Control your computer with your speech

If your computer is running Windows 7, 8 or 10, and you have a good headset with a mic, you can use the built in speech recognition tool to send commands to your computer and dictate text in emails and documents.

Whether you have a medical condition that makes typing uncomfortable or you are not a good typist or speller, you will find this tool extremely helpful. With the speech recognition tool you can open programs, select menus and buttons like you would with a mouse as well as dictate sentences that the tool will convert to text.

Ensure you have a good headset with a microphone because quality of the dictation is only as good as the audio the computer can hear. A good microphone will pick up your voice clearly making it easier for the computer to understand what you are saying. We recommend a headset because the microphone will always stay in position with your mouth.

For good dictation it’s important to train your computer to recognize your pronunciation. To start this process, press the windows key and type “Control Panel”. Click on the control panel option in the search results and double click the speech recognition option in the control panel. Select the “Train your computer to better understand you” menu and follow the step by step instructions.

Now you have trained the speech recognition tool, you can start to use it. Press the Windows button and type “speech”. Select the “Windows Speech Recognition” option and a small tool bar will appear at the top of your screen. To start using it, click the round microphone button and say a command such as “Open Word”.

Sometimes when you say a command it could mean more than one thing. In this case the tool will show a popup window with a numbered list of the options it thinks you may want. To select the option you want simply say the number of that item followed by “OK”.

If you are not sure how to give a command to open a specific menu or button in the program, say the words “Show numbers” and the tool will display numbered overlays on top of each menu item and button. To select the one you wish to use, say the number showing on the overlay followed by the word “OK”.

When dictating, it is best to dictate a few words at a time. We found the best number of words to dictate is about the same amount of words you can say in one breath. After each block of text say the word “insert” and the text you have dictated will be inserted into your document.

If when dictating the tool makes the mistake rather than correcting the mistake manually, teach the tool what you want by saying the word “correct” followed by the word you want to correct The tool will show you a list of alternative words and by saying the number for that word followed by “OK”, the correction will be made.

We recommend you visit this website to learn more commands that you can use with the speech recognition tool to type text and control your computer using speech. Once you learn how to use this tool effectively you’ll be able to type text up to four times faster than using the keyboard.