Keyboards – both virtual and physical – are everywhere. If you want to type something on a computer, you need to use a keyboard. If you want to type something on a phone/tablet, you need to use a keyboard. However, using a keyboard can be quite strenuous and is just not as feasible and simple as using your voice instead. Yes, that’s right – with all the advancements in the world of speech-to-text conversion, people can now use their voice to dictate text to both their computers and their phones.
Typing lengthy emails, authoring blog posts and creating documents has become easier than ever before as you can now simply use your voice to dictate whatever you want to type to your computer, tablet or phone. In addition, to top it all off, the world of speech-to-text conversion has become so advanced that you now have a multitude of choices when it comes to the method you use to turn your voice into actual words on your computer, tablet or phone. If you’ve been wondering how to convert voice into text on your computer, tablet or phone, the following are some of the best ways you can do so:
Use your computer’s built-in speech-to-text utility
Both Windows computers and Macs come with their own built-in speech-to-text utility. On Windows, the built-in voice-to-text conversion program – Speech Recognition – was first included in Windows 7 and has since been a part of every subsequent version of the Windows Operating System. OS X’s onboard speech-to-text utility, aptly dubbed Dictation, on the other hand, has been around since well before even OS X Yosemite. However, Enhanced Dictation, a feature of the utility that allows for continuous dictation, quicker speech-to-text conversion, the use of dictation commands and the ability to dictate even when you aren’t connected to the internet, was only introduced with OS X Mavericks and is only available in OS X Mavericks or later.
On OS X: How to enable Dictation:
Navigate to Apple Menu > System Preferences.
Click on Dictation & Speech.
Enable Dictation by selecting On.
Configure everything else – such as whether or not you want to use Enhanced Dictation (without Enhanced Dictation, you won’t be able to have your voice converted into text without an internet connection, among other things) and the shortcut for waking Dictation
How to use Dictation:
Navigate to a program, application or field that you can dictate text into.
To wake Dictation up, click on Edit > Start Dictation or use the keyboard shortcut that you have configured. The default keyboard shortcut for getting Dictation to start listening to you is Fn Fn (pressing the Function key on your keyboard twice).
Speak, and Dictation will convert what you say into text on your screen.
To get Dictation to stop listening to you, simply click on Done below the microphone appearing on the left or right of your Mac’s screen, press the Fn key once or switch to another window.
Use a third-party text dictation program
There exist third-party programs designed specifically to allow users of computers and mobile devices to have their voice converted into text for them, and chief among these programs are the many variations of the Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech-to-text program. Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a truly immaculate speech-to-text conversion program that is second to none and has an amazing voice-to-text engine. However, with only slightly superior speech-to-text conversion accuracy as compared to its built-in counterparts and mildly impressive added features such as the ability to edit converted text with your words to boast, Dragon NaturallySpeaking may just be a tad overly expensive at $74.99 for the Home version and $300.00 for the Professional (Individual) version for computers.