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Barking Out Commands

Your new virtual secretary is very impressive when it comes to dictation, but what about carrying out simple commands, such as saving files and printing documents? Well, let's find out. Open a document you previously saved. Strap on your microphone, and then click the Voice Command button in the Language toolbar. Say "Save." Voilà! Speech recognition passes your command along to the current Office application, and your file is saved to disk. Double-click a word to highlight it, and then say "Bold." Say "Italic." Pretty cool, huh? In addition, here's a list of keyboard commands you can use in any Office application:

"Return" or "Enter" to press the Enter key

"Backspace"

"Delete"

"Space" or "Spacebar" to insert a space

"Escape" or "Cancel" to close a menu or dialog box

"Right-click," "Right-click menu," "Show right-click menu," "Context menu," or "Show context menu" to show a context menu

"Tab"

"Control tab" to press the Ctrl+Tab keystroke

"Shift tab" to press the Shift+Tab keystroke (typically used to move back to the previous tab or to the previous option in a dialog box)

"End" or "Go end" to move the insertion point to the end of the current line

"Home" or "Go home" to move the insertion point to the beginning of the current line

"Phone home" to call your alien homeland for a quick return flight (just kidding)

"Up," "Go up," "Up arrow," or "Arrow up" to move the insertion point up one line

"Down," "Go down," "Down arrow," or "Arrow down" to move the insertion point down one line

"Left," "Go left," "Left arrow," or "Arrow left" to move the insertion point one character to the left

"Right," "Go right," "Right arrow," or "Arrow right" to move the insertion point one character to the right

"Previous page" or "Page up" to flip back one page

"Next page" or "Page down" to flip to the next page

Of course, you must be able to punctuate your text as you dictate. Punctuation is fairly intuitive. For a period, say "Period" or "Dot." For a comma, say "Comma." For a semicolon, say "Semicolon." I bet you can't guess what to say for an exclamation point... you got it, "Exclamation point."

Hundreds of commands and special characters can be accessed via dictation and voice commands in the various Office applications. To learn about these commands and characters, check out the help system.

What's with the EN Button in My Taskbar?!

If you minimize the Language bar, EN appears in the system tray (at the right end of the Windows taskbar), indicating that you're in English mode. Of course, if you're speaking Japanese, some other characters appear. Click EN and click Show the Language Bar to display the Language bar or right-click it for additional options.

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