Microsoft is testing the ability to use voice dictation to create Word documents, notes, emails and PowerPoint presentations on Windows. The appropriate ability became available recently to Office Insiders.
It is available in the Fast ring of updates, which was recently renamed to the "Insider" level. The official announcement describes the feature as follows.
Dictate uses your voice to author documents, presentations, emails and take notes in Office applications such as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. Office dictation uses the state of art speech recognition technology to convert speech to text. Dictate is one of the Office Intelligent Services, bringing the power of the cloud to Office apps to help save you time and produce better results.
- This feature is only available if you have an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, make sure you have the latest version of Office. This feature now works only for English Language in the US market.
- You need to be connected to the internet to use this feature.
- Office Dictate is not HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant.
Previously, there was a separate add-in released by Microsoft called Dictate for Office 2016 and 2013. It was for dictation in Word, Outlook and PowerPoint. Another add-in, Learning Tools allowed the same for OneNote. Now this dictation functionality is going mainstream as it gets built into Office 365 (and Office 2019).
How to enable the voice dictation feature in Microsoft Office
To get this feature working, you need to enable the Trust Center Privacy Options. This assumes that you are running the most recent build of Microsoft Office. If you're enrolled in the Insider level, formerly called Insider Fast, you get frequent updates with new features and improvements automatically.
To enable voice dictation in Microsoft Office, do the following.
- Open Microsoft Word.
- Click on File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Privacy Options.
- On the right, turn on the check boxes as shown on the screenshot.
- Note: Your speech utterances will be sent to Microsoft to provide you with this service, and may also be used to improve speech recognition services.
You are done.
How to type with your voice
Open the Office application.
- Turn on your microphone and ensure it works.
- Select Dictate, wait for the icon to turn red and then start talking. As you talk text appears in your document, email, slide or page.
- Speak clearly and conversationally. When you do this, it picks up on your pauses and inserts punctuation for you.
Note: If you make a mistake while you're dictating, you can move your cursor to the mistake and fix it with your keyboard without turning off the microphone.
- Say the following phrases to add the specific punctuation to your text:
- Question mark
- New line
- New paragraph
- When you are done, select Dictate again to stop typing.
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