How to troubleshoot speech recognition problems in Word 2003

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Article ID: 826323 - View products that this article applies to.
For a Microsoft Word 2002 version of this article, see 295947.
Important This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry
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SUMMARY

This article describes the system requirements for the speech recognition functionality of Microsoft Office Word 2003. This article also describes the most common troubleshooting steps that you can try if speech recognition is not functioning correctly.

MORE INFORMATION

System Requirements

The minimum system requirements for speech recognition are as follows:
  • A 400 megahertz Pentium processor.
  • 128 megabytes of random access memory (RAM). More memory improves performance.
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 with Service Pack 3 (SP3) or later; or Microsoft Windows XP or later.
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later.
  • A high-quality close-talk (headset) microphone that has gain adjustment support.
If your computer system does not meet these minimum requirements, the speech recognition feature may not install correctly, or recognition response time may be slow. For speech recognition to function optimally and without degraded performance, you may have to increase the RAM, to increase the processor speed, or to upgrade the operating system.

Troubleshooting

If speech recognition is not working in all Microsoft Office 2003 programs, you may have to repair Office 2003 (or Word 2003) by running Office Maintenance Wizard.

See If There Is a Possible Damaged Document

If speech recognition does not work in a specific document, create a new Word 2003 document, and then test speech recognition. If speech recognition works in the new document, you may have a damaged (corrupted) document. For additional information about damaged documents, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
826864 How to troubleshoot damaged Word 2003 documents
If speech recognition does not work in the new Word 2003 document, verify if any of the following items might be causing this problem:
  • A third-party add-in
  • A damaged Normal template
  • A registry setting
To determine if any of these items are causing the problem, reset Word 2003 to use its default settings.

Reset Word 2003 to Use the Default Settings

The following components are typically loaded when you start Word 2003:
  • The
    Data
    registry key
  • The Normal.dot global template
  • Add-ins and templates
  • COM add-ins
  • The
    Options
    registry key
If one of these components is damaged or incompatible, you may have problems accessing or using the speech recognition feature in Word 2003. You can temporarily bypass these components by starting Word 2003 with the /a switch.

To start Word 2003 by using the /a switch, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, and then type winword.exe /a in the Open box.
  2. In the Run dialog box, click OK.
If Word 2003 starts and the speech recognition feature works correctly when you use the /a switch, the problem is with one of the components that is listed at the beginning of this section. Use the Troubleshoot Utility to determine the component that is causing the problem. To use the Troubleshoot Utility, you may have to install the Support.dot template. For additional information about the Support.dot template, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
289506 How to install and use the Support.dot template in Microsoft Word 2002
Note If the problem still occurs when you start Word 2003 with the /a switch, you do not have to use the Troubleshoot Utility.

Look For a Possible Damaged Registry Setting

Warning If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. Follow these steps to back up the
Speech
registry key, and then delete the registry key:
  1. Quit all Office 2003 programs.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
  3. Expand Registry Editor to the following registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Speech
  4. Select the Speech folder, and then click Export Registry File on the Registry menu.
  5. Save the Speech folder as a backup so that you can restore your original settings if the registry key is not the problem.

    In Microsoft Windows XP, click Export on the File menu.
  6. After you export the
    Speech
    key, click Edit, and then click Delete. You receive the following message:
    Are you sure you want to delete this key and all of its subkeys?
  7. Click Yes.
  8. Click Registry, and then click Exit.

    In Windows XP, click File, and then click Exit.
After you export and then delete the
Speech
key in the Windows registry, repair Office 2003. For more information, see the "Repair Office" section of this article.

After you repair Office 2003, start Word 2003, and then determine whether the speech recognition feature is working correctly. If you experience the same problems, you may want to restore your original speech recognition registry settings. To do this, quit all Office 2003 programs, and then double-click the file that you saved in step 6.

Look for Possible Third-Party Conflicts

A third-party program that is installed on your computer may conflict with speech recognition in Word 2003. To determine whether a third-party program installed or updated any components that are used by speech recognition, verify the version numbers of the speech recognition components. The speech application programming interface (SAPI) version that is included with Microsoft Office XP is 5.0.2602.00.

If the SAPI version that is on your computer is earlier than 5.0.2602.00, try to repair Office 2003. For more information, see the "Repair Office" section of this article.

Verify Speech Application Programming Interface Files

To verify the version numbers of the SAPI files, use the method that is appropriate for your computer:
  • Method 1: Check the About Tab:
    1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.

      In Windows XP, click Start, and then click Control Panel.
    2. Double-click the Speech icon.
    3. Click the About tab.
  • Method 2: Check Settings:
    1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.

      In Windows XP, click Start, and then click Control Panel.
    2. Double-click the Speech icon.
    3. On the Speech Recognition tab, click Settings in the Language area.
  • Method 3: Check the Version of the SAPI Files.
    1. Right-click Start, and then click Explore.
    2. In Windows Explorer, locate the following folder:
      C:\Program Files\Common Files\SpeechEngines\Microsoft\SR 3
    3. Right-click either the Spsreng.dll file or the Spsrx.dll file, and then click Properties.
    4. Verify the file version on the Version tab.

