Save Time Using Word's Dictation Tool

Use the Dictate Feature on Word and Save Time

Unless you do it every day, writing anything longer than a paragraph or two can be a time-consuming chore. Still, there are times that you can’t avoid it as a business owner. Whether it’s crafting a delicate email to a client, generating a blog for your website, or writing instructions for your employees, it can seem like it takes forever to complete.

Fortunately, there is a seldom-used feature available on Microsoft Word and Outlook that can save you a lot of time… the “Dictate” feature. You may have noticed the “Dictate” button among all the other buttons available to you. However, very few people actually use it to their advantage. And while it takes a little getting used to, once you are accustomed to speaking into the microphone, it can practically cut your writing time in half.

While the voice recognition technology isn't perfect, it does a pretty good job of understanding most of what you say. Still, when you dictate into Word or Outlook, you have to spend a few minutes afterwards cleaning up some minor mistakes. You may find that Word inserts double spaces between sentences, or may replace a word like “and” with “in.” You may also have to capitalize a proper noun here and there or correct a spoken acronym that sounds like actual words. (For example, it may misunderstand “BNI” as “Bea and I.”)

 

The dictate function even understands commands like “new paragraph,” as well as punctuation commands. That said, sometimes it spells the word “period” out, especially if it comes after a word where “period” makes sense as part of a phrase. For example, if you end a sentence with the word “time,” and then say “period,” it may think that you are referring to a “time period.” So just make sure you clean those things up before you consider the writing task complete.

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