Speech in 2003

I put Office 2003 on my wife’s Thinkpad last week and I’ve been playing with it a little. This is the first time I’ve used 2003 since my tech editing days.

I set up the speech feature and did the initial training. It kept telling me to get a high-quality microphone and I kept telling it no. We just couldn’t seem to agree.

After the training, I turned on the television. That was a mistake. Apparently you need a soundproof chamber to use this feature.

Here I said “Enter text in cell”

Excel range showing text

Then I wanted to talk my way down to A2. I said “down”, it typed down. I said “enter” it typed Answer. I said “return”, it gave me a square. Ooh, that was close. Then I turned the television on and got There will.

I manually went to A2 and tried to figure out how to navigate. I said “A3?, it typed take three. It was truly a battle of wits and I was losing. I don’t remember how those ‘ones’ and ‘1s’ got in there. I was probably cursing.

Okay, maybe Excel wasn’t the right program for my test run. I opened up Word and proceeded to type the following letter: “Dear Mr. Kusleika”, “return return”, “In regard to your recent correspondence”, “comma”, ” it is my duty to inform you that your daughter was pregnant before I ever met her”, “period return return”, “Sincerely”, “comma return”, “Shotgun Charlie”

Word document showing text

It was like having my own secretary right there. If my secretary was on crack. Actually, I was pretty impressed that it got my name right and that it knew what I meant when I uttered “period”, “return”, and “comma”.

Next it was time to impress my wife and kid. “Gather ’round”, I said. I opened up a new email in Outlook and began “Dear Nancy” after which both wife and child said something to the effect of “Cool! How did you do that?” The resulting mess in the email message was less than impressive.

I wish I’d had more time to play with it. There was a lot more swearing I wanted to do. Plus I wanted to see if it knew any Spanish. Alas, my wife booted me down to my own computer where the microphone is nowhere to be found. Maybe Juan can swear in Spanish at his computer and let us know what happens.

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4 thoughts on “Speech in 2003

  1. Very funny, ever now and again I try this too and get much the same results.
    Have you ever tried any of the ‘proper packages’ Dragon etc?

  2. “Have you ever tried any of the √ęproper packages√≠ Dragon etc?”

    No. It would cool to have, but I wouldn’t actually pay money for it. There’s a guy in my office that dictates his letters into a tape recorder. I would seriously consider something for him, but there’s no way he would sit through the training.


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