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Telling Your Computer What To Do With Windows Speech Recognition

business computer servicesYou probably already know that your computer can talk to you.  Text to speech is fairly commonplace for listening to texts while keeping your hands on the wheel while driving. Many business computer services use text to speech in many applications for small business IT support. It helps when you need both hands free but need to keep on computing.

But did you know that you can also talk back to your computer and have it listen?  Computer users have had this capability for a while. The name of this powerful tool is  Windows Speech Recognition.

What Is Windows Speech Recognition?

Microsoft first offered Windows Speech Recognition as an extra in Windows XP.   However, since Windows 7, Microsoft included it as a standard feature built into Windows itself.  With this tool, you can control your PC by your voice alone, without the need for a keyboard or mouse.  Even better, you can use speech recognition to dictate long letters or documents (Like this article here!).  Even better, since it already comes with Windows, you don’t need to pay extra for this great function.

Starting Up and Configuring Windows Speech Recognition

First, open speech recognition by clicking the Start button, click: All Programs > Accessories > Ease of Access > Windows Speech Recognition.  For Windows 10 users, simply type ‘speech’ on the start menu search and click on the Windows Speech Recognition app.  The speech recognition bar will pop up when the application loads.

If you are running the program for the first time, you’ll want to configure it.  Right click on the speech recognition bar and select: Configuration.  You’ll want to at least set up your microphone so Windows can hear you clearly. If you’re too close or too far away, or have too much noise going on in the background, Windows might have a hard time hearing you.  You can always tweak the settings later as necessary.

Windows As Your Personal Secretary

The dictation functions of Windows Speech Recognition work best with certain programs.  The premier program to use with Windows speech recognition is Microsoft Word.  However, if you do not use the Microsoft Office suite of business computer services, you can always use Wordpad to create your document.  Wordpad is a free application that comes with all versions of Windows.  Simply dictate your text into Wordpad, and then copy it over to whatever program you wish.

Running the Ship: Control Windows With Your Voice

With Microsoft’s speech recognition, you don’t have to lift a finger to use your computer.  You can do it all with your voice.  For instance, you can tell Windows to open the Start menu by simply saying, “start.”  You can also open applications by saying, “open <your app>.”  To minimize a Window, simply say, “minimize.”  You can select items or icons by telling the computer to click something, like, “click Recycle bin,” or, “click computer.”  You can also double click and right click on icons as well.

Move Your Mouse With Just Your Tongue

By saying, “mouse grid,” you can bring up the mouse location grid.  By following the numbers on the grid, you can select any of 9 sections of your screen.  A new location grid will show up inside that section.  You can be as precise as you want by continuing to select numbers from those grids, right down to a single pixel!  When you have a good location, you can click, double click or right click the section, or mark an icon at the location to drag it to another location on the screen.

Special Commands for Special Users

There are way too many commands to list in this article.  Even staff members of business computer services wouldn’t be able to remember them all.  Fortunately, Windows recognition keeps a list of voice commands ready at all times.  All you have to do is ask, “‘what can I say.”  This brings up the Help window with a table of both common and not-so-common commands.

Add Macros for Even More Power

With a separate download from Microsoft, you can add blocks of text, like your address or a signature block. You can add a picture to a document with a single voice macro.  You can even consolidate repetitive clicking tasks to a single voice command.

A Powerful Tool for Business Computer Services

Windows Speech Recognition is a powerful tool.  If you’re excited by the productivity and convenience the program offers, but need help with setup, call PC Fixer Mac and PC Repair. They can also help with any other small business IT support or business computer services you need anywhere else in the Los Angeles area.

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