CoolSoft, LLC                                 Making it FUN and EASY to use SPEECH with your COMPUTER!

 

User Manual for Speak-to-Mail 1.0 – Version 1.00.23

 

INTRODUCTION

Speak-to-Mail™ is a simple, low-cost email program that is fun and easy to use.  It lets you send email by speech using your favorite email program and state of the art speech recognition technology from Microsoft Corporation.  Now, with Speak-to-Mail™, you can send emails simply by speaking to your computer.

 

How does Speak-to-Mail™ work?  Easy – it is a interface for writing an email with speech and passes your message to your email program where it is sent according to how your email program is configured to send email.  Messages sent with Speak-to-Mail™ are kept in the sent folder of your default email client just like any other message you send.  Speak-to-Mail™ comes in three editions to support Microsoft Outlook Express, Microsoft Outlook and Netscape 7.x. 

 

Speak-to-Mail™ is user friendly and very easy to use.  It displays the contents of the address book from your email program, and when you say the recipient’s name, it places their email address in the desired field (TO, CC, BCC).  You can even sort your contacts by first or last name.  You can then dictate the subject and body, and insert attachments entirely by speech. 

 

Note:  CoolSoft, LLC acquired the rights to Speak-to-Mail 1.0 and other assets of Yellow Tiger, LLC in December 2003.  CoolSoft is re-releasing Speak-to-Mail™ Version 1.00. 23.  There are some important differences between Version 1.00.23 and the previous version 1.00.22 formerly released by Yellow Tiger, LLC.

 

·         The full version of Speak-to-Mail 1.00.23 no longer requires a registration key, and can be obtained only by purchasing a license from www.coolsoftllc.com.

·         Speak-to-Mail™ now comes in a single install that includes the speech engine and lets you choose which edition you want to install.  There are three editions for Outlook Express, Outlook and Netscape 7.x.

·         Editions for Netscape 4.x, 6.x, Eudora and AOL have been discontinued.

·         Bug fixes to some known issues identified in version 1.00.22 have been made.

·         SpeakPad™ has been discontinued, and replaced by SpeakToText™ 2.0, a more robust and feature packed speech program, which can be purchased at www.coolsoftllc.com.

·         Support for version 1.00.22 and all previous versions has been discontinued.

·         The trial version of Speak-to-Mail™ remains at version 1.00.22.  It does not include speech recognition, and to use the trial version you must already have Microsoft SAPI speech recognition installed on your computer. 

·         The trial version of Speak-to-Mail™ will run only for 60 days and registration keys to upgrade the trial version to the full version are no longer available.  To run the full version of Speak-to-Mail™, the trial version must be uninstalled.

·         The install of the full version gives you the option to uninstall of the trial version before continuing with the install. 


Table of Contents

 

INTRODUCTION.. 1

GETTING STARTED.. 3

System Requirements. 3

Setting Up the Microsoft SAPI 5.1 Speech Recognition Engine. 4

Technical Support on the Microsoft SAPI 5.1 Speech Recognition Engine. 8

USING SPEAK-TO-MAIL™... 9

Tips For Achieving the Best Possible Speech Recognition. 9

Setting the Correct Default Email Program and Address Book.. 10

Starting Speak-to-Mail™.... 11

EMAIL Security. 12

Speak-to-Mail™ Interface. 14

Important Notes. 15

Speech Modes. 17

Speak-to-Mail™ Commands. 21

Microphone Commands. 21

Email Commands. 22

Sending Your Email 25

Closing Speak-to-Mail™.... 25

Replying to Emails from Your Email Program.. 25

Speak-to-Mail™ Settings. 26

Natural Language Modeling Technology. 32

SpeakPad™ and the SpeakPad™ Button. 36

TROUBLESHOOTING.. 37

SOLUTIONS FOR POOR RECOGNITION.. 37

KNOWN ISSUES. 38

TECHNICAL SUPPORT. 42


 

GETTING STARTED

 

 

 

 

System Requirements

 

 

System requirements for Speak-to-Mail™ are:

 

Operating System:

Windows 98se, Me, 2000 or XP (Home or Professional)

Memory:

At least 128 Megs RAM, 256 or better preferred.

System Processor:             

A PC with a 500mhz or greater Pentium III, Pentium IV or Pentium compatible processor.        

Disk Space:

100 megs free disk space

Software:

Microsoft SAPI 5.1 Speech Recognition Engine.* At least one of the following email programs: Outlook, Outlook Express or Netscape 7.x

Hardware:                            

A good quality, noise-cancellation microphone. A good quality, SoundBlaster compatible sound card

User:        

About 15 to 30 minutes of your time to install Speak-to-Mail™, install the redistribution of the Microsoft SAPI 5.1 speech recognition engine, and train your recognition profile to recognize your voice.

 

*Available by redistribution with Speak-to-Mail™ or directly from Microsoft.    

 

Note:  The trial version of Speak-to-Mail does not include the SAPI Speech Recognition Engine.  To use the trial version of Speak-to-Mail, you must already have SAPI 5.0 (available with Office XP), SAPI 5.1 (available with the full version of Speak-to-Mail™ 1.00.23, SpeakToText™ 2.0 or any other speech recognition program that redistributes the SAPI 5.1 speech recognition engine), or SAPI 6.0 (available with Office 2003).

 

Setting Up the Microsoft SAPI 5.1 Speech Recognition Engine

 

NOTE:   If this is your first time using SAPI speech recognition, it’s important that you create a personal speech recognition profile, configure your microphone and train the speech recognition engine to recognize your voice.  We cannot over emphasize the importance of these steps.  This is done in “Speech Properties” which is part of the SAPI Speech Recognition Engine.  “Speech Properties” can be accessed from the Control Panel, or by the Speech Properties menu item.

 

Start “Speech Properties”

 

Go to the control panel (StartŕSettingsŕControl Panel).  Find and double click the “Speech” icon.

 

 

The “Speech Properties” dialog box will appear.

 

 

 

 

Setup your Recognition Profile

 

You can use the “Default Speech Profile,” but we recommend you create a speech profile with a unique name – especially if there will be others using speech with this computer. To create a new profile, click on “New…” and follow the prompts. 

 

When have completed creating your new profile click “Next” to configure your microphone and train your profile (do not click “finish”). The next two sections are extremely important in achieving good speech recognition and the highest possible level of accuracy. 

 

 

Setup your Microphone

 

Microphone quality:

 

In selecting the correct microphone headset for your use you need to consider: 1. Sound in the environment (A noise canceling microphone is required.). 2. Fit and style (Will you be comfortable?). Cost is usually not a factor. A less expensive one may fit your needs better than the more costly. There are many suppliers of high quality speech recognition microphones.  Please, check our website to see which ones we recommend.

 

Configure Microphone:

 

You should establish a habit of configuring your microphone in the same way each time you start a speech recognition session. Use the “Configure Microphone” button on in “Speech Properties” as often as you need.

 

 

Select Audio Input

 

The “Audio Input” should be set to your system’s default audio device. If your system has more than one audio card you can use this button to select a new audio input device. If you are not sure which is the correct device, please see the user manual for your computer or contact technical support for the manufacturer of your computer.

 

Train the Microsoft SAPI 5.1 Speech Recognition Engine

 

Training Overview

 

Although the Microsoft Speech Recognition Engine is much better than previous speech engines, it still needs a sample of each users speech to correctly convert sound into written words. Each speaker and each computer audio system have unique characteristics, which must be sampled and used to adjust the engine. This process is called “training” the engine.

 

The initial training of your profile will take about 15 minutes and each user must train their own profile. During this process you should speak in a normal tone of voice and insure that you have configured your microphone properly.

 

 

Training

 

To start training click on the “Train Profile” button from the Speech Recognition tab and follow the instructions. When you first establish your profile the training session is chosen for you. If this is not the first time you have trained this profile, you will be given a choice of literature to read aloud to your computer for training. 

 

Select a title and click on “Next>.” Read and follow the instructions to complete your training session.

 

Note: If it has been sometime since the initial training of this profile, we recommend that you use the “Introduction to Microsoft Speech Recognition” session to familiarize yourself with how training works.

 

If you want to take a break, click on the “Pause” button.  Training will be paused and the “Pause” button will change to “Resume”.  When you are ready to start reading again, click the “Resume” button.

 

When Voice Training has finished processing, you will have the option to select “Finish” or to choose “More Training…”

 

IMPORTANT: To keep improving your accuracy, you should come back to the Speech Properties and do additional training.  The more you train and use the speech engine, the more your accuracy will improve.  In testing, we found a substantial improvement in accuracy between the second and third training.  After five sessions, the accuracy was much greater.  We suggest you take advantage of the opportunity to read all of the available selections to your computer.

