You’ll soon be able to dictate documents quickly if you master the skill of speech-to-text in Microsoft Word. Microsoft’s speech recognition technology and voice typing technology has been refined over years. It is a great way to organize your thoughts, make drafts, and take notes.
Microsoft’s offer is similar to the best Speech to Text Apps which make our lives easier when using our smartphones, and it’s ideal for people who use Word a lot and don’t want their fingers to get too tired typing. Although speech to text in Microsoft Word was once prone to errors that you would then need to correct, the technology has advanced significantly in recent years. It is now one of the most popular text-to-speech software.
No matter what your best Windows laptop is, speech to text in Microsoft Word can be used with ease. This guide will teach you everything you need, from connecting your microphone to inserting punctuation. Let’s take another look.
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How to use Microsoft Word’s speech-to-text feature: Preparation
It is important to verify that you have a valid Microsoft 365 subscription. Voice typing is only available for paying customers. This article is likely to show that your company has a Microsoft 365 Enterprise subscription. You can learn more about Microsoft 365 business via (opens new tab).
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A stable internet connection is the second thing you will need before you can start voice typing. Because Microsoft Word’s dictation software processes speech on external servers, this is important. These servers are huge and light-fast processors can process large amounts of speech data to transcribe your text. They make use of deep learning technology and advanced neural networks, which allow the software to continuously improve its accuracy and learn from human speech.
These technologies are what have made voice typing technology so great in recent years. You should also be happy to know that Microsoft dictation software needs an internet connection.
An easy visualization of the voice-to-text software’s functionality. Image credit: Adam Geitgey.
You’re good to go once you have a valid Microsoft 365 subscription, an internet connection and a valid Microsoft 365 account.
Step 1: Open Microsoft Word
It’s simple but essential. Create a blank document by opening the Microsoft Word application on your device. Our test document was named “How to use Speech to Text in Microsoft Word – Test”. We saved it to our desktop so that we could find it later.
Save a blank document to ensure it doesn’t get lost.
Step 2: Click the Dictate button
After you have created a blank document you will see a Dictate and drop-down menu in the upper right-hand corner. The microphone symbol is above it. Open the drop-down menu, and confirm that English is selected.
You will find the Dictate button in the top-right corner of the Home menu. (Image credit to Darcy French).
Microsoft Word’s speech-to-text software is one of its best features. It supports multiple languages. Nine languages are currently supported at the time of writing. There are several preview languages. Preview languages are less accurate and have limited punctuation support.
Microsoft Word’s Dictation Software supports multiple languages (Image credit to Microsoft)
Step 3: Give Microsoft Word access to your Microphone
If you have never used Microsoft Word’s speech-to-text software before, you will need to give the application access to you microphone. When prompted, you can click a button to do this.
An external microphone is worth considering if you intend to use voice-to-text software frequently within your company. Although built-in microphones are sufficient for most purposes, external microphones can be more accurate due to better quality components and optimal placement.
Step 4: Begin voice typing
We now get to the fun stuff. Once you have completed all the steps above, click on the dictate button again. After the blue symbol changes to white, a red recording symbol will be displayed. This indicates that Microsoft Word is listening to your voice. A chime will be sound when your sound is turned up. This indicates that transcription has begun.
Voice typing is as easy as speaking the words that you want Microsoft to translate. Although it may seem strange at first, you will soon get used to it and find your own style and strategies for making the most of the software.
These four steps will enable you to start transcribing your voice into text. If you are looking to improve your speech-to-text software skills, the fifth step is for ya.
Step 5: Include punctuation commands
Microsoft Word’s speech-to-text software does more than just convert spoken words into text. Microsoft’s voice typing technology can listen to more than just single words. It can also hear the entire phrase thanks to the improvement and introduction of artificial neural networks. Microsoft has created a wide range of voice commands that allow users to insert punctuation marks or other formatting effects during speech.
Although we can’t list all punctuation commands, we will name the most important. The command “period”, which inserts a period, will be replaced by the command “comma,” which will insert, unsurprisingly a comma. The same applies to exclamation marks and colons as well as quotations. You can use the command “newline” to end a paragraph without affecting the line break.
These tools are simple to use. The software consistently distinguished between punctuation and words in our testing.
Microsoft’s speech-to-text software is very powerful. We have tested all major platforms and can confirm that Microsoft is the most cost-effective product. The software is integrated directly into Microsoft 365 which many businesses already use. This means that you can immediately start using Microsoft’s voice-typing technology in your business without additional charges.
We hope you found this article helpful and will be able to use it within your company.