There are two things missing from the Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 Premium version – the ability to transcribe files, and being able to create custom commands. You can still do the commands that end up with a snippet of text being pasted, however there doesn’t seem to be away to set up commands that would launch scripts or programs.

However there is a little cheat you can use to achieve this behaviour without upgrading to the massively more expensive Professional version. So if you want to be able to open Adobe Photoshop just by saying “open Photoshop”, instead of “open Adobe Photoshop CS6 (x64)” (yeah, I have too many software versions installed and DNS often gets confused…) or fiddling with menus then follow these simple steps.

Essentially Dragon will allow you to open any kind of link that is placed in the Windows Start Menu. And it can even be located in a subfolder, so you can have all your Dragon fake links in one place.

Here’s a quick guide how to find and access the start menu folder on Windows 8.

The best part is these don’t have to be applications, they can be shortcuts to anything – your own scripts, website bookmarks or whatever you need a short and handy name for. I actually bookmarked a page from Asana (project management tool I use) with my VA’s tasks, so I can just say “open Mark’s schedule” to see what he’s got planned for the coming days.

Over to you, have you got any handy tips for using Dragon Naturally Speaking?