If you're a Dragon Dictate user, you may be contemplating using a hand-held microphone with the program.  In addition to freeing yourself of the need to WEAR your microphone, one of the beauties of a hand-held microphone is the ability to program buttons to accomplish useful tasks, both with Dragon Dictate and with your computer in general. Unfortunately, the ability to program buttons to work with you Mac is not something that is provided with most microphones. 

We have found a free system utility called USB Overdrive that serves as a wonderful way to add programming to almost any USB microphone with your Mac. 

What can it do?  Among the functions you can program to a button are the following:
  • Click a mouse button
  • Press Key (emulates a keyboard key or key combination)
  • Type Character
  • Keyboard shortcut (a variety of standard keyboard shortcuts on the Mac)
  • System Control (volume up or down, eject, brightness, power key, etc.)
  • Launch application
  • Open file or folder
  • Open Pre-defined item
  • Open URL
  • Execute AppleScript
  • Execute iTunes Command

To learn more, please visit or see our own page showing how USB overdrive can be used with a Nuance/Dictaphone PowerMic II. at the following URL:

Windows User?  If you are looking for something similar to use with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, please check out Octopus USB Controller, a soon-to-be-released product from SpeechWare.  Once available, we will be posting information at the Octopus USB Controller section of this forum.

Jon W. Wahrenberger, MD
Speech Recognition Solutions

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