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Chapter 4. Personalizing Your Work Envir... > Configuring Speech Recognition and T...

Configuring Speech Recognition and Translation

Control Panel’s Speech utility controls Windows’ speech-recognition and text-to-speech (speech synthesizer) features.

The Speech Recognition tab is visible only if you’ve installed a program that supports speech-recognition features such as voice dictation. Microsoft Word 2002 and later versions, for example, let you speak commands and dictate text.

The Text-to-Speech tab controls the text-to-speech translation of the Windows speech synthesizer. The only built-in program that reads to you is Narrator, which has its own voice controls (see “Accommodating Disabled Users” earlier in this chapter).

✓ Tips

  • Depending on the hardware installed on your computer, Speech can appear in Control Panel as its own extension or as part of Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices.

  • Windows XP’s speech tools are immature. Try an established product such as Dragon Naturally Speaking (www.scansoft.com).


To configure speech recognition

1.
Choose Start > Control Panel > Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices > Speech > Speech Recognition tab (Figure 4.67).

Figure 4.67. You must train a speech recognizer to adapt to the sound of your voice, word pronunciation, accent, and speaking manner.


2.
In the Language section, choose a speech-recognition engine from the drop-down list or click Settings (if available) to show additional engine properties.

3.
In the Recognition Profiles section, click New to create a new recognition profile for your voice.

Several wizards run to help you set up the profile, calibrate your microphone and speakers, and train your profile.

4.
In the Microphone section, set and configure your audio input device.

5.
Click OK (or Apply).

To configure text-to-speech translation

1.
Choose Start > Control Panel > Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices > Speech > Text to Speech tab (Figure 4.68).

Figure 4.68. The robotic voice of Windows is named Microsoft Sam.


2.
In the Voice Selection section, choose one of the available Text-to-Speech voices or click Settings (if available) to display additional voice properties.

The selected voice speaks the text in the Preview Voice section.

3.
In the Voice Speed section, drag the slider to adjust the voice’s rate of speech.

4.
Click Audio Output to set the preferred device for voice playback.

5.
Click OK (or Apply).

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