Can I dictate to my computer, turning speech to text?

Using speech to text is a fast way to create a script for online videos, speeding up the creation of closed-captioning after the video has been created. There are two simple ways to “type” a document using your voice.

Google Docs

In Google Docs, a fully online word processor, you will be using the tool called Voice Typing. It is accessible from the Tools menu.

Google Docs screenshot with arrow pointing to Voice Typing tool

You will need to give Chrome permission to use your microphone. Once this is done, you can speak and you will see your dictation appear.

Docs editor help: Type with your voice


  • Only available when using the Chrome browser.
  • Requires a computer with a microphone; a headset works best.
  • Obviously, requires an internet connection
  • Basic punctuation works—saying period at the end of a sentence will add a . and start a new sentence.


In MacOS, you are able to dictate wherever you would have typed—this can mean in a Word Processor.

To use Dictation, you will first need to turn it on.

Begin by opening the System Preferences pane by left-clicking on the Apple icon and selecting System Preferences.

In the Search bar, type Dictation. The Keyboard icon will be highlighted.

Left-click on the Keyboard icon.

Dictation will be the right-most option to select.

Screenshot of the the Keyboard System Preference Pane with the Dictation selection highlighted

Select the On radio button.

The default shortcut key to turn Dictation on and off is a double-press of the Function key.


  • Requires an Internet connection.
  • Using enhanced dictation allows offline use but requires downloading 1GB+ of files.
  • Basic punctuation works—saying period at the end of a sentence will add a . and start a new sentence.
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