This is Page 7X5 -2

Garmin GPS

Tricks, Tips, Work Arounds, Hints, Secrets and Ideas

for the Garmin nüvi (nuvi) GPS (and others)

Lots Of Things You Didn't Know

[many ideas may also apply to various nüvi 200, 300, 500, 600, 700,
800, 2X5, 7X5, 8X5, 1200, 1300, 1400, 2200, 2300, 2400, 3700 series units,
the nüvi 1690, nüLink! 1695 & nüvi 5000
and possibly
other Garmin road GPSs.
A nüvi 650 was originally used for initial testing.
As of 12/12/08 a nüvi 755T is also being used for testing.
As of 01/27/11 a nüvi 3790LMT will be used for major testing
A smaller separate section for 7X5/8X5 devices has been established.
Other articles may be updated, where necessary, to include 7X5/8X5 instructions.]

-- a continuing helpful instructional and comment Blog --
[there are currently 34 pages containing well over 100 help articles in this project]

Presented by: Gary Hayman
[since October, 2007]




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NOTE: This section is specifically for 7/8X5 series units.
Most other articles on this WEB site will
ALSO apply to 7/8X5 series units.
-- This is the start of Page 7/8X5 --2--


General: Pg 1, Pg 2, Pg 3, Pg 4, Pg 5, Pg 6, Pg 7, Pg 8, Pg 9, Pg 10,
Pg 11
, Pg 12, Pg 13, Pg 14, Pg 15, Pg 16, Pg 17, Pg 18

Custom POI: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6,
Page 7, Page 8, Page 9

7/8X5 Page 1, 7/8X5 Page 2, 7/8X5 Page 3

Info Page
      TOC/Menu      The Newbie Page

- And Leave The Driving To Your nüvi

First I have to be honest, your nüvi, at least at this moment, is not going to be able to drive your car. You must play a primary role in moving from point A to point B. Second, this is a 'Flotsam & Jetsam' piece and will not provide you with any information that you will be able to put to
GOOD USE. This may be just for your information and entertainment.

ave you ever wondered how your nüvi estimates the time it will take for your vehicle to go from where it is to the destination you have entered. Come on, I know you have. I get at least 100 e-mails a day asking me that very question. Well that may be a slight exaggeration -- but I am permitted since I am writing this 'puffY piece.'

One can assume that once your Garmin has mapped out your route it applies some speed value to each road, or piece of road, over which you are traveling, adds them all up and applies some sort of algorithm that includes assigned distances, assigned road speeds, tire pressure, head winds, bathroom breaks, etc. to determine the estimated time to reach your destination. It's all a mathematical mystery to me, but as I said before (in another article) the estimated arrival time, at the exact moment your arrive -- is
ALWAYS correct. Think about it. Kudos to your Garmin.

Want to have a little fun? Put your nüvi in simulation mode, set a route to a distant point, and tell your device that you want to simulate the route. [Tools > Settings > System > GPS Simulator > On ]

You could start your trip from where you last parked your vehicle and removed your device, or, while in simulation mode, you could move your vehicle with a 'Set Loc' and start your journey from there. After you press the green 'Go' button, reply 'Yes' to the question 'Do you want to simulate driving this route?'

Now your Map Screen will show your vehicle moving. Watch it for a while and notice a couple of things:

  • Your speed is shown

  • Watch it change

  • Notice that instead of instantly changing from one road speed to another, as you make turns or travel on different types of roads, that decelerations and accelerations are reflected

  • Marvel at the fact that you never encounter a red light or traffic jam

  • Notice also that sometimes a speed control sign appears to the left

  • Notice the speed that your avatar vehicle is traveling -- very often it is faster than the speed sign limit -- yet there are no avatar police cruisers to pull you over

  • Notice that sometimes you slow down in places where, if you were actually driving, there would be no need to slow down -- such as when highway lanes split

  • Appreciate that when you take a clover leaf exit your vehicle does slow down preventing centrifugal force from flinging your vehicle off the map -- that would be messy

Is it this combination of increasing speeds, continuing speeds and slowing speeds that go into the mix of your unit determining your final arrival time? I don't know, but it sounds about right.