 

Other Settings under the Speech Recognition Tab

 

Language

 

The language must be set to “Microsoft English Recognizer v5.1” in order for Speak-to-Mail™ to work properly.  Do not change the speech recognition engine, except to select “Microsoft English Recognizer v5.1” if that is not the default.  Do not change the “Settings” to the right of the drop-down box either.  If you change these, Speak-to-Mail™ will not work properly.

 

Recognition Profiles

 

New

Click on the “New” button to create a new recognition profile.

 

Delete

Click on the “Delete” button to delete the profile that is highlighted.

 

Selecting Profile

Put a check mark next to the profile you want to use.  If more than one user will be using Speak-to-Mail™ on this computer, each user should go to Speech Properties and check to make certain his or her profile is selected each time before using the program.

 

Settings

We do not recommend that you change the “Settings…” for your profile.  In most cases, the default settings will give you the best recognition. 

 

If, after several “trainings” and insuring your microphone is configured properly you still difficulty with the accuracy of your recognition, you may want to adjust the “Accuracy vs. Recognition Response Time” setting or the “Pronunciation Sensitivity” to see if this will give you improved accuracy.

 

Leave the “Background Adaptation” enabled (checked) as this will allows the speech engine to continue training as you use it.  Over time and use, the background adaptation feature will help improve your level of accuracy.

 

If you have more questions about these settings, we suggest you contact Microsoft technical support.

  

Text To Speech Tab

 

The “Text To Speech” tab in the Speech Properties dialog box is where you can select the computer’s output voice. 

 

 

Voice Selection

Use the drop-down list under “Voice Selection” to choose a voice, and you will hear the selected voice read a sample sentence. 

 

Preview Voice

Click on this button to hear a sample of the voice you have selected.

 

Settings

We do not recommend that you change the settings under the “Settings” button.

 

Voice Speed

You can adjust the speed of the voice and test it again by clicking on “Preview Voice” button until you find a speed that you like.


 

“Other” Tab

 

Help

Microsoft provides complete details about speech recognition in the help section.  To learn more about the using the Microsoft speech recognition engine, go to the Speech Properties dialog box, choose the “Other” tab and select “Help.”  You can also find resources in the speech section of the Microsoft website:

 

http://www.microsoft.com/speech/

 

 

 

 

Technical Support on the Microsoft SAPI 5.1 Speech Recognition Engine

 

The redistribution of the SAPI 5.1 speech recognition engine is a Microsoft product that we do not support.  The Microsoft speech recognition is designed to enable you to use speech recognition with certain Microsoft programs and other third party software, like Speak-to-Mail™, and in most cases should not require technical support.  However, if you do need technical support on issues with the Microsoft SAPI 5.1 speech recognition engine go to the speech section of the Microsoft website – http://www.microsoft.com/speech. Or Contact Microsoft technical support.

 

 

USING SPEAK-TO-MAIL™

 

Tips For Achieving the Best Possible Speech Recognition

 

While speech recognition technology has advanced dramatically over the past few years, the technology is still far from perfect.  Even the best and most expensive speech recognition systems rarely achieve accuracy greater than 98%. 

 

Although the Microsoft speech engine performs well, it is not reasonable to expect accuracy greater than 90% to 95%.  This is not a flaw in Speak-to-Mail™ or the SAPI 5.1 speech engine, but rather is inherent to the current state of speech technology.  We believe that the Microsoft SAPI 5.1 speech engine delivers comparable performance to that of its counterparts that are available commercially. 

 

Here are some tips on getting the best possible speech recognition:

 

Microphone –         Using a high quality, noise-canceling microphone is very important.  Making sure your microphone is setup properly in the Speech Properties is essential.

 

Training -                Training the engine to recognize your voice at least several times when you first start using it will greatly improve your recognition.

 

Training Words –   If you consistently get incorrect recognition of certain words, using the “Train Word” function in Speak-to-Mail™ will greatly enhance recognition of those words.

 

Use -                        The more you use speech with your computer, the more your recognition will improve.

 

Environment -       Being in a quiet room helps.

 

Hardware -             Having a faster processor and ample memory (256k sufficient, 512k or more is desirable) allows the speech engine to process speech more quickly and efficiently.  Having a high quality, SoundBlaster compatible, audio input is also an important factor to good recognition.

 

Commitment -       Uses must invest the necessary time at the beginning to set up and train their personal speech recognition profile at least several times.  We cannot over emphasize the importance of training your recognition profile.

 

Speak clearly -      When using Speak-to-Mail™, speak clearly and into the microphone.  Make certain your microphone position is consistent both in training and in use.

 

Following these tips will help you get the most out of speech recognition, and will help make the process more rewarding.


 

Setting the Correct Default Email Program and Address Book

 

In order for Speak-to-Mail™ to function properly, the email program for the edition of Speak-to-Mail™ that you are using must be set as the default email program, or said differently, you need to use the edition of Speak-to-Mail that corresponds with your default email program.

 

In most cases, you will not be required to changes theses settings but if you have more than one email program you will need to verify theses settings.

 

For example: If you are using the Outlook Express edition of Speak-to-Mail™, and you also have Outlook installed on your computer, then Speak-to-Mail™ will use the default email program and address book.

 

To set your email program and address book as defaults, you need to do the following:

 

Go to Internet Options in the Control Panel: (Start, ŕ Settings, ŕ Control Panel)

 

Double click on the Internet Options icon.  Then select the “Programs” tab.

 

From the “Programs” tab, in the “E-mail:” section drop-down list, select the email program you want to set as default.

 

If you have both Outlook and Outlook Express installed on your computer, and you are using the Outlook Express edition of Speak-to-Mail™, then from the drop-down list in “Contact list, select the address book you want to use as the default.” 

 

Click “Apply” or “Ok” to apply the settings.


Starting Speak-to-Mail™

 

To start Speak-to-Mail™, either click the Speak-to-Mail™ icon on your desktop, or use the program menu (StartŕProgramsŕSpeak-to-Mailŕ“Speak-to-Mail for (Edition)”.

 

Note: The trial version of Speak-to-Mail™ is version 1.00.22, and will display the startup splash screen, which enables a 60-day trial period.  The trial version cannot be registered or upgraded to the full version, and must be uninstalled before you can install the full version 1.00.23.  When you purchase the full version of Speak-to-Mail™, the install will give you the option to uninstall the trial version before continuing.  Aside from these differences and some bug fixes, the trial version 1.00.22 and the full version 1.00.23 are substantially the same.

 

 

Using The Default Email Program

 

As Speak-to-Mail™ is opening; the program reads the address book from your email program for the edition of Speak-to-Mail™ that you are using. 

 

You must have the correct email program and address book set as the default under Internet Options.  See “Setting the Correct Default Email Program and Address Book” above for specific details.

 

All emails must have a recipient and subject in order for Speak-to-Mail™ to send the message; and your messages will be sent according to the settings of your email program. 

 

If your email program is not configured to send messages immediately, you will have to go to your email program to send your emails as you normally do. If your email program is configured to send messages immediately, the message will be sent and a copy placed in the sent folder of your email program.

 

Sending an email will clear all the message fields in Speak-to-Mail™, and the program will be ready to accept your next message.

 

Outlook and Outlook Express

When you start Speak-to-Mail™ for Outlook and Outlook Express the email program is automatically opened and must remain open for the program to function properly. See “Email Security” below.

 

Netscape 7.x

With the Netscape 7.x edition, the browser is opened when you start Speak-to-Mail™. When sending an email, Netscape Messenger and a compose window are opened and your message is placed in the Compose Window.  You can send the message now or later, and the message will be placed in your default Sent Messages or Unsent Messages folder depend on your selection.

 

Note that with Netscape 7.x, you MUST be connected to the Internet to send your message from Speak-to-Mail™.  If you are not connected to the Internet, then depending on your system configuration, you may encounter errors that may cause your message not to be sent and prevent you from sending additional messages.   

 

 

 


EMAIL Security 

 

There are several security features that prevent viruses from sending emails to people in your contact list and prevent the sending of unauthorized emails. In order for Speak-to-Mail™ to function correctly, you must allow it to access you address book and send emails.  In this section we have provided information, which will assist you in maintaining this security while using Speak-to-Mail™.

 

Outlook Express

If you are using Microsoft Outlook Express from an installation of Windows 2000 or XP, and if you have the latest Windows security updates, the Microsoft security service dialog box may appear when sending emails.

