MS Office 2003 Speech Recognition prolem

  Eric half-a-bee 17:06 04 May 2006

Thus is not a problem, but is the soultion to a problem I've had for ages with MS Office 2003’s speech recognition engine which produces the error message:

"The requested task cannot be carried out because the necessary engine could not be created. Please select a different engine and/or audio device."

None of the solutions posted on the web (suggestions of currupted registry settings or lexicon files) had any success, and some were caused further problems. However, I found that following procedure clears the problem, so for the benefit of anyone else with the same problem...

Uninstall Office. For those not familiar with this, Control Panel/Add-Remove Programs, and there is no need to worry about losing documents or e-mails because the files responsible for those will remain on the system. Once Office has been removed go to C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data\Microsoft and delete the folder called “Speech”. Then reboot and install Office again. Get all the current updates (and probably rebooting again) BEFORE going to Control Panel and accessing the speech controls. This will enable you to access the speech commands again and you may need to add “Speech Recognition” through the Language Bar “Settings”.

As far as I can make it out, the problems with the speech engine occurs when more recently installed programs somehow corrupt the lexicon files, and it may be worth going to the speech folder at the above address and keeping a copy somewhere safe.

It has also occurred to me that a complete uninstall may not be necessary and manually deleting the speech folder and repairing/ reinstalling may be sufficient – although not having tried that I can’t say.

I hope this helps somebody.

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