DATA DOCTORS

Here are some tips for using free voice recognition software

Oct 1, 2022, 5:45 AM

(Facebook Photo/Otter Voice Meeting Notes)...

(Facebook Photo/Otter Voice Meeting Notes)

(Facebook Photo/Otter Voice Meeting Notes)

Q: Are there any free voice recognition programs for my computer that are worth trying?

A: The pursuit to have computers understand human speech started in the early 1950s when Bell Labs designed a system that could only recognize digits from a single person’s voice.

Today’s voice recognition technology is far from perfected, but if you’re willing to spend the time training yourself to better enunciate and learn the commands, it can be quite useful.

Voice CommandsOne of the easiest-to-use options allows you to use your voice to control various functions that would normally require a mouse or keyboard to access.

For instance, with speech recognition turned on in Windows, you can say ‘Start’ to open the Start menu, then open an application by name that appears in the menu.

You can use your voice to scroll up or down, left or right, select or delete a word or ask it ‘What can I say?’

The steps for activating voice recognition in Windows 10 or 11 are posted online and the list of commands are also on the website.

Mac users that are running macOS Catalina or later, can turn on ‘Voice Control’ for similar capabilities by following instructions and saying ‘Show commands’ or ‘Show me what I can say’ will bring up a list.

Voice DictationIf your intent is to use your voice to create documents, you’ll have to train yourself to speak in a way that the computer can understand you. If you speak too fast or don’t properly enunciate your words, it could be a lot more work than simply typing out the document in the first place.

Keep in mind, 90% accuracy means that every 10th word will be wrong, so if you end up spending a lot of time correcting the mistaken words, it’ll be less efficient.

Both Windows and Mac computers have the ability to recognize when you have clicked into a document, text field or email message and will automatically start converting your spoken words into text.

One of the keys to improved performance is having a good microphone that is designed to focus on your voice and ignore sounds in the background. Voice commands are feasible with a laptop’s built-in microphone, but if you are going to spend a lot of time dictating, a good mic is important.

Fortunately, headset or desktop microphones that will do a better job than your built-in mic aren’t very expensive.

Office 365If you are a regular user of Office 365 for Windows or macOS, you can use the dictation feature in the various apps as long as you have an Internet connection.

You can dictate anywhere that text can be typed, so it’s not just for the word processor.

OtterAnother interesting free technology that I started using on my smartphone a while ago is an app called Otter, which is also available for your computer via a web browser.

This implementation of voice recognition is an excellent tool if there are two people involved (say for interviewing someone) as it separates the various speakers and is incredibly accurate.

The free version allows for up to 300 minutes of recordings and everything is saved to a transcript for easy transfer to other programs, such as a word processor.

Data Doctors

Find something you downloaded: Steps for Android, iOS...

Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Arizonans: Can’t find something you downloaded to your smartphone a while ago? Try this

Want to find something you downloaded to your smartphone? Files can be easy to use. Follow these steps for Androids and iOS.

24 hours ago

Moving your Cox email to Yahoo Mail? Learn about the transition process, from webmail access to ema...

Data Doctors

Data doctors: Beware of Cox to Yahoo email transition scams

Moving your Cox email to Yahoo Mail? Learn about the transition process, from webmail access to email client settings.

8 days ago

How to sync smartphones to Windows computers: Arizona tips...

Data Doctors

Tech tip for Arizonans: How to sync smartphones to Windows computers

Want to learn how to sync smartphones to Windows computers? This article from the Data Doctors explains which steps to take.

15 days ago

(Pexels photo)...

Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here’s what a Wi-Fi analyzer app is used for

Wi-Fi has become an essential utility for most homes and making sure the signal is adequate in high usage areas is key.

22 days ago

(Pexels File Photo)...

Data Doctors

Here are all of the pros and cons of HP’s All-In printer plan

Each brand tries to differentiate itself from the rest of the crowd by creating unique features and in HP’s case, the subscription model is their latest offering.

29 days ago

Many of the fake videos you’ll encounter are likely to be viewed on your smartphone, which can ma...

Data Doctors

Here are all the tips we know regarding how to spot deep fake videos

Many of the fake videos you’ll encounter are likely to be viewed on your smartphone, which can make detection a bit more difficult.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Here are some tips for using free voice recognition software