To Dictate or not to Dictate – That is the question

Is Dictation the way forward?

We recently updated our pcs at work and in Microsoft word on the Home Ribbon this little Icon – Dictate has appeared. So I am thinking What does the Dictate icon do? How easy is it to set up? should I try it?  Will it save me time when typing large documents? and the biggest question of all How accurate will it be?

In order to use the dictate feature you will need to install a microphone on the PC this is not a hard thing to do and most headsets that you can purchase very cheaply have a mic in them (some earbuds for phones also have a mic feature on the wire).  You could also use your mic from your webcam if it has one or one that is built into your laptop. So once you plug in the mic set it up and you are ready to dictate it is that easy once the Dictate function is enabled.

I click dictate, talk and what I am saying starts to appear on the page. It is not always accurate if it does not understand what you are saying it may put in a different word so proofing is still necessary but a lot of the text is already there to manipulate and format into a document.

Does this take the work out of typing documents?  The short answer is a yes and no it still needs to be edited.

Will it pick up everything I say? No, but mostly

How can I get it to work on my computer/laptop? This was easy for me but if you are unable to follow the Microsoft help then there are lots of how to videos on YouTube which are simple to follow.

Is this the next big thing? Not sure, I don’t think that this would be as effective in a noisy environment as I have only tried this in a quiet office.

How much will it cost me to try it?  If you have Microsoft 365 then it is Free and already installed so try it for yourself and let me know what you think.

What about punctuation? You will still need to format the text, spell check and proof it but it frees up your hands to do something else so you may be able to multitask.

Lisa Wiggins
Office Manager

Another cool thing is that it works in Outlook when you type emails so I may just use the Dictate function for emails.

Finally, I have decided to use dictate only when it is quiet in the office but to make sure that I edit the document before printing, sending or sharing with others.  This may save a little time but can be frustrating when it puts words into your mouth, literally that you didn’t actually say.