How to Dictate a Document in Microsoft Word

992222 How to Dictate a Document in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word’s built-in dictation feature allows you to use speech-to-text to author content quickly and easily. This can save you time and effort compared to manual typing. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to utilize dictation to create Word documents.

Prerequisites for Using Dictation

Before you can start dictating into Word, ensure the following:

  • You have a microphone connected or built into your computer to capture audio input. Most modern laptops have built-in mics.
  • You are using the latest version of Microsoft Word, either the desktop app or web-based Word in Office 365. Older versions may not support dictation features.
  • You have an active internet connection for sending audio to Microsoft servers to transcribe into text.
  • You are signed into Word with a Microsoft account. This links the dictation profile to your account for better accuracy over time.

Start Dictation in Microsoft Word

To start dictating:

  1. Open a new or existing Word document
  2. Click on the “Dictate” button on the Home tab of the ribbon
  3. The microphone icon will turn blue when ready to record audio
  4. Start speaking into your microphone to convert speech into text

The first time you use dictation, Word will prompt you to give it permission to access your microphone. Make sure to enable that.

Dictate into Word Document

Once dictation is active in a Word document:

  • Speak clearly into your microphone to convert speech to text
  • Say “new line” or “new paragraph” to start a new line or paragraph
  • Add punctuation by saying “period”, “comma” etc.
  • Say “caps” before a word to capitalize it
  • Say “select” before a word to select the whole word

For example:

“Today is Monday period new paragraph I am creating this document in Word by using dictation instead of typing period I will use dictation more often comma as it saves me time period”

Pause, Resume or Stop Dictation

  • To pause dictation, click the microphone icon or say “pause dictation”.
  • To resume, just click the mic again or say “resume dictation”.
  • To stop dictation, click the mic icon or say “stop dictation”.

Edit Dictated Text

After stopping dictation, you can edit the generated text like any other text:

  • Click and drag to select text
  • Say “delete that” or “replace [word]” to delete or replace words
  • Add text by typing or resuming dictation

Dictation Commands and Tips

Here are some useful dictation commands in Word:

  • “Select [text]” – Selects text
  • “Bold that”/ “Underline that” – Formats text
  • “Go back”/ “Go forward” – Moves cursor
  • “New heading” – Adds heading format
  • “Start numbered list” – Makes a numbered list

Tips for better accuracy:

  • Speak clearly and take pauses between sentences
  • Reduce background noise around you
  • Train Word on your voice by using it regularly


Dictation is a game-changing accessibility feature in Word. It empowers you to create documents faster with just your voice. With some practice, you can utilize dictation to significantly enhance your productivity. Enable it now to save time and effort while typing your next document!

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