Did you know that MS Office 2003 has a built in Speech Recognition tool? This seems to be well kept secret so I thought I would post it here. Actually, you should check your version of MS Office as it may also have this built in.
What is it? It is a tool that allows you, with a microphone, dictate text into your computer applications. The cool thing is that once activated you can use it with any applications, not just MS Office applications. You can also use it to give voice commands to your office apps.
The best way to find it is to open MS Word and pull down the Tools menu and select Speech. If it is not showing then you may need to click on the double arrows at the bottom to show all options. Once you click on Tools>Speech, you will get a tutorial appear that will walk you through testing your microphone and training the speech recognition software. Basically, you need to read to your computer several pieces of text so that it can learn how to match your voice patterns to text.
Tips, the more you train it the more accurately it recognizes your speech. And it really helps to use the same microphone all the time and talk clearly, consistently. Headsets with the boom microphones work best as they pick up better then other microphones. You can pick one up
for about $25 for a good one.
Try it, you may be surprized just have useful it is. And you don't have to pay for it.