Related Speech Recognition Files

To verify the versions of other related speech recognition files, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files or Folders.
  2. In the Named box, type Msctf.dll, and then click Find Now.
  3. Right-click the Msctf.dll file, and then click Properties.
  4. Click the Version tab, and then note the version number.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 to verify the Ctfmon.exe file.
The version number for the Msctf.dll and for the Ctfmon.exe files that are included with Office XP is 5.1.2409.7. If the version number of these files on your computer is earlier than 5.1.2409.7, try to repair Office 2003. For more information, see the "Repair Office" section of this article. For additional information about a known third-party conflict with Text Bridge and speech recognition in Word 2002, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
302598 OFFXP: Dictation Mode does not start when you start Speech Recognition

Repair Office

  1. Quit all Windows-based programs.
  2. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.

    In Windows XP, click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  3. Double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon, and then do one of the following:
    • If you installed Word as part of Office, click Microsoft Office in the Currently installed programs box, and then click Change.
    • If you installed Word as a stand-alone program, click Microsoft Word in the Currently installed programs box, and then click Change.
  4. In Office Maintenance Wizard, click Repair Office.
  5. Select the Detect and Repair errors in my Office installation option, and then click OK.

Look for a possible corrupted user lexicon database

For additional information about the CurrentUserLexicon file, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
838659 Speech engines do not work and you receive an error message when you open Speech Control Panel

Important As an additional troubleshooting step, you can run a system disk utility, such as ScanDisk or Disk Defragmenter before you repair Office. To locate these Windows utilities, click Start, point to Programs (in Windows XP, point to All Programs), point to Accessories, and then point to System Tools.

Determine Whether the Problem Is Related to Hardware

If you have no speech recognition functionality on your computer, but speech recognition appears to be installed and activated, there may be a problem with the microphone or with another hardware device. To determine whether the microphone has a problem, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.

    In Windows XP, click Start and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Text Services.

    In Windows XP, click Other Control Panel Options in the See Also area, and then click Text Services.
  3. Click Configure Microphone.

    In Windows XP, select Speech Recognition in the Installed Services list, and then click Properties. On the Speech Recognition tab, click Configure Microphone.
Activity on the microphone volume screen indicates that the microphone is functioning correctly. If you see no activity on the microphone volume screen, your computer may not be recording any sound.

To test the sound on your system, use Sound Recorder. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs (in Windows XP, point to All Programs), point to Accessories, point to Entertainment, and then click Sound Recorder.
  2. Click the Record button, and then speak into your microphone. If there is no activity when you speak into your microphone, your sound card or another hardware driver may have a problem.

Determine Whether the Problem Is with the Text Input Processor

If the handwriting recognition feature in Word 2003 works correctly, but speech recognition does not work correctly, the text input processor may be damaged. To correct this problem, remove and then reinstall the speech recognition feature by using the Office 2003 Setup program.

Verify the Language and the Keyboard Settings

Text input processors are language specific. To determine whether the language is set to English (United States), follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel. In Windows XP, click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Text Services. In Windows XP, click Other Control Panel Options in the See Also section, and then click Text Services.
  3. Click the Setting tab. Make sure that the Default Input Language is set to English (United States).
  4. In the Installed Services list, confirm that the English (United States) keyboard is listed as an installed keyboard. If the English (United States) keyboard is not listed, follow these steps:
    1. Click Add.
    2. In the Add Input Language dialog box, change the Input Language box to English (United States).
    3. Click OK.

Look for Multilingual Problems

If you are running Windows NT 4.0 with the Simplified Chinese version of Office or the Japanese version of Office, Voice Command mode is only available in Word 2002. Speech recognition is not available if you are running a stand-alone version of Microsoft Access 2002, Microsoft Excel 2002, Microsoft FrontPage 2002, Microsoft Outlook 2002, Microsoft PowerPoint 2002, or Microsoft Publisher 2002.

If neither Dictation mode nor Voice Command mode appears on the Office Language bar, you may be using an input method editor (IME) that is from an earlier version of Office. To use speech recognition, you must use an input method editor that is included with Office XP or the Microsoft Office XP Multilingual User Interface Pack. For additional information about the input method editor, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
293624 OFFXP: Global IME Does Not Work After You Install Office XP
For more information about speech recognition, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type speech in the Search for box in the Assistance pane, and then click Start searching to view the topic.

For the most up-to-date information about speech recognition developments at Microsoft, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/speech/
For additional information about speech recognition in Microsoft Word, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
278927 WD2002: General Information on the Installation and Configuration of Speech and Handwriting Recognition
283160 WD2002: Handwriting Recognition Frequently Asked Questions
304861 OFFXP: "Handwriting Recognition in Office XP" White Paper Available for Download
304860 "Speech Recognition in Office XP" White Paper Available for Download

Properties

Article ID: 826323 - Last Review: July 27, 2006 - Revision: 4.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
Keywords: 
kbhowto KB826323

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