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Sample of the J-Say 13 User Guide

TALKING TO YOUR COMPUTER FOR THE FIRST TIME

Introduction

In this Chapter we will first discuss some of the central concepts of J-Say with which in order to function effectively you need to be familiar. We will then work through a simple dictation exercise and learn a few commands so you can review the text you have dictated. Finally, you will learn how to close down a program and your computer.

Starting J-Say for the First Time

First of all ensure that JAWS for Windows and Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional have been launched. Within the J-Say “Installation Guide” accompanying your product, we described in detail how to ensure that all the necessary software packages and J-Say can be set to be launched automatically when the computer is started. Within the third unit of this book, “J-Say Advanced Steps”, we will return to this subject and explain how you can change this option in the future if you wish.

For various reasons, many people choose not to have Dragon NaturallySpeaking launch automatically when the computer is started. As a reminder therefore, you can launch the program, and consequently J-say, by doing the following:

  1. Press the “Windows” key together with the letter “D” to focus upon the “Windows Desktop”.
  2. Press the letter “D” until the “Dragon NaturallySpeaking” shortcut is focused and announced by the JAWS software.
  3. Press the “Enter” key to launch the program.

When the Dragon software is fully loaded JAWS will speak the message:
“The computer is ready for you to talk to it”.
This informs you that your speech files have been loaded successfully and that you are ready to begin talking to your computer.
Note, all J-Say messages are spoken using the JAWS message voice, (a slightly lower-pitched tone), to enable one to clearly differentiate between J-Say messages and text which appears on the computer screen.

Microphone Control

At this point it is important to correctly position the microphone as shortly you will need to speak into it. The microphone should be positioned at one side of your mouth - approximately two fingers width away from it. Placing the microphone in any other position than that described will result in poor speech recognition!

If using a non-headset based microphone, please ensure you obtain advice from your J-Say supplier regarding its correct positioning before proceeding.

The microphone can be in any one of two conditions – “awake” or “asleep”, sometimes referred to as “active” and “passive” mode respectively. At this point the microphone is “asleep”, meaning that, generally speaking, it is not listening to what is being said. However it is listening for a number of specific phrases which will be described within this Chapter. These phrases are crucial to remember in order to have effective command and control of the computer at all times.

J-Say contains a command which enables you to check whether the microphone is “awake” or “asleep”. This command is
“Check Microphone”.

When the microphone is “asleep” and the
“Check Microphone”
command is issued, J-Say will announce
“Microphone Sleeping”
and conversely when the microphone is “awake” and analysing all words spoken and the
“Check Microphone”
Command is spoken, J-Say will report
“Microphone on”.
This command can also be activated with the keyboard by pressing the J-Say key followed by the letter “M”.

Effective control of the microphone is very important when working with J-Say. It is crucial to always be aware of the condition of the microphone through effective use of the
"Check Microphone"
command. This is the first in a series of special “Check” commands you will learn. The purpose of “Check” commands is to ensure you have a high level of awareness of functions within the J-Say interface. Later in this book, you will learn more about “Check” commands and understand how each of them can be used to verify the status of J-Say functions.

The three commonly used phrases which switch the condition of the Microphone from being “”asleep” to “awake” are:
“Listen to Me”
“Wake Up”
or
“Microphone on”.

When any of these phrases are spoken, J-Say will report the new microphone condition by a musical “chord” sound to indicate that the microphone is awake and listening. Additionally if further confirmation is required the
"Check Microphone"
command can be used at all times.

Once the microphone is “awake” you can begin to dictate or control the computer.

Similarly as well as being able to activate the microphone with commands it can also be returned to its “passive” mode with any one of three phrases. If at any time you are unsure what to say, need to gather your thoughts etc, the microphone should always be switched in to “passive” mode. In other words, it should be “put to sleep”.

The three phrases which can be used to switch the condition of the microphone from “awake” to “asleep” are:
“Stop Listening”,
“Go to Sleep”
or
“Microphone Off”.

When any of these commands are spoken, J-Say will report the new microphone condition by playing a “door close” sound.

Effective use of the J-Say software is highly dependent on understanding and mastering the effective control of the microphone. The microphone should only be “awake” when you are actually dictating or commanding the computer. Leaving the microphone in this mode when you are not actively working with it can cause severe problems in terms of overall performance and speech recognition.