But I suppose YOUR inquiry is more direct, such as, "Are we there yet?" and if not, "How much longer?" and "How much further?" is of more cogent interest. It is a good thing that your nüvi can supply you with that information.

As I am loosing your attention now I had better end this article and wait till I have something important to share.

May your avatar vehicle drive safely.


- ecoRoute To The Rescue

If you did a search for 'EcoRoute' on Garmin's Web site on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009 you would be presented with:

Yet, hidden in the buried depths of the Garmin Web site, along with many other important but difficult to find items is the page

which discusses the
new software additions for 'certain' nüvis that will

  • Save Money and Gas
  • Select Fuel Efficient Routes
  • Get Fuel and Mileage Reports

The writing further states that ecoRoute will be available in February, 2009 and will be available for the nüvi 205 and 705 series.

I am not sure, but there seems to be an underlying hint that it may also be available for other models in the near future -- but don't quote me.

ecoRoute, first announced by a Garmin Press Release and disclosed at the January, 2009 Consumers Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV, will add a interesting 'green'-dimension to certain nüvis and your driving.

An interesting CES video report by is available for watching:


Although the release date is supposed to be in February,
Garmin started quietly presenting it to certain nüvi customers with an early January release included in the v.3.0 software update for the 7X5 (a.k.a. 705) series. I don't know about the 2X5 series but I am guessing that it is already in an downloadable update to the software, or will soon be. [IT IS AVAILABLE NOW]

As for other models, Garmin hasn't said -- as of this writing.

Mine is already loaded on my 755T and I am going to do a test ride and provide you with some screens in this article.

Garmin sez,

"...ecoRoute, a free software update that helps drivers conserve money and fuel, easing growing pressures on personal budgets and the environment..."

"...Using ecoRoute on your Garmin nüvi® helps you be a smarter driver..."

"In addition to 'faster time' and 'shorter distance' for route preference, ecoRoute lets nüvi users choose 'less fuel' as the best way to save gas and money. Through ecoRoute’s Fuel Report, Mileage Report and fuel-saving tips, drivers can focus on their fuel conservation even when they’re not behind the wheel. Fuel Report tracks fuel usage over time, and Mileage Report monitors mileage and fuel usage on a per-trip basis. Drivers can customize their nüvi to fit their vehicle by accessing the “vehicle profile” under ecoRoute in the tools menu. There, you can enter your car’s fuel economy and the current price of gas to help nüvi better calculate your savings."

The loading of ecoRoute along with the new software version will make some changes to your nüvi.

On the Tools screen there is a new button - 'ecoRoute'

When pressed there is a screen

additional screen

which allows you to enter a Vehicle Profile area where you record your City Fuel Economy, your Highway Fuel Economy and Fuel Type

Also a Fuel Price area where you record the current price you are paying for a gallon of gas

A Fuel Report area that gives: Distance, Time Traveled, Cost of Fuel Used, Average Fuel Economy, Carbon Footprint and Fuel Used. There is a quick reset button for new trips plus a calibration button

A Driving Challenge area, that when activated displays on your Map Screen a 'score' based upon your accelerating/decelerating and constant speed profile. The higher the number approaches 100, the better driving you are apparently doing.

A Mileage Report area that presents your latest trips with dates and miles traveled ...

... when you press a trip an Individual Report area appears presenting additional information such as time traveled, average fuel economy, fuel cost and carbon footprint for the trip.

If you press the Tips listing on the main Eco List the Tips area opens with some valuable information.

Back on the
Map Screen a new icon appears,

if pressed a screen giving Challenge Duration, Overall Score, Acceleration Score, Deceleration Score and Speed Score appears.

While driving this icon exhibits your 'at the moment score' and a leaf colored either red, yellow or green, (green being the best color) depending upon your current driving situation.

On the Tools > Settings > Navigation > Route Preferences screen you have an additional choice of 'Less Fuel' -- for 'greener driving'.

On the Trip Information Screen (reached from the Map Screen by pressing the 'Speed Button') there is a new category 'Overall Fuel Cost' which replaces the former 'Total Time' (bottom left).

