Transcription and Dictate are improved

If you're an Office 365 user, you'll be pleased to know that that Word for the web (formerly Word Web App) now has two cool new features: Transcribe and Dictate (support for voice commands).

Currently, the transcription capabilities are somewhat limited, but are still robust enough to be genuinely useful. At present, it only supports transcribing audio into US English.

In order to make use of that feature, you need to be using Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or other Chrome-based browser. The best part about the new feature is that the actual transcription takes place on the web, so there's no need to download and install a third-party app to handle audio files.

In addition to that, the new transcription feature automatically detects different speakers in recorded conversations and transcribes them accordingly, which makes it easier to follow the flow of conversation in a transcript generated in Word.

Microsoft had this to say about the new feature

"Your transcript will appear alongside the Word document, along with the recording, which enables you to leverage your transcript to create great content in the way that works best for you."

Although these may change at any time, currently, Microsoft has placed the following parameters on use of the new feature:

  • Users are limited to five hours of transcription time per month
  • Uploaded audio files must be in one of the following formats:
    •  .mp3
    • .wav
    • .mp4
    • .m4a
  • Uploaded files may not exceed 200 mb in size.

Even given these restrictions, this is an awesome new addition.

The second enhancement to talk about here are the voice commands.

What Microsoft has to say on this topic as well

"We've been adding voice commands to Dictate so that you can break away from the keyboard. Whether on the desktop or mobile (or transitioning between devices), you can stay in the flow and focus on your message by using dictation with voice commands to add, format, edit, and organize your text."

Microsoft has a full list of Dictate commands the software will accept, and the system even understands a variety of symbols, which is super convenient.

Our perspective

Kudos to Microsoft for the amazing addition. It's absolutely fantastic and will make your life easier.

~ Oscar Wilde once said. “I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~


By Denis Wilson and Melissa Stockwell

Thanks for reading this short post. For more tips on thriving with small business technology, check out the other blog posts at DWPIA Blogs. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Cybersecurity Expert, Small Business Technology Consultant, Managed Services Provider, Managed IT SupportI'm Denis Wilson, President and Principal Consultant for DWP Information Architects. We build people/process/technology solutions to create better business outcomes for smaller enterprises in Los Angeles. We have created cost-effective office productivity and out-sourced service solutions for over 20 years, focusing principally on manufacturing, professional services, and healthcare.  Our hallmarks are cloud and on-premises network reliability, cost-effective cybersecurity, and livable small business regulatory compliance.

I am also a published author and speaker, working extensively with business and professional associations to provide small business technology education programs. Contact me if you would like me to speak at your association