Understanding Speech and Handwriting Recognition

All Office applications include speech and handwriting recognition, sharing it with Internet Explorer and Outlook Express. Using speech recognition, you can dictate the content of PowerPoint slides or use voice commands to perform basic tasks such as formatting text. Speech recognition uses a speech recognition engine. Microsoft currently offers three engines: one in U.S. English, one in Japanese, and one in Simplified Chinese.


If you're a native speaker of English from a country other than the United States (such as the U.K. or Australia) or if English is your second language, the speech recognition engine might not work as well for you because it's trained to recognize American accents.

Using handwriting recognition, you can "write" using a handwriting input device, such as pen stylus and tablet (or even your mouse, although a tablet works much better), and have your written text transcribed into typed text in PowerPoint. Handwriting recognition needs a handwriting recognition engine. Microsoft currently offers five engines, in U.S. English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean.

The uses and advantages of both speech and handwriting recognition are numerous , with the most important being the ability to cut down on keyboard and mouse time while still remaining productive. These tools are an acquired taste, however, and might take some time to get used to. If you're interested in seeing how they could assist in your own productivity, it's worthwhileand funto at least give them a try. Remember though, that speech and handwriting recognition can't be a complete substitute for working with a keyboard and mouse. They're most effective when working in conjunction with these traditional tools.

Looking at Hardware and Software Requirements

Office's speech and handwriting recognition tools have specific hardware and software requirements. They also have specific minimum requirements in terms of computer speed and memory.


Although you might be able to activate speech and handwriting recognition tools with less than the minimum specified requirements, their performance will be problematic or unreliable.

To use speech recognition, you'll need

  • A close-talk headset microphone with gain adjustment support to modify microphone amplification for appropriate sound recognition. Microsoft recommends a microphone that plugs in to a USB (universal serial bus) port on your computer.

  • A 400MHz or faster computer.

  • At least 128MB of memory.

  • Internet Explorer 5.0 or later.

To use handwriting recognition, you'll need

  • A 75MHz or faster computer

  • 24MB of memory or more with Windows 98 or ME; 40MB of memory or more with Windows NT 4.0 or later

  • As a writing tool, a mouse (minimum) or a handwriting input device such as a pen stylus and tablet connected through a serial or USB port (recommended)

Installing Speech and Handwriting Recognition

To install speech recognition automatically, choose Tools, Speech from the menu bar and then proceed with the step-by-step setup guidance. To install handwriting recognition, you'll need to return to the Office setup CD. You can also install speech recognition from this setup CD.

For a more in-depth explanation to set up the speech recognition feature, see "Setting Up Speech Recognition" later in this chapter, p. 150 .

To install these features from the Office CD, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the Office Setup CD in your CD-ROM drive to reopen the Microsoft Office Setup dialog box (see Figure 8.1).

    Figure 8.1. You can add or remove speech and handwriting recognition features.


  2. Select the Add or Remove Features option button, and click Next to continue.

  3. Click the Choose Advanced Customization of Applications check box and click Next.

  4. Click the plus sign next to Office Shared Features and then the plus sign next to Alternative User Input.

  5. Click the down arrow next to Microsoft Handwriting Component and choose Run from My Computer from the menu that appears. Figure 8.2 illustrates both speech and handwriting recognition installed.

    Figure 8.2. Running these features from your computer means that they're installed.



    If you want to uninstall either of these features, choose Not Available from the menu.

  6. Click the Update button to update your system with the selected changes.

After you install speech and handwriting recognition, it's available in all Office applications.

Special Edition Using Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003
Special Edition Using Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003
ISBN: 0789729571
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 261

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