How to Use Speech Recognition with Windows 7

Windows 7 has many features designed to let the user interact with the desktop interface in place of the keyboard and mouse. One feature is touch, another is speech recognition.

What is Speech Recognition?

Just as the keyboard allows one to enter commands into the computer, and the mouse to deliberately change location where you want to type or to launch a file, speech is a new dimension of interface control that focus on commands, not location.

What if an application does not present “commands”?  It can still be controlled by overlaying numbers above the interface, a geography control. To activate a function one only needs to speak the number. A mousegrid can be used to relocate the mouse in the appropriate grid location. The grid has nine zones, and when a zone is selected, the mouse moves to that zone, and a new nine zone grid is created. The speaker speaks the number again and keeps repeating the process until the mouse is put in the appropriate location.

How to use Speech Recognition

Before you can use the speech feature, there are some things that must be done. Unlike keyboards and mice, where the finger pressure is converted into a constant electronic pressure, voice has variations. So the software must be trained.

  • First of all, there is a hardware issue. One needs a very good microphone. Avoid cheaper microphones since they tend to pick up a lot of background noise.
  • Secondly create a voice profile and train the computer to identify the speaker’s voice and pronunciation. There is a speech training tutorial.

-> Click the Start button

->Click Control Panel

-> Click Ease of Access

-> Click Speech Recognition

->Click Take Speech Tutorial

  • And finally, speak clearly and pronounce your words carefully, not too fast or too slow.

Welcom to Speech Recognition

Setup Speech Recognition

Key Features of Speech Recognition

Speech recognition is separated into the following categories:

  • Multiple languages: Windows Speech Recognition in Windows Vista is available in eight languages/dialects: English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese.
  • “How do I” help: If one says “How do I…” do, or make, or find … a task that one wants to perform with the computer, the software will respond accordingly. For example, “How do I change my desktop theme?”
  • Correction: One is able to fix incorrectly recognized words by selecting from alternatives provided for the dictated phrase or word, or by spelling the word.
  • Dictation: Address e-mails and documents by dictation; make corrections, and save the work.
  • Adaptation: Modification and adaptation to speaking styles and accents. The software learns and improves the interaction with the computer
  • Command:  This is the “Say what you see” feature. It enables one to naturally control applications and complete tasks. Among such them are launching documents or applications, formatting, saving or deleting documents.
  • Disambiguation: Ambiguous words and phrasings can be resolved with a user interface for clarification.  If something can be misinterpreted, the software can clarify it.

Here is an example of Windows Speech Recognition.

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50 Responses to How to Use Speech Recognition with Windows 7

  1. Ksim78 February 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    I have tried setting up voice recognition in Win7. Everything goes well untill I later on try to open it up to use it. It will only show me an error message which states “The recogniser language must match the language of the user interface. Please change the recogniser language in the Speech recognition control panel under Advanced Options.” I have not as yet been able to see how this can be done.Any help would be great

  2. Beni Skafar April 5, 2011 at 8:13 am #


    How can you “type” START? Every time you say it, the start menu opens up. Tnx for your help. Hf

  3. Support April 22, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    I found it earlier and it is brilliant and I am using it to post this.

  4. Chiquitadelmar April 27, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    For those of us who hate writing but have to do it, and who write with only one finger this is faster than i can do. At 63 Im not into forcing myself to learn to type.

  5. Chiquitadelmar April 27, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    I only want to know how do I change it to Spanish. Is it only available in Vista? I have windows 7 in one computer and Xp in another.

  6. Graeme Carter May 18, 2011 at 11:57 pm #

     I am having some problems with my speech recognition microphone It is a stereo microphone works well with sound recorder but speech recognition can not hear it.Does anyone know what the solution is? I have tried all of windows 7 troubleshooting exercises.It is not muted, cables are fine. Also when I plug the Jack in it turns off speech recognition.

  7. Andrew May 31, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    My speech recognition software will work great, and then suddenly start telling me “This command is not available now” at every command.  It doesn’t have anything to do with my voice.  Any idea why the program is suddenly switching on me?

  8. Retired1man June 22, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    I did all the set up including training, how do i now turn it on? There is supposed to be something on the right side of screen , but there is nothing there. If anyone can help email me at    thank you

  9. Aje127 July 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    I have found this software very irritating and tiresome. every time I would say, “start Listening” it would go to sleep. It was extremely slow. I have been looking for trouble shooting help but can’t find any.  I think I’ll stick with Dragon.

  10. A. October 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    …… windows voice recognition sucks epically !

  11. Nanadawn46 December 4, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    Can you use Speech recognition on a remote desktop? I have it on my computer but probably not on my computer at work?

    • Mmarkoe December 5, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

      Audio for WSR, Windows Speech Recognition, can only be used on the local computer not remotely.

      Marty Markoe, eMicrophones, Inc.
      Microsoft MVP 2010-2011

  12. Mcallos January 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    is there a cost to using voice recognition?

    • Janus Daniels January 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

      What do you mean by ‘cost’?

  13. Janus Daniels January 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Where can I find info on what applications Windows 7 speech recognition works in? Better, how can I extend that? Windows Vista seemed to let me dictate (more or less) into any text application; Windows 7 seems to let me dictate only into MS applications.

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