Tuning and Tweaking Windows Speech Recognition

After installing your hardware and any required drivers, you're ready to begin using Windows Speech Recognition . You need to run through a quick setup routine, which in turn strongly encourages you to complete the Windows Speech Recognition tutorial. Even if you normally prefer to dive right in to a new feature, we recommend that you make an exception for this tutorial. In small part, that's because the tutorial does an excellent job of introducing the Speech Recognition feature. Much more important, though, is the fact that the speech recognition engine uses your responses during the tutorial to train itself to recognize your voice and phrasing. (And it's really not that long, honest.)

With the tutorial out of the way, you can start Windows Speech Recognition using its shortcut on the Start menu. If you need to adjust any setup options, you can do so from Speech Recognition in Control Panel.

When Speech Recognition is running, you see the capsule-shaped microphone interface pinned to the top of the screen . When the microphone icon is blue and the word Listening appears, the speech recognition engine is hanging on your every word—or for that matter, on stray sounds, which it will try to convert into text or commands. If you're not actively dictating, click the microphone button (or say "Stop listening"). The microphone icon turns gray. If you chose manual activation in the initial setup, you'll need to click the microphone icon again (or press Ctrl+Windows logo key) to resume; if you chose voice activation mode, the word "Sleeping" appears to indicate that it is listening only for the magic phrase "Start listening" to begin again

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