 

If you have this feature, your email will not be sent and the message fields will not clear until you click on “Send”.  If you click on “Do Not Send”, you will not be able to send your email.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outlook

 

If you are using Microsoft Outlook 2000, XP or 2003, from an installation of Windows 2000 or XP, and if you have the latest Windows security updates, the Microsoft security service dialog box may appear. 

 

Check the box labeled “Allow access for”, use the default of “1 minute” and click on “Yes”.  This will allow Speak-to-Mail™ to access the address book and read your contact list. Speak-to-Mail™ will not finish loading until you have made a selection. 

 

 

 

When sending an email with Outlook you may receive this message.

 

This feature is similar to the security message displayed in the Section – “Starting Speak-to-Mail™,” except in this instance, instead of asking for permission to access the address book, you are being asked if you want to allow Outlook or Outlook Express to send an email.  Click on “Yes” to allow your email to be sent. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More on Email Security

If you do not see one of the security dialog boxes described above, you either do not have the latest security updates or the security dialog box is minimized in the toolbar at the bottom of your desktop.  To see if it is minimized, look in the toolbar at the bottom of your desktop (see below).  A left mouse click will bring it to the foreground and display the security dialog box as shown above. 

 

     or      

Outlook                                                    Outlook Express

 

 

We are not currently aware of security features that protect the address book in Outlook Express or Netscape, or prevent other programs from sending emails in Netscape but it is possible that such features could be added in future updates.

 

If these security features become available, you will need to follow similar procedures to those described above.  We will post updates to this manual and instructions on our website as we learn about these updates.

 


Speak-to-Mail™ Interface

 

When Speak-to-Mail™ is finished loading; the Speak-to-Mail™ interface will display the names from your contact list on the left and an email template on the right.  Command buttons, a dialog box that lets you see what the speech engine is recognizing, and a black box that differentiates dictation and natural language are all located in the lower part of the screen. 

 

Three different styles of buttons are used in the Speak-to-Mail™ interface and its sub-screens:

 

YELLOW -      The buttons with yellow text are where you email addresses and text are entered and activated by speech commands (i.e. “select (NAME)” to place a contact’s name in the “To:” field.) They do not perform any task when you click on them.

 

GREEN -          The buttons with green text are function buttons that can be activated both by speech commands and by mouse clicks.

 

GRAY -            Gray buttons, like the buttons typically used in Windows applications, are used in Speak-to-Mail™ sub-screens where speech recognition is not active.  Examples are the attachments and signature file settings dialog boxes.  A gray button indicates that speech recognition will not work with that button, and that you must use your mouse to click on it.   

 


 

Important Notes

 

IMPORTANT ITEMS TO NOTE BEFORE YOU START USING Speak-to-Mail™

 

Microphone On-Off

Speak-to-Mail™ opens with the microphone in the off position to prevent Speak-to-Mail™ from picking up background noise or recognizing your speech before you are ready to dictate. 

 

To start using Speak-to-Mail™, you must activate the microphone by saying “Wake Up” or “Microphone On.”  You can also click on the microphone icon in the lower part of the screen to activate the microphone.

 

When you return to Speak-to-Mail™ after going into “About” or “Update Signature”, the microphone will be turned off.  You need to turn the microphone on again. 

 

Turn the microphone off when you are done sending messages.  You can leave Speak-to-Mail™, running in the background with the microphone turned off.  But, it is important to turn the microphone off before Speak-to-Mail™ goes into the background.  Otherwise, the program will continue to recognize any background noise or speech. 

 

To turn off the microphone, say, "Go to sleep” or “Microphone off.” 

 

Speech Commands

Speech commands are used in Speak-to-Mail™ to activate buttons on the screen in place of clicking on them with your mouse. Speech Commands are also used within Speak-to-Mail™ for navigating the screen and placing email addresses in the desired fields.  These do not appear on the screen as buttons.

 

Dictation Commands

Both Speak-to-Mail™ and the Microsoft speech recognition engine use dictation commands.  An example of a dictation command used by Speak-to-Mail™ is, “scratch that,” which will erase the last word you said.  Another example of a dictation command is the “forcenum” command.  Saying “forcenum” with a number between zero and twenty will cause that number to by typed as a numeral instead of being spelled out as a word, which is the default for the speech engine.

 

In speech recognition, commands work best if they consist of two or more words that would not normally be said in a sentence together.  Because of this, commands (for example “send email”) require you to say, “click” before the command, so to send an email you have to say, “click send email.”  

 

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO NOT PAUSE BETWEEN WORDS IN A COMMAND, OR THE SPEECH RECOGNITION ENGINE MAY RECOGNIZE THEM AS TEXT INSTEAD OF A COMMAND.  If this happens, simply repeat your command without pausing between words.

 

To help you remember what you have to say, we have included Tool Tips for each button in Speak-to-Mail™.  When you place the arrow over a button, the tool tips show you what you need to say to activate the command for that button.

 

Since Dictation Commands do not have buttons, those commands do not have Tool Tips.  When beginning to use Speak-to-Mail™, we recommend that you keep a copy of the Speak-to-Mail™ documentation handy to help you with dictation commands.

 


Address Book

Speak-to-Mail™ uses the address book of the email program for the edition

of Speak-to-Mail™ you are using.  In order for Speak-to-Mail™ to work properly, you need to have your contact’s first name, last name and email address entered into the address book of the email program you are using with Speak-to-Mail™. 

 

While you can type any email address into any of the address fields in Speak-to-Mail™, it is best to have each of your contacts entered into the address book so the contact’s name will appear in the Speak-to-Mail™ list box on the left.  You will then be able to speak a contact’s name and their email address will be placed in the field where you want it to go. 

 

Starting Speak-to-Mail™, if your contact list is empty, may generate errors.  You will still be able to continue and use Speak-to-Mail™, but you will have to use the keyboard to enter email addresses.

 

If you have phone numbers in your contact list, Speak-to-Mail™ can also find phone numbers for your contacts. 

 

Resetting the names list

Each time start Speak-to-Mail™, the program reads the address book from the email client you are using and builds the list box you see on the left.  If you add a contact into your email client or make any other changes after you have opened Speak-to-Mail™, any new contacts or changes will not appear in the list box until you close and restart Speak-to-Mail™.

 

All the names in your address book must be unique. 

If Speak-to-Mail™ finds more than one entry for a name when it is reading your address book, it will load only the first occurrence of that name.  For example, if you have two John Doe’s in your address book, only the first one will appear in the Speak-to-Mail™ list box. 

 

If you have duplicate names in your address book, you need to make them all unique so none of the contacts are missing from the Speak-to-Mail™ list box.  (Examples: [John Doe, John Doe Home], [J Doe, John Doe], [John Doe Home, John Doe Work], [John J. Doe, John Doe], [John Doe, Sr., John Doe, Jr.].).  You can use these examples or come up with combinations of your own, provided there are no duplicate names.

 

The names in your address book must contain letters only. 

Speak-to-Mail™ cannot recognize contact names that contain characters other than letters.  When Speak-to-Mail™ loads your contact list it removes all extra characters and displays only the letters.  For example, an entry like “John Doe (work)” will appear as “John Doe work” and has to be spoken that way.

 

Getting ahead of the speech engine

If you are dictating an email and the recognition starts to deteriorate, sometimes pausing for a short while to allow the speech engine to catch up will solve the problem. If pausing does not improve recognition, then see Section “Known Issues” for other possible solutions.

 

Recognition Accuracy

The accuracy of speech recognition should continue to improve each time you train the speech recognition engine.  Time invested in training is well worth the return in improved accuracy. Finally, it is important that you are in a quiet environment with minimal background noise, and that you always speak clearly into the microphone in order to achieve the most accurate possible recognition.


 

Speech Modes

 

Speak-to-Mail™ uses three speech modes:

 

Ř              Command & Control

Ř              Dictation

Ř              Natural Language Modeling

 

These modes, for the most part, are transparent to the user and are discussed briefly below to give you an overview of how they function. Try experimenting with different ways of sending an email to see what works best for you.

 

Command & Control

 

Command & Control is used to navigate the fields and perform functions. 

 

For example, to navigate fields, you can say “to” and the cursor will appear in the “To” line.  Say “select (contact name)” and the contact’s email address will appear in the “TO” field.  Say “subject” and the cursor will appear in the “Subject” field.  Say “body” and the cursor will go to the “Body” of the message. 

