How to troubleshoot speech recognition problems in Word 2002

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For a Microsoft Office Word 2003 version of this article, see 826323.
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Summary

Microsoft Word 2002 includes two new methods of input: speech recognition and handwriting recognition.

The speech recognition feature allows you to literally speak to your computer via a microphone. If your system meets the requirements, you can dictate text into Word. You can also speak commands so that, for example, you can switch the input mode to Voice Command. This allows you to control Word without clicking the menus.

This article lists the system requirements for speech recognition. This article also describes the most common troubleshooting steps that you can try if speech recognition is not functioning correctly.

System Requirements

The minimum system requirements for speech recognition are as follows:
  • A 400 megahertz (MHz) or higher Pentium processor.
  • 128 megabytes (MB) of RAM. More memory improves performance.
  • Microsoft Windows 98 or later, or Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 or later.
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later.
  • A high-quality close-talk (headset) microphone with gain adjustment support.
If your computer system does not meet these minimum requirements, the speech recognition feature may not install correctly, or recognition response time may be slow. In order for speech recognition to function optimally and without degraded performance, you may need to increase the amount of RAM, increase the processor speed, or upgrade the operating system.

TROUBLESHOOTING

If speech recognition is not working in all Microsoft Office programs, you may need to repair your installation of Office (or Word) by running the Office Maintenance Wizard.

Check for a Possible Damaged Document

If speech recognition does not work in a specific document, create a new Word document and test speech recognition. If speech recognition works in the new document, you may have a damaged (corrupted) document.

If speech recognition does not work in the new Word document, verify whether any of the following is causing this problem:
  • A third-party add-in
  • A damaged Normal template
  • A registry setting
To determine whether any of these items is causing the problem, reset Word to use its default settings.

Reset Word to Use the Default Settings

The following components are normally loaded when you start Microsoft Word:
  • The Data registry key
  • The Normal.dot global template
  • Add-ins and templates
  • COM add-ins
  • The Options registry key
If one of these components is damaged or incompatible, you could have problems accessing or using the speech recognition feature in Word. You can temporarily bypass these items by starting Word with the /a switch.

To start Word by using the /a switch, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start and then click Run.
  2. In the Run dialog box, do one of the following:
    • In the Open box, type Winword.exe /a.

      -or-
    • Click Browse. Locate and select the Winword.exe file. To do this, follow these steps:
      1. In the Look in list, select the folder that contains the Word program files. Select the Winword.exe file, and then click Open. This step fills in the Open box in the Run dialog box.
      2. In the Open box, move the insertion point after Winword.exe.

        NOTE: The path to the Winword.exe file in the Run dialog box is enclosed in quotation marks. Be sure to move the insertion point to the right of the closing quotation mark.
      3. Type a space, and then type /a.

        The statement in the Open box should look similar to the following:
        "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\Winword.exe" /a
  3. In the Run dialog box, click OK.
If Word starts and the speech recognition feature works correctly when you use the /a switch, the problem is with one of the components listed at the beginning of this section. Use the Troubleshoot Utility to determine which component is causing the problem. To use the Troubleshoot Utility, you may need to install Support.dot.

For more information about the Troubleshoot Utility, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
289506 How to install and use the Support.dot template in Word 2002
NOTE: If the problem still occurs when you start Word with the /a switch, you do not need to use the Troubleshoot Utility.

Check for a Possible Damaged Registry Setting and Rename the Speech Folders

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows


Follow these steps to first back up and then delete the Speech registry key:
  1. Quit all Office programs.
  2. Click Start and then click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type regedit and then click OK.
  4. Expand the Registry Editor to the following registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Speech
  5. With the Speech folder selected, click Export Registry File on the Registry menu. Save this folder as a backup, so that you can restore your original settings if the registry key is not the problem.

    NOTE: In Microsoft Windows XP, click Export on the File menu.
  6. After you export the Speech key, click Delete on the Edit menu. Click Yes to the following message:
    Are you sure you want to delete this key and all of its subkeys?
  7. On the Registry menu, click Exit.

    NOTE: In Windows XP, click Exit on the File menu.
After you export and delete the Speech key in the Windows registry, rename the Speech Folders. To do this follow these steps:
  1. Right-click Start, and then click Explore.
  2. In Windows Explorer, locate the following folder:
    C:\Program files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Speech
  3. Right-click the Speech folder, and then click Rename.
  4. Name the folder OldSpeech.
  5. In Windows Explorer, locate the following folder:
    C:\Program files\Common Files\SpeechEngines
  6. Right-click the Speech folder, and then click Rename.
  7. Name the folder OldSpeechEngines.
After you export and delete the Speech key in the Windows registry and rename the Speech folders, repair your Office installation. For more information, please see the "Repair Office" section of this article. After you repair your Office installation, start Microsoft Word and determine whether the speech recognition feature is working correctly.

If you experience the same problems, you may want to restore your original speech recognition registry settings. To do this, quit all Office programs, and then double-click the file that you saved in step 5.

Check for Possible Third-Party Conflicts

A third-party program that is installed on your computer may conflict with speech recognition in Word. To determine whether a third-party program installed or updated any components that are used by speech recognition, verify the version numbers of the speech recognition components.

The SAPI version that is included with Office XP is 5.0.2602.00. If the SAPI version on your computer is earlier than 5.0.2602.00, try to repair your Office installation. For more information, please see the "Repair Office" section of this article.

