Enabling Speech to Text Dictation

by Eric Wyatt
(last updated August 2, 2021)

With the release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Windows gained a new speech-to-text feature. The Dictation feature of Windows 10 is an easier and faster way to transcribe the words you speak, into text you can edit on your computer.

Voice dictation is simple and easy to use with no settings to modify or edit. However, you do need to have a microphone, as Windows cannot hear you otherwise. While I use a headset that includes a microphone, you can use any microphone that connects and works with your computer system. Dictation is also currently only available in US English, with no support for other languages available.

Once you're ready to start using voice dictation you simply press Win+H. This opens the dictation toolbar. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Dictation toolbar

When the Dictation toolbar is activated, you will hear (if you have speakers or headphones connected) an audible tone letting you know that dictation is ready. Once dictation is activated and ready you can start have your words converted to text when the insertion point is inside any area in which you would normally type. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Dictation transcribes the words you say.

Dictation will listen for you to speak and transcribe any words right away. If, after 5 seconds, it does not hear you, it will stop listening. This will be signaled by the same tone as earlier. Dictation will also stop listening if you start typing or editing the text. When dictation stops listening you can have it start again by pressing the microphone in the Dictation toolbar. If dictation does not resume you may need to close the Dictation toolbar and restart dictation by pressing Win+H again.

With Dictation in Windows 10 you can quickly enter text while giving your fingers a little bit of rest.

 This tip (13554) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...

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