 

Command Accuracy

 

In speech recognition technology, function commands are best recognized if they consist of two or more words that are not likely to be spoken in natural speech.  Examples of function commands are “click send email” and Speak-to-Mail™ will send your message to the outbox of your email program.  Say “Clear Message” to clear a message and start over.  Say “Click Close” to exit Speak-to-Mail™.

 

Using Commands

 

Dictation is used to freely dictate your email subject and text message.  When you are in the “Subject” field or in the “Body” field, the dictation mode activates automatically. 

 

If you want to say a command, you need to pause dictation briefly, say the command and pause again.  For example, to send an email using dictation, you could say the following: 

 

“Select John Doe”

“Select Jane Doe”

“Copy to Jane Smith”

“Blind Copy to John Smith”

“Subject [pause] Next Tuesday’s meeting”

“Body”

 

In the example above, the email addresses for John Doe and Jane Doe will appear in the “To” field, Jane Smith in the “CC” field and John Smith in the “BCC” field.  “Next Tuesday’s meeting” will appear in the “Subject” field, and the cursor will be at the beginning of the body ready to accept dictation.


 

Training Words

 

If the speech recognition engine consistently has a problem recognizing your pronunciation of certain words, you can train the Microsoft speech recognition engine to recognize how you say that word.  To train a word, you must be in Speak-to-Mail™.  Say, “click train word” or click on the “train word” button with your mouse, and the Train Word dialog box will open. 

 

Type in the correct spelling of the word you want to train in the “Word” box, then click on the “Record pronunciation” button and say the word.  After the computer recognizes your pronunciation of the word, it will be added to a custom dictionary for your recognition profile.  This will improve the speech engine’s recognition of that word when you say it.

 

You can train words from both Speak-to-Mail™ and the trained words will be saved to a library within your recognition profile.  These trained words can be recognized from both programs, but remember, training is particular to each individual recognition profile.  Each person that uses speech recognition on your computer needs to have their own recognition profile and needs to train their own library of words.

 

If there are words that are particular to your usage or occupation, it is a good idea to train these words.  We suggest you train the “forcenum” command.  If you want to have numbers zero to twenty appear as numerals, then you will need to say “forcenum (numeral).”  For example, “forcenum two” will return the number 2.  The SAPI 5.1 speech recognition engine is programmed to spell out numbers from zero to twenty, and we have found, in testing, that with most people it has difficulty recognizing this command, unless it has been trained first. 

 

To further demonstrate the power of training words, try training the following word:

 

Speak-to-Mail(tm)

 

Then go into Speak-to-Mail™ and try saying “speak to mail” to see the result.  The phrase “speak to mail” should now be recognized as “Speak-to-Mail(tm)”.

 

NOTE:  Custom training of words is a function controlled by the SAPI speech recognition engine outside of Speak-to-Mail™. You have to use the mouse and keyboard while you are in this dialog box.  Speech recognition resumes when you close the Train Word dialog box to return to Speak-to-Mail™.

 


Clearing the Speak-to-Mail™ Speech Buffer

 

At times, the accuracy of your speech recognition may appear to stall when there is too much speech in the buffer.  The delay results while the speech recognition engine is processing all the data it has received.  This delay can be caused by talking too much too fast, or when the computer picks up background noise or conversations of other people. This should not occur frequently, especially with faster computers that have a lot of RAM.  Usually, if you pause for a few moments, the speech engine will catch up and you may not need to clear the buffer. 

 

If you want to clear the speech buffer immediately, you can by pressing the escape “Esc” key.  You will be asked to confirm that you want to clear the buffer.  Click “ok” and all unrecognized speech within the Speak-to-Mail™ buffer will be cleared and the program will be ready start dictation from scratch. 

 

 

NOTE:  Clearing the buffer in Speak-to-Mail™ will not clear any unrecognized text that is already being processed by the speech recognition engine.  You may still need to wait a few moments while the speech recognition engine completes the recognition already in process.

 

NOTE: If Speak-to-Mail™ is open and you try to use the “Esc” key in another application, this can cause an error in Speak-to-Mail™.  If you are going to use the “Esc” key in another application, it is best to close Speak-to-Mail™ first.

 

 

Using the Mouse and Keyboard

 

If you are having trouble with recognition, or do not have your microphone handy, you can use the mouse and keyboard to send an email with Speak-to-Mail™.

 

Use the mouse to navigate to the fields and to click buttons on the Speak-to-Mail™ screen.

Right click on a contact’s name and a menu pops up that enables you to place that contacts name in the desired field.

 

Use the keyboard to type in email addresses that are not in your contact list, or are not being recognized.

 

 

Use the keyboard to type the subject and text of your message.

 

In the “Subject” or “Body” fields, you can use the mouse to highlight the desired text, and then you can use the right mouse button to cut, copy or paste text.  

 

Remember, if you are cutting or copying text, your selection must be highlighted first.  To paste text, you must use the mouse to place the cursor in the location where you want to paste the text.

 

Additional Mouse Functions:

 

When Speak-to-Mail™ opens, the default setting for a single left mouse click on a contact’s name places the contact’s email address in the “To:” field. 

 

Whenever you use speech to place a contact’s email address in another field or ask for a phone number, the setting for a single left mouse click will change to that command.  

 

For example, saying “copy to (contact name)” will change the setting for a left mouse click to the “Cc:” field, and after that, whenever you left click on a contacts name their email address will be placed in the “Cc:” field. 

 

The same applies to the “Bcc:” field, requesting phone numbers, or returning the setting to the “To:” field.  Using one of those speech commands will change the setting for a single left mouse click on a contact’s name to the last email command (or phone number command) that was executed by speech.


Speak-to-Mail™ Commands

 

This section gives an overview of all commands that can be used with Speak-to-Mail™.

 

Tool Tips

 

To help you with commands, “Tool Tips” are included with each button that is speech enabled.  While using Speak-to-Mail™, if you are not sure what to say, or have forgotten place the arrow over a button and it will tell you what you can say to activate the command function for that button.

 

 

 

Control Commands

 

Speak-to-Mail™ uses spoken commands (Command & Control) to activate the functions of buttons on the Speak-to-Mail™ screen and place email addresses in desired fields.  You can either say the command or click on the button. 

 

In order to help the speech recognition engine differentiate between dictation and control commands, and to prevent text words from being recognized as commands, most commands generally consist of two or more words that would not normally be used together in a sentence.  For example, to close Speak-to-Mail™ you have to say, “click close.”  Combining the words “click” and “close” minimizes the likelihood that that the program will be closed by accident.

 

In order to make commands work best, do not pause in the middle of a command.  For example, if the command is “click close,” do not pause between the words “click” and “close.” A pause may cause the command to be recognized as text

 

If you are dictating text and you want to say a command, pause briefly so the speech engine knows that the next thing you say may be a command. You do not need to pause before or during a Dictation Command; just speak it as part of your sentence. (See Section – “Dictation Commands”.) 

 

Microphone Commands

 

To turn on the microphone, say “Wake Up” or “Microphone On”.

To turn off the microphone, say “Go to Sleep” or “Microphone Off”.

You can also click on the microphone icon to turn the microphone on and off.

    

  Microphone Off                                     Microphone On

 


Email Commands

 

Screen Navigation

To move the cursor to a field:

 

Desired Field                 Commands (what to say)

To                              “To”

CC                              “CC” “Copy”

BCC                            “BCC” “Blind” “Blind Copy”

Subject                       “Subject” “Email Subject”

Body                           “Body” “Text Message” “Text” “Email Text” “Email Body” “Email Message”

 

You can also navigate the fields manually with the mouse.

 

NOTE: There is really no need to navigate to the “TO,” “CC,” or “BCC” fields unless you plan to type an email address manually, however, we have included these commands for your convenience.

 

Placing a Contact’s Email Address in an Address Field

 

To place a contact’s email address in one of the address fields, say the following where “NAME” is the name of the contact you want to select.  This is similar to navigating the address fields as above, but you are saying the name of the field and the contact’s name.

 

Desired Field                 What to Say

To                               “Select NAME” “Send to NAME”

CC                              “Copy to NAME” “Copy NAME”

BCC                             “Blind to NAME”  “Blind Copy NAME”

 

Left clicking on a contact’s name in the list box will place the contact’s email address in the “TO” field or in the last field that was used with a speech command. 

 

Right clicking on a contact’s name will also allow you to use the mouse to place the contact’s email address in the desired field (see Section  Using the Mouse and Keyboard”).

 

NOTE:  In order to make sure you are always using the most up-to-date contact information, each time you start Speak-to-Mail™; the program imports a fresh copy of the contact list from your email program for the edition of Speak-to-Mail™ you are using. 