NOTE: During Simulation Mode the ecoRoute statistics are not recorded.

Some interesting possibilities for using this new feature presents themselves -- but that will be the topic of another future article.

- Spreading Out The Garmin Icons

Many of the ~6,000,000+ Garmin POIs are addresses at strip malls and shopping centers. As Garmin puts the icon on the street, not on the building (in most cases), many icons will appear very close or on top of each other -- on the street -- even when you zoom to a 120 ft. view.

Perhaps you would like a little more definition -- a little more separation of the displayed Garmin default icons -- better than what you can see at a 120 ft. viewing.

Here is a little trick

While in Map Screen view, touch and drag the screen to the area in which you are interested, then zoom in to 120 feet and see the various icons, some being very close and on top of each other. You be seeing the screen in 2D at this time (because of the touch and drag).

Now touch a button at the top left of your screen that changes the view from 2D to 3D then touch and drag the new view to as close to the bottom of the screen as you can and still be able to see the icons. The view and icons enlarge as they get closer to the bottom of the screen and they separate some.

Now, if you tap one, a balloon title appears telling you what it is (at the same time re-centering). If that's not what you want then touch and drag the screen again towards the bottom and touch another icon. They are far enough apart that you can identify them all. You will find that some are just black dots (no picture icon) -- but they are POIs too and will respond with an ID if you touch them.

If you are not really interested in the icons, but only interested in the POIs of the area, then place your 7/8X5 in simulation mode, touch and drag the Map Screen to the area of your choice, tap the screen to make a location choice and do a 'Set place your vehicle there.

Now, using your 'Where to?' > 'Points of Interest' and investigating the various large icons you will achieve a text listing of the 52 closest to your Set Loc for each category. Maybe from there you can determine the nearby POIs.
[For more detail see several previous articles that I have written about this technique.]

- After v.3.0 Upload

After I updated to v.3.0 software for my Garmin nüvi 755T my Webupdater no longer would recognize my device. This meant that I could no longer get additional updates.

I immediately checked some of the forums and found that the same situation had been discussed over at the POI Factory's 'Garmin Talk.' Already 'DorkusNimrod' had reported that this had occurred with his 765T and opined that
"... the file GarminDevice.xml (which is used by WebUpdater for unit ID purposes and is regenerated on every boot) is not being generated completely and is cut off/truncated."

I checked this .xml file and sure enough it was faulty when opened using Windows Explorer and viewing in Internet Explorer.

DorkusNimrod had suggested in his writing,
" ...If I power on the unit and let it boot fully, then plug it into the USB port, the problem seems to be rectified. It seems as though plugging the unit into the USB port (while the unit is powered off, thus causing the PC's USB port to power it on) is somehow interrupting the creation of GarminDevice.xml."

When I tried it, this solution
didn't work for me. There was additional talk from others about removing the SD card first when trying the above and "if at first it didn't work -- try, try again."

I had two email exchanges with Garmin support and they
could not offer any workable solutions that would get my Webupdater up an running again. I was disappointed with their response. They also did not mention there was a problem even after having received many emails and/or phone contacts by others.

I must state that in the meantime, my 755T was operating very well under software v.3.0 -- as far as everything else was observed.


First I must note that a very short time passed before Garmin issued the newer v.3.1 and if you missed uploading v.3.0 and went directly from an earlier version to v.3.1 you might not have any problem at all.

If you updated with v.3.0 and your Webupdater is not recognizing your unit, try DorkusNimrod's above suggestion.

DorkusNimrod's postings of interest:

1/26/09 & 1/27/09 postings

1/26/09 (2 postings)

MY SOLUTION (But not everyone can do this)

When I originally purchased my 755T last November, one of the first things I did was to copy all files from it to my hard drive into a folder which I labeled "Pristine 755T"

I solved my problem by
MOVING file "GarminDevice.xml" from my Garmin into a temporary folder. I didn't want to delete it in case I had to put it back.

Then I copied and pasted "GarminDevice.xml" from my "Pristine 755T" folder on to my Garmin. I also removed my SD card -- just in case
(but this may prove to be important after reading other discussions).

would now recognize my device.

