If you have to use a computer for word processing on a regular basis, have to spend much time typing longer texts, are not good at typing or have repetitive strain injury or other kind of inflammation that hamper your work – then a good speech-recognition programme could significantly ease your suffering!
Because of an inflamed shoulder, which was aggravated by keyboard-typing, I was forced to look such programmes if I was to continue using my computer in the most productive way.
After some researching it appears that Dragon Dictate for the Mac, and NaturallySpeaking for the PC, are the best products on the market.
I have been using Dragon Dictate now for about a year, and it has become integral in my workflow. It converts speech into text amazingly fast, and can also be used for all the typical commands in the popular Mac applications, as well as globally for many programmes. There is also a fair amount of programming flexibility for new commands. It can also be used for different languages! Although it is very capable “out of the box", it does require training to get used to an individual's voice. The bulk of this training is accomplished with some short exercises, but it is to be expected that the process will continue for some time on a lower level until an optimal result is achieved.
Despite this investment of time, it has aided me massively in avoiding further physical strain, and has speeded up the writing process considerably.
I have heard that NaturallySpeaking is even better on the commands side of things!