How to Use Microsoft Office by Talking Instead of Typing

A headset will likely produce the best results.

A headset will likely produce the best results.

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by Contributing Writer

Microsoft has included many features in Windows intended to make it easier to use for everyone. One such feature, present since Windows Vista, is a free, built-in speech recognition system that, once activated, can be used in nearly every Windows application, including the Microsoft Office suite, for both commands and dictation.

Step 1

Click Start and type "speech" without quotation marks.

Step 2

Select "Start Speech Recognition" from the results. The Speech Recognitition bar opens.

Step 3

Complete the setup process using the on-screen wizard.

Step 4

Click the gray button labeled with a microphone icon. It turns blue, indicating that speech recognition is active.

Step 5

Launch the Microsoft Office application you wish to use.

Step 6

Begin speaking commands or dictating text into the microphone.


  • If the system is having trouble recognizing your speech, try running through the tutorial, which trains the system on your voice.


  • Information in this article applies to Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

About the Author

Based in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mike Venture has been writing since 2005. He has written for the RAND Corporation, Sterling & Ross Publishers and Metropol Literary Agency. He has also worked as a technical writer at several software start-ups. Venture holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh.

Photo Credits

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