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This post applies to users of Dragon Professional Individual & Dragon Medical Practice Edition (not Dragon Medical One).

This post has been inspired by a client I saw yesterday, who thought it prudent for me to discuss this topic via our blog. Thank you!

When I began teaching doctors and lawyers in the effective use of Dragon over 10 years ago, I was quite emphatic about the adverse repercussions of using someone else’s Dragon profile (for the profile’s user). After several years of be given the “Why would I do that or allow someone to use MY profile” expression, I barely mentioned this any longer. However, it is a topic still worth exploring, as I was taught yesterday by one of my clients.

My client informed me yesterday that his profile hasn’t been as accurate since a co-worker started using his profile. I was, admittedly, gobsmacked by this admission and took a few moments to compose myself before kindly informing my client that there was definitely an association there; he was most correct.

So… why NOT use someone else’s profile, and how to correct this unfortunate situation…

Why NOT Use Someone Else’s Dragon User Profile

The main reason to not use someone else’s Dragon profile is that their profile will likely decline in accuracy and therefore become increasingly unusable or at the very least frustrating for the owner of the profile. Even if it appears that the profile is mostly accurate for the “new user”, this will only result in poorer recognition for the original user.

The entire goal of using Dragon is to achieve as close to 100% accuracy as possible and improve efficiencies in every conceivable aspect of computer use. In other words — get more done faster. Struggling with a declining user profile is not efficient.

Options for Correcting a Hijacked User Profile

The original user can create an entirely new profile, transferring over custom commands and word lists, but first try repairing the damage:

  • Run an audio check (this may be done with some regularity already depending on various reasons).
  • Train the user profile further.
  • Use the Add Words from Documents feature with 20 or more documents.
  • Retrain words that have become particularly cumbersome.

How to Use Someone Else’s Profile

You can use someone else’s user profile without adversely affecting their profile. However, there really is no need to do this unless you are a Dragon support individual (such as ourselves) performing trouble-shooting.

Every user must have their own license of Dragon and their own profile. You cannot gauge accuracy or effectiveness by using someone else’s profile. But I do understand some people like to “try” with an existing user belonging to someone else.

If you do wish to use someone else’s user profile to simply play about for a minute, DO NOT save the user profile at the end of the session, and DO NOT modify the vocabulary with any of the vocabulary enhancement features.

And in case this is unclear, more than one profile can reside on any computer — just make sure you choose the correct profile (yours) after you start Dragon.