Dictation features on the computer- a review

The Saturday before Labor Day this year I had a cycling accident and broke my left wrist. The cast the doctor put on didn’t even allow my fingers to touch my thumb much less type effectively on the keyboard. Since I do most of my work on a computer all day, as well as recreational typing for article such as this, I needed to figure out a way to effectively get words onto the screen and thus began researching dictation modes.

I did a lot of Google searching trying to find a dictation program to download, but almost all of them were costly or required a monthly subscription. For a while I resorted to using the Google search engine microphone and then copying and pasting from that window into my other programs, but this was cumbersome and could only be done a phrase at a time.

Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook email system has a superb dictation mode built into their program. Nearly every dictation mode fails to do capitalization and punctuation accurately, so there’s always a bit of going back and deleting and correcting. But the Outlook dictation mode was basically 95% accurate in getting words onto the screen without typing. I was quite impressed.

OneNote for Windows also has a dictation mode which is as good as the one in Outlook. It is probably the same software from Microsoft. After I broke my wrist, I returned to taking notes from my meetings on paper and then dictating them into Outlook and then copy and paste them into OneNote until I realized there was a little microphone logo at the top of the toolbar.

The windows program has a dictation mode which can be accessed by hitting the Windows button and the H at the same time which opens a dictation box. Unfortunately, this fails to work about 50% of the time and usually doesn’t work at all. It doesn’t dictate well to put the words on the screen. Considering Windows is also a Microsoft program, one wonders why they haven’t installed the dictation mode from Outlook or OneNote into the Windows program itself.

Google Docs has a dictation mode which is about 90% effective, again having to correct for punctuation and capitalization, but it mostly gets every word correct. I’m using it right now to write this article. You can access this microphone by going to “Tools” and drop-down. There’s a “voice typing” option. You can access it on the keyboard access using CTRL+Shift+S, but the drop-down as far as easier.

Originally published at http://dennisbmurphy.blogspot.com.

Cyclist, runner. Backpacking, kayaking. .Enjoy travel, love reading history. Congressional candidate in 2016. Anti-facist. Home chef.