How to use Speech Recognition

Watch a video about how to use Speech Recognition to get around your PC. (To view captions in your language, tap or click the Closed captioning button Closed Captioning button.)
Watch a video about how to use dictation with Speech Recognition. (To view captions in your language, tap or click the Closed captioning button Closed Captioning button.)

Windows Speech Recognition makes using a keyboard and mouse optional. You can control your PC with your voice and dictate text instead.

Note

  • Speech Recognition is only available for the following languages: English (United States and United Kingdom), French, German, Japanese, Mandarin (Chinese Simplified and Chinese Traditional) and Spanish.

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Set up Speech Recognition

There are a few steps you need to take before you can start using Speech Recognition. First, you’ll need to set up a microphone. Then, you can train your PC to recognise your voice.

To set up a microphone

Before you set up Speech Recognition, make sure you've plugged the microphone into your PC so the following steps work.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

    You can also open Search with a keyboard by pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key+Q.
  2. Enter Set up a microphone in the search box, then tap or click Set up a microphone.

  3. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Note

  • If possible, use a headset microphone; it's less likely to pick up background noise.

To train your PC to recognise your speech

Speech Recognition uses a special voice profile to recognise your voice and spoken commands. The more you use Speech Recognition, the more detailed your voice profile becomes – and that should improve your PC's ability to understand you.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

    You can also open Search with a keyboard by pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key+Q.
  2. Enter Speech Recognition in the search box, then tap or click Speech Recognition.

  3. Tap or click Train your computer to understand you better .

  4. Follow the instructions in the Speech Recognition Voice Training.

Using Speech Recognition

You can use your voice for many tasks, such as filling out online forms or typing letters. When you speak into the microphone, Speech Recognition transforms your voice to text on the screen.

To dictate text using Speech Recognition

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

    You can also open Search with a keyboard by pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key+Q.
  2. Enter speech recognition in the search box, then tap or click Windows Speech Recognition.

  3. Say "start listening", or tap or click the microphone button to start the listening mode.

  4. Open the application that you want to use, or select the text box that you want to dictate text into.

  5. Say the text you want to dictate.

To correct mistakes

  • You can correct mistakes in three different ways:

    • To correct the last thing you said, say "correct that".

    • To correct a single word, say "correct" followed by the word that you want to correct. If the word appears more than once, all instances will be highlighted, and you can choose the one you want to correct.

    • In the Alternatives panel dialogue box, say the number next to the item that you want, then say "OK".

To add or change words in the Speech Dictionary

Using the Speech Dictionary, you can add your own words, stop a specific word from being dictated, or correct or delete a word in the dictionary.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

    You can also open Search with a keyboard by pressing the Windows logo key Windows logo key+Q.
  2. Enter speech recognition in the search box, then tap or click Windows Speech Recognition.

  3. Say "start listening", or tap or click the microphone button to start the listening mode.

  4. Say "open Speech Dictionary" and do any of the following:

    • To add a word to the dictionary, say "Add a new word", then follow the instructions.

    • To prevent a specific word from being dictated, say "Prevent a word from being dictated", then follow the instructions.

Controlling your PC with Speech Recognition

You can use short, simple commands to control your PC. The following table shows some of the most commonly used Speech Recognition commands. Words in bold indicate that you can replace the example word or phrase with similar words and get useful results.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts as verbal commands to control your PC. To view all of the available shortcuts, see Keyboard shortcuts.

Note

  • Any time that you need to find out what commands to use, say "what can I say?"

To do this Say this
To do this

Open the Start screen

Say this

Start

To do this

Open the charms bar

Say this

Press Windows C

To do this

Open the Search charm

Say this

Press Windows Q

To do this

Show all apps

Say this

Apps

To do this

Start working with an app

Say this

Right-click; Press Windows Z

To do this

Use an app

Say this

Say what you want to do. For example, change to Celsius in the Weather app.

To do this

Select any item by its name

Say this

Click File; Start; View

To do this

Select any item or icon

Say this

Click Recycle Bin; Click Computer; Click file name

To do this

Double-tap or double-click any item

Say this

Double-click Recycle Bin; Double-click Computer; Double-click file name

To do this

Switch to an open application

Say this

Switch to Paint; Switch to WordPad; Switch to program name; Switch application

To do this

Scroll in one direction

Say this

Scroll up; Scroll down; Scroll left; Scroll right

To do this

Insert a new paragraph or new line in a document

Say this

New paragraph; New line

To do this

Select a word in a document

Say this

Select word

To do this

Select a word and start to correct it

Say this

Correct word

To do this

Select and delete specific words

Say this

Delete word

To do this

Show a list of applicable commands

Say this

What can I say?

