Monthly Archives: April 2010

Guest Blog: Remembering Touch Commands

So you’ve mastered Touch commands, in fact you’ve mastered them so well that you’ve created dozens and now you can’t remember them all. To access them, you can say “UC List Touch”, but that draws your focus away from the screen that you are working on.

If you incorporate your Touch commands into your Custom Files, you will always have them at your fingertips — or tongue tips, as it were.

Some of you are already using Custom Files (e.g.,“Custom 1 Guide”, “Custom 2 Guide”). For those of you who aren’t, these are handy guides that can come up on the right side of your screen, providing a “cheat sheet” while you continue to work. They take up some space on your screen, but they are frequently worth it. Especially if — like me — you have a hard time remembering all those great Touch commands!

Right now I am using Custom Files for the two programs I use most frequently, Outlook and Firefox. In each of these programs, I have created a number of Touch commands to move the mouse and click at various spots on the screen. I decided that I wanted to have easy access to my touch commands so I could maximize my use of this powerful tool. I also wanted to reorganize my touch commands by program (when you add a new Touch command, it is added chronologically to the bottom of your list ).

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Say “UC List Touch” to call up your list of touch commands.
  2. Say “All Copy to Excel”, which will copy all of your touch commands into an Excel spreadsheet.  It will also copy all of the number coordinates that go with each touch command you’ve created, but don’t worry about that, the next step will take care of that.
  3. Select your touch commands by saying “40 Downs” or some number that will capture them (if you have a lot of touch commands, you might need to say “100 Downs”, for example.)
  4. Say “All Copy to Notepad”. This will copy your touch commands into Notepad, which will remove all of the formatting from Excel (you don’t want to have the lines that separate each Excel.
  5. You now have a clean list of all of your touch commands that you can organize. Rearrange them by program, or any way that you would like. Once you have them in an order that makes sense to you, you can easily copy and paste them into your custom files.

Now your touch commands are part of your cheat sheet. So the next time you are working in a program and you want to remember all of those handy dandy touch commands you created for it, just call up your custom file and there they are.

ONE BIG CATCH: Since the Custom File does take up a portion of your screen on the right side, some of your touch commands may be “off” since part of your screen is now filled by the Custom File itself. So you can look at the file to remind yourself of your touch commands, then close the file and continue. It’s still easier than scrolling through the list you see when you call up UC List Touch.

– Big Talker

Speaking to Excel

I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries lately about using speech recognition in Excel.

The fastest way to learn to apply Utter Command to Excel is to read UC Lesson 10.9: Navigating, numbers, functions, selecting and formatting in tables and spreadsheets, and UC Lesson 10.10: Putting it all together in any program (say “UC Lesson 10 Point 9” and “UC Lesson 10 Point 10” to call them up). Then take a look at the Top Excel Guide, which opens a list of useful shortcuts along the right edge of your screen.

Here are some basics:

  • “Cell” followed by a letter and number jumps to any cell, e.g. “Cell B 2” or “Cell Bravo 2”
  • “Control Space” selects the row the cursor is on
  • “Shift Space” selects the column the cursor is on

Here are some particularly useful combinations:

  • A number followed by a direction selects cells — keep in mind you can select in two directions at once, e.g. “3 Rights · 5 Downs” to select 3 columns to the right and 5 rows down
  • “3 Downs · Control d” selects 3 rows down, then invokes the fill function to copy whatever was in the first row to the selected rows

And here’s a method that will save you time whether you use one formula or many:

Add the formulas you use to the Vocabulary Editor, with a comfortable spoken form. For instance “Equals Sum” to type “=SUM(”

To add a formula, say

  1. “NatSpeak Vocabulary”
  2. Speak the formula using “spell” to put the written form in the Written Form text box, e.g. “spell equals caps Sierra Uniform Mike close paren” to type “=SUM(“
  3. “1 Tab”
  4. Put a comfortable and memorable written form in the spoken Form dialog box, e.g. “equals sum”.
  5. “Enter”
  6. Escape” to exit or “Written Form” to add another.

Now every time you want to type “=SUM(“, say “equals sum”.