How to Make Microsoft Word Type for You While You Read

The Speech Recognition feature in Windows 8 enables you to control certain applications by dictating text into your computer’s microphone. Microsoft Word 2013 is one such application. Once you’ve enabled Speech Recognition you can dictate text into Word and perform most of its formatting and document-manipulation functions simply by issuing voice commands.

Beautiful Businesswoman in the office on the phone, headset
For best results, use a headset with a boom microphone.
credit: LDProd/iStock/Getty Images

Step

Connect your external microphone to the line-in or audio input jack on your computer if your computer does not have an internal microphone.

Step

Press "Windows-Q” and type "Set up a microphone” in the Search field. Click "Set up a microphone" on the list of search results and proceed through the prompts to configure and test your microphone. Taking a moment to configure your microphone helps to ensure Word hears your voice clearly.

Step

Press "Windows-Q" again, type "Speech Recognition" in the Search field and click "Speech Recognition" on the search results to open the Speech Recognition prompt. Click "Train your computer to better understand you" and proceed through the prompts to help your computer understand your voice. Because everyone speaks a little differently, this step helps your computer to understand your distinctive voice and rhythms of speech.

Step

Open Microsoft Word and say “start listening” into your computer’s microphone to initiate speech recognition. Begin dictating your text and Word will write it out in your document.

Step

Say “What can I say” into your microphone at any point to have Word load a selection of voice commands it recognizes. For example, in Word you create a new paragraph by saying “new paragraph.” You relocate the cursor back to the start of the current sentence by saying “go to start of sentence.”

Step

Say “stop listening” at any point to turn speech recognition off.