Clever Clogs tip # 703
26 May 2022

Go hands-free with Word, Outlook - and perhaps PowerPoint (Microsoft 365) *

Did you know you can dictate your documents and email messages? Even PowerPoint lets you go hands-free, but you will still have to move your cursor to a slide and its placeholder, so I personally cannot see the benefit. But in Word and Outlook I do!

So as long as you are a Microsoft 365 subscriber, have a (built-in) microphone and internet connection it might be a fast alternative to typing. Especially if you are the hunt-and-peck type.

Here's how:

  1. On the Home tab, in the Voice group, click Dictate. (In Outlook the button is on the Message tab.) Or use the rather unintuitive ALT + ` (backquote to the left of number 1) to toggle the mic on or off.
  2. If necessary, select your Spoken language from the Dictation Settings (first) button.
  3. Start talking. And don't forget punctuation such as full stop, comma, question mark, exclamation mark, new line etcetera.

In Outlook when you're ready to send the message, say send email, followed by yes.

If you want to insert emojis you might be disappointed. Try out saying smiley face, frowny face, winky face or heart emoji and watch what happens. ;)

In short: have a go and see whether it's for you. Having learned tough-typing at Schoevers (along with the ancient art of shorthand) I'm probably as fast - if not faster - typing my text. But perhaps you find it useful. (Katharine: how's your wrist?)

Related tips

  1. Listen to Hazel, George or Susan stumble over mistakes in your draft email or document (Outlook and Word 365): tip_678.php
  2. Always check spelling before you send an email message: tip_445.php

This week's CleverClogsTipTime on LinkedIn, in case you missed it

  2. Does TL;DR put you off reading something?


PS Given the Platinum Jubbly I will probably skip a week. So for those of you in the UK ... enjoy the extra-long weekend!

* Unless stated otherwise this tip is written for Microsoft 365 desktop apps and Windows 10 users, but might also be useful in Office 2010, 2013 and 2016.