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Talking to Excel to fill in your input forms, using speech recognition and VBA
Part two of a three-part series of blogs

What happens when you combine the magic of speech recognition with the power of VBA? A user form which you can fill in without a keyboard!

  1. Using your voice to fill in a VBA form
  2. Setting up speech recognition (this blog)
  3. Integrating speech recognition with VBA

Posted by Andy Brown on 13 March 2020

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Setting up speech recognition

You won't be able to detect speech from within VBA if your computer isn't listening!  This page shows how to configure speech recognition on your computer.

I'm using a Dell Precision laptop running Windows 10 Professional, but I suspect these instructions will work for any reasonably modern Windows computer.

Starting speech recognition - setting up your microphone

First, go to the Windows speech recognition program:

Windows Speech Recognition

The program to run on your computer (I typed Spe in the Type here to search box, which was sufficient to find this).


The speech recognition toolbar may appear, in which case right-click to choose to configure your microphone:

Set up your microphone

If this is the first time you've used speech recognition, Windows may miss out this step and ask if you want to go straight to configuring your microphone.

Choose your microphone:

Choosing microphone type

I don't have an external microphone connected to my computer, so I've chosen this option to use my laptop's internal microphone.

Keep going through the wizard, and you'll be asked to entertain the people who share your office:

Dictation passage

How to make friends and influence people ...

Training speech recognition

If you're serious about using speech recognition, you should now train the algorithm to recognise your voice:

Training your computer

Right-click on the speech recognition toolbar and choose to train your computer!

I confess that I haven't done this (which could be why my results are so garbled).  Maybe, deep down, I'm not serious about speech recognition ...

Turning speech recognition on and off

You can right-click on the speech recognition toolbar to choose your listening mode:

Bringing up speech recognition

You can show the toolbar by clicking on this icon in the task bar.

Depending on how much you value your privacy, you can either tell Cortana to listen to everything you say, or just when you say start listening:

Start or stop listening

... or you can tell Cortana not to listen at all!

You can stop listening by saying stop listening.

The easiest way to turn listening on and off, however, is to press the Windows key with the Ctrl key held down.

And with that, you're in business!

Working recognition

Not a bad first attempt! To accept what your computer recognised, click on the Insert button.


You can test out speech recognition by issuing commands, such as Open Excel.  Time now to integrate speech recognition with VBA! 

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