Dictate your documents in Word on Mac

By Office Feature PM on January 24, 2020

My name is Emily Tran, and I’m a Program Manager on the Office Voice team.

I’m excited to share the news that Dictation is now available in Word for Mac. This feature enables you to save time and stay in flow by using speech-to-text to quickly get your thoughts into your document.


In order to use the Dictate feature, you need:

  • A microphone-enabled device or an external microphone
  • Insider build 16.32 (19120802) or later installed
  • To be logged into an account associated with an Office 365 subscription
  • A stable internet connection

For best results, use a headset or microphone recommended for dictating. Also try eliminating background noise from your environment.


Make sure your microphone-enabled device is on and confirm that the language is set to the one you’d like to dictate by clicking the down arrow on the Dictate button. We currently do not auto-detect the language you’re speaking.

If you have problems with your microphone-enabled device, check the sound input settings in System Preferences or dictation troubleshooting instructions.

Start Dictation

1. To turn on Dictation, click Home > Dictate.

Dictate icon on the ribbon

2. Click on the Dictate button and wait for the red dot to appear.

Dictate icon with a red recording dot when the feature is being used.

3. Start talking and notice that the spoken text appears on your screen. If you see a mistake, simply move your cursor to fix it and move it back to continue dictating. You do not need to toggle off the Dictate button while making corrections.

4. When you’re done, click the Dictate button.

Tips & Tricks

  • When dictating:
    • Speak clearly and conversationally, but feel free to pause in between thoughts.
    • Add punctuation by saying the name of the punctuation mark you want to add out loud.
      • Period
      • Comma
      • Question mark
      • Exclamation point/mark
      • New line
      • Semicolon
      • Colon
      • Open quote(s)
      • Close quote(s)
  • To turn the microphone on without having to always go to the Home tab, you can add the microphone button to your Quick Access Toolbar.
  • This feature is powered by the Microsoft Azure Speech Services and built-in directly to Word.
  • Word Dictation is separate from Apple Dictation on Mac.

Supported Languages

Below are the currently supported languages:

  • Fully supported languages
    • Chinese (China)
    • English (Canada)
    • English (United Kingdom)
    • English (United States)
    • French (France)
    • German (Germany)
    • Italian (Italy)
    • Spanish (Spain)
    • Spanish (Spain)
  • Preview languages*
    • English (Australia)
    • English (India)
    • French (Canada)
    • Japanese
    • Norwegian (Bokmal)
    • Portuguese (Brazil)

*Preview languages may have lower accuracy or less punctuation available. Improvements will happen over time.


We do not store your speech data. Your speech utterances will be sent to Microsoft only to provide you with this service. When the transcription is done your audio and transcription results are not stored by our service. For more information see, Connected Experiences in Office.


If you have any feedback or suggestions, you can submit them by clicking Help > Feedback in Word. Learn more about what information you should include in your feedback to ensure it’s actionable and reaches the right people.

We’re excited to hear from you!

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Posted in Feature Deep Dives, Insider Fast, Insider Slow, Mac, Office Insiders, Word

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