To do this

Update the list of speech commands that are currently available

Say this

Refresh speech commands

To do this

Turn on listening mode

Say this

Start listening

To do this

Turn off listening mode

Say this

Stop listening

To do this

Move the Speech Recognition microphone bar

Say this

Move speech recognition

To do this

Minimise the microphone bar

Say this

Minimise speech recognition

To do this

View Windows Help and Support content about specific tasks

Say this

How do I do something?

For example, say “How do I install a printer?” and a list of Help topics is returned.

Note that this command is only available if you're using the U.S. English Speech Recogniser.

Dictation

To do this Say this
To do this

Insert a new line in the document

Say this

New line

To do this

Insert a new paragraph in the document

Say this

New paragraph

To do this

Insert a tab

Say this

Tab

To do this

Insert the literal word for the next command (for example, you can insert the word "comma" instead of the punctuation mark)

Say this

Literal word

To do this

Insert the numeral form of a number

Say this

Numeral number

To do this

Put the cursor before a specific word

Say this

Go to word

To do this

Put the cursor after a specific word

Say this

Go after word

To do this

Don't insert a space before the next word

Say this

No space

To do this

Go to the start of the sentence that the cursor is in

Say this

Go to start of sentence

To do this

Go to the start of the paragraph that the cursor is in

Say this

Go to start of paragraph

To do this

Go to the start of the document

Say this

Go to start of document

To do this

Go to the end of the sentence that the cursor is in

Say this

Go to end of sentence

To do this

Go to the end of the paragraph that the cursor is in

Say this

Go to end of paragraph

To do this

Go to the end of the current document

Say this

Go to end of document

To do this

Select the word in the current document

Say this

Select word

To do this

Select the word range in the current document

Say this

Select word range; Select word through word

To do this

Select all text in the current document

Say this

Select all

To do this

Select a number of words before the location of the cursor

Say this

Select previous 20 words; Select previous 10 words

To do this

Select a number of words after the location of the cursor

Say this

Select next 20 words; Select next 10 words

To do this

Select the last text you dictated

Say this

Select that

To do this

Clear the selection on the screen

Say this

Clear selection

To do this

Capitalise the first letter of the word

Say this

Caps word

To do this

Capitalise all the letters of the word

Say this

All caps word

To do this

Make all the letters in the word lower case

Say this

No caps word

To do this

Change the next number of words to upper case

Say this

Change next 10 words to upper case

To do this

Change the next number of words to lower case

Say this

Change next 10 words to lower case

To do this

Delete the previous sentence

Say this

Delete previous sentence

To do this

Delete the next sentence

Say this

Delete next sentence

To do this

Delete the previous paragraph

Say this

Delete previous paragraph

To do this

Delete the next paragraph

Say this

Delete next paragraph

To do this

Delete the selected or last dictated text

Say this

Delete that

Keyboard keys

To do this Say this
To do this

Press any key on the keyboard

Say this

Press keyboard key; Press a; Press capital b; Press Shift plus a; Press Ctrl plus a

To do this

Press certain keyboard keys without saying "press" first

Say this

Delete; Backspace; Enter; Page Up; Page Down; Home; End; Tab

Notes

  • You can also use the ICAO\NATO phonetic alphabet to say the keyboard keys to press. For example, you can say "press alpha" to press "a" or "press bravo" to press "b".

  • Using Speech Recognition to press keyboard keys only works with languages that use Latin alphabets.

Punctuation marks and special characters

To insert this Say this
To insert this

,

Say this

Comma

To insert this

;

Say this

Semicolon

To insert this

.

Say this

Full-stop; Dot; Decimal point

To insert this

:

Say this

Colon

To insert this

Say this

Open double quote; Open quote

To insert this

Say this

Close double quote; Close quote; Close inverted commas

To insert this

'

Say this

Apostrophe

To insert this

Say this

Open single quote

To insert this

Say this

Close single quote

To insert this

>

Say this

Greater than sign

To insert this

<

Say this

Less than sign

To insert this

/

Say this

Forward slash

To insert this

\

Say this

Backslash

To insert this

~

Say this

Tilde

To insert this

@

Say this

At sign

To insert this

!

Say this

Exclamation mark; Exclamation point

To insert this

?

