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Dictate

Dictate is a Microsoft speech recognition tool in Windows 10 & 11 and Office 365. You can use Dictate in Windows to dictate text into any application while Dictate in Office needs a Microsoft 365 subscription through Glow or your organisation or a personal account. Dictate requires an internet connection.

Dictate in Microsoft Office

This video shows Dictate in the Word 365 app on the desktop:

This video shows how it works in Word Online:

With Dictate in Office you can dictate in many languages, insert symbols and edit and format text.

System requirements

Our Microsoft Office Dictate quick guide has more information and a full list of features and commands.

Dictate in Windows 10 and 11

Introduction to Dictation in Windows 10 shows Dictate in Windows itself: place the text cursor in your document and press Win+H and you will see the Dictate toolbar. Turn on the microphone and dictate.

Find out more at Use voice typing to talk instead of type on your PC.

You can use it to dictate text into any application. It works nicely with Clicker 8 and DocsPlus because they can automatically read back your dictated text after each sentence, which is useful to check that it's correct. You can only dictate text, however - the Dictate commands to move the text cursor around or format don't work.

System requirements

Dictate in Word 365

On the Microsoft Word toolbar go to Home and click on the Dictate button. Click the Cog and check it's set to the language you want.

screen shot of the Dictate settings

To begin with, we suggest turning off auto-punctuation as it adds commas or full stops when you pause, which can be unhelpful.

Click the microphone button or press ALT+` on the keyboard to start dictating.

screen shot of Dictate toolbar

Punctuation

You can choose auto-punctuation in the Settings, or dictate punctuation manually. Say:

Other common commands are:

You can download a Quick Guide on Microsoft Dictate with a full list of commands.

Reading back what you have dictated

Proof-reading your dictated text is essential, so you really do need to have a text reader on your computer. There are many options available, such as Immersive Reader or the built in Word Speak button, free general purpose text readers such as ATbarMiniReader, or Natural Reader, or commercial products such as Read and Write Gold or ClaroRead

Microphones

We suggest you buy a headset microphone with a USB plug such as the Andrea NC 181 USB (mono) or Andrea EDU-255 USB (stereo) which we think give better results than headsets with jack plugs.

A good headset microphone is essential for speech recognition.

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