How to Dictate Email in Microsoft Outlook

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How to Dictate Email in Microsoft Outlook

It’s time to speed up your email writing. If you have trouble typing rapidly, narrating emails might help you be more productive. We’ll show you Dictate, which integrates directly into Outlook.

Dictate is a Microsoft application that interacts with other Office apps. Simply connect in your microphone, press a button, and begin speaking. Everything you say is then recorded and transcribed.

If you utilize Dictate or another speech-to-text software, please let us know in the comments.

About Dictate

Microsoft Garage is a Microsoft subsidiary that lets workers to work on their own ideas with the company’s assistance. It gets its name from the fact that Bill Gates founded Microsoft in his garage, and this division is currently housed at his old office on the Redmond campus.

The teams may be made up of any number of individuals and can get assistance from those with project development expertise at any level. Microsoft Garage not only fosters creativity, but it also assists the corporation in its search for innovation.

Dictate is one such initiative that resulted from this. It’s a speech-to-text application that works with Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint, much like Google Docs’ voice typing capability. Simply speak into your microphone, and it will convert your words into text using the same technology that powers Windows 10’s virtual assistant Cortana.

Dictate understands more than 20 languages and can write in 60 more. It can also automatically insert punctuation, or you can manually say it. We’ll demonstrate how it works in Outlook.

Download Dictate

Before you download Dictate, you must first determine if your version of Office is 32-bit or 64-bit. It’s worth noting that just because you’re running 64-bit Windows doesn’t imply you’re running 64-bit Office.

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To find out, launch Outlook and go to File > Office Account > About Outlook. Your Outlook version will be mentioned.

Finding the version of Microsoft Outlook

Next, shut any Office programs that are open. Then, go to the Dictate website and download the appropriate version. Once the installation is complete, launch Outlook.

How to Use Dictate

Dictate, which is available through the Dictation section on the ribbon, may be used at any moment when composing an email. Make sure your microphone is connected in before you begin.

Set the From dropdown to the language you’ll be speaking in, and the To dropdown to the language you want the text to be produced in.

The Dictation tab of Microsoft Outlook

When you’re ready to begin speaking, click Start. It will identify your microphone and display a red circle to indicate that it is listening.

The Start Speaking notification for dictating in Outlook

Dictate, unlike some other email dictation programs, does not instantaneously insert the text as you speak. Instead, it will wait until you reach the conclusion of your phrase before inserting it. When you’re done, click Stop.

You can use the following commands while talking:

  • A new line is entered, followed by a line break.
  • Delete: Gets rid of the last line you dictated.
  • Stop dictation: This command terminates the dictation session.

Dictate will add punctuation to your phrases automatically. It detects when to do this rather well, but you may want to regulate it manually. If this is the case, before you begin recording, click the Manual Punctuation button on the ribbon.

Manual Punctuation option in the Dictation tab of Outlook

These are the commands you can use for that:

  • Period
  • Comma
  • Question mark
  • Open quote
  • Close quote
  • Colon
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Support for additional manual punctuation commands is one of the most requested improvements for Dictate, therefore this list may be extended in the future.

Dictate in Action

I’ve made several videos showing how to use Dictate to dictate email in Outlook. This first video shows me speaking in English, with the text outputted in English and the punctuation identified automatically.

As you can see, Dictate is quite precise. I tried a few different approaches, and even if I was talking extremely rapidly or not completely pronouncing things, it still performed a good job of converting everything to text. Your mileage may vary, particularly if you’re in a loud environment.

I then made a second video to experiment with manual punctuation while speaking an email.

Although it successfully reproduced what I said, including the punctuation, it did not follow grammatical standards as well as when the punctuation was recognized automatically. If you paused before pronouncing it, it added spaces between the punctuation, which wasn’t required. However, if you say at the same time as the phrase, it will handle punctuation correctly.

Other Speech-to-Text Options

Dictate is still in its early stages, so ideally the development team will continue to enhance its usefulness in tandem with the detecting quality of the Cortana technology. Perhaps one day it will be built into Office out of the box.

Other email dictation possibilities for Windows 10 may be found in our articles on how to use voice recognition to manage your PC and the best free third-party tools to perform similar things.

Do you transcribe your emails using Dictate? Do you have a preference for another program?

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