 

Speak-to-Mail™ is cannot write contact information back to your email program.  If you want to do that, you must add or change the contact information in your email program.  The new/modified contact will not appear in Speak-to-Mail™ until the next time you start Speak-to-Mail™.

 

If any of your contacts do not have an email address in your email program’s address book, Speak-to-Mail™ will tell you that your <Contact Name> does not have an email address.  To temporarily solve this problem, you can type in your contact’s email address in the field where you want to place it.

 

If you are typing more than one email address in a field, you must separate them by a semi-colon “;” and a space.  To permanently solve this problem, you need to enter the first and last name and email address of all your contacts into the contact list in your email program.

 


Clearing Fields

 

If you make a mistake and want to clear a field, say the following:

 

 

Desired Field                 Commands (what to say)    

To                              “Clear To”  “Clear Send To”

CC                              “Clear CC” “Clear Copy” “Clear Copy To”

BCC                            “Clear BCC” “Clear Blind” “Clear Blind Copy” “Clear Blind Copy To”

Subject                       “Clear Subject”

Attachment                  “Clear Attachment”

Selected Text               “Delete Selection”

Body                            “Clear Text”   “Clear Message” “Clear Body”

 

A dialog box appears asking you if you are sure you want to clear the message.  You have to use your mouse to choose “Yes” or “No.”  Once a message is cleared, there is no way to recover it

 

All Fields                       “Clear Email” “Clear All”

 

A dialog box appears asking you if you are sure you want to clear the email.  You have to use your mouse to choose “Yes” or “No.”  Once a message is cleared, there is no way to recover it. 

 

 

Sorting Contacts

 

When Speak-to-Mail™ first opens, your contact list is sorted by first name so you can say a contact’s first and last name as you would in natural speech.  You can alternate sorting between first and last name simply by saying, “click sort.”  You can also use your mouse to click on the “Sort Contacts by First/Last Name” button.   

 

Note that when your contact list is sorted by last name, in order to select a name you have to say the contact’s last name, then his or her first name.  For example to place John Doe’s email address in the “TO” field:

 

If contacts are sorted by first name, you have to say “select John Doe.”

 

If contacts are sorted by last name, you have to say, “select Doe John.”


               

Scrolling Up and Down the Contact List

 

To scroll down the contact list, say “contacts page down.”

 

To scroll up the contact list, say “contacts page up.”

 

You can also scroll up and down the contact list by using your mouse on the arrows to the right side of the contact listbox.

 

Finding a Contact’s Phone Number

 

If your contact list includes phone numbers, Speak-to-Mail™ can retrieve a contact’s phone number for you when you say “Phone Number (the contact’s name).” 

 

The Home, Business and Mobile phone numbers will be displayed in a text box on your screen, and the phone numbers will be read aloud. 

 

If your contact does not have any phone numbers, you will get a message that your contact doesn’t have any phone numbers.

 

Note: In version 1.0, phone numbers only work in Outlook and Eudora we are working to add this feature to future releases.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attachments

 

To open the Attachment Window, say “Click Attachment.”

 

Once the Attachment Window is active, you have to manually select the files you want to attach and click the “Save” or “Cancel” button to return to the Speak-to-Mail™ main screen. Once you return to the main screen, speech recognition is again active.

 

You can also click on the “Attachment” button with your mouse to open the Attachment Window.

 

The Attachment dialog box in Speak-to-Mail™ functions the same way as it does in any other email program.  You cannot use speech while placing an attachment, but after selecting your attachment or closing the Attachment dialog box, you will return to Speak-to-Mail™, where speech recognition is again fully active. 

 

If you have more than one attachment, they have to be entered one at a time.  We recommend that you zip multiple attachments into one file.

 

 

Sending Your Email

 

To send your email, say “Click Send Email” and your email will be sent. Sending an email will clear all the message fields in Speak-to-Mail™, and the program will be ready to accept your next message.

 

Closing Speak-to-Mail™

 

To close Speak-to-Mail™, say “Click Close,” or click on the “Close” button.  Speak-to-Mail™ will display a dialog box asking you if you are sure you want to exit Speak-to-Mail™.  Click on “Yes” to exit Speak-to-Mail™, or on “No” if you do not want to exit.  This confirmation feature prevents you from losing your email by accidentally clicking on the close button.  Note that the default for this box is set to “Yes” so you can also press “enter” on your keyboard to exit the program.

 

When you close Speak-to-Mail™, if Speak-to-Mail™ opened your email program, Speak-to-Mail™ will also close it.  If it was already open, then it will remain open.

  

Replying to Emails from Your Email Program

 

Many people like to reply to their messages instead of originating a new message.  The process for doing this with Speak-to-Mail™ is simple and easy.  Just use Speak-to-Mail™ to dictate your reply.  When you are done dictating, copy your message to the clipboard, then go to your email program.  Start a reply to your message, paste your dictated text into the message body in your email program, and send your reply. 


 

Speak-to-Mail™ Settings

 

Embedding a Signature File in Your Emails

 

Speak-to-Mail™ lets you embed a text signature at the end of each email.  You can do this globally for all of your emails, or with individual emails.

 

Before you can embed a signature in your email, you must first setup a signature file.  To do this, say “click update signature” (or click on the “Update Signature” button) and the Settings screen will open

 

Speech recognition is not active in this dialog box.  Use the keyboard to enter your signature file as you would like it to appear and click on “Save.” 

 

You can choose to have your signature in every email by checking the “Enable Signature in every email” checkbox.  The default setting is unchecked.

 

Click on “Save” to save your settings and return to Speak-to-Mail™.  Click on “Close” to discard your changes.  Remember to turn the microphone on again after updating the signature settings.

 

If you want to individually select which emails will have your signature, leave the “Enable signature in every email” box unchecked.  When you want to include your signature in an email, say, “click insert signature” and your signature will be added to that email only. 

 

If you want to change your signature later, return to the update Signature”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Speak-to-Mail™

 

To open the “About” dialog box, say, “click about” or click the “About” button with your mouse. 

 

The About dialog box displays the user information, registration key, and the version of the product. 

 

You can also access the signature and greeting settings by clicking the “Settings” button in the About screen.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Speak-to-Mail™ Signature Message

 

Speak-to-Mail™ includes its own signature message at the end of each email.  This feature can be disabled in the full version, but cannot be disabled in the trial version.  To disable/enable the Speak-to-Mail™ signature message, say, “click Update Signature” or click on the “Update Signature” button.  From the settings dialog box, uncheck or check the “Enable Speak-to-Mail banner” box according to your preference.  In the full version, you can return to the settings dialog box whenever you want to enable or disable the banner message.

 

If you like using Speak-to-Mail™ and you think it’s a great program like we do, we hope you will leave the banner enabled so that your friends and contacts can learn about it.

 

Speak-to-Mail™ Startup Greeting

 

When you are using Speak-to-Mail™ in trial mode, the startup splash screen includes a textbox where you can type your name.  If you leave this blank, the program will greet you with “Welcome to Speak-to-Mail.”  If you enter your name in this box, then the program will greet you with “Welcome (your Name).”

 

You can disable the greeting or change the name from the signature settings dialog box.  Just say “Click Update Signature” or click on the Update Signature button to open the signature dialog box and check or uncheck the greeting checkbox according to your preference.  You can also change the name or enter a different name here.

 


Dictation Commands

 

When you enter the “Subject” or “Body” fields of your email, Speak-to-Mail™ is ready for dictation, and you will receive a message in the lower center part of the Speak-to-Mail™ screen.

 

          

 

 

The following sections give details on dictation commands that are used by Speak-to-Mail™ and the Microsoft SAPI 5.1 speech recognition engine.

 

Selecting Sentences and Paragraphs

 

To select the last sentence in a text message, say, “select last sentence;” and the text up to the last period “.” will be highlighted.

 

To select the last paragraph in a text message, say, “select last paragraph;” and the last paragraph will be highlighted. 

 

To select all the text, say,  select all,” and all the text in your message will be highlighted.

 

You can also select text using the mouse by placing the cursor at the beginning or end of the text you want to select and dragging the mouse.

 

Once a selection is highlighted, if you say, “delete selection,” the selected text will be deleted and you can continue your dictation.  Or you can simply dictate new text and the highlighted text will be overwritten.

 

Cut, Copy and Paste Commands:

 

 

You can copy all of the text to the clipboard by saying “copy to clipboard.”

 

You can cut and copy selected text to the clipboard by highlighting the text with the selection commands above (or with the mouse) and using the right mouse key to cut or copy selected text. You can paste text from the clipboard by placing the cursor where you want to insert the text and using the right mouse key to paste text from the clipboard.

