Controlling a PC with Voice Commands

The guiding principle for working with windows, dialog boxes, menus, and other on-screen objects is simple: "Say what you see ." So, for example, you can say "Start," and Windows Speech Recognition will display the Start menu. You can then say "All Programs" to open that menu, and continue working your way to the program you want by saying the names of objects and menu items you see on the screen. If you know the name of the program you want to open, you can skip that navigation and just say "Open program."

You can also "click what you see" (or double-click or right-click). If a window has menus available, you can speak the names of those menus ("File," "Open") just as if you were clicking them

If you can't figure out what to say to get Windows Speech Recognition to click an object on the screen, make a note of where the object you want to see is located, and then say "Show numbers ." This command enumerates every clickable object on the screen and overlays a number on each one, as shown in Figure 26-8, which depicts what happens to Control Panel when you choose this option .

Figure 26-8 When you say "Show numbers," Windows Speech Recognition tags every clickable object with a number. Say "click" or "double-click" followed by the number to accomplish your goal

Show Numbers works equally well with webpages, identifying clickable regions and objects on the page. It also works with the Start menu and the taskbar, offering an easy way to open and switch programs. If you prefer, you can use the "Switch to program" command, substituting the text in the title bar for the program you want to switch to . To work with individual windows, you can use the "minimize," "maximize," and "close" commands, followed by the name of the program . For the currently selected window, use the shortcut "that," as in "Minimize that." To minimize all open windows, say "Show desktop ."

To scroll through text in a window, say "Scroll up" or "Scroll down." For more control over scrolling, add a number from 1 through 20 after the command (the larger the number, the greater the scrolling)

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