Work with Spreadsheets Using NaturallySpeaking - dummies

Work with Spreadsheets Using NaturallySpeaking

By Stephanie Diamond

Using spreadsheets with older versions of NaturallySpeaking was difficult because you couldn’t directly address the names of the cells. You wanted to say something like, “Cell A5” or “Select Column C.” But (sigh), no dice. Your assistant had no idea what you were talking about. Well, your assistant has “up-leveled” its skills!

You now can select a cell and go right to it. After you know how to move around in your spreadsheet, you will be surprised how easy it is. If you are stumped about what command to say, you can always call on your Dragon Sidebar with, “What can I say?” to see the appropriate commands.

You can, of course, use the mouse for these sorts of operations, and dictate only the text that goes into the cells. That decision is up to you.

You also have another option to address the cells. Most popular spreadsheet applications contain hotkey combinations that do just about anything you would ever want to do. If you know the right hotkeys, you can use Press <keyname> voice commands to have a reasonably pleasant and efficient no-hands experience with your spreadsheets.

Selecting cells or blocks of cells in a spreadsheet is a snap. You can just say, “Cell C2” and it goes there. Or you can say, “Select <x> through <y>,” and it does. If you want to move to the next row, say “Next Row.” Previous column? Say, “Previous Column.”

You can also just click in the cell you want to select, or drag a selection rectangle over a block of cells. If you want to do the mouse thing by hand, NaturallySpeaking won’t stop you.

When you select cells by voice, consider using the International Communications Alphabet (ICA). In the ICA, the names of the letters all sound different, so you can spell aloud with confidence — if you know the ICA. For example, you can say, “Alpha” for A or “Bravo” for B. That means you say, “Cell Bravo 12” to move to cell B12.

You can find the ICA names of the letters listed in NaturallySpeaking Help. Choose Help→Help Topics to display Help Topics, and then go to the Index tab and look up Spelling, Characters For. It’s worth a peek.