(Updated July 19, 2005)

Itamar Even-Zohar


Microsoft office 2003 has an improved version of speech recognition (which was started with office 2002).  Here is a short report.


Improvements and resolved issues

Recognition engine

The recognition engine is no longer 5.1, but 6.1.  According to David Mowatt of the Microsoft Corporation, this engine is significantly different from the previous 5.1 version.  For more information see “How Speech Recognition Engine 6 ‘Learns’”.


Bug fixes

At least part of the bugs of Microsoft SR 2002 seems to have been fixed, as follows:


  1. Capital letters are no longer inserted in the middle of sentences after pauses.
  2. A comma is no longer inserted into year numbers.
  3. Speech data is rarely lost.  This bug used to occur in 2002 and in the beta version of 2003 when a long file was entered for continued dictation.


Interface utilities

An application is now available from Microsoft (click here) for saving and restoring (or moving to other computers) User Speech Profiles.  This little application takes care of the added words and macros.


Shortcomings and unresolved issues


  1. There is still need to go to Command Mode for extended navigation commands (though the basic navigation commands are available during Dictation Mode).
  2. There is no configuration feature to configure preferences (such as the format of punctuation or measures and other signs).
  3. There is still no correction line to comfortably enter a correction when the popup list of alternatives does not offer the correct item.
  4. It is still necessary to repeat the first characters when typing the correct item if the first two characters or more coincide with the first characters of items on the list of alternatives.
  5. Extra space after a left parenthesis and a left quote is inserted still.  In order to avoid that, you must not cause even slightly after the taking the punctuation mark.
  6. Extra “00” are headed to phone numbers (live $2,000.00 instead of $2,000).
  7. Documentation is still very scant.  Nothing has been added to the Help file.  Installation of the speech recognition feature is not explicit.


[This text was dictated with Microsoft Speech Recognition 2003 and Telex M-560 Microphone]