When the current software v.3.1 was released I was easily able to obtain it using Webupdater and update my device. Now, when examining the file "GarminDevice.xml", it appears to be in good condition. [After the update I replaced my SD card into my device.]

I don't know if Garmin included something in their v.3.1 that fixed the problem, their release notes didn't say.

If you are having similar problems after updating to v.3.0 then perhaps the above may be of help.

If you went directly from a pre-v.3.0 to v.3.1 then it looks like you might be in luck.

- The Bare Facts of the Strip


I just flew back from Las Vegas ....
                                     .... and boy are my arms tired.

Taking my nüvi 755T to Las Vegas was a great idea. Las Vegas is an excellent place to use it be it finding hotels, parking lots, remote off-strip casinos such as all the 'Station' properties, the new Cannery Resort, and the further out Red Rock Casino Resort or even the great nearby Chinatown that most tourists don't even know exists. It is of great aid to visit distant places such as Mt. Charleston Ski Area, Valley of Fire State Park, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Lake Mead, Hover Dam, and Pahrump, NV.


Of all the maps, the 3-D building views of Las Vegas are quite impressive. You can take a very interesting trip, right now, while at home, up the strip and witness what I saw.

(Your model nüvi must have 3-D building view)

1) Set your nüvi in simulation mode:
Tools > Settings > System > GPS Simulator > On > OK > Back (3)

2) Set Loc. of your vehicle to be on 'The Strip' (Las Vegas Boulevard) just South of the Mandalay Bay Resort. You can do this several ways. I'll just give you one. It's not the shortest, but it will do. If you have experience in setting location at distant points, please use your favorite.

Where to? > Scroll down and select Cities > Spell 'Las Vegas' > Done > Select 'Las Vegas, NV' > Map > Set Loc. > Hold down Back button till you reach main screen.

Where to? > Points of Interest > Lodging > Spell 'Mandalay' > Done > Select Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino > Map > Set Loc. > (optional Press Save if you want to play with this several times) > Hold down Back button till you reach main screen > View Map

Touch and drag slightly till you get a North up 2-D map. The North/South street is Las Vegas Boulevard. The Mandalay Bay is just to the West. Touch the pointer (upper left corner) to produce a 3-D view. You may want to zoom in one or two levels (use the + symbol in the upper right corner.) Now gently drag your fingernail on Las Vegas Boulevard dragging down. Oh, there's the Luxor with the pyramid, then the Excalibur with the Tropicana on the other side of the street. Then New York, New York with the MGM opposite. etc.

All the way up the strip to the Stratosphere some 4 miles away.

Don't forget to stop along the way and use the 'Rotation' button on the left of your screen for new and interesting perspectives.

You may want to zoom in a little further to not only notice the details of the casinos but also the stores and signs along the way. You can almost do better seeing the strip this way than having to actually drive up the strip with the traffic trying to see the sites and keeping from an accident at the same time.

You can 'sort of' see the 3-D buildings from the 2-D screen, but you mainly get a roof top view.

Use the same technique to view downtown Las Vegas including the hotels, casinos and the Fremont St. Experience. North Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont St. is a good place from which to start your site-seeing in the downtown area.


No matter what I tell you, you are going to do it anyway -- and I don't blame you, for I would do the same. But after a short time you would find how slow driving from one spot to another via Las Vegas Boulevard really is when there is traffic. Early in the morning, perhaps before 8 am it is a breeze, but as traffic builds during the day, and, of course, on weekends, moving comes to a grinding halt.

Fortunately there are alternate streets that parallel The Strip that locals and those in the know use to bypass the Strip. For example, Koval Lane, Paradise Road, maybe even Maryland Parkway to the East, and to the West: Industrial Rd., Frank Sinatra Dr., Highland Dr., Western Ave., US 15, Valley View Blvd., and even Decatur Blvd.


