Just Tell Me What to Do
After you've completed basic voice training as part of installing Speech Recognition, you can start using the feature to issue your menu, toolbar, and dialog box selections verbally. To issue voice commands, you need to display the Language bar and then put Speech Recognition into Voice Command mode. When you engage Speech Recognition (Tools → Speech → Speech Recognition) Excel automatically displays the Language bar, which remains a floating toolbar on the Excel window at all times unless you minimize the bar.
If you do minimize the Language bar, Excel adds the buttons on the Language bar to the Windows XP taskbar (immediately to the left of the Notifications area that contains the clock and icons for other items that are running). By minimizing the Language bar on the Windows taskbar, you ensure that its buttons are out the way of the Excel screen so that you don't ever have to interrupt your speaking to move the floating Language bar out of the way.
To open the Language bar, minimize it on the Windows XP taskbar, and then get it into Voice Command mode, follow these steps:
- Choose Tools → Speech → Speech Recognition to engage Speech Recognition and display the Language bar.
Excel opens the floating Language bar in the middle of the Excel window.
- Click the Minimize button (the one with the minus sign icon) at the right end of the floating Language bar.
Excel adds all the buttons currently displayed on the Language toolbar to the right side of the Windows taskbar.
- Click the Voice Command button on the Language bar that now appears on the Windows XP taskbar.
Note that you can also say "voice command" to select this button. You can tell that the Language bar is in Voice Command mode because the words Voice Command replace Starting Speech or Listening in the Language bar's Mode Indicator (the button with the balloon almost midway in the bar).
After Speech Recognition is initiated, you're really ready to tell Excel what to do.