Overview

Windows computers come with a Speech Recognition function that is intuitive and easy to use. Initially the dictation might not be very accurate but with additional training it can become better and better. What the built in speech recognition software works well at OS control. Moreover, Windows Speech Recognition is very well integrated into the operating system. It is not overly intrusive and it is easy to use with very little training. For a student who will be using dictation and voice control for a short period, Windows 7 Speech Recognition works well. For those who need dictation for a longer time, please consult the ITS support center.

Initial Set Up

  1. Open the Start menu and select Control Panel.
  2. This will open up the Control Panel in a new window and it will be organized by icons of by categories. If organized by icons select the Speech Recognition icon located in the lower right hand side. If organized by categories select the Ease of Access icon and then select Speech Recognition on the next page.
  3. You will then be presented with a menu that lists a variety of different options.
  4. Start Speech Recognition, the first option, brings you into a set up wizard. This will allow you to set up speech recognition on your computer, train the speech recognition program and connect a microphone.
  5. When moving through the set up utility you first need to select what type of microphone you will be using, options include a headset microphone, a desktop microphone or an internal microphone. I found that speech recognition works best with the headset microphone.
  6. Speech recognition set up will then guide you through microphone configuration and ask you whether or not you would like to enable document review. I would recommend enabling document review as it allows for increased accuracy.
  7. Set up will then ask you whether or not you would like to use manual or voice activation mode. I recommend manual activation mode. In this mode you must use the speech recognition button to toggle speech recognition on and off.
  8. Then set up asks if you would like to print a Speech Reference Card. Once again I recommend this as it allows you a quick guide to all the commands.
  9. Set up then asks if you would like to run speech recognition at startup. I highly recommend this as it makes the use of the program a lot easier.
  10. Finally, you will be prompted to do a tutorial. This is very important as it teaches a lot about the program, trains the software to your voice and familiarizes the user with using commands.
  11. After completion of the tutorial you will see a speech recognition bar in the center top of the screen.
  12. Pushing the microphone icon in this bar allows you to toggle speech recognition on and off.

 

Using Speech Recognition in Internet Explorer

  1. Make sure that speech recognition is turned on. If the grey bar in the center top of the screen is not present then follow steps 1 and 2 from above.
  2. Now open your web browser and select an area where you wish to enter text. Speak into your microphone to dictate and Windows speech recognition will do the rest.
  3. Refer to the command sheet that you printer in step 8 from above and you will be able to control your web browser quite well without using a mouse.
  4. Text can be dictated anywhere in the web browser, including in search windows or email windows.

 

Using Speech Recognition with Microsoft Word

  1. Make sure that speech recognition is turned on. If the grey bar in the center top of the screen is not present, then go to follow steps 1 and 2 from above.
  2. Open Microsoft Word and simply begin speaking. The software will dictate your speech into text.

 

How to train your computer to better understand you

  1. Open the Start menu and select Control Panel.
  2. This will open up the Control Panel in a new window and it will be organized by icons of by categories. If organized by icons select the Speech Recognition icon located in the lower right hand side. If organized by categories select the Ease of Access icon and then select Speech Recognition on the next page.
  3. Then select the fourth option, train your computer to better understand you.
  4. A Speech Recognition Voice Training window will appear that will allow you to read to the computer to allow the software to better understand your voice. This is a good way to improve the accuracy of the dictation.