There is always construction going on in this area -- that's a given. I've been going to Las Vegas since 1967 and each time I return, nothing's the same. I'm talking about big construction -- roads closed, buildings being imploded, buildings being constructed, traffic flow changes. Your Garmin
WILL NOT KNOW about this and can easily mislead you. So you must be aware and have alternates in mind. The simple 'Detour' button on your Garmin may not be enough.


But there is a problem. If your destination is somewhat near the strip your GPS will want you to use the strip even though Koval Lane and Paradise Rd., for example, would be better. Either the Strip establishments and Garmin/Navteq have gotten together and proclaimed that 'all roads lead to the Strip' or your Garmin sees the Strip as such a wide road that it must be faster than the narrower parallel streets that it wants to force you to use it. So even if your destination is up ahead of you and you are traveling up or down one of these quicker side streets, your Garmin will want you to turn to the Strip first, and if you don't, it will recalculate and make the same demand of you at every corner.


You can set your nüvi to find a hotel/casino by using the
'Where to?' > Lodging > Either picking your destination from the list or spelling the name of the property -- and you'll be lead to the place (usually right up the strip -- damm.)

But here is a little trick.

Instead of going directly to the hotel via the Points of Interest 'Lodging' selection, use the '
Parking' selection choice instead. Since you are probably going to place your car in the Self-Parking area which may not be at the front of the building but at the rear, side, or even in a large lot nearby. Your Garmin has a better chance then of directing you along smaller side roads to reach the entrance you want. Of course, the first time you go to your 'staying at' hotel you may want to take advantage of either valet parking or bell man service at the main drive. But from then on, when you visit other casinos with your vehicle, let your Garmin aim for the 'correct' parking places and not the registration desks.

Before I proceed. Did you know that of all the major Resort/Hotel/Casinos located on 'The Strip' only one is actually in the city limits of Las Vegas? It's the Stratosphere.

(Molding Your Route)

Your Garmin may not direct you along the path you may wish to follow. What to do?

Read this just for the idea. You don't have to follow it with your nüvi. Just perceive the thinking behind what I am doing and perhaps you can apply it your own situation, wherever you are.


Here's my situation. I was invited to a friends house in Henderson, NV. He lives in a Del Woods Country Club/Golf Community. Certainly my Garmin could take me there easily and I would arrive with bells on. But, because it was rush hour, and there was construction, etc., he knew a better way. So, in this case, following the Garmin's initial directions was out.

I was to first travel South on Paradise till it hit SR 215. (Remember that Paradise was one of those North/South 'quick' streets that paralleled 'The Strip.') I set this point as a favorite and called it P1.


Be extremely careful where you place your P1 especially if there are divided streets or even wide streets. You want it directly on the lane of the street on which you will be driving -- not on the other lane of the street going in the opposite direction. It is suggested that you zoom in to 300 or less before placing your via point.

Now I created a path to my friends house from my current position which I am calling 'Sahara Back' which is the back entrance at which the Sahara hotel self-parking is located. First I selected
'Where to?' > Favorites > All Favorites till I could select my friend's house > Go

Menu > Where to? > Favorites (or Recently Found if you have practiced going to the P1 Point ahead of time) and select P1 > Go > at this time I am asked if I want to set P1 as a New Destination or Add as a Via Point. I choose 'Via Point'. My Garmin now calculates the new suggested route taking me through the P1 via point and avoiding all the traffic.


This is easy and quick. I already have 'Sahara Back', 'Friend's House, and 'P1' stored as Favorites. They all also are in my Recently Found as I put them there by doing some 'Go's in advance. This will make the procedure easier as you will see. Now it's time to create a Custom Route.

'Where To?' > scroll down, select 'Custom Routes' > Respond 'Yes' to create a new route >

select 'Add New Start Point' > select 'Recently Found' > select
'Sahara Back' (or wherever you are starting from) > review point and choose 'Select' >

select 'Add New End Point' (notice that we haven't put in the 'via' point as yet) > select 'Recently Found' > choose 'Friends House' (or wherever your final destination point is)(you may have to scroll the menu) > review point and choose 'Select' >

4) Notice that a '+' icon appears on the right of the screen between the previous two selections. This is for the addition of your via point.
Touch it. > again select 'Recently Found' > choose 'P1' which is your previously established 'via' point (you may have to scroll the menu) > review point and choose 'Select' >

5) (at this step we could add more via points but for this particular project the former was enough)
Select 'Next' > calculations will take place and a map screen of your Custom Route will appear along with distance and time information. Select 'Save' > a page with the name of your route will appear. In this case it is 'Friends House from Sahara Back' > Touch your Back button until you get to the main screen.

