Customize speech recognition voice commands in Office

Applies to

2003 version of the following Microsoft Office programs: Access 2003, Excel 2003,
FrontPage® 2003, Outlook® 2003, Publisher 2003, PowerPoint® 2003, and Word 2003

2002 version of the following Microsoft Office XP programs: Access 2002, Excel 2002,
FrontPage® 2002, Outlook® 2002, Publisher 2002, PowerPoint® 2002, and Word 2002

This feature is available in the Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, English (U.S.), and Japanese language versions of Microsoft Office 2003 and in the Simplified Chinese, English (U.S.), and Japanese language versions of Microsoft Office XP.

Just by saying the name of a button for a voice command on a custom toolbar, you can quickly perform tasks that would ordinarily require several commands.

Or you may have a macro that automatically performs a multi-step task. Just include the macro on the custom toolbar, and you can perform the task by saying the name of the macro.

Create a custom toolbar for frequently used commands or tasks

In Voice Command mode, you can give voice commands for just about anything you can read in an Office program. For example, if Bold is visible on the Formatting toolbar, you can bold selected text by saying "bold."

However, if commands are not visible or the task requires that you say more than one command, you can add the command or button to the custom toolbar to act as a shortcut. In Word, for example, you might add the Page Break command to a custom toolbar so that you can insert page breaks by saying "page break," instead of saying "insert," "break," and then "ok."


  • The custom toolbar must be visible so that you can use the voice commands you added to it.
  • You can add voice commands to custom toolbars only, not to existing built-in toolbars.

ShowStep 1: Creating a custom toolbar

  1. On the Tools menu, click Customize.
  2. Click the Toolbars tab.
  3. Click New.
  4. In the Toolbar name box, type the name you want, and then click OK.
  5. Click the Commands tab.
  6. Click a category in the Categories box.
  7. Drag the command or macro you want from the Commands box to the displayed toolbar.
  8. To close the Customize dialog box when you're through, click Close.


  • Command and macro names must be real words that can be understood.
  • Default command names can be left as is or can be renamed.
  • The name on the button is the name that you can say when you're in Voice Command mode.

ShowStep 2: Using customized voice commands

  1. If the custom toolbar is not already visible, click Toolbars on the View menu, and then click the toolbar you want.
  2. If the microphone is not already turned on, click Microphone on the Language bar.
  3. On the Language bar, click Voice Command or say "voice command," and then say the name of the command on the custom toolbar.
  4. Turn the microphone off when you are done by clicking Microphone on the Language bar or by saying "microphone."
Applies to:
Access 2003, Excel 2003, FrontPage 2003, Outlook 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Publisher 2003, Word 2003