Select cells with comments - not again!

Most of the time when I’m trying to select a cell or a range of cells in Excel 2010 either VoiceComputer or Dragon misinterprets ‘select cell hotel three’, or something similar as ‘select cells with comments’. I have tried adding to the vocabulary and training the phrase ‘selects cells with comments’ but this has not improved the situation. Has anyone any suggestions?


Dragon 12 Premium, VC 12.25.7, Windows 7 Pro 64bit, Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0, AMD FX-8150 8 core processor, 16Gb RAM,


First, it's not VoiceComputer because VoiceComputer does not does not use any commands that are already provided by Dragon.

Second, the problem that you're having is with your Acoustic Model. Basically your Acoustic Model is resulting in the misrecognition. However, don't add any command to the vocabulary. That's simply does not work. These are all Dragon commands anyway as far as selecting cells in Microsoft Excel 2010.

Lastly, there are a couple of things that you can do:

1. Open the Command Browser and make sure that you are in Browse mode. To the right of "Context:" and go down to Microsoft Excel 2010 and select it. Click on "Keyword Filter" and type in "select" and add it to the filter (right side). Locate the option for select cell… and expand it by clicking on the option for (or saying) "Show All". At the very top of the next list after clicking on or saying "Show All" you will see another instance all "select cell…" Underneath that option you will see "select cell A… etc. All you really need to do is to train one or two of these by concentrating on the letters that you're having a problem with. For example, "Hotel". This is where you train these commands. You need to review what's available as regards selecting cells. My guess is that if you train a couple of them, the problem should be resolved. However, your Acoustic Model is at the heart of the problem.

2. you can use the train a word command. This allows you to train either a word, phrase, or a command. What you need to do here is to train the command that you're having a problem with.

3. Keep in mind that Excel commands must be spoken for data from the way that they are designed and listed. you also have to pronounce them without pausing. If you pause, for example, between "select cell" and "Hotel three", the command will fail. also, when you select a range of cells the same thing applies and you have to say the command verbatim. For example, if you want to select cell alpha two through cell hotel three, but you leave out the second instance of the word cell, the command will not execute. That is Dragon will not recognize it. Also if you pause anywhere in the middle of that command, Dragon will not recognize it. Excel is particularly finicky when it comes to the Dragon commands.

4. In addition, if you continue to have problems with these commands, try using the VoiceComputer "extend selection" command. Simply say "show Excel commands" and then say "show section 3". With the extend selection command you can issue the command and then use the movement commands (i.e., "move right six" followed by "move down three" or however many cells that you want in your range of cells. You can also issue the extend command with cell designations to select a specific range of cells just as you do with Dragon. Otherwise, the only other selection commands for cells or ranges of cells belong to Dragon.

I tested selecting individual cells and ranges of cells in Microsoft Excel 2010 and Dragon got it right every single time.

Let me know if you need any additional help, but the problem that you're experiencing is in accuracy issue.

Chucker2013-02-07 11:51:29


Thanks very much for the exhaustive reply. I wasn’t sure if there was a problem with myself, VoiceComputer or Dragon.

I expect that some of the problem was because I was inadvertently pausing in the middle of the command. This was partly due to the fact that I cannot always remember the length of the selection that I need, for example some of the time I’m having to select cells Alpha Bravo 3 to cell Alpha Charlie 84.

Your suggestion that I use the VoiceComputer “extend selection” command will probably be easier for me to use.



First, I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Natural Language Command team for both L&H VoiceXpress and Dragon NaturallySpeaking long long ago in a galaxy far away.Geek

One of the problems we always had to deal with in terms of support was the complexity and the requirement for precisely dictating Excel commands. Particularly with regard to selecting a range of cells. That is, you cannot pause when dictating select commands relative to a range of cells. Further, these commands must be dictated verbatim because even the slightest syntax error will produce either no results or undesirable results.

If you look at the way you wrote the Excel command, you phrased it as “select cells Alpha Bravo 3 to cell Alpha Charlie 84”. That command won’t work because the plural “cells” in the first part of the command is incorrect. In addition, the intermediate command “to” is also not the correct syntax.

The correct syntax is as follows “select cell Alpha Bravo 3 through cell Alpha Charlie 84”. This is one of the reasons why we added the extend command(s) in VoiceComputer so as to simplify and make more reliable selection of a range of cells.

Just let me know if you’re having any problems with either the Dragon or the VoiceComputer Excel commands. It can be exceedingly difficult to find the right commands in the Command Browser because there are so extensive. And, in addition, most of them are difficult to say continuously without pausing or making the mistake. Excel is not the easiest application to work with Re: Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
Chucker2013-02-10 10:57:24


I wrote ‘cells’ by mistake, but have always used the singular when trying to give the selection command. The problem with ‘select cell alpha bravo 3 through cell alpha charlie 84’ is that this does not come naturally to someone from the UK as we always use the word ‘to’ rather than ‘through’. Another difference is that I try to train myself to say ‘one hundred two’ rather than the common usage in the UK of ‘one hundred and two’, although the latter does seem to work.



Sorry, I didn't stop to think that you are in the UK. Of course you're perfectly correct in US English is "through" in UK English is "to".

Nevertheless, some of the Excel commands are a bit long winded (i.e., like someone telling a long story that could have been explained in two words). On the other hand, how you say numbers, or certain numbers has always been, to a certain degree, problematic. One format works in some situations and not in others and so forth. In many cases where only the digits are important, you can dictate numbers that way. In others, what you get is how you say it. It basically boils down to what worked for you in any given dictation situation. But, isn't that the fun part of learning to use speech recognition? Trying different approaches and discovering interesting results is what makes it fun sometimes. I've been working with speech recognition since 1993 and I'm still constantly learning new tips and tricks. Unfortunately, I sometimes forget them as soon as I learn them.Ouch

Chucker2013-02-10 17:44:25