When it comes time to use your Custom Route (we will assume that you are parked at your starting point.)

Where To? > scroll page and select 'Custom Routes' > select 'Friends House from Sahara Back' > select 'Go' > follow map guidance to your destination.

[Green flag and vehicle is the starting point - Sahara Back. Orange flag is P1. Checkered flag is friend's house destination.]

Some 'Set Loc.' facts to remember:
You can't 'Set Loc.' unless you are in GPS Simulator mode.
You can't 'Set Loc.' if you have a route active.
You can't 'Set Loc.' unless you are in the touch and drag map mode.


OK. You've been at your friends house for the evening and it is time to leave. It's dark outside and you will be driving through unfamiliar territory back to your hotel. You could just program a 'Where to?' back to your hotel but the Garmin would take you along the roads that have traffic and construction slowing your trip and you don't want to take the extra time as you have need to get back to the gaming tables and recoup your losses from the evening before. You could have, while you were creating your Custom Route to your friends house, prepared a Custom Return Route to your hotel -- but you didn't think of it (perhaps next time you will). So, what to do. No big deal.


select 'Where To?' > Recently Found> 'Sahara Back' > 'Go' (Garmin will want to take you back via its suggested way)

select 'Menu' > 'Where To?' > Recently Found > the via point 'P1'(?) > 'Go' > you will be asked if you want to set P1(?) as a New Destination or Add as a Via Point -- You select 'Add As a Via Point'. The traveling map will appear. Follow map guidance to your destination it will take you to back to your hotel through the P1 via point. BUT .......


Remember above how I said to be careful about placing your P1 in the proper lane. Well, if it is on one of those divided or wide streets it will probably be in
the wrong place on your return.

If you did this, in this case, your Garmin will do all sorts of strange things to get you to P1 (which is going in the wrong direction.)

Sometimes, as in this case, it is best to have a P2 via point in your Recently Found arsenal that you would use on the return trip. The P2 would be in the lane you would use when going home. By examining each route before you have to take it you will reveal any hidden problems and you will be able to take corrective via point action -- ahead of time. You may find that you need two or more via points in order to force your route the way you want. As the BK sez, "You should have it your way."

Of course the easier way is to let your Garmin take you through the construction and traffic.

- Use All Three Information Areas

This Web site was originally conceived to supply helpful operating tricks and tips to the 650 and other 600 series owners -- but it quickly developed way beyond that as most of the 'tricks' and 'hints' applied to many of the 200, 300, 500, 600, 700 nüvi series users.

Currently there are some 25 active and 22 discontinued nüvi instruments ranging from the 200 series through the 1400 series.

With the advent of the 7X5 series and my purchase of a 755T unit I opened a new section beyond the '
Original' and the 'Custom POI' sections which was to apply to the new "_X5" units but I soon found that some of the hints had not only backward unit but forward unit application as later models were released.

Currently this site has three Major Information Sections:

  • The Initial (Original) 'Tricks, Tips, ...etc.' area
  • The 7/8X5 'Tricks, Tips, ...etc.' area
  • The Custom POI area (which has application for all nüvis)

All three of these sections currently receive new articles and updates.

In addition, a
Menu, covering all areas, is contained on Page 1 of the Initial area so it can be easily located when you enter the site, a separate area listing 'Recent Additions' (very useful for finding recent additions and updates), and a separate Information/Administration area are part of this GPS project.

As there is so much broad scope information that may apply to a variety of nüvi models, ... are encouraged to view both the Initial area AND the 7/8X5 areas for material that may apply to any nüvi from the 200 through the current 1400 series.

Using either the Main Menu or the Recently Added Menu may provide you with help to identify those articles which may be of value to you.

