Windows 7 Speech Recognition

 

While speech recognition has been around for a while, it is still evolving in terms of precision and widespread use. People with physical disabilities and hand injuries find it most useful, while those that need to do a lot of typing can use it to prevent conditions like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Windows 7’s Speech Recognition tool does an impressive job, with features that make it easy to use, and an ability to quite accurately recognize almost any kind of speech.

The speech recognition tool built into Windows 7 can be used for two things – the first is to interact with the PC interface by issuing commands, and the second is for dictation. By directing your PC to do certain things through voice commands, you can eliminate the need to use the keyboard or mouse. Through dictation, you can easily create documents without typing anything.

Here is how you can set up and use Windows 7’s speech recognition tool:

  1. Open the tool by going to the Control Panel from the Start menu and selecting the “Ease of Access” option. Click on “Speech Recognition”.

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  1. Click “Set up microphone” to select the type of microphone you’ll be using and to configure it to pick up your voice properly. This step is recommended to get the best possible experience from the start.

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  1. Since the tool is just a robot, it won’t understand everything you say from the start. However, it can be taught to understand your speech. From the “Configure your Speech Recognition experience” window select “Train your computer to better understand you”. You will go through some training where you will read aloud specific sentences and commands while the speech recognition tool learns how to understand your voice. Speak naturally and evenly so that when you start using the tool it will recognize your voice and respond correctly.

  1. Once you’ve taught the tool to recognize your voice, you will also need to learn the language that it uses. This will help you command your computer to do anything that you would normally do through your keyboard or mouse. You will also be able to make it transcribe a dictated document, including formatting and inserting correct punctuation marks and special characters. There is an easy cheat sheet that you can print for future reference, but it is advisable to learn the basics before you start using the tool. Once again, go to the speech recognition panel and select “Open the Speech Recognition Card”. This card includes a list of common commands to use while controlling your computer and a list of commands to use while dictating text.

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  1. Once you’ve set everything up and gone through all the training, you can start using the tool. Go back to the speech recognition panel and click on “Start Speech Recognition”. You’re now ready to start working with the tool. It will start responding as soon as you turn it on to listen. Try it out first by feeding it commands or dictating a test document to see if it responds correctly. If not, either go back to the training option or continue testing. The tool will gradually learn to get better the more you use it.

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