About speech recognition in Excel

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SUMMARY

This article answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the speech recognition feature in Microsoft Excel.

Microsoft Excel and other Microsoft Office programs can use dictated input and run voice commands with the speech recognition feature that you can install with Office. The speech recognition feature is installed as part of a Typical or Complete installation of Office or Excel, and as part of the Alternative User Input feature in the Office Shared Components when you perform a Custom installation.

MORE INFORMATION

General

  • Question: How do I turn on speech recognition in Excel?

    Answer: To turn on speech recognition, follow these steps:
    1. On the Tools menu, point to Speech, and then click Speech Recognition.

      The Language bar appears at the top of the screen.
    2. If the Dictation and Voice Command buttons do not appear, click Microphone on the Language toolbar.
  • Question: What are the system requirements for speech recognition?

    Answer: The system requirements for speech recognition are a 400 MHz Pentium and 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM. For more information about the system requirements for speech recognition in Excel or other Office programs, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    285342 List of system requirements for Microsoft Office XP
    822129 List of system requirements for Microsoft Office 2003

Modes

  • Question: What is the difference between Dictation mode and Voice Command mode?

    Answer: Dictation mode is used to dictate input to cells in a worksheet.

    Voice Command mode is used to navigate around the worksheet, and to access menus and commands on the menus.

    For example, if you say "up" into the microphone while in Dictation mode, the word "up" appears in the active cell. If you say "up" into the microphone while in Voice Command mode, the active cell moves up one row.
  • Question: How do I start or stop Dictation mode?

    Answer: You can start Dictation mode by clicking Dictation on the Language toolbar, or by saying "Dictation", while you are in Voice Command mode. You can stop Dictation mode by clicking Microphone on the Language toolbar, or by saying "Microphone". You can also stop Dictation mode and change to Voice Command mode by saying "voice command".
  • Question: How do I start or stop Voice Command mode?

    Answer: You can start Voice Command mode by clicking Voice Command on the Language toolbar, or by saying "Voice Command" while you are in Dictation mode. You can stop Voice Command mode by clicking Microphone on the Language toolbar. You can also stop voce command mode and change to Dictation mode by saying "Dictation".

Usage

  • Question: How do I select a range of cells by using speech recognition?

    Answer: For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    288981 How to use speech recognition to select cells, rows, and columns in Excel
  • Question: How do I enter operators?

    Answer: Arithmetic operators are not necessarily entered in the way that you typically say a formula aloud. A standard formula such as, Equals 29 plus 63, may require unexpected verbiage as the formula gets more complex. You can enter operators as follows:
        Operator     Required dictation
        --------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        =            "Equals" or "equals sign"
        +            "Plus" or "plus sign"
        -            "Dash"
        *            "Asterisk"
        /            "Slash"
        :            "Colon"
        >            "Greater Than"
        <            "Less Than"
        ,            "Comma"
        (            "Paren" or "left paren" or "open parenthesis"
        )            "Close paren" or "right paren" or "close parenthesis"
        &            "Ampersand"
        %            "Percent" or "Percent sign"
        $            "Dollar sign"
        ^            "Caret"
        !            "Exclamation point"
        @            "At" or "at sign"
        [            "Bracket" (can precede with "left" or "open")
        ]            "End bracket" (or "right bracket" or "close bracket") 
        {            "Open brace"(or "curly brace" or "left brace")
        }            "Close brace" (or "end curly brace" or "right brace")
        '            "Single quote" or "open single quote"
        '            "Close single quote"
        "            "Quote" or "open quote"
        "            "Close quote"
    					
  • Question: How can I format my cells with a voice command?

    Answer: To format a selected cell or cells in Excel, follow these steps:
    1. On the Language toolbar, click Voice Command.
    2. Say "format cells".
    3. When the Format Cells dialog box appears, say the name of tab that you want; for example, say "number".
    4. Say any subheading or list item in the dialog box; for example, say "currency".

      You can navigate in a list by saying "up" or "down".

      NOTE: You can only navigate in lists; you cannot navigate in palettes or galleries. You may have to click items that appear in palettes or galleries to select them.

      TIP: You can perform actions with voice commands that you cannot perform with the mouse and menus. For example, if you have the Font tab of the Format Cells dialog box open, you can do the following:
         Voice command                   Effect
         --------------------------------------------------------------------
      
         "Bold"                          Bold Font style is set.
      
         "Arial black"                   Font is set to Arial Black.
      
         "Twelve"                        Size is set to 12 point.
      
         "Underline" (pause) "single"    The Underline list is displayed, and
                                         then Single underlining is selected.
      
         "Font color"                    The Color palette is displayed.
      						
  • Question: Are there other voice commands that I can use?

    Answer: See the following list for other voice commands that you can use:
       "Enter"
    
       "Escape" (or "cancel" with U.S. 
       English)
    
       "Up" "down" "left" "right" (Each
       can be preceded by "go")
    
       "Tab"
    
       "Backspace"
    
       "Delete"
    
       "Space" or "space bar"
    
       "Tab"
    
       "Shift tab"
    
       "Home"
    
       "End"
    
       "Page up"
    
       "Page down"
    
       "Last word" or "back one word"         Equivalent to pressing CTRL+LEFT
                                              ARROW
    
       "Right click" or "right click menu"    Show the context (shortcut) menu
       or "context menu"
    					

Troubleshooting

  • Question: Why doesn't speech recognition stop when I press ENTER?

    Answer: For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    282148 Unable to interrupt speech processing with keyboard command

Text To Speech

  • Question: What is the Text To Speech feature and how do I use it?

    Answer: Text To Speech (TTS) is the voice synthesis of written text or numbers. For more information about Text-to-Speech in Excel, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    288986 How to use Text-to-Speech in Excel 2002
  • Question: Why does Excel stop speaking when I move the Text To Speech toolbar?

    Answer: For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    279307 Text to speech operation pauses when you move text to Speech toolbar
  • Question: Why doesn't Excel stop speaking when I start speaking to enter text?

    Answer: For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    292467 Cell references and text are added to cell when you use Text To Speech tool

REFERENCES

For more information about setting up and using speech recognition, click Microsoft Excel Help on the Help menu, type about speech recognition in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.

Properties

Article ID: 288979 - Last Review: January 31, 2007 - Revision: 2.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2003
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbfaq kbhowto KB288979

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