dragon-naturally-speaking-excel-problem-error-bug Today, I was all set to produce a Dictation tutorial video showing people how to use Dragon Naturally Speaking 9  with  Excel.  Murphy’s law came into play and Dragon Naturally Speaking refused to work with Excel.

No matter what I did, I couldn’t get the dictation or voice recognition to work at all.

I did some searching, going through help and my Dragon Naturally Speaking manuals and books.  Ultimately, I found the answer on a thread talking about the problem at SpeechComputing.com.  A former DNS programmer offered up what seemed to be a good description of the problem and the technical fix.


As regards why you could not dictate into an Excel spreadsheet, the Dragon log indicates that DNS attempted to load the Excel ActiveX control, but Windows fail to load it. Loading ActiveX controls is called a “Remote Procedure Call.” You have seen this in other posts as “RPC_Server Unavailable.” What happens is that the RPC server either has not been started or is inaccessible because Windoze burped and failed to launch it or cannot access it. This server controls the loading of ActiveX controls. If you’re running Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista, you can go always go to the Administrative Tools and look under local services for the RPC server. There are 2 entries. All you have to do is stop them and restart them. However, if you do this be sure to restart them in automatic mode vs. manual mode. Otherwise, they may fail to start the next time around. Regardless, if the RPC server stops functioning or is inaccessible for any reason, you will not be able to load ActiveX controls that load on-the-fly as they do in DNS. On the other side of the coin, don’t go looking for the path that is specified in the error (Exception thrown entries). This is a temporary folder and you will not find it because it is emptied (cleared) once the error reporting is completed. The results are stored in the temporary files folder, but they are stored in a manner that is not viewable. 

How do you enter text into Excel 2003 on XP SP2 using DNS Pro 9?

Too Technical of a Fix for Me – Here’s the Low Tech Fix!

Well, I tried that using my own system which runs on XP Media Center and I couldn’t get this to work.  I did find an alternative workaround.

Reboot your PC!

Yeah, it sucks that you have to revert to this step, but if all else fails this did work for me.

The problem seems to be intrinsic to Windows and Excel, but the reality is that this is the program that many people work in and DNS either will work or it will not.  Fortunately if it does not or stops working, then a reboot, should que things up to work once again.  🙂


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