 

Important:  If you say something other than a command while text is highlighted, what you say will replace the highlighted text and you will not be able to recover it.  If you are going to talk while text is highlighted, or if there is a lot of background noise, we suggest that you not leave the text highlighted for a long period of time, or that you turn the microphone off.


 

Correcting Text

 

As noted throughout this manual, today’s speech recognition technology, although the best it has ever been, is not 100% accurate.  Even though you may be speaking clearly from a quiet room, and are using a well-trained recognition profile, and a high quality microphone and sound card, you cannot expect accuracy to exceed 90% to 95%.  You can use the mouse and keyboard to correct recognition errors in your text.

 

To erase the last word you said, say “scratch that,” or “no no.”  Each time you say this, the last word in the text will be deleted.

 

Say “scratch last” to erase the last string of text that was recognized.  NOTE:  Scratch last can only be used once.  After you use the “scratch last” command, you have to say something new before the command can be used again.

 

To delete selected (highlighted) text, say “delete selection.”

 

Use the “copy to clipboard,” “cut to clipboard” or “paste from clipboard” commands to copy, cut or paste highlighted text to and from other applications.  You can also use the right mouse button while in the “Subject” or “Body” fields of Speak-to-Mail™ to “cut” or “copy” highlighted text so it can be copied into other applications, or to “paste” text that has been cut or copied from other applications.  See - “Using the Mouse and Keyboard” above.

 

To insert text before a specific word, place the cursor before that word and begin speaking or use the keyboard.

 

To insert text after a specific word, place the cursor after that word and begin speaking or use the keyboard.

 

 

Moving Within Dictated Text

 

Command – What To Say:                  RESULT:

Go to Bottom                                   move the cursor to the end of your document.

Go to Top                              move the cursor to the beginning of your document.

                                                              

 

Formatting Text

Command – What To Say:        RESULT:

New Paragraph                       Presses enter key twice.

New Line                               Presses enter key once.

Backspace                             Presses the backspace key once.

Space Bar                              Presses space bar once.

Cap Text                                    Capitalize the first letter of each word in the selected (highlighted) text.

Cap All Text                                Capitalize all the letters the selected (highlighted) text.

Bold Text                               Bolds the selected (highlighted) text.

Italicize Text                                    Italicizes the selected (highlighted) text.

Underline Text                        Underlines the selected (highlighted) text.

 


Numbers and Fractions           

Number:                       What To Say:

Three                                          three       (the speech engine default for single numerals between zero and twenty always typed as text by the Microsoft speech engine)

“3”                                     Forcenum three – will return the numeral 3.  You may need to train the word “forcenum” before the speech engine will recognize it.  See Section “Training Words.”

“34”                            thirty four, or three four

“153”                          one fifty three, one five three, one hundred fifty three, or one hundred and fifty three.

”6091”                         six eight nine one

6,891                          six thousand eight hundred ninety one, or six thousand eight hundred and ninety one

6,891.525                    six thousand eight hundred ninety one point (decimal) five two five, or six thousand eight hundred and ninety one point (decimal) five two five

15,451                         fifteen thousand four hundred fifty one, or fifteen thousand four hundred and fifty one

183,012                       one hundred eighty three thousand twelve, or one hundred eighty three thousand and twelve

$75                             dollar sign seventy five (saying dollar sign before the number returns the dollar amount without cents)

$75.00                         seventy five dollars

$19.95                         nineteen dollars and ninety five cents

˝                               one half

2 1/4                           two and one quarter

5/8                             five slash eight or five over eight

150/85                        one fifty over eighty five

 

Dates and Times   

 

Result:                                  What To Say:

November 3, 1981                   November three comma nineteen eighty one November 03, 1981 November three nineteen eighty one, or three November nineteen eighty one (omitting the comma returns a two digit date)

24 April, 1959                         twenty four April comma nineteen fifty nine

04/24/59                                zero four slash twenty four slash fifty nine

24/04/59                                twenty four slash zero four slash fifty nine

4:16 AM                                 four sixteen a m

4:16 PM                                 four sixteen p m

5:00                                     five o’clock (whole hours only)


 

Phone Numbers

 

Result:                                  What To Say:

 (954)-555-7700              nine five four five five five seventy seven zero zero

1-(800)-555-1212            one eight hundred five five five one two one two

 

Note: The speech engine places area codes in parentheses.

 

Punctuation Marks

 

Result:                        What To Say:

.                                 period/dot

.                                 point (say when using numbers)     

;                                semicolon

,                                 comma

-                                hyphen/dash

?                                question mark

--                               double dash

!                                 exclamation point/exclamation mark

                               ellipsis

:                                colon

                                 apostrophe

/                                slash

\                                back slash

                                quote/open quote

                                quote/end quote/close quote

                                 single quote/open single quote

                                 single quote/end single quote/close single quote

(                                left paren/open paren

)                                right paren/close paren

[                                left bracket/open bracket

]                                right bracket/close bracket

<                                left angle/open angle/less than

>                                right angle/close angle/greater than

{                                open brace/left brace

}                                close brace/right brace

@                               at sign

#                                pound sign

-                                hyphen (use for minus sign)

+                                plus sign

$                                dollar sign

=                                equal sign

%                               percent sign

^                               caret (note if this returns the word “carrot” emphasize the “a” in your pronunciation(kAy-ret)

&                                ampersand

_                                underscore

*                                asterisk

|                                vertical bar


 

Natural Language Modeling Technology

 

Natural Language Modeling technology is used to initiate sending an email by giving a command as you would speak it naturally.  Our Natural Language Model also uses “best match” technology to help the computer to recognize names more clearly. 

 

Using the Natural Language Model

 

To activate the Natural Language Model, you need to say the command word “Computer.”  You must say “Computer” each time before making a request in natural language.  The word “Computer” is an activation command that tells Speak-to-Mail™ that you are about to send an email using the Natural Language Model.  When the computer responds “yes”, then you can state your request. 

 

For example –

 

You: “Computer”

Computer: “Yes”

You: “Send an email to John Doe about next Tuesday’s meeting.” 

 

In the above example, when you say “Computer”, the message “Natural Language Model is Active” will appear in the lower center part of the Speak-to-Mail™ screen .

 

 

Next: John Doe’s email address will appear in the “TO” field, the “Subject” field will read “Next Tuesday’s meeting,” and the cursor will be placed in the “Body” ready to accept your dictation of the message.

 

If you decide to add a recipient after you are done dictating, or if the Natural Language Model did not recognize all the names you said, you can add names to the email fields by using the individual commands for placing email addresses.  For example, say, “Select  (person’s name)” or “Copy to (person’s name)” or “Blind to (person’s name)” and their email address will appear in the box where you want it.

 

Each time you initiate a new email using the Natural Language Model, the previous email message (if any) is cleared by the new message.  If you have not yet sent your previous message, it will be erased and you will not be able to recover it.  Alternately, if you do want to clear your previous message without sending it, you do not need to clear the message first.  Just initiate a new email using the Natural Language Model, and the previous message will automatically be cleared and replaced by the new message. 

 

The Natural Language Model recognizes various ways of saying things.  In the above example, you could have said “Send an email to John Doe regarding (instead of “about”) next Tuesday’s meeting” or “Email to John Doe to confirm next Tuesday’s meeting.” 

 

The Natural Language Model will also recognize more complex statements.  For example, you can say “Send an email to John Doe and Jane Doe with a copy to John Smith about next Tuesday’s meeting.” 

 


More on the Natural Language Model

 

The following section contains a more detailed explanation of the technical aspects of this feature. To get the most out of using our Natural Language Modeling, you need to understand how it functions.  When you say “computer” it activates the natural language model and the program waits for a command.  There are three parts to the command for sending an email:

 

1.           The first part indicates that you are sending an email and sets the natural language model to listen for fields in the email and names in the contact list.

2.           The second part is speaking the fields and names in the contact list. You can select multiple names and place them in multiple fields.

3.            The third part indicates the dictation to follow will be the subject of the email.

 

For example:

You:                      Computer

Computer:           Yes

You:                      (1)Send an email (2)to John Doe and Alice Johnson with a copy to Jane Smith (3)about Tuesday’s meeting.

Computer:           Your email for Jane Smith Alice Johnson John Doe is ready for dictation.

 

When the natural language model detects the first part of the command, in this example the words “Send an email,” it will start to listen for names in the contact list and fields in the email, the second part of the command.  When it recognizes a name it will place it in the appropriate field that preceded the name (To, Copy to or Blind Copy to).  When the natural language model detects the third part of the command, in this example “about” it will place all the text that follows into the subject line.  When you are done with your statement, the program will fill in the fields with the email addresses of the names you spoke, place the cursor in the body of the email, and prompt you that the email is ready for dictation.

