Category Archives: e-mail

Quick Hotmail control by speech

By Kimberly Patch

I got a question today about controlling Hotmail by speech. Here’s a short answer.

The good news about web programs is more of them now have keyboard shortcuts, and more of the shortcuts are standard. This makes it easier to use speech control without customization.

Do a web search for “Hotmail keyboard shortcuts” and you’ll find several lists. Here’s one from

Hotmail has a pretty good set of shortcuts, including some defacto standards. Utter Command e-mail commands like “New Message”, “This Reply”, “Reply All” and “This Save” work in Hotmail because Hotmail uses the common shortcuts for these functions (see UC Lesson 8.3).

For the less standard functions you can speak keyboard. Here are a few that are particularly useful:
“Letter fi” or “Foxtrot India” goes to the Inbox folder
“Letter fs” or “Foxtrot Sierra” goes to the Sent folder
“Control Dot” goes to the next message
“Control Comma” goes to the previous message
“Control Enter” sends

Tip: Make sure to say “Shift” before “Control “ if you use any of the shift control commands.

Probably the best way to control drop-down menus that you use frequently in web programs is to use the naming-a-mouse-click ability (see UC Lesson 10.24). You can say two mouse clicks in a row to control a drop-down using a single speech command.