How to use Voice Dictation Tool in Windows 10

If you have always thought of writing posts or email or anything on your Windows 10 computer using voice, Microsoft has rolled out a native Dictation feature with Fall Creators Update. This tool can translate your spoken words into text, and it works in any app where there is a text input, and can also be used on the desktop to launch settings and other things.

In this Windows 10 tutorial, we will talk about how you can use the Dictation Tools to improve your productivity. A small caution that it may take some time to get used to the whole experience. Also, you will need a microphone to get everything done.

Dictation Tool in Windows 10

Select a text area like a Word document or email where you want to type. Then to start the dictation tool, press Windows key + H on the keyboard. This will launch the voice dictation panel which will have a keyboard and blue color microphone icon. It’s basically the touch keyboard which shows up in tablet mode for 2-in-1 laptops.

The blue microphone icon will immediately get into “Listening” mode, and you can start your dictation right away. However, writing isn’t just putting in random words you speak; instead, you need to add punctuation and other grammar aspects.  We will talk about the dictation commands at the end of the post.

Dictation Tool in Windows 10

Once done, all you need to say is “stop dictating“, and then stop saying. Once the tool gets the silence, it will stop converting speech to text.

While the keyboard is compact, but it is expected to occupy part of your screen. This means it will block your view of whats in the document. Suggest you drag, and put it under the taskbar, so it disappears from the visuals, but the dictation keeps working.

Windows 10 Dictation commands

This is the list of dictation commands you will need to use if you are planning to use this tool most of the time. Say for example if you want to delete a word where your cursor is, just say Delete word, and it will be done.

To do this Say
Clear a selection Clear selection; unselect that
Delete the most recent dictation result, or currently selected text Delete that; strike that
Delete a unit of text, such as the current word Delete word
Move the cursor to the first character after a specified word or phrase Go after that; move after word; go to the end of paragraph; move to the end of that
Move the cursor to the end of a unit of text Go after word; move after word; go to the end of that; move to the end of paragraph
Move the cursor backward by a unit of text Move back to the previous word; go up to the previous paragraph
Move the cursor to the first character before a specified word or phrase Go to the start of the word
Move the cursor to the start of a text unit Go before that; move to the start of that
Move the cursor forward to the next unit of text Move forward to the next word; go down to the next paragraph
Moves the cursor to the end of a text unit Move to the end of the word; go to the end of the paragraph
Enter one of the following keys: Tab, Enter, End, Home, Page up, Page down, Backspace, Delete Tap Enter; press Backspace
Select a specific word or phrase Select word
Select the most recent dictation result Select that
Select a unit of text Select the next three words; select the previous two paragraphs
Turn spelling mode on and off Start spelling; stop spelling

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What do I feel about it?

After using it for a couple of different things, I can say that it works. But there are caveats that Microsoft needs to fix. Dictation should work in conjunction with features of documents. Say, for example, if the first alphabet of a word needs t the be in the capital, I should have to put my time into doing that. Same should happen for comma and punctuations.

There is another drawback. The tool doesn’t learn your speech. There is no speech training program with this which increases the chance of error.

However, I am guessing this is more of a general tool and is not built for professional work. But then whats the point? If you been using Windows form a long time, Windows already had a Speech Recognition tool which also helps in executing key commands, many other things. However, this is limited to the only control panel.

Nevertheless, you can always use this tool to write long emails, and document things. Later on, you can spend some time fixing whichever needs a correction.

The Dictation tool is available in US English only. To use it, your PC needs to be connected to the internet. To dictate in other languages, use Windows Speech Recognition.

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Ashish is a veteran Windows, and Xbox user who excels in writing tips, tricks, and features on it to improve your day to day experience with your devices.