When you awaken the microphone with the
“Listen to Me”
“Wake Up”
or
“Microphone On”
Commands, and you hear the “chord” sound, you should wait until the “chord” sound has completely finished before you start to dictate into, or control, the computer. If you begin to speak before the “chord” sound has completed, it is likely that the first word of the dictated text or command will not be understood by the computer.

As well as activating and deactivating the microphone using the above-described methods, this can also be achieved using the Keyboard. Pressing the “Pause” Key is a toggle action, and changes the condition of the microphone from being “awake” to “asleep” and vice-versa.

Lastly, the microphone can be physically switched off by pressing the Keystroke “Shift+F11”. Note that there is a subtle difference between the microphone being “switched off” and being “asleep”, since, if it is “switched off”, it cannot be activated with the human voice. It would be necessary to press “Shift+F11” again in order to do so. This method is generally not recommended for everyday use.

Please note: occasionally, when the microphone is “asleep”, you may hear the message:
“The microphone is asleep but is capturing sound”
If you hear this message, it is likely that loud extraneous noise (such as a person speaking) is being captured by the microphone in error. If this message is spoken, simply move the microphone away from your mouth while you are not using it. Alternatively if the microphone has a switch associated with it to enable or disable it, when it is “asleep” you may care to switch it off or “mute” the microphone to avoid Dragon NaturallySpeaking trying to capture unwanted sound output.

Echoing of Commands and Dictation

Before starting to use J-Say it is important to explain how the system will, at this stage, echo back your dictation.

When dictating, J-Say will remain silent until you pause in your speech delivery. At this point the system will echo back the text dictated from when you began dictation to when you pause.

If at any time J-Say does not understand what was said, you will hear the words
“I do not understand”
Visually three question marks appear on the screen when this message is spoken, thus J-Say is representing the presence of the three question marks via an easy to understand informational phrase.

The
“I do not understand”
message can be spoken for a variety of reasons: for example because what was said was not recognised, because some extraneous background noise has been captured, etc. If the message has been spoken just after you have said something, simply repeat your dictated phrase or command and under most circumstances it will be understood.

Whilst generally this information can be useful, in some situations it can prove either irritating or distracting, for example when dictating or controlling the computer in moderately noisy conditions.

For this reason the error reporting facility can be toggled on/off.
This can be achieved by using the commands either
“Errors Off”
or
“Errors On”

This mode is enabled by default. To check the status of this mode, please use the command
“Check Errors”
This facility can be enabled or disabled from within the J-Say Configuration Wizard. The “Configuration Wizard” consists of a list of options for controlling many special J-Say functions and utilities. We will be working with the “Configuration Wizard” frequently throughout the “Learning Module”. To enter the “Configuration Wizard”, press the J-Say key followed by the letter “W”. The specific function we are referring to in this section is labelled “Indicate if J-Say is unable to understand you”. Pressing the “Space Bar” on this option if J-Say announces it is enabled will disengage it from being used. Pressing the “Enter” key will save the settings permanently. A full description of the “Configuration Wizard” can be found later in this “Learning Module”.

Dictating with J-Say

Although J-Say directly supports Email and Internet browsing applications, let’s use the supported word processing program, Microsoft Word, to achieve our first dictation exercise, and acquaint ourselves with the way J-Say works.

To start Microsoft Word using your voice, the following voice command sequence should be used.

  1. “Listen to me”,
    (Switches the microphone from being “asleep” to “awake”. A “chord” sound will be heard. Prior to speaking into the microphone, make sure you wait until the “chord” sound has finished playing. This will ensure that the first part of your speech is not missed by J-Say.)
  2. “Start Word”,
    (Launches the Microsoft Word application. You will hear the words
    “Starting Word, please wait”.
  3. After a short pause, the Microsoft Word application will be launched. Once Microsoft Word has been successfully started, J-Say will announce that you are in a blank document entitled “Document One”. J-Say will in addition announce the word “Edit”. The term “Edit” is a critical concept with which you should become familiar right away, since whenever you hear this word, it means you can dictate text.)
  4. “Stop Listening”
    (Puts the microphone to sleep while you take some time to learn what will happen next. A “door close” sound will be heard.)
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