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Lesson 3. Entering Data into the Worksheet > Dictating Worksheet Information

Dictating Worksheet Information

If you have a microphone and have set up the Speech Recognition feature as discussed in Lesson 1, you also can dictate information into an Excel workbook. You can dictate both labels and values into the worksheet cells.

To dictate entries into an Excel worksheet, follow these steps:

  1. To turn on voice dictation, select Tools, point at Speech, and then select Speech Recognition. The Language bar appears in the Excel window with the Dictation feature turned on (see Figure 3.8).

  2. Dictate the contents of the cell. Use the Enter key or the arrow keys to move to the next cell you want to fill.

  3. Dictate the contents of other cells as required.

  4. To turn off the Dictation mode, click the Microphone on the Language bar.

Figure 3.8. The Office Voice Recognition feature allows you to dictate information into a worksheet.

Dictating numerical values into a cell is a little trickier than dictating a text label. Numbers less than 20 are spelled as words in Excel. To force these values to be entered as actual numbers, say "force num," pause for a second, and then say the number, such as "6."


Turn on Dictation with a Voice Command If the Language bar is already present in the Excel workspace, you can say "dictation" to turn on the feature.

You also can use the Speech feature to issue voice commands. You can open and select menus in Excel and even navigate dialog boxes using voice commands.

To use voice commands, open the Language bar (click Tools, Speech). Click the Microphone icon, if necessary, to expand the Language bar. Then, click the Voice Command icon on the bar (or say "voice command").

To open a particular menu, such as the Format menu, say "format." Then, to open a particular submenu such as Font, say "font." In the case of these voice commands, the Font dialog box opens.

You then can navigate a particular dialog box using voice commands. In the Font dialog box, for example, to change the size of the font, say "size"; this activates the Size box that controls font size. Then, say the size of the font, such as "14." You also can activate other font attributes in the dialog box in this manner. Say the name of the area of the dialog box you want to use, and then say the name of the feature you want to turn on or select.

When you have finished working with a particular dialog box, say "OK" (or "Cancel" or "Apply," as needed). The dialog box closes and provides you with the features you selected in the dialog box. When you have finished using voice commands, say "microphone," or click the Microphone icon on the Language bar.

You also can activate buttons on the various toolbars using voice commands. For example, you could sort an Excel worksheet by a particular column by clicking in the column and then saying "sort ascending." The Sort Ascending button on the Excel toolbar becomes active and your data is sorted.

In this lesson, you learned how to enter different types of data and how to automate data entry with features such as AutoComplete and the Speech feature. In the next lesson, you learn how to perform simple calculations in a workbook.

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