Hi there back in july of 2021 the Cloud Managment Community released a video called ‘voice typing
windows 11 is awesome‘ this seemed to be a really popular video so in this blog Im going to have a little bit of fun showing you how awesome Voice access is and how it extends the speech recognition capabilities on your Windows 11 device. Since the preview build 22518 which was released in december 2021 the Windows voice access feature can now do many more things, you can open, close applications, maximize, minimize, scroll, edit text and basically you can control your desktop so let’s have a little look at this and give it a go.
To begin with what you’re going to need for this to work is open up your settings on your windows 11 device, scroll down on the left and select Accessibility, then scroll down on the right and under interaction and select ‘Speech’ which should be a an option you already have. When you switch this on for the first time it will prompt you get and download the speech module. Click the download and carry out the install. When installed this is run by the Executable C:\Windows\System32\VoiceAccess.exe.
To switch this on toggle the switch on the page and go through the interactive guide to help you setup and provides you with some basic experience. If you have more than one microphones connected then select the one you want to use. You are then done and ready to try this out. If at some point you want to turn the service off navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Speech and toggle the switch to off.
Its worth pointing out that Initially you will see that Voice Access is in sleep mode. You wake it up by saying ‘voice access wake up’ which will enable the feature to begin listening to your microphone. The service begin to provide verification of this instantly based on the commands and the words you dictate. This is great and really useful because you can immediately see how accurate the service recognises and interprets your speech. I found this to be extremely accurate myself and despite the service originally only available in the american language pack it works with my UK English. It should be said that there will obviously be some small inaccuracies however which for me it worked very well. Now that the Voice Access feature is enabled you can dictate commands to interact and navigate with your Windows PC. Interact with applications and Windows
features using your voice and search the internet using the web browser. This is all available handsfree!
Now, to understand how you interact with the module and carry out commands there is a great website which shows the full list of commands. Take a look for yourself as a little bit of easy training goes a long way.
When running voice access you can quickly change some of the settings using the settings icon at the top right hand side of the command line. Within here you can can select your microphone and switch them, change any of the automatic options or even swith the service off.
Aside from this website you can also give a command where you can say ‘what can i say‘ and then you see a selection of the terms and phrases you can use. I have no doubt this is going to be expanded on but i think it’s a really good start for opening up what you can do with the desktop as opposed to just dictating text into a document.
Let’s go through a few of these commands and see how we get on.
– Open word
– double click
– snap word to left
– minimize word
All these worked by the way.
A popular phrase you may want to use is when searching the internet:
– search on bing for microsoft
– search on youtube for microsoft
– search on google for microsoft
In each case a new tab is opened in your default browser as per below and the phrase dictated is searched automatically by only speaking. Will voice access replace what you do on a day-to-day basis probably not but i do think it’s starting to get there and will be provide a powerfull way for some end users especially people with some disabbilities.
To finish off here I will end with a few more commands:
– minimize edge
– open notepad
– dictation mode
– type thank you for joining this video it’s been really useful i hope you really enjoy what you’ve seen here and give it a go for yourself.
some of the other commands I tried out were:
– open excel
– go to desktop
– restore excel
– double click
– scroll down
– scroll up
– maximise word
– move mouse left
– stop mouse
– select all
– copy that
I would imagine there are plenty more commands and features planned and I look forward to see where this goers next.
Thanks for reading.