7 Best Dictation Software & Apps In 2023 (Free & Paid)

Best dictation software

When you have a long text to write, it might be easier to use dictation software. A dictation software is used to convert text into speech.
I have used several such tools to write many articles. This helped me in saving a lot of time and being more productive. It is like an assistant that helps me to get my work done efficiently.

Typing is a time-consuming method that takes a lot of effort. On the other hand, speaking can get the work done quicker. It is best for multi-tasking people with limited time to get something done.

Many dictation software are free, so there is no need to worry about cash.

The only thing that I will focus on in this article is the awareness of how much you know about such tools. I have researched for you so that you will not have to go through the fuss.

I am pretty sure that there are so many hidden tools in our daily used software. And we are not even aware of them. So, let me break it down for you in pieces.

I will discuss the features, pricing, pros and cons of the best dictation software. Read along to know more!

Best Dictation Software

I am mentioning some of the best dictation software I have used. You can check which one will support your device and provide accuracy to the speech-to-text output.

1. Windows Speech: Easy Text Entry with Your Voice

Windows Speech is also known as voice typing software. It is an amazing tool for Windows computers. This software is so easy to use that it feels like you are talking to your computer.

It easily turns your speech into text with no effort. 

Windows 10 speech recognition- best dictionary software

I have comfortably used Windows’ Speech anywhere I wanted. The shortcut to access the Speech feature in Windows is when you press the Windows Key and H at the same time.

You will see a small window will appear with a microphone icon. All you have to do is to tap the microphone and start speaking. The dictated words will show up on the screen almost as you speak.

You will have to say punctuation out loud exactly where you want to put them. For example, to insert a full stop, say “Period”, “Point”, or “Full Stop.”

You can also choose the automatic punctuation option, which works pretty well as well. 

It is a quick and easy way to input text. Voice typing can be faster than typing. It’s a great tool for individuals with disabilities or those who prefer speaking over typing.

Windows Speech is free to use with Windows 10 and Windows 11 OS. You do not have to pay any extra cost for this software.


  • Speech-to-Text Conversion
  • Real-time Speech Recognition
  • Punctuation and Formatting Commands
  • Multilingual Support
  • Voice Commands for Navigation and Editing
  • Integration with Various Windows Applications
  • Accessibility for People with Disabilities
  • Customizable Vocabulary and Language Preferences
  • Auto-Punctuation (Experimental)


  • Accurate and quick speech recognition.
  • Easily accessible
  • Simple keyboard shortcut.
  • Helps individuals with disabilities.


  • Minimum control on text formatting.

2. Dictation: Talking to Write with Ease in Microsoft Office

Everyone is aware of Microsoft Office and the applications that they provide. But have you ever come across an amazingly useful tool called “Dictation”? It’s present right in the MS Office different application.

Dictation- talk with ease in MS office

You can find it easily in Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. Just click on the big Dictate button, and it’s ready to use. This tool is using an advanced technology of Microsoft that provides accurate dictation and proper text alignment without making any mistakes.

The best thing about this application is its versatility. It is available on almost all kinds of devices and operating systems like Windows, the web, Android, iOS, and macOS. 

Dictation is usually included for free in Microsoft Office applications. It is enough for you to have MS Office to start using the Dictation software.

No need to pay any additional cost.


  • Voice-to-Text Conversion
  • Real-time Speech Recognition
  • Punctuation and Formatting Commands
  • Multilingual Support
  • Customizable Vocabulary
  • Language Preferences
  • Voice Commands for Navigation
  • Voice Commands for Editing
  • Integration with Microsoft Office Suite (e.g., Word, Outlook, PowerPoint)
  • Accessibility Features for People with Disabilities
  • Continuous and On-Demand Dictation Modes
  • Auto-Punctuation


  • Versatile, i.e., works on all devices. 
  • Smooth user experience.
  • Efficient dictation with accuracy.
  • Easily available.


  • You need an internet connection to use it.

3. Apple Dictation

If you own a Mac, there is no need to worry. The dictation feature is also present on your Mac. I have used Dictation on Mac, which was pretty impressive how accurate the speech-to-text was. 

Apple dictionary feature


Did you know that dictation has been a part of Mac’s features since 2012? Now, you must be wondering how you could turn it on. You can start by going to System Settings. Then click on Keyboard, and find Dictation. Click on Dictation to start. 

There is another way to activate the Dictation feature. You can even set a shortcut key for quick access. Press the F5 key to turn dictation on and off. The best thing about the Mac Dictation is that it keeps up with your speed.

No matter how slow or fast you are speaking, this tool will always catch your words with accuracy. 

You can also tell your Mac to add punctuation while dictating. This tool also shows the words that it’s not sure about. It marks it in blue, and you can choose the right word from the suggestions.

