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Hands Full? Edit, Format and Navigate Reports with Speech Recognition

When you visualize yourself in the Gross Room, where are your hands? Chances are, the first thing you thought of was not your keyboard. Even in the office, your hands are more likely to be occupied by the microscope or your slides than by your mouse. One of the many perks of speech recognition software is the ability to dictate text and then format, edit, and even navigate reports without having to take your hands off your specimen. Here are just a few commands you can use with VoiceOver to make your reporting almost completely "hands-free."

hands free with speech recognitionSelecting Text:

While dictating, you may find the need to modify a single word or phrase. This introduces the “Select” <text> command where “text” can be a single word, phrase, line, or paragraph. This command highlights the selected text and allows the user to fully control the formatting of the selected text. Once text is selected, the user can copy, paste, or even delete the selected text.  Some common uses of this are: “Select <specific word or phrase>”, “Select line”, “Select previous <#> words”, “Select Paragraph”, etc.

Editing Text:

Once text has been selected, there are a multitude of editing options.  One of the more commonly used editing functions revolves around capitalization.  Once text is selected, you can say “Cap that”.  This will cause first letter of each word in the selected text to be capitalized. If you want all letters in the selected text to be capitalized, you can issue the “ALL CAPS THAT” command. If you need to remove capitalization, you can say “No caps that”.

Similarly, you can issue commands to bold, italicize, or underline the selected text.  Again, you must have the proper text selected before issuing the command. Once the proper text is highlighted, you can simply say “Bold That”, “Italicize That”, or “Underline That”.   The text will remain highlighted between these commands so you can continue to issue editing commands without having to select the text again.

Navigating the Report:

Continue your “hands-free” dictation by navigating through your report by voice. VoiceOver offers numerous commands for navigation.  Perhaps the most useful is the command that allows you to place the cursor in front of or after a word or phrase anywhere in the report by issuing the “Insert after <text>”  or “Insert before <text>” commands.  Another method of moving the cursor is the “Move” command.  You can say “Move up 5”, and it is like the up arrow is being pressed 5 times.  You can do this with Up, Down, Left, or Right.  You can also tell the program to “Move Right 5 words” and will navigate appropriately.

Features like these keep users focused on the task at hand and allow the speech recognition software to make their workflow more efficient.

To learn more about how dictation can allow you to be more hands-free, contact us now!

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