AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.


Dictate in Word (Office 365) 

Cost: Free with Office 365 | Platforms: Office 365 is available for all platforms. 

Office 365 can be free in some Educational Organisations and Workplaces. If so, there is a tool available in the online version of Word called ‘Dictate’. This dictation tool gives you the opportunity to type with your voice instead of your hands. 

Its key features are: 

  • Creating written content in online Word documents with your voice. 

  • Not only does it type words but punctuation too. 

  • As Office 365 is a Microsoft tool it can work best in the Edge browser. 

Most useful: For People who may have slow typing speed and it is an alternative way to approach essay writing or for people have a preference for speaking out ideas.

How to switch on the Dictation tool?

In the Word toolbar just go to the Dictate icon, as seen in the image, and click on the icon.

dictation tool in word that allows you to speak to generate text in a document.

Our Top Tips: 

Be patient with yourself when you try this for the first time. Dictation takes practice but it does pay off – best to read out paragraphs from a book to get familiar with hearing your voice and seeing the typed text appearing on the screen. 

  • Try to speak out punctuation in Word like ‘full stop’, ‘comma’, ‘new line’, ‘delete’, and ‘open quotes’ and ‘close quotes’ and more. 

  • Try phrases like “bold last word” or “underline last sentence.” 

  • You can bold, italicise, underline, or strikethrough a word or phrase. An example would be dictating “review by tomorrow at 5PM”, then saying “bold tomorrow” which would leave you with "review by tomorrow at 5PM." 

  • Saying “delete that” removes the last spoken utterance. 

  • Say ‘delete’ to remove the last word you typed. 

Similar Tools: 

Demo of Dictation in Work in Action 


Video source: Mike Tholfsen YouTube channel 

Go to the Microsoft Website for more information about Dictation Tools in Word, Outlook, OneNote and PowerPoint> 

Get more Advice:  

  • If you are a student in Higher Education, speak to your Assistive Technology Officer or Disability Officer /Learning Support Officer.  

  • If you are a Student in the FET/ETB then it may be possible to speak to an Educational Needs Coordinator, Learning Support Coordinator, Student Access Officer, Student Support Coordinator or a Disability Support Officer for more information about assistive technology.  

  • If you are an Employee and are interested in this technology then speak to your Disability Liaison Officer (public service) or your Line Manager to start the conversation.

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