PC Doctor January 24, 2022

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Dear PC Doctor:

I have a repetitive stress injury that makes it hurt to keyboard. A friend suggested I might be able to control my computer with voice commands. Can you share any information about that?


Dear Ouchie:

I’m sorry for your injury!

If you have a recent and updated Apple computer, you can use Voice Control. To turn it on, open System Preferences and click Accessibility. You’ll see Voice Control in the sidebar. Click the checkbox next to Enable Voice Control. If it’s the first time you’re enabling Voice Control (and depending on the version of your operating system) you may have a one-time download from Apple. Once Voice Control is on, you should see a picture of a microphone on your screen. Wake it up by saying Wake up. Turn it off by saying Go to sleep. To learn what you can do with voice commands, wake up the microphone and tell it Show commands. You can also create your own custom voice commands – visit the Apple support web pages for details.

In Windows 10, you can do something similar. First, turn on your microphone. To do this, select the Start button, then Settings > Time & Language > Speech. Under Microphone, select the Get started button. Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to teach the computer to recognize your voice. In the search box on the taskbar, type Windows Speech Recognition, and then select Windows Speech Recognition. (If you don't see a dialog box that says "Welcome to Speech Recognition Voice Training," then in the search box on the taskbar, type Control Panel, and select Control Panel in the list of results. Then select Ease of Access > Speech Recognition > Train your computer to understand you better.) Follow the instructions to set up speech recognition. Microsoft has a series of webpages dedicated to teaching you what you can do with voice commands in Windows. To find it, do an internet search for Windows Speech Recognition commands.

I hope this helps!
Until next time,
Happy computing!
PC Doctor

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