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Part 10. Advanced Excel and Web Features > Setting Up Speech Recognition

Setting Up Speech Recognition

In Excel, open the Tools menu, choose Speech, and select Speech Recognition.

The Welcome to Office Speech Recognition dialog box informs you that Office will adjust your microphone and speech training will take 15 minutes. Click Next.

The Microphone Wizard—Welcome page opens, providing useful information about adjusting your microphone. Read it, and click Next.


If you like to dictate letters and memos, you'll be pleased to learn that Excel supports speech recognition. Before you can use this feature, however, you must set it up. You can do so in any Office application or by double-clicking the Speech icon in the Windows XP Control Panel. (In this task, you'll set it up from within Excel.) Before you begin, you'll need to connect a microphone and some speakers to your PC (refer to the instructions that came with those components for help).


Adjusting the microphone's sensitivity

Double-click the Volume icon in the system tray (on the far-right end of the taskbar, to the left of the time) to open a window that enables you to increase or decrease the microphone's sensitivity.

Repeat the text featured in the Adjust Volume page in a normal tone of voice until the volume meter level is consistently in the green. When you're finished, click Next.

Read the Test Positioning page aloud. If the playback recording sounds distorted, reposition the mic, click Back, and repeat; otherwise, click Finish.

The Voice Training—Default Speech Profile page opens; you must complete at least one training session before using the Speech Recognition feature. Click Next.


Mistakes and stops

If Excel stops highlighting text while you are reading, you probably missed a word, read too quickly, or pronounced something incorrectly. Simply take a couple breaths and begin again where the highlighting left off. If you don't recognize a word in the text, or aren't sure how to pronounce it, you can skip it by clicking the Skip Word button. To stop for a moment (for example, to answer the phone), click the Pause button. (A Resume button will appear for you to click when you are ready to continue.)

The Voice Training Wizard coaches you to read the training text in subsequent pages in a clear, natural tone. Click Sample to hear an example, and click Next.

Read the displayed text aloud; the text you've read will become highlighted as you go.

Continue to read the displayed text aloud, moving through each passage. (Notice the Training progress bar moves as you proceed.)

After you finish reading all the passages, your speech profile is updated.

Click the Finish button. (Note that if you decide to click the More Training button, refer to the task “Getting Additional Speech Recognition Training.”)

The Voice Training Wizard closes, returning you to your application window. A Language bar is added to the window's title bar, which you can click and drag to other locations on your desktop.



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