Windows 10: Lists of vocal commands for speech recognition and dictation

Windows 10 allows users to talk to their computers, but the list of possible commands is significant. We provide a handy reference to the most common speech recognition commands.

voice control on computer

Image: iStock/fizkes

Practically from the beginning, navigating commands in Microsoft Windows has been made easier by the inclusion of keyboard shortcut combinations. For some people, these shortcuts are often faster than using the mouse and the GUI. However, for some tasks, an even more efficient method for commanding Windows 10 is available—speech recognition and the power of vocal commands.

SEE: Windows 10: Lists of vocal commands for speech recognition and dictation (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The list of potentially useful vocal commands for the Windows 10 speech recognition feature is considerable. Recognized commands range from simple tasks like opening applications to more complex jobs like editing documents. While it is not likely a user will remember all the various commands, it is possible that more than a few vocal commands will be useful enough to become a standard part of their Windows 10 tool kit.

Vocal commands for speech recognition and dictation in Windows

Activating speech recognition and dictation features in Microsoft Windows 10 requires a visit to several configuration screens, the first of which is shown in Figure A.

Figure A

a-vocal-commands-win10.jpg

Once the feature is active in Windows 10, you may reach the speech recognition interface by using the keyboard shortcut combination of Windows Key + H. Of course, your system microphone will also have to be active.

SEE: TechRepublic Premium editorial calendar: IT policies, checklists, toolkits, and research for download (TechRepublic Premium)

Table A provides a list of common speech recognition commands in Windows 10. Note, you can also get help from the system at any time by asking, "What can I say?" If a word or phrase is shown in bold, it is an example that can be replaced with similar words to get the result you want.

Table A—Common speech recognition commands in Windows 10

To do this

Say this

Open Start

Start

Open Cortana

Press Windows C

Open Search

Press Windows S

Perform an action in an app

Right-click; press Windows Z; press Ctrl B

Select an item by its name

File; Start; View

Select an item or icon

Click Recycle Bin; click Computer; click file name

Double-click an item

Double-click Recycle Bin; double-click Computer; double-click file name

Switch to an open app

Switch to Paint; switch to WordPad; switch to program name; switch application

Scroll in one direction

Scroll up; scroll down; scroll left; scroll right

Insert a new paragraph or new line in a document

New paragraph; new line

Select a word in a document

Select word

Select a word and start to correct it

Correct word

Select and delete specific words

Delete word

Show a list of applicable commands

What can I say?

Update the list of speech commands that are currently available

Refresh speech commands

Turn on listening mode

Start listening

Turn off listening mode

Stop listening

Move the Speech Recognition microphone bar

Move speech recognition

Minimize the microphone bar

Minimize speech recognition

Table B provides a list of common dictation commands in Windows 10. If a word or phrase is shown in bold, it is an example that can be replaced with similar words to get the result you want. To insert punctuation while dictating a document, simple say the word. For example, "comma" will insert a comma, etc.

Table B—Common dictation commands in Windows 10

To do this

Say this

Insert a new line in the document

New line

Insert a new paragraph in the document

New paragraph

Insert a tab

Tab

Insert the literal word (for example, insert the word "comma" instead of the punctuation mark)

Literal word

Insert the numeral form of a number (for examples, insert 3 instead of the word three)

Numeral number

Put the cursor before a specific word

Go to word

Put the cursor after a specific word

Go after word

Don't insert a space before the next word

No space

Go to the start of the current sentence

Go to start of sentence

Go to the start of the current paragraph

Go to start of paragraph

Go to the start of the current document

Go to start of document

Go to the end of the current sentence

Go to end of sentence

Go to the end of the current paragraph

Go to end of paragraph

Go to the end of the current document

Go to end of document

Select a word in the current document

Select word

Select a word range in the current document

Select word range; select word through word

Select all text in the current document

Select all

Select a number of words before the location of the cursor

Select previous 20 words; select previous 10 words

Select a number of words after the location of the cursor

Select next 20 words; select next 10 words

Select the last text you dictated

Select that

Clear the selection on the screen

Clear selection

Capitalize the first letter of a word

Caps word

Capitalize all the letters of a word

All caps word

Make all the letters in a word lowercase

No caps word

Change the next number of words to uppercase

Change next 10 words to uppercase

Change the next number of words to lowercase

Change next 10 words to lowercase

Delete the previous sentence

Delete previous sentence

Delete the next sentence

Delete next sentence

Delete the previous paragraph

Delete previous paragraph

Delete the next paragraph

Delete next paragraph

Delete the selected or last dictated text

Delete that

Table C provides a list of common Windows 10 application and Windows commands. If a word or phrase is shown in bold, it is an example that can be replaced with similar words to get the result you want.

Table C—Common Windows 10 application and windows commands (Microsoft)

To do this

Say this

Select an item by its name

File; Start; View

Select an item or icon

Click Recycle Bin; click Computer; click file name

Double-click an item

Double-click Computer; double-click Recycle Bin; double-click folder name

Right-click an item

Right-click Computer; right-click Recycle Bin; right-click folder name

Minimize all windows to show your desktop

Show desktop

Select something if you don't know what it's called

Show numbers (Numbers will appear on the screen for every item in the active window. Say an item's corresponding number to select it.)

Select a numbered item

19 OK; 5 OK

Double-click a numbered item

Double-click 19; double-click 5

Right-click a numbered item

Right-click 19; right-click 5

Open an app

Open Paint; open WordPad; open app name

Switch to an open app

Switch to Paint; switch to WordPad; switch to app name; switch application

Close an app

Close that; close Paint; close Documents

Minimize

Minimize that; minimize Paint; minimize Documents

Maximize

Maximize that; maximize Paint; maximize Documents

Restore

Restore that; restore Paint; restore Documents

Cut

Cut that; Cut

Copy

Copy that; Copy

Paste

Paste

Delete

Delete that; Delete

Undo

Undo that; Scratch that; Undo

Scroll in one direction

Scroll up; Scroll down; Scroll right; Scroll left

Scroll an exact distance in pages

Scroll down 2 pages; Scroll up 10 pages

Scroll an exact distance in other units

Scroll up 5; Scroll down 7

Go to a field in a form or app

Go to field name; Go to Subject; Go to Address; Go to cc

Also see