Whether out of necessity or convenience, you can give your keyboard a break and dictate a document in Microsoft Word. You can use the feature in the desktop app, Word for the web, and in the mobile app.

Note: You will need a subscription to Microsoft 365 to be able to dictate. If you use Microsoft Office , it may not have the dictation function. 365 for the web, however, is free for anyone with a Microsoft account.

Dictate a document at your desktop

With your computer’s internal microphone, or with a USB microphone in hand, you can dictate your document in Word on both Windows and Mac. Go to the Home tab and click on “Dictate”.

On the Home tab, click Dictate

When the microphone icon appears, you can drag it to move it anywhere you want. Click the icon to start dictating, click again to stop or pause. You can also say “Pause dictation” or “Stop dictation” and you can click the icon to resume.

Dictate in Word on your desktop

To enable automatic punctuation, change dialect, or filter sensitive language, click the gear icon to open Settings.

Dictation settings on the Word desktop

If you need help with what you can say about things like punctuation, symbols, making corrections, or controlling dictation, click the question mark icon near the microphone to open the Help sidebar.

Help with dictation in Word

To stop use dictation , click the “X” in the corner of the icon window to close it.

Dictate a document on the web

The web version of Microsoft Word is free, as long as have a Microsoft account . The dictation function is currently available when using web browsers Edge, Firefox, Chrome and Brave .

Visited Microsoft Word for the web , log in and open your document or create a new one. Go to the Home tab and click the Dictate icon. If you are using the function for the first time, you will be prompted to allow the access to your microphone .

On the Home tab, click Dictate

Just like in the desktop app, you will see a little microphone icon at the bottom. You can move the icon by dragging it. Just click on the icon and start talking.

You can pause or stop by clicking the icon again or saying “Pause dictation” or “Stop dictation”. Then click on the icon to continue when you are ready.

Dictate in Word on the web

To adjust the language, microphone, or other options, click the gear icon near the microphone icon to open Dictation Settings. Make your changes and click “OK” to save them.

Dictation settings in Word on the web

For help with what you can say or specific commands to control dictation, click the question mark icon to open the Help panel on the right.

Help with dictation in Word online

When you’re done using dictation, click the “X” in the corner of the icon window to close it.

Dictate a document on your mobile device

If you’re using Word on your Android device, iPhone, or iPad, dictation can come in handy, especially when you’re on the go. Open your document and tap on the microphone icon.

Start speaking, touch the icon to pause or stop, or say “Pause dictation” or “Stop dictation” as in web and desktop applications .

To change settings, tap the gear icon. Make your settings and tap the X to save them and return to your document.

Dictation Settings in Word Mobile

For additional help with the dictation on your mobile device , touch the question mark icon.

Help with dictation in Word Mobile

To stop dictating and typing instead, just tap the keyboard icon.

Stop dictating in Word

If you enjoy using the dictation feature in Microsoft Word, be sure to check out how to transcribe audio in word too.

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