Microsoft today announced seven new languages for the dictation feature in the Office apps. Now, users can use thirteen different languages to dictate text in Office Word, OneNote, Outlook, and PowerPoint. The new languages include the following: Hindi, Chinese (Taiwanese,) Korean, Russian, Thai, Polish, and Portuguese (Portugal.)
- Chinese Simplified
- Chinese (Taiwanese)
- English (US, UK, Aus, Can, Ind)
- French (France, Canada)
- Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal)
- Spanish (Mexico, Spain)
Additionally, several languages are available in preview. They work the same, with a slightly lower accuracy compared to generally supported languages.
Dictation in Office apps is not a mere speech-to-text mechanism. In addition to dictating text, you can use voice commands to make edits, format text, add punctuation marks, create lists, add comments, insert symbols, currency, etc. Besides, Microsoft uses AI to understand the context of your commands and make the experience more natural. For example, you can enter "performance review" and then say "bold review." The system will recognize the command and make the word "review" bold.
Office dictation is available in Web apps, Office for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Bear in mind that you need an active Microsoft 365 subscription to access that feature. Also, dictation requires an active Internet connection and a microphone, obviously.
To start inputting text using your voice in Office apps, locate the Dictate button on the ribbon. The system will use your default language, which you can change using the settings button. Also, there is a profanity filter and auto punctuation options available. If you are not familiar with dictation in Office apps, Microsoft has a dedicated support page with a long list of voice commands you can use to harness the power of voice input.
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