Dictate Your Documents in Word

By: Bruce G. Kreeger

Word for Microsoft 365 Word for Microsoft 365 for Mac Word for the web

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. Sign in to your Microsoft account using Edge, Firefox, or Chrome.
  2. Go to Home > Dictate. First-time users will be prompted to enable microphone permissions.
  3. A mic icon will appear – wait for it to turn on to be sure it started listening.

Tip: On Windows, use Alt + ` (backquote) to toggle the mic.

  1. Insert punctuation any time by saying them explicitly.
  2. Fix mistakes with your keyboard or Dictation suggestions without having to turn off the mic icon.
  3. Exit dictation with Close(X) in the Dictation toolbar or pressing the button in the ribbon again.

What can I say?

Try saying “new line”, “delete”, “bold that”, and “start list”. Other supported punctuation, commands, and symbols are below.


Phrase(s) Output
period, full stop .
comma ,
question mark ?
exclamation mark/point !
new line new line
apostrophe-s ‘s
colon :
semicolon ;
open quotes

close quotes

” “
ellipsis, dot dot dot
begin/open single quote

end/close single quote

‘ ‘
left/open parentheses

right/close parentheses

( )
left/open bracket

right/close bracket

[ ]
left/open brace

right/close brace

{ }


delete that*
delete last [1-100] words/sentences
delete [Word or phrase]*
insert space
backspace [1-100]


  • Saying “delete” by itself removes the last Word or punctuation before the cursor.
  • Saying “delete that” removes the last spoken utterance.
  • An example of using [phrase] would be dictating “what a super nice day” and then saying “delete super.” You would then be left with the phrase “what a nice day.”


<format*> [word or phrase]
decrease indent
clear all formatting
align [left, center, right]


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

Creating lists

start list
start numbered list
next line
exit list

Adding comments

add comment [your message here]*


  • 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 that can be manually typed into.

While dictating

show help
pause dictation
exit dictation*


  • To resume Dictation, please use the keyboard shortcut (ALT + `) or press the Mic icon in the floating dictation menu.


Phrase(s) Output
asterisk *
backslash \
forward slash /
vertical bar sign, pipe character |
backquote, backtick `
underscore _
paragraph sign/mark
section sign §
ampersand, and sign &
at sign @
copyright sign ©
registered sign ®
degree symbol °
caret symbol ^


Phrase(s) Output
percent sign %
number/pound sign #
plus sign +
minus sign
multiplication sign x
plus or minus sign ±
division sign ÷
equal sign =
less than sign, left angle bracket

greater than sign, right angle bracket

< >


Phrase(s) Output
dollar sign $
pound sterling sign £
euro sign
yen sign ¥


Phrase(s) Output
smiley face 🙂
frowny face 🙁
winky face 😉
heart emoji <3

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