Since dictation is an in-built feature on Mac, you do not have to pay any extra amount to use it. It’s enough for you to own a Mac to use Dictation


  • Speech-to-Text Conversion
  • Real-time Transcription
  • Punctuation and Formatting
  • Multilingual Support
  • Voice Commands
  • Enhanced Dictation
  • Offline use and improved accuracy
  • Accessibility Features
  • Custom Vocabulary and Language Selection
  • Continuous and On-Demand Modes


  • Convenient and accessible.
  • Fast and accurate speech recognition.
  • Correcting words with suggestions.
  • User-friendly tool. 
  • Helps you with multi-tasking. 


  • Only available on MacOS which might be expensive. 

4. Notta: Turn Your Words into Text Effortlessly

Now let’s talk about something that does not come in-built in any software. I downloaded the Notta app and found it to be amazing.

Notta- best dictation software

It is a tool that changes your voice into text using AI Artificial Intelligence technology. You can use it on your phone, computer, or even on a web browser. 

Notta helped people like me who need to talk a lot and want their words written down quickly and correctly. It makes your words look neat and professional with the right punctuation and formatting. The best part of Notta is that you can understand and write in lots of languages. It is super useful if you speak different languages.

Notta has a basic plan that is free to use. If you are unsatisfied with the basic plan and want to upgrade to the Pro Plan or Business Plan, you can check the following details. 

  • Pro Plan: Costs $8.25 per month (if you take the yearly plan).
  • Business Plan: Costs $17.44 per person every month (if you take the yearly plan).


  • Import your audio.
  • Import video files.
  • Live transcription with timestamps
  • ACuto-correction.
  • Schedule and transcribe Zoom, Google Meet, and Teams meetings.
  • 104 transcription languages are supported.


  • Works on different computer systems like Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • Easy to use with a simple interface.
  • Understands many languages and accents.


  • You have to pay for the better features.

5. Google Docs Voice Typing: Talk and Transform Your Words

Google Docs is one of the most popular writing software available on the internet. Did you know that it also had a voice typing assistant?

I am sure you did not know about that. Google Docs Voice Typing is one of the most common diction tools online.

Google Voice typing personal dictionary

It can be your professional dictator while you draft your emails, application, or an article. This tool is part of Google Docs, a popular writing program on the internet.

It gets the dictation done super fast and easy.

You can get your ideas down really quickly. It works very well even with difficult, extremely professional, and hard words and phrases.

It’s free with a Google account, so you do not have to pay a penny to use this amazing tool.


  • Speech-to-Text Conversion
  • Real-time Transcription
  • Multilingual Support
  • Punctuation and Formatting
  • Voice Commands
  • Dictation Navigation
  • Voice Input for Special Characters
  • Hands-Free Typing


  • Simple user interface. 
  • Popular and easily accessible software.
  • Supports multiple languages for different users.


  • Need an internet connection to work.

6. Google Mobile Voice Typing G-Board

Google Mobile Voice Typing helps you to convert your speech into text on your Android Devices. Like any other voice typing tool, it has great features like accuracy, speed, and easy navigation. 

Google mobile voice typing

You speak, and the app turns your words into text using smart speech recognition technology. Simply turn on the feature in your device settings and then tap the microphone icon on your keyboard. You can also use a voice command to start typing. You have the freedom to choose your preferred language. 

Also, just like most speech-to-text tools, it does not cost you a penny. Just download it for free from the Google Play Store.


  • Voice Typing
  • Voice Commands
  • Real-time Speech-to-Text
  • Multilingual Support
  • Punctuation and Formatting
  • Editing and Editing Commands
  • Voice Input for Emoji
  • Language Selection


  • Works well with many languages.
  • Provides suggestions for errors.
  • Supports over 100 languages.


  • Available only for Android devices.

What Is Dictation Software?

Dictation software is also known as speech-to-text tool or voice recognition software. This tool converts spoken words into written text on a screen.

When you’re looking for speech-to-text software online, remember that it can come in different forms. Since I have used many dictation software for my writing purposes, I can explain all the factors involved in that tool. 

Dictation software, speech-to-text, voice recognition, and speech recognition are all about turning your words into written text on a screen.

Some tools change audio files into text, but not while you’re speaking. There are also personal AI assistants that can do tasks through speech and might include dictation. Some companies have real people transcribe your voice recordings.

We have AI assistants like Siri and Alexa. They’re good for tasks but not for transcribing what you say in real time.

In the above-mentioned tools, I have focused on software that is a dictation tool in itself or an inbuilt tool in a device. 

Dictation software helps people with disabilities or those who struggle with language. This technology lets you still use a computer, write documents, and browse the internet without using your fingers.

