Thunderbird 3 RC 2 with Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10

I am happy to report that nothing really got broken in trying to use Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 with Mozilla Thunderbird 3 RC 2. The toolbar buttons and menus are still accessible, and my custom buttons are still there, though I had to put them back again. Dragon’s Thunderbird 2 commands, like “next/previous message” and “write mail,” still work. Don’t be alarmed if the File, etc. menu is grayed out — you can still access it, as well as the submenus.

Please note, however, that you will need to use the Mouse Grid commands and Tab and Enter to get around the box and buttons for Tools — Options. They seem to have gone the route of Firefox 3, that way. Oh well.

The newest thing about it is the tabbed interface. When you highlight a message and click Read (if you have the button), your message will only open in a new window. But if you say “press Enter,” Thunderbird will open the message in a new tab. As with Firefox, you can speak a word in the tab — like “Inbox” — and Dragon will click the tab. EDIT: I may have spoken too soon. The only tab that Dragon will click is the 1st one, the main one — Inbox, or Sent, or whatever folder your messages are in. To navigate around any other tabs, you will have to use the “press Control <number>” command.

The “close tab” command doesn’t transfer, because Dragon obviously couldn’t apply that to Thunderbird 2. So you have to say “press Control W.” This is where Vocola or another add-on program might come in handy.

Another thing I like about Thunderbird 3 is that there seem to be more buttons included. A few I don’t remember seeing are Reply to List, Archive, and Restart. One of those may be a custom button I forgot about, but I don’t think so. There are also better keyboard shortcuts in Thunderbird’s menus to begin with, so that even if you don’t have a button, you can make a command if you have an add-on program.

Speaking of buttons, there are now automatically included buttons in each e-mail you open. Rather than putting the Delete, Reply, and other like buttons up in the toolbar, Thunderbird has put them above the message, by the subject and recipient lines. (If you use Skip Trash rather than Delete, you will still have to put the Skip button up in the toolbar. You can’t put it within the message.)

One thing I do want to mention is that if you’re using the custom Read button, you want to say “click to select columns to display,” and then uncheck “read.” If you don’t do that, then your Read button won’t work, because Dragon will click the tiny button labeled “click to sort by Read” instead of opening your highlighted message.

Another thing I want to mention is that there is still no total select and say support, but you can still dictate reasonably into a message field — though to be on the safe side, as with anything, you might want to dictate into your word processor or the dictation box first.

I haven’t tried any more add-ons yet, but will report when I do, and when I’ve had more of a chance to use the program. But for now it’s pretty cool. 🙂

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8 Responses to Thunderbird 3 RC 2 with Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10

  1. nice article ! wrote well, thanks !

    here are some new features explained of Thunderbird 3.0:

  2. hand2mouth says:


  3. I wonder if anyone else has this propblem, using Dragon 10.1 with Thunderbird 3 on a Win7 X64 PC:

    Thunderbird works pretty well, except that every 5-6 words, it will double-type a letter in the word. So I end up with a sentence that looks like this:

    We do have ongoing monittoring services avaailable, but they are not required in ordeer to retain your rankinngs.

    Dragon’s tech support answers by saying the only email they claim compatibility with it Outlook Express. Not a very satisfying answer, and one that is belied by their web site which claims Dragon9 IS compatible with Thunderbird. Do you know anything about this or a possible solution?

  4. hand2mouth says:

    Good question. I dictated this reply in a Thunderbird window (using Dragon 10 on XP SP 3), then copied and pasted it here to test what you were saying. I haven’t had your problem with the double letters, but it’s possible it could be another compliance issue. It’s actually up to Mozilla now — Nuance can only support Thunderbird as far as Thunderbird’s developers use accessible components. That’s why we can use the buttons. And Dragon has a few Thunderbird commands because they’re accessible by keyboard, which Dragon can imitate. But the text fields aren’t accessible completely.

    Mozilla doesn’t include full support for select and say, so Dragon can’t work as well as it might otherwise. I’ve noticed minor issues such as Dragon not capitalizing when I start to dictate, or occasionally not returning me exactly to the end of the line when I go back to correct something, or occasionally losing a space. Usually, if I’m writing a long e-mail, I use Jarte (my word processor), then copy and paste into Thunderbird. I only do straight dictation into Thunderbird for short messages. I’m waiting for Mozilla to add Text Services Framework support, to see if that fixes anything. I don’t know if it would or not.

  5. Thanks … I don’t use Dragon for commands at all … just dictation. I, to, am seeing the issue with failing to start a sentence with a capital letter. As for the double letters, I’m wondering if it’s a WIndos 7 issue or a 64-bit issue? Like having the key-repeat set too fast.

    In WordPerfect (yes, people still use that!) the “select” command selects text displaced one character to the right, which always requires manual correction. No change in that for the past two versions of Dragon and the past three versions of WordPerfect.

  6. Dan Tuten says:

    I just brought home a shiny new “Windows 7” 64-bit system and suddenly my Dragon NaturallySpeaking has begun exhibiting the same symptom that you describe here (double letters) when used with “Thunderbird.” I was searching the web for information about this … and possible corrections … when I stumbled across your discussion. I only wanted to a) confirm that on my 32 bit version of Windows 7 with Dragon 10.0 the double letters didn’t occur with Dragon but all of the other symptoms did (lack of capitalization, added spaces); and b) to note that I had to download a “special” version of Dragon (Dragon 10.1) in order to run Dragon on my 64-bit system. It seems to me that these may be two consequential differences between my semi-successful use of Dragon with Thunderbird (it works but inserts spaces and fails initial capitalization on 32 bit systems) and my unsuccessful use (it stutters and inserts double letters plus the other symptoms on 64 bit systems). I just wanted to throw these facts into the diagnostic mix for what they are worth.

  7. hand2mouth says:

    Very useful to know. Thanks!

  8. Pingback: Werkt Thunderbird en Dragon Naturally Speaking samen? - Cedere: specialist in spraakherkenning

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