Using the Start Menu in Windows 7 or Earlier from NaturallySpeaking
Anytime that NaturallySpeaking is running, you can say, “Click Start” to pull up the Start menu. (This specifically refers to Windows 7 or earlier.) You can then say the name of any object on the Start menu like: “Shut Down,” “Log Off,” “Restart,” “Help And Support,” or any individual applications, files, or folders that you have added to the menu.
The resulting action is the same as if you had clicked the mouse on that entry in the Start menu:
If the object is itself a menu, it expands when you click it. (For example, Documents expands to a listing of the names of about the 15 most recent objects.) Select one of those objects by saying its name. If the object is another menu, it expands, and so on.
If the object is an application, it runs. (Run the application more easily by saying, “Start <application name>.”)
If the object is a file or folder, it opens. The files could be documents or even web pages.
For example, if Skype appears on your Start menu, then you can access your Skype account online by saying, “Click Start, Skype.” (The commas represent short pauses; don’t say, “comma.”) To open the Control Panel, say, “Click Start, Control Panel.”
In addition to using the Start command, you can use the “Launch” or “Show” commands. For example, instead of saying “Start Word,” you can say, “Launch Word” or “Show Word.”
When using Windows 8, you can say “Show Start Screen,” but from there you are better off navigating by touch if you have a touch display or mouse. The lack of accessibility options in the Modern UI makes mastering it difficult for Nuance, but they plan to continue improving the experience in the future.
Don’t shut down the computer by voice, unless you have challenges that prevent you from doing it any other way. In general, shutting down Windows with a lot of applications running (especially robust applications like NaturallySpeaking) upsets the system.
At the very least, it causes an application to do something illegal that makes Windows shut it down in an unnatural way. Some data could be lost in the process. Of course, some Windows operating systems run better than others, and you may get lucky. But why take the chance?