Skip to content

Call our free helpline

0800 048 7642
How to use speech recognition in Windows 7

How to use speech recognition in Windows 7

Step 1

  • Voice recognition is an alternative to typing on a keyboard. It is useful for people with physical disabilities who often find typing difficult, painful or impossible.
  • Ease of Access Center has replaced Accessibility Options in the ‘Control Panel’.
  • Open ‘Ease of Access Center’ press ‘Windows’ logo key +‘U’ or click Start button ‘Control Panel’ + ‘Ease of Access’ + ‘Ease of Access Center’.

Step 2

  • Under ‘Explore all settings’, ‘Tab’ to and press ‘Enter’ or click to select ‘Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard'. Fig 1


Fig 1

  • Press 'Alt' + 'U' or click to select 'Use Speech Recognition'
  • Click to select or press ‘Alt’ + ‘S’ to ‘Start Speech Recognition’,  Fig 2.


Fig 2

  • If this is the first time running speech recognition you will be prompted to setup your microphone.
  • To check your microphone is working click ‘Setup Microphone’ or press ‘Alt’ + ‘M’.
  • ‘Tab’ to or click the kind of microphone you are using, Fig 3.


Fig 3

  • Click ‘Next’ or press ‘Alt’ + ‘N’.
  • You will see a screen on placing your microphone.
  • Click ‘Next’ or press ‘Alt’ + ‘N’.
  • Next you are asked to read a sentence on screen and you see a slider in the volume bar move as you speak, Fig 4.


Fig 4

  • Click ‘Next’ or press ‘Alt’ + ‘N’.
  • The microphone is setup, click to select or ‘Alt’ + 'F' to ‘Finish’.
  • If this does not happen, see the Trouble shooting section.

Speech Recognition Voice Training

  • You can now start dictating, however the recognition will not be accurate as the computer has not “learnt” your voice.
  • Click to select or press ‘Alt’ + ‘R’ to select ‘Train your computer to better understand you’. This takes 5 minutes and you can take further units if you want.
  • Read the Welcome screen text, click ‘Next’ or press ‘Alt’ + ‘N’.
  • Read the training text.
  • To select ‘More Training’ click to select or press ‘Alt + ‘M’.
  • Click to Select 'Next' or press 'Alt' + 'N'.
  • After you have done this the computer should recognise your voice.
  • For a list of speech commands click ‘Open reference card’ or press ‘Alt’ + ‘C’.

Further customisation of speech recognition in Windows 7 is available

  • Select ‘Text to Speech’ from ‘Speech Recognition Options’.
  • Select the ‘Speech Recognition’ tab.


Fig 5

  • From this window you can select a user voice profile if the computer is used by different people.
  • Press ‘Alt’ + ‘R’ to run speech recognition from start up.
  • Press ‘Alt’ + ‘W’ to review documents to improve accuracy.
  • You can also fine tune the microphone from this window.

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings cannot be changed due to local IT policies - contact your local IT support for further help.

Need some more help?

Call our free helpline 0800 048 7642 or email enquiries@abilitynet.org.uk

Need free IT Support at Home?

If you are older or disabled and need IT support at home, you can book a free home visit.