For folks who have a Microsoft 365 subscription and who also talk a lot faster than they key in text, you will find the Dictate feature very helpful. This is a useful process to put your thoughts on paper quickly and easily without having to worry about the structure of your document (i.e., formatting, sentence structure, etc.). You can go back after you dictate and take care of all that.
To get started you will obviously need a quiet place. You will also need a good microphone. It is true that you can use the built-in microphones on your laptop, but a headset microphone works best in my experience.
Follow the steps below to learn how:
- On your Ribbon, click the Home tab.
- In the Voice group, click on Dictate, which is on the right-hand side of your Ribbon.
- You should then hear a sound indicating that Dictation has been activated. Also, the Dictate icon will turn white and will display a red circle, letting you know that it is listening.
- Dictation will capture every word you say. Should you want to include punctuation, simply say the name or phrase of that punctuation mark.
- When you are finished dictating, just click on Dictate once more to stop.
Please know, that as with anything else new, it will take a bit of practice and getting used to. Once you do get used to it, I think you will be pleased. Bear in mind though, that using Dictate may not save you a ton of time, but it will definitely save you keystrokes and it will help you to be more efficient.