How to Enable and Use Voice Typing in Windows 11

If I have to pick one of the best new features in Windows 11, I would certainly choose the voice typing experience in Windows 11. It’s just so seamless, accurate and the voice recognition is surprisingly good. It seems Microsoft has done a ton of improvements to its online Microsoft Speech Services. So if you want to enable and use voice typing in Windows 11, follow our simple guide below. You can even get this Windows 11 feature on Windows 10 by following the last method. On that note, let’s dive in.

Enable and Use Voice Typing in Windows 11 (2021)

Here, we have mentioned two ways to use voice typing in Windows 11. The first one is the built-in voice typing tool, while the other one is the built-in dictation tool in Office apps on your Windows 11 PC. Moreover, I have also mentioned how to use voice typing in Windows 10 and some helpful dictation commands.

How to Use Windows 11’s Built-in Voice Typing Tool

The native voice typing tool in Windows 11 is a system-wide utility and works in all apps and environments, be it a browser, Notepad, or an Office app. If you see a text field, just summon the voice typing toolbar, and you are ready to go. That said, keep in mind, you will need an active internet connection for voice typing to work.

1. The easiest way to enable voice typing is using a Windows 11 keyboard shortcut. Press “Windows key + H” simultaneously to open the voice typing prompt immediately.

Enable and Use Voice Typing in Windows 11 (2021)

2. Next, click on the “mic” button and start speaking. Using the online Microsoft Speech Services, your dictation will be converted from speech to text in no time. I was surprised to see that Windows 11’s voice typing experience was usable and accurate. You can see the voice typing feature in action here:

3. The best part about voice typing in Windows 11 is that it comes with support for “Auto punctuation“, and again, it works really well. By the way, it’s not enabled by default. You need to click on the “Settings” icon and turn on the “Auto punctuation” toggle.

4. In case your dictation is not being picked properly, you can navigate to “Settings -> Time and Language -> Speech”. Here, select the appropriate “Speech Language” from the drop-down menu based on your region or accent.

Enable Voice Typing Launcher in Windows 11

You can also turn on the “Voice typing launcher” so that the voice typing overlay appears whenever you click on a text field. No matter which app or window you are in, simply click on the “mic” button and start voice typing instantly.

1. To enable this feature, click on the “Settings” icon in the voice typing overlay. Then, turn on the “Voice typing launcher” toggle.

2. For example, I am on Google Review’s page on Chrome and the Voice typing launcher automatically comes up when I click on the text entry field.

3. Now, I can click on the “mic” button and add my review with utmost ease. Quite helpful, right? You can do this on any webpage, text field in programs, web form, etc.

Use Voice Typing in Office Apps on Windows 11

In case you are unaware, besides the built-in voice typing, Office apps also come with a “Dictate” option, and it works very much the same. In fact, it also has support for Auto punctuation and works on Windows 10 too. Those who use the free Office portal on the web can also take advantage of Microsoft Speech Services without any limitation. On a side note, you can find the differences between Office Web and Desktop apps from our detailed article. Keep in mind, the Transcribe feature on Word is different from voice typing, and it’s only available to paid users. To learn how the voice typing feature works in Microsoft Office apps, follow the steps below:

1. To use voice typing within Office apps on your Windows 11 PC, open one of these apps – Word or PowerPoint. On the top-right corner, you will find a “Dictate” option. The same step is applicable for Office on the web as well.

2. Click on “Dictate”, and you can straight away speak to convert your speech to text in real-time. Just hit the “mic” button and start talking.

3. And similar to Windows 11’s built-in voice typing, you can click on the “Settings” icon and enable “Auto punctuation”. You can also customize your preferred spoken language and enabe the profanity filter while working on office documents or school projects.

Use Voice Typing in Windows 10

While Windows 11 has a much smarter voice typing utility, Windows 10 also comes with a native Dictation Tool. You can use the same “Windows + H” keyboard shortcut, and the dictation pop-up will appear at the top of the screen.

The difference between dictation tools on Windows 10 and voice typing in Windows 11 is the lack of auto punctuation on the former. You need to use dictation commands to add punctuations, letters, symbols, etc., in Windows 11. Here is how to go about it.

