“Computer – Tea, Earl Gray, Hot.”

At least that is how Captain Jean Luc Picard did it in Star Trek; The Next Generation.

Did you know that Windows 7 comes with voice recognition built right into the operating system? If you have a microphone and want to give it a try here is how you do it:


Hit your Windows Key or click on the Windows Start Menu Orb and type in voice recognition. Hit return to start the voice recognition setup.


This screen is the starting point and explains what voice recognition can do for you. Hit Next to get started.


This is the screen where you set up the volume for the microphone your going to use. I actually used the built in microphone on my Logitech Communicate STX webcam. Hit Next to continue.


Your option here to allow the speech recognition software to review your documents and emails to learn how you talk/write. It is not critical to making things work.  The software will learn your style over time as well. I opted to disable the review. Make your choice and hit Next to continue.


Make a choice here to either manually (by clicking the software’s mike button to start listening or use voice activated mode to have it begin when you say “Start Listening”. It is voice recognition software so why not go all out and use voice activated? Make your selection and click Next to move on.


Here is an option to print out a cheat sheet with all the commands you can speak to do things in Windows.  Might be handy as your learning the commands. Or you can be like me and just push forward and learn as you go. I recommend printing out the sheet as the jumping forward did not work so well :-)


Choose to run the speech recognition software at system start up or uncheck the block to start it up manually when you want to use it.


There you go – all done with the setup and you can now control your computer by voice.  I highly recommend you do the tutorial as it helps you learn some of the commands you can give and it is a chance for the software to learn your voice and style of talking.


Here is the start page for the tutorial. You can click Next to start at the beginning or click on any of the boxes near the bottom of the screen to go into specific areas.

Enjoy. Let me know how your experience with voice recognition goes in the comments.

"Hey Computer – where is my tea?”