Don't miss out on a trick or technique that will make your GPS more useful to you.

Better Spoken Commands For The nüvi 800 Series
© by contributing writer, Bob Cohen, Redmond, WA

The Garmin nüvi 850/880 and 855/885 units allow owners to control most operations with
SPOKEN commands; this feature can be very useful while on the road, as well as making yourself a safer driver.

Just imagine yourself activating the nüvi speech capability by pressing a (provided) remote control ... then
SPEAKING the commands that you would otherwise press for successive menus.

Thus, you can search for the nearest gas station or Starbucks,
OR search your list of Favorites for a specific address, OR preview all of your upcoming turns, OR listen again to the last instruction for the Next Turn, OR cancel your route and create a new destination.

[NOTE: The author of this article has based comments on his experience with the nüvi 855. He adds, "However, other 800 nüvi models, such as the 885, and 850 and 880 also operate with Speech Command: Identical commands appear in the Garmin online manuals for all four models. It is unknown what effect different American dialects have on the speech recognition feature, let alone English by British and Australian speakers."]

Unfortunately, the list of Speech Commands provided in the Garmin manuals is limited to 22 commands, and appears to be randomly organized, which makes it difficult to find the term you want ... especially if you are trying to drive at the same time!

BELOW is a much expanded list of 38 Speech Commands, which I have organized into logical groupings. This makes them much easier to find when driving, as well as for careful study, anywhere. With this list I have arranged similar functions to be grouped together, and it is much easier to reference than the (shorter) list in the Garmin manual.

You are welcome to print the nüvi 855 Speech Commands
SHOWN BELOW, for your personal use. It is designed to fit on a half sheet of "8.5 x 11" page.

Editor's Note

Techniques for printing the above chart include:

  • Do a print screen or 'screen save', paste into your graphics program and print from there

  • Use a 'snipping tool' such as the one included in Windows Vista or my favorite, 'Snippy.exe' (available from -- it's FREE and I use it multiple times a day -- FOR YEARS), paste into your graphics program and print from there

  • Click on this LINK to open a .jpg which you can copy (via right click and choice) and paste into your graphics program and print from there

  • Click on this LINK to open up a .doc containing the chart, then print from your Word Processor [If the resulting .doc doesn't look well in the Word Processor that you have associated with .doc files, then please try one of the other methods]

More Than The Garmin Manual's Listing

The above list contains many terms which are
NOT DOCUMENTED in the Garmin online manual, such as Next Turn, Page Down, Scroll Down, Zoom In, Routes, Yes and No, Backspace, Clear, Delete ... and also specifies seven commands that work with the phrase "Find ... ", such as Find City, Find Nearest, Find Recently Found, etc.).

Basically, users will learn that most commands seen on screen can also be
SPOKEN to the nüvi. The speech process is very intuitive and that is what makes the nüvi so easy to operate by voice: You simply use and respond to the identical terms that you use in "keypressing" on the nüvi screen. The expanded list of commands makes it possible to conduct a "complete transaction" with the nüvi, by directing it to progress from one screen to another, just as if you were manipulating it with your fingers.

[Owners of the nüvi 880 and 885 may also have the MSN Direct feature, and thus can use additional commands to get MSN provided information, by speaking extra commands to "SHOW" ... traffic, gas prices, weather, stocks, movie times, etc. These MSN commands are identified in Garmin manuals.]

Practice In Simulation Mode

In the interest of "full disclosure," I no longer need the list when driving ... because I have become familiar with just a few, most common commands. I encourage others to
PRACTICE using the list at home, literally trying out the command "while driving a Custom Route" in GPS "Simulation" mode: It's a good way to get comfortable with speaking Commands and responding back-and-forth to operate the GPS remotely. You can also simply turn on your nüvi (with the remote control), and practice virtually any function that you are used to doing manually. Practice ... Practice ... Practice ... until you get comfortable with the commands you would use often.

I have no experience with several of the commands, because I don't use the nüvi Music Player or Audible Player. However, I have read elsewhere that all commands on the MP3 player can be voice activated, including the FM audio output. Similarly, although I have not done so, others report satisfaction with smooth entry of addresses by voice command.

