Tip & How-To about Office Equipment & Supplies

Use your voice to control almost anything on your computer

Almost all Windows PCs that have Vista or Windows 7 they come stock with a dictation program that will give you the ability to control your computer using voice commands. Now you can make your computer listen to you, when before you were just yelling at it and it wouldn't respond.

Start by launching the speech recognition from the control panel and ease of access. You might also need to set up the microphone on your computer, but once everything is all set up you are ready to go. You might want to look at teaching your computer to understand you especially if you have an accent. Doing a speech training session will make your computer understand you better and will make using it much more efficient.

Upon initial launch the program will say that it is sleeping, to get it up and running say "star listening" and it will change to be listening to you. Before you being to rely 100% on using voice commands start experimenting with what you can do and seeing how the computer understands your talking patterns. The main commands that you will use are: Start listening (wakes up the program), stop listening (puts it back to sleep), Open x (program name), Close that (closes current open window) and scroll up/down (also page up/down).

To select something on the screen you can tell the computer to select a link. If it has a hard time finding what you want to select you can always open up the mouse-grid by saying "mouse-grid" this will break up your screen into 9 squares and you will be able to narrow down to the grid square you want.

After you are comfortable with the stock commands you can take your hand as creating some of your own. Windows has a program called macro where you can assign all kinds of commands. From things like using a single word to launch a program or saying "insert address" if you write your address a lot. This is really useful for creating shortcuts to keystrokes that you use all the time. You can create a command that will preform the same action as hitting the key combination that you use all the time.

If ever you forget what the commands are you can always say "what can I say?" and the speech dictionary will open.

Using a speech recognition and dictation program like the one in windows will help you to learn to speak more clearly and slowly, but may make you a more efficient computer user.

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