published : 2023-12-10

Talk techy to me: Get your work done faster with this pro tip

Writing with your voice is much easier than typing

A person dictating text using their voice, taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

AI still has a long way to go, but I’ll tell you one thing: Writing with your voice is getting a heck of a lot easier.

Maybe you dictate text messages, but there’s so much more you can do if you start dictating for your work, too.

I’ll show you how, plus I’ve got some tips to make your spoken words shine on the page.

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Depending on your operating system, version, software and the direction of the wind (just kidding), these dictation commands may or may not work.

But most will, and they’re definitely worth trying.

Choose your system or program

For Word: Open a new or existing document and go to Home > Dictate while signed into Microsoft 365 on a mic-enabled device.

Wait for the "Dictate" button to turn on and start listening.

Start speaking to see text appear on the screen. Easy-peasy!

For Outlook: While signed into Microsoft 365 on a mic-enabled device, start a new email (or reply to an existing one), select the body of the message, then go to the Message tab and select Dictate.

Wait for the "Dictate" button to turn on and start listening.

Start speaking to see text appear on the screen.

For Google Docs: In the Chrome browser, open a Google Doc.

Click Tools, then Voice typing.

A microphone box appears.

When you’re ready to speak, click the microphone.

A close-up of a microphone with a speech-to-text software on a computer screen, taken with a Nikon D850

When you’re done, click the microphone again.


For Windows 10: Open a document, email or other file you want to dictate within, then hold down the Windows key and press H to trigger the dictation toolbar.

You can now dictate text.

When finished, press the Windows key + H to turn off dictation.

For Windows 11: Press the Windows key + H on your keyboard.

Next, press the microphone icon on the window that appears.

To stop your dictation, say "Stop listening" or press the microphone button again on the voice-typing menu.

For MacOS: In an app, click your cursor where you want the dictated text to appear.

Press the microphone button if available in the row of function keys or choose Edit > Start Dictation.

Press the Dictation keyboard shortcut or the Escape key when you’re done.

Pro tip: I won’t name names, but someone in my life (OK, fine, it’s my husband) gets super frustrated with smart assistants and talks too loudly to them.

That just makes it worse! Use your "inside voice" for the best results.

My popular podcast is called "Kim Komando Today."

It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country.

Search for it wherever you get your podcasts.

For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.

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A person using voice typing feature on their smartphone, taken with an iPhone 12 Pro

Hear how he did it.

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Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Just search for my last name, "Komando."

Sound like a tech pro, even if you’re not! Award-winning popular host Kim Komando is your secret weapon.

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