Over the last 20 years, this technology has improved and become more affordable. It’s a tool that has increased productivity in me. Students can write papers and take lecture notes without having to pen down everything.

Even everyday users can easily dictate notes, shopping lists, texts, or reminders while doing other things. This technology has made multitasking an easy peasy thing.

Why Use Speech Recognition Software?

Let me explain to you why you should use speech recognition software. Writing can be difficult for some people.

 I remember when I started writing for the first time, it was not easy for me to be good at. 

There were hundreds of things about writing or typing that bothered me. Some reasons were my low confidence level, fear of judgment, and lack of good ideas. All of this combined made my writing journey very difficult. 

And that is when I came to know about speech recognition software or dictation software. The speech-to-text was easier because I could think more about the idea and storyline and worry less about typing, spelling, and punctuation. 

It is a friendly application that allows you to talk just like you talk to your friend. I did not have to worry about perfection because everything was done by the tool itself. 

It lets me speak my thoughts and ideas, keeping the flow going without worrying about grammar or structure. 

Later, I can go back, edit out the ‘uh’s, and refine the content. The first draft is about getting the ideas out there, not about perfection. Dictation software helps me achieve just that.

Tips for using voice recognition software

Here are some tips for using voice recognition software in simple words:

Speak Naturally

I have always talked in a natural way. You can do it in the usual way so the software can learn how you speak.

Try to speak more clearly if you think the tool is not catching your words accurately.

Use Punctuation

Remember to say things like ‘period’ for a dot, ‘comma’ for a comma, or ‘question mark’ to punctuate properly. You must know that these tools do not use punctuations automatically, rather they need to be told for that.

Learn Commands

Take a bit of time to understand basic commands like ‘new line’ to start a new line.

Different apps might have different commands, so you need to know the ones for the tool you’re using. It can be confusing sometimes in the beginning, but it can come in handy after some learning. 

Be Aware of Time Limits

Some phone apps may only listen for a short time, like 10 seconds. You have to increase the time limit if possible because it can take time to think.

If the tool does not allow you to extend the time limit, you might have to press the dictation button repeatedly. 

Practice Helps

The more you use the software, the better you’ll get at it. Getting used to it might take a while, but practice will make it easier.

Some apps even have exercises to help you get better. Don’t hesitate to look at tutorials or guides on how to use the software better.

Final Thoughts On Best Dictation Software

Hopefully, this article on “Best Dictation Software” has helped you get all you want about speech-to-text tools.

Ensure you have researched properly before you hop onto a tool or buy a subscription. However, you do not have to worry about money because most dictation software comes for free and is built into your devices. You just need to find them and use them properly.

Choose the tool suitable for your device so you can use it smoothly. If you are planning to download external software, then it’s a good choice. But it can be slow at times. It is advisable to use the in-built software for better results. You can even use an external microphone for better audio quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best dictation software?

The best dictation software system is subjective and depends on individual needs and preferences. Some popular options include Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Microsoft Dictate, and Google’s speech recognition. It’s recommended to try different ones to see which works best for your specific requirements.

Can you explain the difference between Legal Transcription and Dictation?

Legal transcription is writing down the spoken words from audio or video recordings into written documents. Often, lawyers use it for depositions in court hearings and legal proceedings. On the other hand, dictation is speaking into a device or software that converts speech into text.

Is it possible to use dictation on my laptop?

Yes, you can use dictation software on your laptop. You can find the built-in dictation software on your laptop. If you want to improve the quality of your voice, you can use an external microphone for better audio quality. There are web-based dictation software options like Notta that you can use to record and dictate your voice on your laptop.

Is there an app that writes what you say?

You don’t have to type what you want to say you can just speak, record, translate, or transcribe it. Its main job is to use cutting-edge voice recognition technology to turn spoken words into text that can be used in online chats and instant messages. Never write anything down again; just tell someone else to type what you say.

How to use dictation in Google Docs?

Yes, you can use dictation in Google Docs. You can find the Voice Typing feature. Just follow the instructions: Open a new document in Google Docs, and then go to the “Tools” menu. Select “Voice Typing.” You will see a microphone icon on the screen. Click on the microphone icon, and you are good to go.  Start dictating, and it will convert your speech to text.

Does Windows 10 have a voice typing feature?

Yes, Windows 10 includes a built-in voice typing feature called Windows Speech Recognition. It allows you to dictate text into various applications like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. To use it, go to “Settings,” select “Ease of Access,” and click on “Speech.” In this way, you can easily use the voice typing feature on Windows 10.

I have ADHD. Which dictation software should I use?

People who suffer from ADHD can use Dragon Naturally Speaking 13 Home. If you suffer from ADHD, then I have got dictation software that will be the best for you. This software will help you dictate quickly and accurately.

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