Speech Application Programming Interface (SAPI) Files

To verify the version numbers of the SAPI files, use the method appropriate for your computer:

Method 1: Check the About Tab:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel. (In Windows XP, click Start, and then click Control Panel.)
  2. Double-click the Speech icon.
  3. Click the About tab.
Method 2: Check Settings:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel. (In Windows XP, click Start and then click Control Panel.)
  2. Double-click the Speech icon.
  3. On the Speech Recognition tab, click Settings (under Language).
Method 3: Check the Version of the SAPI Files:

To check the SAPI version installed on your computer, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click Start and then click Explore on the shortcut menu.
  2. In Windows Explorer, locate the following folder:
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\SpeechEngines\Microsoft\SR
  3. Right-click either the Spsreng.dll or the Spsrx.dll file and click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  4. Verify the file version on the Version tab.

Related Speech Recognition Files

To verify the versions of other related speech recognition files, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Find, and then click Files or Folders.
  2. In the Named box, type Msctf.dll, and then click Find Now.
  3. Right-click the Msctf.dll file, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  4. Click the Version tab, and then note the version number.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 to verify the Ctfmon.exe file.
The version number for Msctf.dll and Ctfmon.exe, which are included with Office XP, is 5.1.2409.7. If the version number of these files on your computer is earlier than 5.1.2409.7, try to repair your Office installation. For more information, please see the "Repair Office" section of this article.

For more information about a known third-party conflict with Text Bridge and speech recognition in Word 2002, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
302598 Dictation mode does not start when you start speech recognition

Repair Office

  1. Quit all Windows programs.
  2. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel. (In Windows XP, click Start and then click Control Panel.)
  3. Double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon, and then follow the steps for your computer's operating system.
    • In Microsoft Windows 98 or Microsoft Windows NT 4.0:
      • If you installed your Word program as part of Office, click Microsoft Office on the Install/Uninstall tab, and then click Add/Remove.

        -or-
      • If you installed Word as a standalone program, click Microsoft Word on the Install/Uninstall tab, and then click Add/Remove.
    • In Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me), or Microsoft Windows 2000:
      • If you installed Word as part of Office, click Microsoft Office in the Currently installed programs box, and then click Change.

        -or-
      • If you installed Word as a standalone program, click Microsoft Word in the Currently installed programs box, and then click Change.
  4. In the Office Maintenance Wizard, click Repair Office.
  5. Select the Detect and Repair errors in my Office installation option, and then click OK.
IMPORTANT: As an additional troubleshooting step, you can run a system disk utility, such as ScanDisk or Disk Defragmenter, before you repair Office. To locate these Windows utilities, click Start, point to Programs (in Windows XP, point to All Programs), point to Accessories, and then point to System Tools.

Determine Whether the Problem Is Related to Hardware

If you have no speech recognition functionality on your computer, but speech recognition appears to be installed and activated, there may be a problem with the microphone or another hardware device. To determine whether the microphone has a problem, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel. (In Windows XP, click Start and then click Control Panel.)
  2. Double-click Text Services. (In Windows XP, click Other Control Panel Options in the See Also section, and then click Text Services.)
  3. Click Configure Microphone. (In Windows XP, select Speech Recognition in the Installed Services list, and then click Properties. On the Speech Recognition tab, click Configure Microphone.)
Activity on the microphone volume screen indicates that the microphone is functioning correctly.

If you see no activity on the microphone volume screen, your computer may not be recording any sound. To test the sound on your system, use Sound Recorder. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs (in Windows XP, point to All Programs), point to Accessories, point to Entertainment, and then click Sound Recorder.
  2. Click the Record button, and then speak into your microphone.
If there is no activity when you speak into your microphone, your sound card or another hardware driver may have a problem.

For more information about troubleshooting microphone problems in Windows 98, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
266677 How to troubleshoot microphone issues

Determine Whether the Problem Is with the Text Input Processor (TIP)

If the handwriting recognition feature in Word works correctly, but speech recognition does not work correctly, the Text Input Processor may be damaged.

To correct this problem, remove and then reinstall the speech recognition feature by using the Office Setup program.

Verify the Language and Keyboard Settings

Text Input Processors are language specific. To determine whether the language is set to U.S. English, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel. (In Windows XP, click Start and then click Control Panel.)
  2. Double-click Text Services. (In Windows XP, click Other Control Panel Options in the See Also section, and then click Text Services.)
  3. Click the Setting tab. Make sure that the Default Input Language is set to English (United States).
  4. In the Installed Services list, confirm that the U.S. keyboard is listed as an installed keyboard. If the U.S. keyboard is not listed, follow these steps:
    1. Click Add.
    2. In the Add Input Language dialog box, change the Input Language box to English (United States).
    3. Click OK.

Check for Multilingual Problems

If you are running Windows NT 4.0 with the Simplified Chinese version of Office or the Japanese version of Office, Voice Command mode is only available in Word 2002. Speech recognition is not available if you are running a standalone version of Microsoft Access 2002, Microsoft Excel 2002, Microsoft FrontPage 2002, Microsoft Outlook 2002, Microsoft PowerPoint 2002, or Microsoft Publisher 2002.

If neither Dictation mode nor Voice Command mode appears on the Office Language bar, you may be using an Input Method Editor (IME) from an earlier version of Microsoft Office.

To use speech recognition, you must use an IME that is included with Office XP or the Microsoft Office XP Multilingual User Interface Pack.

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
293624 Global IME does not work after you install Office XP



References

For more information about speech recognition, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type speech in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.
For the most up-to-date information about speech recognition developments at Microsoft, please visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/speech/
For more information about speech recognition in Word 2002, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
278927 Description of the speech recognition and handwriting recognition methods in Word 2002
283160 Frequently asked questions about the handwriting recognition feature of Word 2003 and Word 2002
304861 "Handwriting Recognition in Office XP" white paper available for download
304860 Description of the "Speech Recognition in Office XP" white paper


Properties

Article ID: 295947 - Last Review: December 24, 2014 - Revision: 5.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Word 2002
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbspeech kbtshoot kbhowtomaster KB295947

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