a sidebar open up. I close them permanently. 
And I am ready to go! 

What does not

Text recognition only inputs directly into other programs running in wine. This is correct functionality, not a bug. 


Use NatSpeak's Dictation Box for unsupported applications.

To activate The Dictation Box opens anywhere. And if you check the box "keep text in buffer" you can say "Transfer this" and then use CTL-v to paste text anywhere. 

What was not tested

The program has a lot of function that is extraneous to its core mission. I have only tested to find if speech recognition works quickly and accurately, and that the program doesn't crash much. 

Hardware tested


  • GPU: Intel
  • Driver: open source

Additional Comments

(1) Linux's support of USB sound devices is patchy. Everyone says use a USB sound device, but I have bought a couple of very expensive USB microphones "guaranteed" to give perfect sound with NatSpeak, and find that just using the computer's included sound system works best. If you want a headset, try plugging it in to the microphone jack. 
(2) Insiders know that NatSpeak's user profiles degrade after a while. Save yours sparingly. This is true when running on Windows also. 
(3) Speak in a normal tone of voice. Don't think you can mutter quietly into any microphone and get good recognition. 

selected in Test Results table below
Operating systemTest dateWine versionInstalls?Runs?Used
ShowGentoo Linux x86_64Jan 27 20216.0-stagingYes Yes NoSilverSusan Cragin 
CurrentDebian GNU/Linux 9.x "Stretch" x86_64Oct 12 20183.0.2Yes Yes YesSilverSusan Cragin 
ShowUbuntu 14.10 "Utopic" i386 (+ variants like Kubuntu)May 23 20141.7.19Yes Yes SilverSusan Cragin 
ShowLinux Mint 17 "Qiana" x86_64Jul 29 20141.6.2Yes No GarbageJay Starkman 
ShowUbuntu 13.10 "Saucy" amd64 (+ variants like Kubuntu)Nov 20 20131.7.4Yes Yes SilverSusan Cragin 

Known Bugs

Bug # Description Status Resolution Other apps affected

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HowTo / Notes

DNS 12.5 now can run on a 64-bit wineprefix

As of wine 3.6(staging), and possibly earlier, NatSpeak 12.5 installs and runs under a 64-bit wineprefix. 

I installed it on 28-Apr-2018 and the only special concession I made to the wineprefix was to uninstall mono. Installing dotnet 40 with winetricks also works. Both optiions tell the program that an inadequate version of net is installed, and prompt the program to install its own. 

After the installation, it says you have to reboot. I kill wineserver at the terminal and then start the installation process over. It does, bypassing the net installation. 

All in all, NatSpeak works wonderfully now, and version 12.5 is very accurate and the latest low-end (and cheap) version to work well.  

Application should not be marked obsolete

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12.5 is actually not obsolete, since many people still use it, and it was the last Dragon Naturally Speaking to run well on wine. 

Versions 13 and 15, both newer, cannot be installed. 

12.5 can be installed. However, it no longer runs. A bug crops up after you have created a user profile, and before you first use it. 

So there is no working version of Dragon Naturally Speaking right now. 

I last tested 12.5 with wine-4.3 (Staging) and it does not run. 


The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. WineHQ is not responsible for what they say.

Windows XP seems to be needed
by Dagaz on Monday March 8th 2021, 11:01
I followed the instructions from Susan Cragin (wine ver. 6.0 staging) in 6.3 staging.

For me it was necessary to set the Windows Version to "Windows XP" with winecfg.