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How to convert audio/voice to text : sound to text conversion by Speech Recognition with XP

Updated on April 8, 2012

With the Speech Recognition feature you can simply talk to your computer. It will be possible for computer to understand what you say. Yes, you can convert your speech to text directly by this technique and it also doesn't includes buying of expensive software and other utilities, Just a simple technique to implement on your Windows XP MS Office and you are on. Now say goodbye to typing and start effortless speech to text conversion for your data entries, blog posting and creating Hubs. You just need to say the words and your computer will automaticaly type them for you.

For experiencing the magic of this speech engine recognition feature, you need to have a Windows XP (service pack 1 is more preferable) and the Microso saveĀ  ft Speech Engine (version 5.0). Now, further you need applications which can work as a platform for your speech commands. Don't worry these are not any software or utilities, these are the basic applications which are installed by default in your PC e.g. Notepad, Wordpad, Outlook Express but the most recommended is the MS Office Word.

You need to know that there isn't any inbuilt Speech Engine in Microsoft XP, you need to take some really easy steps to install it and make it work. Believe me, even a 5 year kid can do it.

The MS Speech Rcognition Engine for XP, is available in the Office XP applications like MS Word, MS powerpoint or MS Excel. If you have an Office XP application installed in your PC then your PC probably has the option of SRE but you are unaware of it. And it is not there, then insatal it by following manner :

  1. From the installing options, select 'custom' type of installation option.
  2. Then in the 'features to instal' option, click the '+' button to expand the 'Office shared features' and then select the 'Alternative user input' option by clicking it.

  • If you have already got MS Office installed in your machine then refer the following :
  1. Go to the Control Panel from the settings option in the Start Menu.
  2. Then select and open the 'Add/remove programs' option.
  3. After a window opens, select 'Microsoft Office' from this and click on the 'change button'.
  4. Then choose the 'Add / remove features' option from the opened window and then click on 'Next'.
  5. Then finally click the '+' option of the 'Alternative user input' option in order to expand it and then choose the Speech option and select 'Update'.. The speech engine will get installed

So, you have successfully installed the Microsoft Speech Engine Recognition.

Now open the Microsoft Word and click on the 'Tools' option. If you have properly installed the SRE then you will see a 'speech' option in the tools menu. Click on it, After you click icon of microphone will appear or it may not appear depending on configurations. Have you 'Microphones' ready and start the work in a cool way. Please ensure that the batteries of your microphone are charged and also try to use a high quality mic for more accuracy and precision in the voice to text conversion. You can also enjoy the feature of controlling Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer with this SRE technique.

For more advanced features associated with speech ,voice commands and languages you can try the following :

  1. Open Control Panel
  2. Select the Regional and Language option
  3. Then click the 'details' button in the 'launguage' option.

You can also set the properties of the SRE according to you and to make it efficient to recognize your voice easily by doing some voice training and setting some properties according to your voice and language. You can do this from here :

Open the 'Control Panel' from the Start menu and then select the 'Sound and Audio Devices'. A speech and language dialogue box will open.Then configure the settings as per your requirements.


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    • profile image


      19 months ago

      Hi, can I do this with Windows 10 and MS Office 2013? Would it be possible to get instructions for that as I have tried to follow the above, but the options and menus are different. If I try to modify MS Office, I have the option only to repair, not to add / remove features..Thank you

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      It's much easier to untdsreand when you put it that way!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      my XP doesnot have alternative user input

    • profile image


      5 years ago







    • profile image


      6 years ago

      it is useful artical, thanks a lot

    • profile image

      Roushan Verma 

      6 years ago

      Can I use it on Window7?

    • profile image


      6 years ago


    • profile image

      Ankit mishra 

      6 years ago

      THANKS so much,really like it please install a donate button

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      my too Carl. I've been looking for years.

      I attempted to download the SRE from my Office 2003 CD to no avail. All I get is errors.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Still looking for q program that can convert mp3 audio files to text. No one has answers.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I am seeing that this article is useful for many people here, Why don't you think at putting a button "Donate Here" and everyone who benefits from this could appreciate your effort even with a small fee. We should begin to think like this because we give a lot and only few times is given back to us. Just an idea.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      hey.. is it work only on windows xp only???.. i have vista... what should i do ???

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi Am@n...

      Thanks a ton.

      It was a happy realisation for me that the software existed in Microsoft Word after hunting for softwares online.

      Regarding the utility itself, it has given me fair results, so I dont want to be too much of a critic now..!

      Thanks again

    • am@n profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @Londonlady : thanks for appreciation and your valuable comment

    • Londonlady profile image

      Laura Writes 

      7 years ago

      Do you realize how much TIME this could save on say, writing hubs? Or even better (in my case) writing ESSAYS for classes! I can't even begin to thank you! Voted UP ...(a million times, if I could!)

    • am@n profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @thomas30 - thanks :)

    • am@n profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      thanks for appreciation :)

    • loveofnight profile image


      7 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      Cool..... a very informative hub indeed. I will definitely bookmark this page and will let you know if I can make a go of it.

    • earnestshub profile image


      7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Very useful and informative hub. I have not been using this little windows gem, but after reading your hub, I will try it. Thanks for all the details.

    • cutepanda profile image


      7 years ago

      life doesn’t always give us the joys we want.

      we don’t always get our hopes and dreams, and we don’t always get our own way.

      but don’t give up hope, because you can make a difference one situation and one person at a time.look for the beauty around you—in nature, in others, in yourself—and believe in the love of friends, family, and humankind.Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.


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