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How do I use Speech Recognition?

To use Speech Recognition, the first thing you need to do is set it up on your computer. To learn how to do that, see Set up Speech Recognition. When you're ready to use Speech Recognition, you need to speak in simple, short commands. The tables below include some of the more commonly used commands.

To open Speech Recognition

  1. Open Speech Recognition by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking Windows Speech Recognition.

  2. Say "start listening" or click the Microphone button to start the listening mode.

Note

  • Speech Recognition is available only in English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese.

Common Speech Recognition commands

Frequently used commands

The following table shows some of the most commonly used commands in Speech Recognition. Words in italic font indicate that you can say many different things in place of the example word or phrase and get useful results.

To do this Say this
To do this

Click any item by its name

Say this

Click File; Start; View

To do this

Click any item

Say this

Click Recycle Bin; Click Computer; Click file name

To do this

Double-click any item

Say this

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

To do this

Switch to an open program

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

Make the computer listen to you

Say this

Start listening

To do this

Make the computer stop listening

Say this

Stop listening

To do this

Move the Speech Recognition microphone bar

Say this

Move speech recognition

To do this

Minimize the microphone bar

Say this

Minimize 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 Recognizer. For more information, see Setting speech options.

Dictation

Commands for working with text

The following table shows commands for using Speech Recognition to work with text. Words in italic font indicate that you can say many different things in place of the example word or phrase and get useful results.

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 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

Capitalize the first letter of the word

Say this

Caps word

To do this

Capitalize all the letters of the word

Say this

All caps word

To do this

Make all the letters in the word lowercase

Say this

No caps word

To do this

Change the next number of words to uppercase

Say this

Change next 10 words to uppercase

To do this

Change the next number of words to lowercase

Say this

Change next 10 words to lowercase

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

Commands for keyboard keys

The following table shows commands for using Speech Recognition to press keyboard keys. Words in italic font indicate that you can say many different things in place of the example word or phrase and get useful results.

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 will only work with Latin alphabets.

Punctuation marks and special characters

Commands for punctuation marks and special characters

The following table shows commands for using Speech Recognition to insert punctuation marks and special characters. Words in italic font indicate that you can say many different things in place of the example word or phrase and get useful results.

To make this appear Say this
To make this appear

,

Say this

Comma

To make this appear

;

Say this

Semicolon

To make this appear

.

Say this

Period; Dot; Decimal point

To make this appear

:

Say this

Colon

To make this appear

Say this

Open double quote; Open quote

To make this appear

Say this

Close double quote; Close quote; Close inverted commas

To make this appear

'

Say this

Apostrophe

To make this appear

Say this

Open single quote

To make this appear

Say this

Close single quote

To make this appear

>

Say this

Greater than sign

To make this appear

<

Say this

Less than sign

To make this appear

/

Say this

Forward slash

To make this appear

\

Say this

Backslash

To make this appear

~

Say this

Tilde

To make this appear

@

Say this

At sign

To make this appear

!

Say this

Exclamation mark; Exclamation point

To make this appear

?

Say this

Question mark

To make this appear

#

Say this

Number sign; Pound sign

To make this appear

$

Say this

Dollar sign

To make this appear

%

Say this

Percent sign

To make this appear

^

Say this

Caret

To make this appear

(

Say this

Open parenthesis; Open paren

To make this appear

)

Say this

Close parenthesis; Close paren

To make this appear

_

Say this

Underscore

To make this appear

-

Say this

Hyphen; Minus sign; Dash

To make this appear

Say this

En dash

To make this appear

Say this

Em dash

To make this appear

=

Say this

Equal sign

To make this appear

+

Say this

Plus sign

To make this appear

{

Say this

Open brace; Open curly bracket

To make this appear

}

Say this

Close brace; Close curly bracket

To make this appear

[

Say this

Open bracket; Open square bracket

To make this appear

]

Say this

Close bracket; Close square bracket

To make this appear

|

Say this

Vertical bar

To make this appear

:-)

Say this

Smiley face

To make this appear

:-(

Say this

Frowny face

To make this appear

;-)

Say this

Winky face

To make this appear

Say this

Trademark sign

To make this appear

¾

Say this

Three quarter sign

To make this appear

¼

Say this

One quarter sign

To make this appear

½

Say this

One half sign

To make this appear

£

Say this

Pound sterling sign

To make this appear

&

Say this

Ampersand; And sign

To make this appear

*

Say this

Asterisk

To make this appear

//

Say this

Double slash

To make this appear

`

Say this

Back quote

To make this appear

<

Say this

Open angle bracket

To make this appear

>

Say this

Close angle bracket

To make this appear

±

Say this

Plus or minus sign

To make this appear

«

Say this

Open angle quote

To make this appear

»

Say this

Close angle quote

To make this appear

×

Say this

Multiplication sign

To make this appear

÷

Say this

Division sign

To make this appear

¢

Say this

Cent sign

To make this appear

¥

Say this

Yen sign

To make this appear

§

Say this

Section sign

To make this appear

©

Say this

Copyright sign

To make this appear

®

Say this

Registered sign, Registered trademark sign

To make this appear

°

Say this

Degree sign

To make this appear

Say this

Paragraph sign

To make this appear

Say this

Ellipsis; Dot dot dot

To make this appear

ƒ

Say this

Function sign

Controls

Commands for using common controls

The following table shows commands for using Speech Recognition to perform tasks in Windows. Words in italic font indicate that you can say many different things in place of the example word or phrase and get useful results.

To do this Say this
To do this

Click any item by saying its name

Say this

File; Edit; View; Save; Bold

To do this

Click any item

Say this

Click File; Click Bold; Click Save; Click Close

To do this

Double-click any item

Say this

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

To do this

Right-click any item

Say this

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

To do this

Minimize all windows to show your desktop

Say this

Show desktop

To do this

Click something you don't know the name of

Say this

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

To do this

Click a numbered item

Say this

19 OK; 5 OK

To do this

Double-click a numbered item

Say this

Double-click 19; Double-click 5

To do this

Right-click a numbered item

Say this

Right-click 19; Right-click 5

Windows

Commands for working with windows

The following table shows commands for using Speech Recognition to work with windows and programs. Words in italic font indicate that you can say many different things in place of the example word or phrase and get useful results.

To do this Say this
To do this

Open a program

Say this

Open Paint; Open WordPad; Open program name

To do this

Switch to an open program

Say this

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

To do this

Close a program

Say this

Close that; Close Paint; Close Documents

To do this

Minimize

Say this

Minimize that; Minimize Paint; Minimize Documents

To do this

Maximize

Say this

Maximize that; Maximize Paint; Maximize 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 a program

Say this

Go to field name; Go to Subject; Go to Address; Go to Cc

Click anywhere on the screen

Commands for clicking anywhere on the screen

The following table shows commands for using Speech Recognition to click anywhere on the screen. Words in italic font indicate that you can say many different things in place of the example word or phrase and get useful results.

To do this Say this
To do this

Show the mousegrid

Say this

Mousegrid

To do this

Move the mouse pointer to the center of any mousegrid square

Say this

Number—or numbers—of the square; 1; 7; 9; 1, 7, 9

To do this

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

To do this

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

Say this

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