Introduction: Voice Controlling Your Computer With Tips and Tricks

Have you ever seen one of those movies where the computer geek sits there and talks to his computer and it understands him?
In this instructable I will go through the steps on how to set up a windows machine to do just that. Specifically how to setup the free program shoot and customize XML files to make it your own.

Step 1: Get Shoot

First step of course would be to get the program shoot! Here is the download page the requirments are there. Now depending on which package you downloaded (The full .net framework and all or just shoot) will decide how you go about installing the program. I would rather think that i don't have to go through how to install a program, if you are looking into voice recognition you are no newb.

.You will also need a microphone for this(alright quality).

Now just a note: This program is designed to recognize commands search an XML file for those commands and then send out keystrokes. Mostly it is for gamers who just want to shout out there commands and thats perfectly fine keep following if thats all you want to do. If you want your computer to do tasks by a shout of your voice then keep following. But if you want to have your computer type your term paper just by saying it then sorry this is not for you. You would have to say each letter of the whole thing and it would get messy....

Step 2: Get Started!

Okay the first thing we will want to do is train shoot for your speaking style. Open shoot click on the speech menu option go down to recognizer then down to training. Do the first one to calibrate it then do a couple more passages to get up to 95% accuracy trust me it helps a lot.

When you are done with that move on to the next step :) .

Step 3: Now for the Fun!

Now shoot runs as mentioned before with XML files that are properly programed with the right syntax and everything to work with shoot. Now a breif overview on XML wikipedia states that "Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a general-purpose specification for creating custom markup languages" in a nut shell that means pretty much it is your own code to do with what you want this is no tutorial on XML but the W3 schools have plenty on it here.

So lets have a look at the XML files we will use with shoot....
ATTACHED is a sample XML file that has the alphabet, left key,right key, up key, down key, backspace, space bar, and enter. Basically anything you need to test and a good foundation for your own.
download that then proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Let There Be Understanding

Open shoot and click on the file menu button then go to open and then go to the directory in which the FIRST.xml file is saved.
once that opens quickly hit the ` key or shout stop into your mic. It becomes instantly active once you open it. You either just did your first voice command and need to applaud yourself or you chose to cop out and hit the ` key either or we are now armed and dangerous.

Now for a quick test open notepad then hit the ` key again
spell your first name add a space then spell your last name to stop it from listening just say stop. Backspace is named back that is all you have to say and spacebar is just space the rest of them are self explanatory.

If all went well congrats!

Step 5: Customize!

Like any computer person would i know you want to make this thing your own. That is understandable and easy to achieve!

First: lets open up the FIRST.xml file in a text editor. I myself use dream weaver and or notepad. You chose whatever you want.

now lets look at it too my trained programing eye this seems very simple to understand and hopefully does to you to.....

Now cheat!
To make your own voice command copy an existing one and change the parameters. say you wanted to close a file (ALT F4) take an existing one i will take this:

<command name="Stop" phrase="stop">
<key type="`" />

and i will delete all the unnecissary bits out:

<command name="parameter" phrase="parameter">
<key type="parameter" />

Then add my own parameters:

<command name="Close" phrase="close">
<key type="ALT F4" />

Thats how to customize the XML files!
You could start from scratch and make your own
just use the one provided as a refrence if needed.

Step 6: Thats It!

Now it is easy to make keyboard shortcuts for programs all you have to do is right click on that programs short cut click on the keyboard shortcut space then press the keys you want. Easy as eating cake :) .

Now ENJOY :D talk to your computer
make it feel wanted.

P.S. Yes!!! this is my first instructable :D
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