How to Convert Speech to Text in Word? A step-by-Step Guide (2022)

Home > Microsoft Word > How to Convert Speech to Text in Word? A step-by-Step Guide

(Note: This guide on how to convert speech to text in Word is suitable for all MS Word versions includingOffice 365)

Typing a large document might be hectic sometimes. It is a rigorous process to sit with your keyboard and click key after key. You might wonder if there is an easier way to type.

Fortunately, an alternate way to ease your efforts in typing is to use the Speech-to-Text feature in Word.

The speech-to-text feature is particularly useful when you have to type fast. This reduces the additional work you have to do while taking notes for meetings, jotting down quick ideas, or drafting any content.

Speech-to-Text is the cutting-edge feature adopted by many businesses and technological streams to increase user-friendliness and maintain productivity features. Among them, Microsoft has one of the advanced speech-to-text features.

If you are planning on a long write-up, this article is for you. In this guide, I’ll explain how to activate the speech-to-text feature in Word and how to make the best out of it.

You’ll Learn

  • Prerequisites to Know Before Using Speech to Text Feature in Word
  • How to Activate the Speech to Text Feature in Word
  • Additional Attributes of Dictate Mode
    • Settings option
    • Help Option
    • Commands

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Prerequisites to Know Before Using Speech to Text Feature in Word

Enabling voice typing in Microsoft Word is easy. However, there are some points to bear in mind to make the best of the voice typing feature.

  1. Make sure you have logged in to the Microsoft official account. Only then you will find the Dictate option in the Home option. But a workaround is to use the built-in Windows speech-to-text function. To activate Windows speech-to-text feature, hold the Windows key and press H. In this way, you can enable the voice typing feature for Word and in all text spaces. But, this feature has some limitations to the language options.
  1. Speak clearly with proper pronunciation. It is very common for Word to interpret your speech into a relatable word. However, you can change the text through suggestions or manually.
  1. Try to stay in a silent and noiseless room. It is very easy for microphones to pick up stray noises and convert them into text, which might interfere with your speech.
  1. The efficiency of speech-to-text conversion relies on the speed of the internet. Make sure you have a stable and reliable internet connection to use the speech-to-text feature with ease.
  1. Make sure you allow access to the microphone option for Word. In case the microphone does not have access, the Dictate feature will not be turned on and speech won’t be converted to text. Access to the microphone can be given when activating the Dictate option.
  1. It is always better to have an external microphone to discern your speech into text in a better way. However, the internal microphone array also does a good job of listening to your speech and converting them to text.

How to Activate the Speech to Text Feature in Word

Open a Word document.

In the Main Menu, select Home. Under Voice, select the Dictate option.

Or, you can use the keyboard shortcut (Alt+`) to enable the voice typing feature in Word.

How to Convert Speech to Text in Word? A step-by-Step Guide (1)

This opens up a small dialog box.

To activate the speech-to-text feature, tap on the microphone icon. You will hear a chime and the dialog box shows “Listening…”.

How to Convert Speech to Text in Word? A step-by-Step Guide (2)

You can also see the dictate icon in the main menu changes.

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As you speak, Microsoft Word converts the speech into text. The text appears on the screen as you speak.

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You can exit the Dictate mode by clicking on the close button in the top right corner of the dialog box. Also, the Dictate mode automatically closes when you open another window or move away from the Word file.

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Additional Attributes of Dictate Mode

Settings option

To the left of the microphone button, you can find the Settings Option. You can customize the Dictate mode by using the Settings button. It shows three options:

How to Convert Speech to Text in Word? A step-by-Step Guide (5)
  1. Enable Auto Punctuation: You can toggle this feature ON to add punctuation marks as you speak. Initially, punctuation marks were entered manually. Now, enabling this option adds punctuation marks like commas, periods, hyphens, and exclamations wherever necessary without being prompted by the user.
How to Convert Speech to Text in Word? A step-by-Step Guide (6)
  1. Filter Sensitive Phrases: Toggling this option ON enables you to cloak any sensitive content inappropriate. When any awkward context arises, Word automatically masks the said word by replacing it with “*****”.
  1. Languages: This is one of the notable features of the Dictate option in Microsoft Word. This helps you type out the text in the language of your choice.

For example, if you want to make a Japanese script, select Japanese in the Spoken Language option and start speaking. Microsoft recognizes the uttered word and types out the content in Japanese.

How to Convert Speech to Text in Word? A step-by-Step Guide (7)

Microsoft takes great measures to add more languages and increase their compatibility with the feature. Currently, Word supports 15 languages and 36 preview languages. However, preview languages have comparatively less accuracy than the supported language.

Help Option

To the right of the microphone button, you can find the Help option. Click on the Help option when faced with any query using the Dictate option. This directs you to Microsoft’s official help page to help solve your queries.

Commands

Another most important feature of the speech-to-text conversion in Microsoft Word is its ability to act on verbal commands.

You can add punctuation marks by saying “period”, “comma”, and other such commands. Word will add “.” and “,” in the respective places. For example, in the statement “My favorite colors are red, blue, and green”, you can add the commas “,” by uttering the word comma.

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You can edit the text using voice commands like “delete” or “undo” to delete or undo any text after your command. For example, in the command “have a nice day. And a great weekend”, you can utter “delete weekend” to delete the word.

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You can also use the “bold”, “strikethrough”, “italics”, and other commands to format the words. Consider the statement, “have a nice day”. To bold the words “nice day”, just utter the words “bold nice day”.

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Another one that concerns most people is a breach of privacy. Microsoft has rolled out an official statement saying they don’t store any information. The spoken words are only used to convert your speech into text and provide you with the best results.

Suggested Reads:

Footnotes in Word and Endnotes in Word

How to do a Mail Merge in Microsoft Word 2013 – Part 2

Using Settings and Preferences in Microsoft Word 2013

Closing Thoughts

In this guide, we saw how to convert speech to text in Word and the additional attributes of the speech-to-text feature.

Speech-to-Text is one of the golden features of Microsoft. This method of typing is preferred by a majority of common Word users. Initially, you might face a bit of a struggle to properly pronounce the words and make the best of the speech-to-text feature, but as you progress, you will develop a flow for it.

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Simon Calder
How to Convert Speech to Text in Word? A step-by-Step Guide (11)

Chris “Simon” Calder was working as a Project Manager in IT for one of Los Angeles’ most prestigious cultural institutions, LACMA.He taught himself to use Microsoft Project from a giant textbook and hated every moment of it. Online learning was in its infancy then, but he spotted an opportunity and made an online MS Project course - the rest, as they say, is history!

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