 

Examples of the command words that can be spoken to compose an email in natural language are shown in the following table.  The first and third parts of the command can be used in any combination:

 

First Part   (optional)                   Second Part                                        Third Part       

Send          “an email”                    To (Contact Name)                                About

Sending    “this message”            (Optional)                                            Regarding       

Write          this email”                 Copy To                                      Concerning

Mail                                                Blind Copy To                                       Subject

Create                                           Blind To                                      Subject Text

Compose                               Blind copy                                   Regarding

Make                                                                                                          *Regards to

Email                                                                                     *Reference to

Deliver                                                                                  *Respect to

 

String modifiers – “With a”  “And”  “And a” are used between names in the second part of the command names only when you are sending an email to more than one person.

 

*The words “with” or “in” can precede these parts of the command.


*The Contact Name(s) must be spoken based on the way you have sorted the contact list.  When using our natural language model, it is best to have your contact list sorted by first name so you can speak the person’s name naturally.  When the contact list is sorted by last name, saying the names can be awkward.

 

Your success in using our natural language model will depend on many factors that are related to good speech recognition.  These include adequate training of the speech engine, quality of your microphone and sound card, how clearly you speak, and even the name itself. 

 

Our natural language model, like any other, can only work with what it receives from the speech recognition engine.  If the speech recognition engine has difficulty recognizing a name, the natural language model will not be able to use it.  If your are consistently having trouble recognizing a particular name, try training the speech recognition engine to recognize that name using the “Train word” function or try sending the email using the standard approach of selecting the names and dictating the subject and body separately.

 

If you are using the Natural Language Model to send an email and the speech engine encounters similar names and is not sure which contact you want to use, Speak-to-Mail™ will display a dialog box with the possible selections from your contact listbox numbered in ascending order. 

 

In this example, the statement was “Computer” (pause to wait for reply) “send an email to John.”  The best match technology displayed all John’s in the contact list. 

 

When you see the dialog box, to select the name you want, say, “choose or select and the contact’s name.”  For example, say, “choose John Doe  or “select John Doe” to select the first name in the list.  You can also choose the desired contact with a left mouse click.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Known Issues With Natural Language and Speech Recognition

 

Natural Language Modeling is dependent on the accuracy of speech recognition itself, and therefore, just like speech recognition, it is not a perfect technology. 

 

In our programming and testing, we found that the Speak-to-Mail™ Natural Language Model works very well when the recognized text is 100% accurate, but errors in recognition can degrade its performance.

 

Speech recognition engines have a particularly difficult time recognizing names, especially names that are not typical.  Long sentences combined with names are particularly prone to a higher level of misrecognition, which cause the Natural Language Model to malfunction.

 


Pointers for using the Natural Language Model:

 

In testing, we have succeeded in sending emails to multiple recipients and recipient types when all the names are recognized.  If you are having difficulty with certain names, you might want to train them in your speech recognition profile (see Section – “Training Words”). 

 

It will also help for you to think about what you want to say before you start speaking.  Do not pause in the middle of the request.  This will cause the Natural Language Model to think you are finished making your request. 

 

Try to use shorter, less complex sentences to make your requests. The longer and more complex your sentence, the more it is prone to speech recognition inaccuracy which can result in errors in the Natural Language Model.

 

Given this, you can expect the Natural Language Model in Speak-to-Mail™ to function relatively well with simple statements, but you may have some difficulty in more complex (unusual names, multiple recipients and recipient types) statements due to the failures in recognition from the speech engine.  Since the quality of speech recognition is dependent on many variables, each user will likely have different results. 

 

We recommend experimenting with the Natural Language Model and different ways of sending an email in order to find out what works best for you and your computer.

 

When you are using the Natural Language Model to send emails, and the speech engine:

 

Did not recognize a name correctly and placed the wrong person’s email address in the email.

 

Solution:        Use the mouse and keyboard to highlight and delete the incorrect email address, and either type the correct email address or select it individually from the listbox on the left side of the screen by saying the person’s name or right clicking on their name with the mouse.

 

Does not recognize a name at all and their email address is not in the email.

 

Solution:        Either select the correct email address using speech as you would to select names individually, or by right clicking on the person’s name with your mouse.  You can also type the person’s email address in the desired field.

 

Does not correctly recognize the subject of your email.

 

Solution:  This occurs when the speech engine miss-recognizes a name

for one that is not in your listbox, and includes the miss-recognized name as part of the subject.  Say  clear subject” and re-enter the subject either by dictation or with your keyboard, or highlight and delete the incorrect text with your mouse and keyboard.


SpeakPad™ and the SpeakPad™ Button

 

SpeakPad™ was discontinued when CoolSoft, LLC acquired the assets of Yellow Tiger, LLC, the creator of Speak-to-Mail™ and SpeakPad™.  SpeakPad™ has been replaced by SpeakToText™ 2.0.

 

SpeakToText™ 2.0 is a much more robust and feature packed speech recognition program.  You can learn more about SpeakToText™ 2.0 and get your copy by going to:

 

www.coolsoftllc.com/main.asp?product=9

 

The SpeakPad™ button in Speak-to-Mail™ opens a dialog that will take you to our website where you can get your license and copy of SpeakToText™ 2.0.

 


 

TROUBLESHOOTING

 

SOLUTIONS FOR POOR RECOGNITION

 

If you are experiencing lower than normal accuracy in your speech recognition, possible solutions include:

 

Check your microphone settings.  Go to the speech properties in control

panel, and check your microphone settings. 

 

Make sure your microphone is positioned correctly, and that the position is

consistent with the position of the microphone when you trained your recognition profile.

 

Minimize background noise, and try again.

 

If recognition was good when you started using Speak-to-Mail™ and it starts

to deteriorate, closing and restarting Speak-to-Mail™ will often restore good recognition. 

 

If that doesn’t work, it may be necessary to reboot your computer to restore the best recognition.

 

Using the “Train Word” function in Speak-to-Mail™ to train words that are

consistently being miss-recognized will greatly improve recognition of those words.

 

 

TODAY MY VOICE IS NOT AS CLEAR

 

If you are experiencing poor recognition, Speak-to-Mail™ is a fully Mouse and Keyboard compliant Windows application.  Just point to any of your contacts, right click on that contact’s name, and a pop-up menu will appear, allowing you to place the contact’s email address in the desired field.  Click on any button to perform the corresponding function.  Click on any field and you can type in email addresses or text.  If you are typing more than one email address, remember to separate them by a semi-colon “;” and a space.

 

Another solution for poor recognition when your voice is not clear is to spend a few minutes creating and training another speech recognition profile.  For information on how to create and train a new speech recognition profile, See Section   Recognition Profiles.

 

SUPPORT RESOURCES

 

Speak-to-Mail™ is designed to be simple and easy to use, and in most cases, you should not encounter any issues that are not covered in this User Manual or in the support section of our website.  If you do encounter an issue you need help with, support is available on our website.  To get support, you need to go to the support section of our website at www.coolsoftllc.com and enter a support request.  Support is available only on the full version of Speak-to-Mail™.  To access the “Request for Support” page, you need the email address you used when you purchased Speak-to-Mail and your order number, and you need to fill out the request for support form.  If you purchased Speak-to-Mail from a third party, send an email to support@coolsoftllc.com and we will reply with an email to tell you how to access the request for support page.  Support is not available on the trial version.

 

 

KNOWN ISSUES

 

Accuracy

 

Even with state-of-the-art equipment like a very high quality microphone and sound card, accuracy with today’s speech recognition engines usually do not exceed 98%, and such high levels are available only in very high priced specialized software.

 

With speech recognition engines like the Microsoft SAPI 5.1 speech recognition engine (which we find to be an excellent engine) and other comparable products, accuracy of 90% to 95% is reasonable.  Over time, we anticipate the accuracy of speech recognition technology will improve, but today it is not reasonable to expect 100% accuracy.  However, most users, after becoming accustomed to using speech recognition, will find that correcting a few errors is still more efficient than typing text by hand.

 

 

Notebook computers

 

Some notebook computers have low quality sound cards and the accuracy of the speech recognition on these computers can be disappointing – especially when you are getting good recognition on your desktop computer.

 

 

Issues Unique to Speech Recognition

 

Learning to use speech recognition is much like learning any new skill.  It can be compared to learning to use a computer, learning to type, or learning to use any software application; training yourself to use speech recognition requires time and commitment on your part.

