Saturday, February 18, 2017

Voice Enhanced Keyboards

For a long time I have been wrestling with the idea that the keyboard is a pain when it comes to slight edits to what you just typed. Two examples are: when I decide, afterwards, that a word should appear in quotes; or when I spot a typo several words back. It is a total pain to change small things like that and, generally, whatever you do takes about the same time as going back to the error and retyping everything. That is because typing words is much faster than correcting the typos. Moving the cursor around is so time consuming and may move the right hand back and forth from the keyboard to the mouse.
So I have been wondering about magic keystrokes or other things that could be embedded in conventional word processing that would solve the problem. Here is an answer: voice activated keyboard shortcuts and edits. So you might highlight a word with the mouse, hold the control key, and say "quote". Or hold the control key and say "end" or "end paragraph". This has lots of possible advantages in avoiding moving the right hand back and forth from the keyboard to the mouse - during edits. Or in keeping both hands on the keyboard for other operations.
I see that such things already exist. I am not surprised but I think some things, like quoting, are not easy to implement as a keyboard macro, so perhaps there is still room for some new ideas.

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