You can use your voice to control your computer. You can say commands that the computer will respond to, and you can dictate text to the computer.
Before you get started using Windows Speech Recognition, you'll need to connect a microphone to your computer.
Figure 11: Image of Set up Speech Recognition dialog box
Once you've got the microphone set up, you can train your computer to better understand you by creating a voice profile that your computer uses to recognize your voice and spoken commands. For information about setting up your microphone, see Set up your microphone for Speech Recognition in Windows Help.
After you've got your microphone and voice profile set up, you can use Speech Recognition to do the following:
Control your computer. Speech Recognition listens and responds to your spoken commands. You can use Speech Recognition to run programs and interact with Windows. For more information about the commands you can use with Speech Recognition, see Common commands in Speech Recognition in Windows Help.
Dictate and edit text. You can use Speech Recognition to dictate words into word-processing programs or to fill out online forms in a web browser. You can also use Speech Recognition to edit text on your computer. For more information about dictating text, see Dictate text using Speech Recognition in Windows Help.
You can add a personal touch to your computer by changing the computer's theme, color, sounds, desktop background, screen saver, font size, and user account picture. You can also select specific gadgets for your desktop. Find out more on the Windows website.
A theme includes a desktop background, a screen saver, a window border color, sounds, and sometimes icons and mouse pointers. You can choose from several Aero themes. Use the whole theme or create your own customized theme by changing the pictures, colors, and sounds individually. You can also find more themes online. For more information, see What is a theme? in Windows Help.
Components of a theme
Aero is the premium visual experience of this version of Windows. It features a transparent glass design with subtle window animations, a new Start menu, a new taskbar, and new window border colors. For more information, see What is the Aero desktop experience? in Windows Help.
Window border colors that are available with Aero
To learn how to change colors in Windows, see Change the colors on your computer in Windows Help.
You can change the sounds your computer makes when, for example, you receive email, start Windows, or shut down your computer. For more information, see Change computer sounds in Windows Help.
The desktop background, also called wallpaper, is a picture, color, or design on the desktop. It provides a backdrop to your open windows. You can choose one picture to be your desktop background or you can display a slide show of pictures. For more information, see Create a desktop background slide show, and Change your desktop background (wallpaper).
Some of the desktop background choices in Windows
A screen saver is a picture or animation that appears on the screen when you haven't used the mouse or keyboard for a set period of time. You can choose from a variety of Windows screen savers. For more information, see Change screen saver in Windows Help.
You can make the text, icons, and other items on your screen larger by increasing the dots per inch (DPI) scale. You can also decrease the DPI scale to make text and other items on your screen smaller, to fit more on the screen. For more information, see Make the text on your screen larger or smaller in Windows Help.
User account picture
A user account picture helps identify your account on a computer. The picture is displayed on the Welcome screen and on the Start menu. You can change your user account picture to one of the pictures included with Windows, or you can use your own. For more information, see Choose a picture for your user account and Start menu in Windows Help.
Desktop gadgets are customizable mini-programs that can display information, such as continuously updated headlines or a picture slide show, without having to open a new window. For more information, see Desktop gadgets: frequently asked questions andCustomize desktop gadgets in Windows Help.
Gadgets on a desktop
Microsoft Accessibility website
More Microsoft product tutorials
Windows 7 Help and How-To online
The following step by step tutorials show you how to turn on and set some of the most commonly used accessibility options in Windows 7.
The instructions show you how to use either the mouse or keyboard to navigate, select options, and change settings.
This information is presented in a side by side format so that you can see at a glance how to use the mouse, the keyboard, or a combination of both to set options.
Use the computer without a display Turn on Narrator 42
Turn on Audio Descriptions 43
Turn off all unnecessary animations 44
How long should Windows notification dialog boxes stay open? 45
Make the computer easier to see Choose a High Contrast theme 46
Turn on or off High Contrast when Left Alt Left Shift Print Screen is pressed 47