Three-step guide to setting up Windows Speech recognition; become even more productive, using verbal commands to perform tasks simultaneously, or make life more interesting by being able to access and play your favorite movies and music albums with the sound of your voice.
One of the often overlooked features available in the Windows OS is Speech Recognition. Speech Recognition is a program that essentially allows you to use your voice to control your computer. Designed for people who want to cut down on their heavy use of the carpal tunnel-inducing mouse and keyboard, Speech Recognition allows you to perform any task you might imagine.
Speech Recognition allows you to dictate documents and emails, start, exit, and switch between applications, control the OS, and even browse the Internet.
When it comes to browsing the Internet you can enter addresses, fill out arms, choose hyperlinks, open new tabs, scroll up and down web pages, and virtually all other important tasks you can think of.
For those not looking to boost their PC productivity or to make tasks easier, how about being able to access your favorite movies and music albums with the sound of your voice? With Speech Recognition you can tell the computer to access your media library and then play a given file or groups of files. Combined with a bluetooth headset device you can create your own Star Trek-esque Captain’s Bridge.
Now Speech Recognition is built-in with both Windows Vista and Windows 7 OS’s, and the setup and commands are similar, but we’ll be focusing on Windows 7 here in this guide.
It’s only three easy steps, believe it or not, so don’t panic.
1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Ease of Access
2. Connect a Microphone
If you need help select “Set up a microphone” from the menu.
3. Select “Start Speech Recognition”
That’s it your done.
Now the final step is learning the various commands. Under the Speech Recognition menu you’ll find several options that will assist you. You can choose “Take Speech Tutorial” to learn basic commands and dictation, and there’s also “Open the Speech Reference Card” to view and print common commands so that you can have a list handy with you at all times.
For a simple test drive to show you how it works let’s use Speech Recognition to open iTunes and play a song. First say “Start Listening”. Second, say “open iTunes.” If it prompts you to clarify which .exe file say “2″ and “ok” to confirm. Third, say “music” and then “double-click (name of song).” You can also say “Start,” “Music,” “Open (name of album),” and “Play All” or “Double-click (name of song).”
Create Custom Voice Commands
To add even more functionality you can create your own customized Windows Speech Recognition Macros that will perform multiple actions with a single vocie command.
You can, for example create a macro that will perform complicated keystroke tasks or to simplify current ones. To make iTunes or other media players more fucntional you can create a macro that will make it easier to control volume, play next track, etc.
Have fun and stay tuned.
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