How to use the Dictate feature instead of typing in Microsoft Word


Whether or not you are a nasty typist or have a harm thumb, you possibly can nonetheless work together with Microsoft Phrase utilizing its new Dictate function.

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The artwork of dictation and transcription used to attract up pictures of somebody recording a message after which a second particular person carrying earphones and urgent a foot pedal to manage a recording gadget, whereas turning the recorded phrase from the primary particular person right into a typed doc. It took two individuals—two! I do know that imaginative and prescient exposes my age: I’ve seen expertise change a lot in my lifetime. By no means did I think about that sometime I might merely communicate, and pc software program would immediately transcribe my phrases for me. On this article, I will present you ways straightforward it’s to make use of Microsoft Phrase’s dictation function within the desktop model, which grew to become obtainable in August 2020. It is simple, nevertheless it’s new, so lots of you may not find out about it. 

SEE: 60 Excel ideas each person ought to grasp (TechRepublic)

The aim of this text is to introduce you to the distinction between Phrase desktop and net—the online model has extra performance at the moment. We’ll focus on what variations do what for you after which learn to use Dictate within the desktop model. In a subsequent article, I will present you find out how to use the online model. 

I am utilizing Microsoft 365 on a Home windows 10 64-bit system, however you need to use older variations. There isn’t any demonstration file; you will not want one. Dictate is out there within the desktop model; a extra highly effective function, Transcribe, is out there within the net model.

My early years with expertise

At this level, I wish to share a bit about my previous with expertise so you possibly can perceive why I discover this function so thrilling. I used to be a music main and woefully unprepared for the technical age that was coming. Nevertheless, I feel coaching in music is rather a lot like the pc sciences which are studied in the present day (these programs did not even exist once I was in school). Considered one of my first employers bought a desktop pc—you needed to load DOS, then load software program, after which load your program—for a bit over $5,000. They bought just one for your complete agency of 150. Staff would enter their knowledge, hit Calc, go away, and are available again later. It was a little bit of a spaghetti-junction mess. I noticed a chance and took it. I supplied to enter the info, hit Calc, and ship the studies. It caught on. 

SEE: 5 transcription apps to make your work life simpler (TechRepublic)

Why do I let you know this? As a result of at no time throughout these early years did I think about the advances I’ve seen. My grandmother went from horse-drawn wagons to males touring to the moon. I’ve gone from telephones linked by a wire to the wall and sharing the identical quantity with strangers to each particular person within the family having their very own telephone and quantity that goes with them in every single place and performs music and TV on demand! (I believed my turquoise transistor radio was cool.) 

Again to dictating: We have gone from somebody talking right into a microphone to report after which somebody listening to that recording to transcribe what they heard into written phrases to: “Laptop, do my work.”

Tips on how to dictate and transcribe on the identical time

Earlier than we go any additional, we have to outline a couple of phrases. Dictation is the act of recording a message, and transcription is the act of turning that recorded message right into a print doc. Phrase does each, however the variations aren’t the identical. Phrase’s desktop model allows you to dictate the message and mechanically transcribes for you. As you communicate, Phrase creates the print doc. However that leaves out the recorded message on some kind of medium–cassette tape and so forth. Phrase’s net model does that, however we can’t focus on that on this article. 

SEE: Tips on how to use the Develop/Shrink animation to focus on one level at a time in PowerPoint (TechRepublic)

Getting began is easy: You want Phrase and a microphone. To start, click on Dictate’s dropdown (within the Voice group on the House tab). From the dropdown, select a language, if obligatory. Phrase defaults to your system language setting. If you’re prepared to start out recording, click on the Dictate icon. 

Give Phrase a second to get going; you will see a pink dot on the icon when you possibly can report, as proven in Determine A. Discuss till you are carried out after which click on Dictate to cease recording. Phrase turns your audible phrases into textual content as you communicate. You may hear a noise that allows you to know recording has began and stopped. You may as well use the Alt+` keystroke to show dictation on and off.

Determine A


  Phrase data when the pink dot is seen.

It is not good; Determine A additionally reveals what occurs once you begin talking too quickly; discover that the primary few phrases are lacking, and Phrase even misinterprets a couple of. You may get higher with observe:

  • Communicate clearly.
  • Communicate slowly—not so sluggish you go to sleep, however give Phrase a good probability!

When you’re dictating, use phrases for punctuation: comma, interval, new paragraph, open quote, shut quote, uppercase, and so forth. Phrase will transcribe them (you will see them on display), however Phrase then inserts the suitable character and removes the transcribed phrases. Edit the transformed textual content as you usually would. Dictate works in all views by Learn view. It is extremely straightforward and versatile.

SEE: four ideas for working extra effectively with footnotes and endnotes in Phrase (TechRepublic)

Keep tuned

It is a bit uncommon, however this function presents extra within the net model. You may add an current audio file for Phrase to transcribe. This function is nice for brainstorming and conferences. In a future article, we’ll check out this new and thrilling function.

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