1. First off, open Settings and move to Privacy -> Speech, and turn on “Online speech recognition“.

2. Now, press the “Windows + H” shortcut, and you will be able to dictate your speech. Here, you won’t find auto punctuation. Instead, you need to use the dictation commands I have mentioned below to add punctuations, symbols, and special characters.

Dictation and Punctuation Commands for Enhanced Voice Typing

Currently, only English (US) supports advanced dictation commands, but the following languages support basic symbols, texts, numbers, etc.

  • English (US – Advanced Dictation Commands)
  • Simplified Chinese
  • English (Australia, Canada, India, United Kingdom)
  • French (France, Canada)
  • German (Germany)
  • Italian (Italy)
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Spanish (Mexico, Spain)

Here are the dictation commands you can use while voice typing on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 computer:

To do thisSay this
Clear a selectionClear selection; unselect that
Delete the most recent dictation result or currently selected textDelete that; strike that
Delete a unit of text, such as the current wordDelete word
Move the cursor to the first character after a specified word or phraseGo after that; move after word; go to the end of paragraph; move to the end of that
Move the cursor to the end of a unit of textGo after word; move after word; go to the end of that; move to the end of paragraph
Move the cursor backward by a unit of textMove back to the previous word; go up to the previous paragraph
Move the cursor to the first character before a specified word or phraseGo to the start of the word
Move the cursor to the start of a text unitGo before that; move to the start of that
Move the cursor forward to the next unit of textMove forward to the nextword; go down to the nextparagraph
Moves the cursor to the end of a text unitMove to the end of the word; go to the end of the paragraph
Enter one of the following keys: Tab, Enter, End, Home, Page up, Page down, Backspace, DeleteTap Enter; press Backspace
Select a specific word or phraseSelect word
Select the most recent dictation resultSelect that
Select a unit of textSelect the nextthree words; select the previous two paragraphs
Turn spelling mode on and offStart spelling; stop spelling

If you want to dictate letters, numbers, punctuation, and symbols, you need to follow the below commands. For example, if you want to add an uppercase letter, you simply need to say “uppercase” before the letter.

To insert thisSay this
@at symbol; at sign
#Pound symbol; pound sign; number symbol; number sign; hash symbol; hash sign; hashtag symbol; hashtag sign; sharp symbol; sharp sign
$Dollar symbol; dollar sign; dollars symbol; dollars sign
%Percent symbol; percent sign
&And symbol; and sign; ampersand symbol; ampersand sign
*Asterisk; times; star
(Open paren; left paren; open parenthesis; left paren
)Close paren; right paren; close parenthesis; right parenthesis
-Hyphen; dash; minus sign
\Backslash; whack
/Forward slash; divided by
.Period; dot; decimal; point
'Apostrophe; open single quote; begin single quote; close single quote; close single quote; end single quote
=Equal symbol; equal sign; equals symbol; equal sign
?Question mark; question symbol
[Open bracket; open square bracket; left bracket; left square bracket
]Close bracket; close square bracket; right bracket; right square bracket
{Open curly brace; open curly bracket; left curly brace; left curly bracket
}Close curly brace; close curly bracket; right curly brace; right curly bracket
+Plus symbol; plus sign
<Open angle bracket; open less than; left angle bracket; left less than
>Close angle bracket; close greater than; right angle bracket; right greater than
"Open quotes; begin quotes; close quotes; end quotes; open double quotes; begin double quotes; close double quotes; end double quotes

Smart Voice Typing with Auto Punctuation in Windows 11

So that is how you can enable and use voice typing in Windows 11. I use Gboard’s voice typing every day on my Android phone, and I must say, Microsoft has greatly improved the voice typing experience in Windows 11. It’s fast, accurate, and the auto punctuation works for the most part. I am excited about Windows 11 and what other new features it will bring before the final release. As for now, you can learn how to take screenshots on Windows 11 or customize the Windows 11 Start Menu or check Screen on time in Windows 11. Anyway, that is all from us. If you have any questions, comment down below and let us know.

Comments 2
  • Jeff says:

    Wow! Thank you for this amazing article.

    I was wondering if you’ve discovered a way to begin the dictation process with simply your voice. Ideally, I was thinking it’d be something like “ start dictation” to begin the dictation process.

    I’m not sure if something like this exists. I’m hoping you may know.

    Thanks again, appreciate the article.

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