Issuing Voice Commands to Word

You control both voice commands and dictation from Word's Language Bar (see Figure 7.4). If the Language Bar does not appear, right-click the Restore button in the Windows taskbar. To turn on Voice Command, click Voice Command.

Figure 7.4. Word's Language Bar.



The Language Bar may contain different commands depending on which features you are using, or have used.

Word recognizes the following commands:

  • Any menu command. First say the name of the menu and then say the name of the command.

  • Any command, setting, or button in a dialog box (but not numeric values in dialog boxes). To check a box, say Check, followed by the command name. To clear a box, say Uncheck, followed by the command name.

  • Tabs in dialog boxes with multiple tabs.

  • Any toolbar button; say the name of the button.

  • The word "select," which tells Word you want to select text or other document elements next.

  • The phrase "task pane," which displays the task pane.

  • Various navigation settings, as listed in Table 7.1.

Table 7.1. Navigation and Related Commands Word Recognizes

To Do This…

Say This…


Backspace or Delete

Go back one word

Back one word or Last word

Go Down One Screen

Page down

Go Down

Down or Go down

Go forward one word

Forward one word or Next word

Go left

Left or Go left

Go right

Right or Go right

Go to beginning

Home or Go Home

Go to End

End or Go End

Go to next page

Next page

Go to previous page

Previous page

Go up one screen

Previous screen

Go up

Up or Go up

Press Escape

Escape or Cancel

Press the Enter key

Enter or Return

Press the spacebar

Space or Spacebar



Right-click to show a shortcut menu

Right-click or Context menu or Right-click menu






It's unlikely you've memorized the names of all the toolbar buttons you'll ever want to use. For example, did you remember that the right-align button is called Align Right, not Right Align?

You can always display a button's name by hovering the mouse pointer over the toolbar button. Of course, if you can hover over the button, you can also click it?but at least you'll know the name for next time.

You may find yourself using Word to format text. You can instruct Word to select text by speaking the word "select," followed by whatever you want Word to select; for example: "select word," "select paragraph," "select table," or "select all" (which selects the entire document).

When text is selected, you can speak the name of the formatting you want to apply: "bold," "italic," "underline," "bullet," "numbering," "increase indent," and so forth. You can say "font" to display the list of fonts and then speak the name of a font you want to apply, such as Arial. You can also say "font size," and then speak the font size you want to apply.


If Word is having trouble understanding your commands, you may want to adjust the margin of error it permits in recognizing commands. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. From the Language Bar, choose Tools, Options.

  2. Click the Settings button. The Recognition Profile Settings dialog box appears (refer to Figure 7.8, later in this chapter).

    Figure 7.8. Adjusting the trade-off between accuracy and recognition.


  3. In the Pronunciation Sensitivity area, drag the slider to the left, toward Low; then click OK twice.

    Part I: Word Basics: Get Productive Fast
    Part II: Building Slicker Documents Faster
    Part III: The Visual Word: Making Documents Look Great
    Part IV: Industrial-Strength Document Production Techniques
    Part VI: The Corporate Word