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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 get your thoughts out, create drafts or outlines, and capture notes. 

How to use dictation

  1. Tap the microphone icon to start using dictation.

    Start listening

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

    Open dictation

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

How to use dictation

  1. Tap the microphone icon to start using dictation.

    Dictation on Android Phone Screenshot

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

    Screenshot of Dictation on Android Phone.

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

In addition to dictating your content, you can speak commands to add punctuation, navigate around the page, and enter special characters.

Learn more about using dictation in Word on desktop and the web

Dictate your documents in Word on the desktop

Dictate your documents in Word for the web

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 ‘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)


Italian (Italy)


Portuguese (Brazil)

Spanish (Spain)

Spanish (Mexico)

Preview languages *

Arabic (Bahrain)

Arabic (Egypt)

Arabic (Saudi Arabia)


Chinese (Traditional, Hong Kong)

Chinese (Taiwan)

Croatian (Croatia)



Dutch (Netherlands)

English (New Zealand)




Gujarati (India)








Marathi (India)

Norwegian (Bokmål)


Portuguese (Portugal)





Swedish (Sweden)

Tamil (India)

Telugu (India)


Turkish (Turkey)


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

Click on the gear icon to see the available settings.

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

  • Microphone: View and change your microphone

  • Auto Punctuation: Toggle the checkmark on or off, if it's available for the language chosen

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

  • Saying “delete” by itself removes the last word or punctuation before the cursor.

  • Saying “delete that” removes the last spoken utterance.

  • You can bold, italicize, underline, or strikethrough a word or phrase. An example would be dictating “review by tomorrow at 5PM”, then saying “bold tomorrow” which would leave you with "review by tomorrow at 5PM"

  • Try phrases like “bold last word” or “underline last sentence.”

  • Saying “add comment look at this tomorrow” will insert a new comment with the text “Look at this tomorrow” inside it.

  • Saying “add comment” by itself will create a blank comment box you where you can type a comment.

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

Dictate button is grayed out

If you see the dictate button is grayed out

  • Make sure the note is not in a Read-Only state.

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

  • Refresh, click on Dictate, and give permission for the browser to access the microphone

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

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