As mentioned, I have studied the list enough that I now know what the specific commands are (and I need only a few of them, when driving). My familiarity with the specific terms helps my interaction with the nüvi, so that I can usually keep the green "On" screen indicator active throughout my "transaction." The more you use speech, the more you get used to it, until you are comfortably talking to yourself while motoring along the highway!

I try to speak my successive commands without letting the screen "On" indicator become inactive (so that I can progress smoothly from one menu to another). Thus, when my instructions and responses to successive screen choices are quick enough, I can "keep the screen alive", complete my "transaction" with the menus, and finish by saying "View Map", which restores the map screen of my route. It can become a bit of a game to keep speaking various commands, just to keep the green screen indicator from turning off. If it does, just activate the remote button again ... and pick up where your last command left off.

I still reach over to press some screen items, but usually for just a single keypress here and another keypress there: It is still convenient to reach over and press the screen for some "one touch transactions." However, even with the distraction of briefly glancing at the list while driving (and the entire process of a
MULTIPLE step interaction with the nüvi) CAN be done more safely than frequent reaching and keypressing. Once you become familiar with YOUR most frequent commands, you shouldn't even need to look at the list very often. [I don't even drive with mine anymore.]

Safer Driving

With interactions involving multiple screens and ongoing Voice Commands, I know that my driving is safer than reaching and pressing on the nüvi. I can easily glance at the screen as it changes menus, and decide what step is next, with about the same level of attention that anyone gives to changing radio stations ... extracting and inserting new CDs, or chatting on a cellphone.
[I try not to remember that there must be thousands of drivers, without Voice Command units, who are always reaching over and over again to press on their GPS units ... and that half of them are oncoming cars! Of course, safe drivers just forego "multiple presses" on their nüvis until they are stopped: Which one are you?]

I also limit "multiple screen presses" to situations where traffic conditions are less complex: I avoid
ALL nüvi interaction when facing near oncoming traffic, busy freeway traffic around me, etc., and generally wait to use the nüvi until I expect traffic complexity to ease up. Nothing on the nüvi is worth doing until you can do it safely!

Even though my wife can often operate the nüvi as a "co-pilot," I still sometimes glance at the screen and instruct her as to successive menus and procedures. I have come to enjoy operating in remote mode, and delight in doing it myself. It's no trouble to tell the screen to "Zoom In" multiple times (and Zoom Out, when I want to know more about the surrounding highways and towns), preview "Next Turn" over and over "until I get it", and direct "Page Down" or "Scroll Down" until I find the menu item I want. On the other hand, SHE actually enjoys performing the many "Find" functions by herself (we do love to "Find McDonald's") ... and is gaining a much better familiarity with the 855 as she operates it.

When I used previous nüvi units, I remember doing
LOTS of reaching and pressing, and sometimes scaring myself by becoming so absorbed in the screen that I was an unsafe driver. I found that it can occasionally be difficult to stop trying to finish a GPS interaction with several steps, return to full concentration on driving, and then go back to finish the rest of the GPS transaction. It's natural to want to finish an entire sequence of presses, even when you KNOW that you need to get back to full concentration on DRIVING. I no longer let myself get carried away trying to reaching and pressing on my nüvi. No more Stupid Guy Tricks for me!

© by Bob Cohen, Redmond, WA. All rights reserved. Permission to publish here has been granted by author.

Your editor is working on the commands for the future Garmin nüvi 2080 series which will incorporate an advanced technique where all you have to do is think about what you want the Garmin to do and it will do it -- without touching it or speaking to it. Currently I am having a little difficulty with the many electrodes that the Olathe, Kansas Garmin Support Staff have attached to my scalp. They keep on giving me electrical shocks and my nose is lighting up as I think the commands. The Support Staff assures me that they will "get right on the problem" and by the year 2080 will have the anomaly solved. Also, I find it a little difficult to drive with my right index finger plugged into the 12 volt socket on my dash -- it tingles.


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All written material and organization of material is copyright © 2007-2016 by Gary Hayman, All rights reserved.