How to make writing easier with the Dictate tool in Microsoft 

Microsoft’s Dictate tool is great for those who struggle to get their ideas down onto paper – it allows you to speak into your microphone and convert your speech to text on the screen.  

Dictation is available on all Microsoft tools that use text. It’s an excellent feature for both students and teachers, helping you get ideas out of your head and onto the page quickly, without the distraction of spelling and grammar.  

Simply hit the Dictate button, start talking, and your ideas will flow onto the page. Then, if you need to, go back and edit the document later.  


How to use Dictate in Microsoft: 

  1. Open any Microsoft Office application. We’re using Microsoft Word in this example.  
  2. Select Dictate from the top Home ribbon. A notification appears, letting you know that it’s listening.  
  3. Start speaking! Your words will appear on the screen.  

A GIF demonstrating how you can use Dictate in Microsoft if you struggle to get your ideas down onto the page

Tip: Microsoft not only dictates your voice but also listens to your instructions too. For example, if you say, “New line”, “New paragraph” or “Full stop”, it listens and adds your directions to the text too.  

4. When you’ve finished, hit Dictate again to prevent Microsoft from continuing to dictate your speech.  

Note: You may need to give Microsoft permission to use your microphone the first time you start using this tool.

A GIF demonstrating how you can quickly convert speech to text with Microsoft's Dictate tool

Why we think Microsoft’s Dictate is great:  

  • It’s great if you find spelling tricky and can help with spelling words you struggle with. 
  • A blank page is daunting – Dictate can help you quickly get all of your ideas out of your head and onto the page.  
  • It saves time – great if you type slowly and spend lots of time correcting typos.  
  • It’s a quick solution to typing up handwritten notes.  

If you enjoy using the Dictate, you should try the Read Aloud tool in Immersive Reader, which allows you to listen back to what you’ve written.  

Here’s a podcast episode we recorded with Engineering UTC North Lincolnshire about how they use features like Immersive Reader to support students with Special Education Needs (SEN) and English as an Additional Language (EAL).

Found this helpful? Share this guide with your colleagues and students.

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