Dual Writer



Navigating Documents with Voice Commands

Before you can begin dictating text into your Word document, you need to say where you want the text to go. You’ll find that one of the most important skills you need to develop is the ability to position the cursor where you want it.

Fortunately, the commands are very simple, and also quite similar to the commands for selecting text.


Go To Commands

When you are using speech to text, you can quickly get to the start or end of the document with these commands.

  • Go to the start of the document
  • Go to the end of the document


Later in this lesson you’ll learning commands for scrolling through documents, but these two commands are the fastest way to get to the start or end of the document. Much faster than scrolling.

These commands will move the cursor to the start of the next or last word, sentence or paragraph.

  • Go to the {next/last} word
  • Go to the {next/last} sentence
  • Go to the {next/last} paragraph

You can also advance the cursor to the end of the current word, sentence or paragraph that the cursor is located in.

  • Go to the end of the word
  • Go to the end of the sentence
  • Go to the end of the paragraph


Moving one character at a time

If the cursor is already close to where you want to start entering speech to text, you can use voice commands that act in the same way as the arrow keys to move the cursor.

  • Go right
  • Go left
  • Go up
  • Go down


When you speech to text, the Speech Recognition system will leave the cursor sitting right after the period at the end of a sentence. And then when you start a new sentence, a space will automatically be added for you. You don’t usually need to say that space character after the period.

So, if the cursor is at the beginning of a sentence, and you want to insert a new sentence there, just say “go left” to back up the cursor one space, and then start dictating. A space following the period of the previous sentence will be added.

If you need to move the cursor repeatedly to get where you want to go, you can add a number to the command.

  • Go right [NUMBER] times
  • Go left [NUMBER] times
  • Go up [NUMBER] times
  • Go down [NUMBER] times


Go to [WORD] / Go after [WORD]

A command that you will find very useful with speech to text is the “go to [WORD]” command. This works the same way as the “select [WORD]” command, except that the cursor is moved to the beginning of the word, rather than selecting it. The word you choose can be anywhere on the screen.

  • Go to [WORD]

If there is more than one instance of that word on the screen, numbers will appear over each of them. Say the number of the one you want, and then say “OK”. The cursor will move to the start of that word.

If you want to move the cursor to go the end of a particular word, say “go after [WORD]”.

  • Go after [WORD]

When you use this command, you’ll know that you are becoming an expert at dictation. It saves you from saying two commands that do the same thing:

  • Go to [WORD]
  • Go to the end of the word


Scrolling with voice commands

Frequently, the place you want to go in your document is not visible on the screen. You need to scroll there. You can use these commands.

  • Scroll up
  • Scroll down

Saying “scroll up” or “scroll down” is equivalent to clicking the arrow buttons at the top or bottom of the scroll bar. You’ll notice that this command doesn’t scroll the document very far. You can use numbers to advance multiple times.

  • Scroll up [NUMBER] times
  • Scroll down [NUMBER] times

To scroll through the document a larger amount, the same distance as when you click on the scroll bar, add the number of pages to the scroll command.

  • Scroll up [NUMBER] pages
  • Scroll down [NUMBER] pages

For example, you can say “scroll up one page” or “scroll down three pages”.


Copy and Paste

Now that you know how to select text and navigate documents using voice commands, you are ready for new commands that require both skills: copy and paste.

  • Copy that
  • Cut that
  • Paste that

“Copy that” and “cut that” place the selected text on the clipboard. The difference is that cutting text also removes it from the document, although it is still on the clipboard. “Paste that” inserts the contents of the clipboard at the cursor location.


Practice what you learned

Use the copy, cut and paste commands to move sections of text around in a document. You might dictate a sentence, and then cot that sentence and paste it onto a new line or in a different paragraph.

Try dictating a sentence, and the use “cut that” and “paste that” to reverse the words in the sentence so that it is backwards from the original sentence you dictated.


Keep going!

When you first decided to learn how to use speech to text in Microsoft Word, you probably wanted to become a more productive writer. Typing can be very tiring. Dictation, it seems, should be faster, easier, and more natural than typing.

And then the first time you try do dictation, you’re shocked at how terrible the results are! The Speech Recognition system gets almost every word wrong. And it’s not clear what you need to do to control Microsoft Word with voice commands.

At first, dictation requires a lot of extra thought, trying to figure out how to do things, and trying to remember the commands. It’s challenging and frustrating. And definitely not faster than typing!

But if you have completed this dictation course and spent some time practicing, then you have already come a long way since that first experience. You’ll soon reach the point where the commands are second nature, you’re dictation voice is clear and precise, and the Speech Recognition system has learned your speech patterns and vocabulary. Speech to text will then be faster than typing. Congratulations!

Don’t give up! It will all be worth the effort.

Best of luck!