Say this

Question mark

To insert this

#

Say this

Number sign; Hash sign; Pound sign

To insert this

$

Say this

Dollar sign

To insert this

%

Say this

Per cent sign

To insert this

^

Say this

Caret

To insert this

(

Say this

Open parenthesis; Open paren

To insert this

)

Say this

Close parenthesis; Close paren

To insert this

_

Say this

Underscore

To insert this

-

Say this

Hyphen; Minus sign; Dash

To insert this

Say this

En dash

To insert this

Say this

Em dash

To insert this

=

Say this

Equal sign

To insert this

+

Say this

Plus sign

To insert this

{

Say this

Open brace; Open curly bracket

To insert this

}

Say this

Close brace; Close curly bracket

To insert this

[

Say this

Open bracket; Open square bracket

To insert this

]

Say this

Close bracket; Close square bracket

To insert this

|

Say this

Vertical bar

To insert this

:-)

Say this

Smiley face

To insert this

:-(

Say this

Frowny face

To insert this

;-)

Say this

Winky face

To insert this

Say this

Trademark sign

To insert this

¾

Say this

Three quarter sign

To insert this

¼

Say this

One quarter sign

To insert this

½

Say this

One half sign

To insert this

£

Say this

Pound sterling sign

To insert this

&

Say this

Ampersand; And sign

To insert this

*

Say this

Asterisk

To insert this

//

Say this

Double slash

To insert this

`

Say this

Back quote

To insert this

<

Say this

Open angle bracket

To insert this

>

Say this

Close angle bracket

To insert this

±

Say this

Plus or minus sign

To insert this

«

Say this

Open angle quote

To insert this

»

Say this

Close angle quote

To insert this

×

Say this

Multiplication sign

To insert this

÷

Say this

Division sign

To insert this

¢

Say this

Cent sign

To insert this

¥

Say this

Yen sign

To insert this

§

Say this

Section sign

To insert this

©

Say this

Copyright sign

To insert this

®

Say this

Registered sign, Registered trademark sign

To insert this

°

Say this

Degree sign

To insert this

Say this

Paragraph sign

To insert this

Say this

Ellipsis; Dot dot dot

To insert this

ƒ

Say this

Function sign

Windows commands

To do this Say this
To do this

Select any item by saying its name

Say this

File; Edit; View; Save

To do this

Select any item

Say this

Click File; Click Bold; Click Save; Click Close

To do this

Double-tap or double-click any item

Say this

Double-click Computer; Double-click Recycle Bin; Double-click folder name

To do this

Press and hold or right-click any item

Say this

Right-click Computer; Right-click Recycle Bin; Right-click folder name

To do this

Minimise all windows to show your desktop

Say this

Show desktop

To do this

Select something if you don't know what it's called

Say this

Show numbers (Numbers will appear on the screen for every item in the active window. Say an item's corresponding number to select it.)

To do this

Select a numbered item

Say this

19 OK; 5 OK

To do this

Double-tap or double-click a numbered item

Say this

Double-click 19; Double-click 5

To do this

Press and hold or right-click a numbered item

Say this

Right-click 19; Right-click 5

Working with windows and apps

To do this Say this
To do this

Open an application

Say this

Open Paint; Open WordPad; Open application name

To do this

Switch to an open application

Say this

Switch to Paint; Switch to WordPad; Switch to application name; Switch application

To do this

Close an application

Say this

Close that; Close Paint; Close Documents

To do this

Minimise

Say this

Minimise that; Minimise Paint; Minimise Documents

To do this

Maximise

Say this

Maximise that; Maximise Paint; Maximise Documents

To do this

Restore

Say this

Restore that; Restore Paint; Restore Documents

To do this

Cut

Say this

Cut that; Cut

To do this

Copy

Say this

Copy that; Copy

To do this

Paste

Say this

Paste

To do this

Delete

Say this

Delete that; Delete

To do this

Undo

Say this

Undo that; Scratch that; Undo

To do this

Scroll in one direction

Say this

Scroll up; Scroll down; Scroll right; Scroll left

To do this

Scroll an exact distance in pages

Say this

Scroll down 2 pages; Scroll up 10 pages

To do this

Scroll an exact distance in other units

Say this

Scroll up 5; Scroll down 7

To do this

Go to a field in a form or an application

Say this

Go to field name; Go to Subject; Go to Address; Go to cc

Tap or click anywhere on the screen

To do this Say this
To do this

Show the mousegrid

Say this

Mousegrid

To do this

Move the mouse pointer to the centre of any mousegrid square

Say this

Number of the square; 1, 7, 9

To do this

Tap or click any mousegrid square

Say this

Click number of the square

To do this

Select an item to drag with the mousegrid

Say this

Number of the square where the item appears; 3, 7, 9 (followed by) mark

To do this

Select an area in the mousegrid where you want to drag the item

Say this

Number of the square where you want to drag; 4, 5, 6 (followed by) click

Need more help?