Speech recognition in Windows Vista

Enabling speech recognition via Control Panel

By Deb Shinder

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Ever since Star Trek made it seem commonplace, many computer users have dreamed of being able to throw away their keyboards, exterminate their mice, and control their computers with their voices. Now Vista offers built-in capabilities that make this a reality.

There are two ways to use speech recognition technology:

  • To control the software (start and close programs and switch between them, save and delete files, and so forth).

  • To dictate text to be typed verbatim into a document and edit the text.

  • Developers can use the Vista speech APIs to add speech recognition capabilities to any application. However, Vista's speech recognition doesn't currently work with all languages. It's available in English (both U.S. and U.K.), German, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese (both Traditional and Simplified).

    Vista speech recognition is set up and configured through the Control Panel.

By Jody Gilbert

Jody Gilbert has been writing and editing technical articles for the past 25 years. She was part of the team that launched TechRepublic.