- Speech-to-text software uses spoken words to produce written text and to deliver navigation commands on a variety of devices.
- Speech-to-text software can be useful for those with certain disabilities and for anyone who occasionally dictates text.
- Some tools are built into standard devices and basic dictation can be learned fairly quickly.
- Most computer-based speech-to-text tools will work best when using an external microphone, rather than the mic built into a computer.
- If you want to use all the features of speech-to-text across all facets of your computer you’ll need to take some time to practice!
Speech-to-text software converts spoken words to electronic written text. Certain speech-to-text tools also support the voice-controlled navigation of a computer. These tools can be helpful for those experiencing temporary or permanent mobility disabilities, those with learning disabilities, and people in many circumstances where typing isn’t easy, safe, or feasible.
There are a number of speech-to-text tools available, some are built into your devices and some require purchasing. If you’re a new user expect a learning curve as you get comfortable with any of these tools. Certain software or features will require more practice before you can leverage all the benefits of the software. For example, you might need to train some speech-to-text software over time to recognize your voice, which will make the software more accurate. Generally, those with longer-term needs will spend more time practicing with the tools and will gain important long-term benefits.
Mac voice typing and navigation
Mac voice typing and navigation is for Mac users who want to use voice input to create and edit documents or emails, open applications, navigate on a device, and more.
Mac voice typing and navigation features are available by default on all current Macs.
- Use Voice Control on your Mac
- Control your Mac and apps using Voice Control
- Dictate messages and documents on Mac
- LinkedIn Learning: Control a Mac with Voice Control
Microsoft voice typing and navigation
Microsoft voice typing and navigation are for Windows users who want to use voice input to create and edit documents or emails, open applications, navigate on a device, and more.
Microsoft voice typing and navigation features are available by default on all current Windows PCs. The tools usually require a headset with an external microphone to work well.
- Use voice recognition in Windows
- Use voice typing to talk instead of type on your PC
- Dictate text using Speech Recognition
- Dictate in Microsoft 365
- LinkedIn Learning: Speech-to-text with Office apps
- LinkedIn Learning: Speech Recognition and voice typing
- Type with your voice in Google Docs
Dragon (for Microsoft)
Dragon is speech recognition software that allows users to use voice input to create and edit documents or emails, open applications, control their mouse, and more.
Dragon is an add-on tool and a license must be purchased for each user. Dragon usually requires a headset with an external microphone to work well. Also, there are minimum device requirements that are recommended for optimal performance.
Note: If you are interested in Dragon to address an accommodation need due to a disability, please reach out to designated WFU support for conversation prior to purchasing. For students, reach out to CLASS. For staff and faculty, connect with Human Resources to coordinate an accommodation process.
- Dragon Professional: Command cheat sheet
- Dragon (13) Quickstart guide
- Dragon Workbook
- Dragon for PC demo videos
- Nuance short interactive training modules
For your phone
Most smartphone operating systems include a built-in tool that provides dictation capabilities.
Note: certain assistive technology may be a part of an accommodation related to a disability. To discuss accommodations at Wake,
- For students, contact The Center for Learning, Access, and Student Success (CLASS) at firstname.lastname@example.org (336-758-5929)
- For faculty and staff, contact email@example.com, explore the Accommodation Process for Employees, and refer to the details in the NonDiscrimination on the Basis of Disability Policy from HR.