Talking to Opera

This guide was last updated for Opera 12.00

Customizing Opera with Voice

Opera is known to be highly customizable, and the Voice setup is no exception. You can change the way the browser handles voice input, and you can add your own voice commands in the same way that you can add keyboard shortcuts and mouse gestures.

Voice Preferences

Go to Tools > Preferences > Advanced > Voice to edit the default voice setup.

The shortcut key for activating the voice button can be changed. You can switch keys if the default one does not suit you, and you can choose whether to keep holding the button/key for as long as you are talking, whether no keypress should be required, or whether to tap the button/key once to make Opera listen.

You may also select to change the gender of the default Opera voice. Click "Details" to access more options. The detailed voice preferences let you adjust the pitch, speed and volume of the voice (assuming you are using the standard quality voice type), as well as the level of confidence Opera should have before acting on a voice command. Setting this to the maximum (10) will require a precise pronunciation, whereas the minimum setting (1) is most tolerant. You can also choose to enable the high quality speech type, which will then be used as the default Opera voice.

In the voice preferences you may also configure your own voice commands, which is covered in the next section.

Do It Yourself

There are several ways of defining your own voice commands for Opera actions. By editing the voice setup being used, you can change the existing commands, you can add new commands for new actions, or you can do both. Duplicate the existing setup before modifying it to keep a backup of the original settings. Note that the dialog that allows you to create or modify commands also allows you to modify the prefix that must be spoken before commands. You can either select one from the list, or type in the box to add an alternative.

To define your first custom command, try adding a short voice command for going to one of your favorite Web sites: Click on the "Application" input context, then click "New" and fill out the voice command you would like to use, for example "cool". Then press Tab or click to go to the action field. Press G, and a list of all available browser actions starting with G should drop down. Get the action "Go to page" and change it to look something like the following:

Go to page, "http://example.com/"

Type the desired Web address and remember to close the quotation marks. Press Enter and exit the preferences.

Now try out your brand new voice command; press the voice button and say "Opera cool". If it is not recognized, try having a look at the Helpful Hints section or the Troubleshooting Opera with Voice page.

You can make as many custom commands as you like, but bear in mind that a very long list of extra commands is likely to slow voice browsing down significantly.

Tip: Go to "Customize toolbars" to rid the browser interface of toolbars and buttons that you replace with voice commands.