 

Pointers:  Speech recognition, unlike using a keyboard, requires that there be little or no background noise, and that other people not be talking while you are dictating.  It also helps to keep volume on your TV or stereo turned down so your microphone does not pick up these sounds.

 

System Resources

 

Speech recognition uses a lot of system resources.  Having a faster processor, more memory and ample free space on your hard disk certainly help.  Most of the time, you should not encounter problems with system resources, but there are times when excessive use of system resources will cause the speech recognition engine and Speak-to-Mail™ not to function properly.

 

If you notice degraded performance in recognition, here are some possible solutions:

 

Close programs that you are not using in order to free up system resources.

 

Disable your screen saver.  Screen savers use a lot of system resources and can interfere with the performance of other programs.

 

Close and restart your email program and Speak-to-Mail™. 

 

 

Known Issues With Speak-to-Mail™

 

Shared Functionality

 

Speak-to-Mail™, by its nature, is dependent on third party software in order for it to function; namely the Microsoft SAPI 5.1 speech recognition engine, and your email program.  There are certain functionality issues that result from how these third party programs work.  Known issues at the time of release are discussed in this section. 

 

Additional issues that are identified after release may be covered in our support pages at www.coolsoftllc.com.

 

1.      Command not Recognized with Highlighted Contact’s Name

 

When you place a contact’s email address in one of the email fields, or ask for the contact’s phone number, Speak-to-Mail™ performs the function and highlights the contact’s name.

 

Since there is no reason for a contact’s email address to appear more than once in a given email, if you ask to place a highlighted (last selected) contact’s name in another field or ask for the contact’s phone number, Speak-to-Mail™ will not execute the command. 

 

There are two solutions:

 

The best solution is to ask for another contact’s phone number, and that contact’s name will be highlighted.  You will now be able to select the contact that was previously highlighted and place their email address in another field or hear their phone number if you are using Outlook.

 

An alternative solution is to place another contact’s name in one of the email fields, and that contact’s name will be highlighted.  You will now be able to select the contact that was previously highlighted and place their email address in another field or hear their phone number if you are using Outlook.

 

2.      Dictation is not Being Recognized

 

a.   You are saying a phrase and the speech engine does not recognize or mis-recognizes what you are saying.  One solution is to try saying the same thing in a different way.  For example, instead of saying “Mondays Meeting” try saying “Our Meeting on Monday” instead.

 

b.   If the cursor disappears from the screen while you are dictating, or if you are dictating and your speech is not being recognized, most likely the speech engine recognized something as a command to move to another field.  Possible solutions include:

 

The best solution is to say “body” to return the cursor to the body. 

The “Ready to accept dictation” message in the black box at the bottom of the screen should come on.

 

If that does not work, try moving the cursor to another field, like the

subject field (say “subject”) and then back to the body (say “body”). The “Ready to accept dictation” message in the black box at the bottom of the screen should come on.

 

If you manually place the cursor in the “Subject” or “Body” fields with your mouse, dictation may not be recognized.  The proper way to move to the subject or body field is by speech.  Say “body” to go to the “Body” field.  Say “subject” to navigate to the “Subject” field.

 

If the above solutions do not work, then you may have an issue with system resources.  Try closing and restarting your email program and Speak-to-Mail™.  If that doesn’t work, try closing the programs with the Task Manager.  After this, if you are still having difficulty with recognition, save your work and restart your computer.  See Section – “System Resources” above for more details.

 

3.      The Cursor Has Disappeared

     

If it appears that you have lost the cursor even though Speak-to-Mail™ is still accepting dictation.  You can say the command “free cheese” to bring back the cursor.

 

4.      Installing and Using Multiple Editions of Speak-to-Mail™

 

You can install multiple editions of Speak-to-Mail™ on your computer, however, you must purchase a license and obtain a valid registration code for each edition, and you should not have more than one edition running at a time. 

 

NOTE:  You should only use one edition of Speak-to-Mail™ at-a- time.  The use of multiple editions of Speak-to-Mail™ running at the same time is not supported and may produce undesired results.

 

 

5.      NETSCAPE 7.x EDITION SETTINGS

 

a.                  Incompatibilities With Speak-to-Mail™ when Netscape 7.x and Mozilla Are Installed on the Same Computer

 

If you are using the Netscape 7.x edition of Speak-to-Mail™, Netscape 7.x and Mozilla should not be installed on the same computer at the same time.  If both of these programs are installed on the same computer, then the system may cause the Netscape 7.x Edition of Speak-to-Mail™ to read the contact list from Mozilla. This is because Netscape 7.x and Mozilla are substantially similar.

 

b.            Setting Netscape 7.x to Send Messages As Text

 

The default for Netscape 7.x is to compose messages in HTML; however, Speak-to-Mail™ sends messages as text.  If you do not change this setting, then character returns will be ignored and your message will appear as a single paragraph without any line breaks. 

 

To set Netscape 7.x to send messages as text, go to Edit, Mail & Newsgroup Account Settings.  In the center of the bottom of the Mail & Newsgroups Account Settings dialog box, uncheck the box next to “Compose messages in HTML format” .

 

 

 

 

 

 

c.            Using the Signature File Settings With the Netscape 7.x Edition. 

 

Both Netscape 7.x and Speak-to-Mail™ can insert a signature file.  Therefore, you should enable the signature file in one or the other.  If you use the signature file from both programs, you will end up with two signatures in your email.

 

d.            ISSUES UNIQUE TO THE NETSCAPE 7.X EDITION

 

If Netscape 7.x is open when you start Speak-to-Mail™ , the address book will be locked, and Speak-to-Mail™ will be prevented from reading the contact list.  In order for Speak-to-Mail™ to read the Netscape 7.x contact list when it starts, Netscape must not be running and the Netscape Quick Launch Icon in the lower right hand corner of your taskbar must be closed.  After Speak-to-Mail™ has started, then Netscape can be opened.

 

To disable the Netscape Quick Launch, go to Edit, Preferences and in the Preferences dialog box highlight the Advanced category.  In the lower left hand side of the dialog box, uncheck the Enable Quick Launch box. 


 

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

 

We have designed Speak-to-Mail™ to be simple and easy to use.  Answers to most of the questions can be found in this User Manual.  Additional resources may be available on the support pages of our website at www.coolsoftllc.com.   Typically, these self-help resources have all the answers you need, and are a faster and more efficient way for you to solve your problem.  You should request support only after you have tried to resolve an issue with the available resources, and have not succeeded.

 

A.                 Technical Support Policy

 

CoolSoft, LLC provides technical support on Speak-to-Mail™ only on a best efforts basis, and only to users who have purchased the full version of Speak-to-Mail™.

 

We will not respond to requests for support on the following:

·         How to questions or technical issues that are already covered in the User Manual or in the support section of our website. 

·         Issues related to the Microsoft speech recognition engine, or issues with Speak-to-Mail™ that are caused by the Microsoft speech recognition engine.

·         Issues related to your email program, or issues with Speak-to-Mail™ that are caused by your email program.

·         Requests for support on the trial version.

·         Requests for support that do not have complete information as indicated under “Information Required for Support” below.

 

B.                       Information Required for Support

 

We will need the following information when you submit your request for technical support.  Having this all of this information will enable us to help you more quickly and efficiently.

 

·         Edition of Speak-to-Mail™ you are using.

·         Your Current Email Address:

·         Your Phone Number:

·         Computer Brand: 

·         Computer Model:

·         Operating System:

·         Processor Type:

·         Processor Speed:

·         System Memory (MB)    

·         Hard Drive Size:

·         Hard Drive Free Space:  

·         Microphone Brand:

·         Microphone Model:

·         Sound Card Brand:

·         Sound Card Model:

 

The following are of particular importance:

·         Description of the Problem:

·         Exact Steps We Can Take to Reproduce the Problem (our support staff cannot solve a problem that they cannot reproduce):

·         List Any Error Messages:

·         Steps You Have Taken to Solve the Problem:

 

 


C.     Support on Third Party Software used with Speak-to-Mail™

 

If you need help with the Microsoft speech recognition engine or issues caused by the Microsoft engine, you can use the help resources in the Speech Properties dialog box under the “Help” tab,  (startŕ, settingsŕ, control panelŕ, speechŕ, other tabŕ, help); or you can visit the speech section of the Microsoft website at http://www.microsoft.com/speech; or you can contact Microsoft technical support directly.

 

If you need support with your email program or issues caused by your email program, use the help feature in that program, or contact the manufacturer’s technical support directly.