13 October 2020

Dictate your text

If all your work is done on the computer, and you make very long working days, you might end up with RSI. I first suffered from it during my PhD and it has been threatening ever since! And when I had to work at home, and only had a laptop there, things got bad again. I tried to sort things with hardware (chair, desk, keyboard, etc) and that meant things weren’t getting worse, but they weren’t getting better either.

When we record our lectures, the software provides subtitles; that gave me the idea to try the ‘dictate’ option of word. This is one of the first posts that I actually dictated to my computer rather than typing it myself! I must say, I like it. You still have to edit the text, because words doesn't seem to be able to do punctuation, and that's needed, but this does save me quite a lot of typing, and that helps my arms and shoulders. I think I’ll do more ‘typing’ like this!

It’s funny to see, though, that Panopto (which we use for recording lectures) replicates every ‘um’, but does have a try at punctuation. Word filters all the ‘ums’ out (or would I just 'um' more when I'm doing a lecture?), but makes everything one big sentence. Can these software developers get together and produce something that doesn’t do the ‘ums’ but does have punctuation? That would be fab!

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