Using speech recognition for the first time in Office

Applies to
Microsoft Office 2003
Microsoft Office XP

This feature is available in the Traditional Chinese, Simplified 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.

You can use speech recognition to dictate text into any Office program. You can also select menu, toolbar, dialog box (U.S. English only), and task pane items (U.S. English only) by using your voice.

Speech recognition is not designed for completely hands-free operation; you'll get the best results if you use a combination of your voice and the mouse or keyboard.

ShowSpeech recognition system requirements

To use speech recognition, you need the following:

  • A high quality close-talk (headset) microphone
  • A 400 megahertz (MHz) or faster computer
  • 128 MB or more of memory
  • Office 2003: Microsoft Windows® 2000 with Service Pack 3 (SP3) or Microsoft Windows XP or later
  • Office XP: Microsoft Windows 98 or later or Microsoft Windows NT® 4.0 or later
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later

For more information, see the operating system specific requirements or microphone information on the Microsoft Office Online site.

ShowGetting started

Plan to spend a few uninterrupted minutes when you start speech recognition for the first time so that you can take the time to train the computer to recognize how you speak by reading aloud prepared text. Training should take around 5 to 10 minutes, and it can help increase speech recognition accuracy.

ShowInstalling and training

Clicking Speech on the Tools menu in Microsoft Office Word installs speech recognition in all Office programs, or you can do a custom installation. Before using speech recognition, you can increase speech recognition accuracy by reading aloud prepared text to train your computer to recognize how you speak.

Position the microphone so that:

  • It is about an inch, or a thumb's width, to the side of your mouth.
  • It is not directly in front of your mouth, and you are not breathing directly into it.

The following information is also available in the Help in your Office program.

ShowInstall and train by using Word

  1. Open Word.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Speech.
    When you're asked if you want to install the feature, click Yes.
  3. After the installation is complete, click Next to train speech recognition.
    Training begins with help in adjusting your microphone.

 Notes 

  • After speech recognition is installed, it is available in most Office programs by clicking Speech on the Tools menu. In Microsoft Office Excel , point to Speech on the Tools menu, and then click Speech Recognition.
  • You can also train speech recognition by clicking Speech Tools on the Language bar, and then clicking Training.

ShowCustom installation and training

  1. In the Microsoft Office Setup Wizard, click the plus sign (+) next to Office Shared Features, and then click the plus sign (+) next to Alternative User Input.

 Note   For more information about installing or removing individual components, see the Help in your Office program.

  1. Click the arrow next to Speech, and then click the type of installation you want.
  2. Click Update.

 Note   After speech recognition is installed, it is available in most Office programs by clicking Speech on the Tools menu. In Excel , point to Speech on the Tools menu, and then click Speech Recognition.

Follow these steps to train speech recognition the first time you use speech in an Office program.

  1. In most Office programs, click Speech on the Tools menu.

 Note    In Excel , point to Speech on the Tools menu, and then click Speech Recognition.

  1. To train speech recognition, click Next.
    Training begins with help in adjusting your microphone.

 Note   You can also train speech recognition by clicking Speech Tools on the Language bar, and then clicking Training.

ShowUsing speech recognition

After speech recognition is installed, you can click Microphone on the Language bar to turn the microphone and speech recognition on.

Language bar

1 Language bar with speech recognition turned off

Then you can switch between dictating text and giving voice commands by clicking Dictation or Voice Command on the Language bar.

Language bar with speech recognition turned on

1 Language bar with speech recognition turned on

In Dictation mode, you can dictate just about anywhere you can type in an Office program. In Voice Command mode, you can give voice commands for just about anything you can read in an Office program.

 Notes 

  • The Language bar appears by default in the upper-right corner of the screen in Office programs, or in the lower-right corner of the screen in East Asian language versions of Office. You can drag the Language bar to another area on the screen or move it out of the way by temporarily hiding it.
  • The Language bar can show text labels beside each button on the bar.

Language bar with text labels

1 Language bar with text labels

You can hide or show the text labels by right-clicking the Language bar, and then clicking Text Labels.

Language bar without text labels

1 Language bar without text labels

More step-by-step information

Using speech recognition takes practice before you can use it automatically, without stopping to think about what you are doing. To help you get started, you can see animated examples of how to use speech recognition, and click the links below for step-by-step instructions on how to do a few basic tasks with speech recognition.

For more information about speech recognition and the Language bar, see the Help in your Office program.

 
 
Applies to:
Access 2003, Excel 2003, FrontPage 2003, Outlook 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Publisher 2003, Word 2003