Copyright 2002-2014 Rick Mohr
 

The easiest way to create and manage Vocola commands is by voice, using Vocola's built-in commands. Beginning and intermediate users should only need to learn the two commands described in the first subsection. The remaining subsections discuss commands for advanced features.

In the command descriptions below, words in square brackets are optional. For example, "Edit [Voice] Commands" means you can say either "Edit Voice Commands" or "Edit Commands".

How to Create and Load Voice Commands

With Vocola you can define commands for a specific application program, or define global commands that are active for all applications. You can use the following built-in commands to open the right command files:

When you say Vocola will
"Edit [Voice] Commands" Open the Vocola file defining commands for the currently running application (using your favorite editor).
"Edit Global [Voice] Commands" Open the Vocola file defining commands for all applications (using your favorite editor).

After creating or modifying commands and saving the file, your commands will be loaded automatically and usable immediately unless there is an error. Any errors will be displayed in a pop-up window titled "Messages from Python Macros". (Although this window cannot currently be resized, its contents can be cleared by closing it or its contents can be selected and copied to a larger window for easier viewing.)

Vocola normally continues using the commands from the last error-free version of each file until there is a new error-free version available so that an unfortunate error does not disable the very commands you need to fix the error. These old commands are discarded the next time Vocola starts up.

Machine-Specific Commands

If you need to control more than one computer by voice (for example at work and at home) you can define commands which will only be enabled on a particular computer:

When you say Vocola will
"Edit Machine [Voice] Commands" Open the Vocola file defining commands for the currently running application on the current computer.
"Edit Global Machine [Voice] Commands" Open the Vocola file defining commands for all applications on the current computer.

Machine-specific command files are also reloaded automatically.

Direct Loading

Sometimes it's useful to reload your command files explicitly. For example, if you modify an include file, Vocola doesn't know enough to reload all command files which use that include file. You can do it yourself using the following commands:

When you say Vocola will
"Load All [Voice] Commands" Reload all commands you have defined.
"Load [Voice] Commands" Reload commands for the currently running application.
"Load Global [Voice] Commands" Reload global commands.

File Organization and Naming

Vocola command files have the extension .vcl. Vocola header files have the extension .vch.

Command files named with a leading underscore such as _global.vcl are global command files, and Vocola enables their commands for all applications. Saying "Edit Global Commands" opens the file _vocola.vcl, and many users store all global commands in this file. Some users create other global command files to contain particular groups of commands; for example, a global command file for text editing could be called _editText.vcl.

All other command files are application-specific command files, and Vocola enables their commands for only a specific application. For example, commands in the file excel.vcl (case insensitive) are only enabled when excel.exe (Microsoft Excel) is the active application. Saying "Open Commands" while Excel is the active application opens this file. You can create additional command files for an application by adding an underscore and suffix to the file name; for example, an Excel command file containing formatting commands could be called excel_formatting.vcl.

Command files named with @ are machine-specific command files, and Vocola enables their commands for only a specific computer. For example, commands in the file excel@venus.vcl are only enabled on the computer named "venus" when excel.exe is the active application. Any command file may be made machine-specific by adding such an @ suffix.

Vocola files are translated into Python files and loaded by NatLink. For example, the Vocola command file winword.vcl would be translated to the Python file NatLink/macrosystem/winword_vcl1.py.

Note: If you're using the combined installer with a different language other than English, the name of these built-in commands may be different; see the using non-English page.