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For Seniors: How to Set Up Speech Recognition on Your Computer

If you have dexterity challenges from a condition such as arthritis, you may prefer to speak commands, using a technology called speech recognition, rather than type them. All you need to do is attach a desktop microphone or headset to your computer and set up speech recognition on your computer.

  1. Choose Start→Control Panel→Ease of Access→Start Speech Recognition.

    The Welcome to Speech Recognition message appears. If you’ve used Speech Recognition before, this message doesn’t appear.

  2. Click Next (if you see the Welcome to Speech Recognition message) to continue.

    The Microphone Setup Wizard dialog box appears.

    image0.jpg
  3. Select the type of microphone that you’re using and then click Next.

    The next screen tells you how to place and use the microphone for optimum results.

  4. Click Next, read the sample sentence aloud, and click Next when you’re done.

    image1.jpg

    A dialog box appears telling you that your microphone is now set up.

  5. Click Next.

    In the resulting dialog box, choose whether to enable or disable document review. Document review allows Windows to review your documents and e-mail to help it recognize your speech patterns.

  6. Click Next and then choose either manual activation mode or voice activation. Click Next.

    The manual activation mode lets you use a mouse, pen, or keyboard to turn the feature on. Voice activation is useful if you have difficulty manipulating devices because of arthritis or a hand injury.

  7. If you wish to view and/or print a list of speech recognition commands, click the View Reference Sheet button and read about or print reference information and then click Close.

    You’re given the option of printing out commonly used commands. It’s a good idea to do this, as speech commands aren’t always second nature!

  8. Click Next to proceed.

    In the resulting dialog box, you’re asked whether you want to disable Speech Recognition at Startup or leave it as the default setting.

  9. Click Run Speech Recognition at Startup to disable this feature or leave the default setting and then click Next.

    The final dialog box informs you that you can now control the computer by voice and offers you a Start Tutorial button to help you practice voice commands.

  10. Click the Start Tutorial button or click Skip Tutorial to skip the tutorial and leave the Speech Recognition set up.

    The Speech Recognition control panel appears.

    image2.jpg
  11. Say, “Start listening” to activate the feature if you used voice activation or click the Start Speech Recognition link if you chose manual activation.

    You can now begin using spoken commands to work with your computer.

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