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Windows 7 - How to Set Up Speech Recognition

Speech recognition is an extremely useful alternative to typing. You can get emails and documents written far faster simply by talking to your computer. While there are speech recognition programs available for purchase, Windows 7 provides a built-in speech recognition feature which you can use for dictation or carrying out other tasks on your computer. Before you begin, you'll need to have a noise-cancelling microphone, preferably of the headset variety. You'll also need to train speech recognition to better understand your voice. Speech recognition is available in all editions of Windows 7.

Open your start menu and type "Speech" into the start menu search box. Open "Windows Speech Recognition" when it appears. The first thing you'll need to do is configure your microphone. Click "Set up microphone" to continue. Choose the type of microphone that you have. For best results, you should use a headset for speech recognition. Click "Next" again and read the sentences to your computer. Click "Next" again and then click "Finish" to complete the microphone setup.

Although you can start using speech recognition right away, it's much better to spend about half an hour training speech recognition to better understand your voice. To do this, click "Train your computer to better understand you." Go through each step, reading the text as it appears. Continue to the end and click "Finish" to save your changes.

Your speech recognition details are stored in a distinct profile. To access the more advanced speech recognition options, click "Advanced speech options" in the left-hand side of the control panel window. Here you can choose your language, although the correct one should be already selected. You can also delete, create and select speech recognition profiles.

If you want to use speech recognition on multiple computers, it's a good idea to back up and transfer your speech recognition profile rather than having to train it all over again. To do this, you'll need to download and run a free tool from Microsoft's website. This is called the Speech Recognition Profile Manager Tool. This will allow you to export existing profiles and then import them onto another computer.


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