Dictation lets you use speech-to-text to author content in Office with a microphone and reliable internet connection. It's a quick and easy way to draft emails, send replies, and capture the tone you're going for.

  1. Start a New Email or reply, tap the microphone icon to turn on dictation.

    Tap the microphone icon

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

    Start dictation

  3. Start speaking to see text appear on the screen.

This is a subscriber-only feature Can't find the Dictate button? The dictation feature is only available to Microsoft 365 subscribers.

  1. Start a New Email or reply, tap the microphone icon to turn on dictation.

    Tap microphone

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

    Start dictation

  3. Start speaking to see text appear on the screen.

This is a subscriber-only feature Can't find the Dictate button? The dictation feature is only available to Microsoft 365 subscribers.

Tip: Dictation also works with forwarded mails, calendar appointments, and meetings in Outlook

What can I say?

In addition to dictating your content, you can speak certain commands.

Mail commands

send email
send email -> yes
send email -> cancel
insert space
Backspace
Backspace ‘n’
Backspace last ‘n’ letters
pause dictation
show help
show all commands

More Information

By default, Dictation is set to your document language in Office.

We are actively working to improve these languages and add more locales and languages.

Supported Languages

Chinese (China)
English (Australia)
English (Canada)
English (India)
English (United Kingdom)
English (United States)
French (Canada)
French (France)
German (Germany)
Hindi
Italian (Italy)
Japanese
Portuguese (Brazil)
Spanish (Spain)
Spanish (Mexico)

Preview languages *

Chinese (Taiwan)
Danish
Dutch (Netherlands)
Finnish
Korean 
Norwegian (Bokmål)
Polish
Portuguese (Portugal)
Russian
Swedish (Sweden)
Thai

* Preview Languages may have lower accuracy or limited punctuation support.

Click on Outlook Settings > Dictation to see the available settings.

  • Spoken Language: View and change languages in the drop-down

  • Auto Punctuation: Automatically insert punctuation while dictating

  • Profanity filter: Mask potentially sensitive phrases with ***

This service does not store your audio data or transcribed text.

Your speech utterances will be sent to Microsoft and used only to provide you with text results.

For more information about experiences that analyze your content, see Connected Experiences in Office.

Can't find the dictate button

If you can't see the button to start dictation:

  • Make sure you're signed in with an active Microsoft 365 subscription

  • Dictate is not available in Office 2016 or 2019 for Windows without Microsoft 365

Microphone doesn't have access

If you see "We don’t have access to your microphone":

  • Make sure no other application or web page is using the microphone and try again

Microphone isn't working

If you see "There is a problem with your microphone" or "We can’t detect your microphone":

  • Make sure the microphone is plugged in

  • Test the microphone to make sure it's working

Dictation can't hear you

If you see "Dictation can't hear you" or if nothing appears on the screen as you dictate:

  • Make sure your microphone is not muted

  • Adjust the input level of your microphone

  • Move to a quieter location

  • If using a built-in mic, consider trying again with a headset or external mic

Accuracy issues or missed words

If you see a lot of incorrect words being output or missed words:

  • Make sure you're on a fast and reliable internet connection

  • Avoid or eliminate background noise that may interfere with your voice

  • Try speaking more deliberately

  • Check to see if the microphone you are using needs to be upgraded

Need more help?

Expand your skills

EXPLORE TRAINING >

Get new features first

JOIN MICROSOFT INSIDERS >

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Thank you for your feedback!

×