Talk techy to me: Get your work done faster with this pro tip


AI still has a long way to go, but I’ll tell you one thing: Writing with your voice is getting a heck of a lot easier. 

Maybe you dictate text messages, but there’s so much more you can do if you start dictating for your work, too. I’ll show you how, plus I’ve got some tips to make your spoken words shine on the page.

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Depending on your operating system, version, software and the direction of the wind (just kidding), these dictation commands may or may not work. But most will, and they’re definitely worth trying.

  • Insert punctuation by saying them explicitly, like “Kim exclamation point” for “Kim!” To insert a word that’s also punctuation, such as “comma” or “period,” say “literal comma” or “literal period.”
  • “New line” or “New paragraph” will start a new thought or section. Say “Go to” or “Go after” and a word to move the cursor before or after that word.
  • To correct the last thing you said, say “Correct that.”
  • “Select that” will select the last thing you said.
  • Say “Caps” and a word to capitalize the first letter of that word.
  • Say “Select” and a word or phrase to select it, or say “Cut,” “Copy” or “Paste” to edit your doc.
  • To format your text, say “Bold,” “Italicize,” “Decrease font size” or “Increase font size,” for instance. Saying “Highlight” plus a color will highlight your text in that color.
  • Create lists by saying, “Create a bulleted list” or “Create a numbered list.”

Choose your system or program

typing hands

In this photo Illustration, hands type on a computer keyboard Jan. 26, 2016, in Berlin, Germany.  (Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

For Word: Open a new or existing document and go to Home > Dictate while signed into Microsoft 365 on a mic-enabled device. Wait for the “Dictate” button to turn on and start listening. Start speaking to see text appear on the screen. Easy-peasy!

For Outlook: While signed into Microsoft 365 on a mic-enabled device, start a new email (or reply to an existing one), select the body of the message, then go to the Message tab and select Dictate. Wait for the “Dictate” button to turn on and start listening. Start speaking to see text appear on the screen.

For Google Docs: In the Chrome browser, open a Google Doc. Click Tools, then Voice typing. A microphone box appears. When you’re ready to speak, click the microphone. When you’re done, click the microphone again.

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For Windows 10: Open a document, email or other file you want to dictate within, then hold down the Windows key and press H to trigger the dictation toolbar. You can now dictate text. When finished, press the Windows key + H to turn off dictation.

For Windows 11: Press the Windows key + H on your keyboard. Next, press the microphone icon on the window that appears. To stop your dictation, say “Stop listening” or press the microphone button again on the voice-typing menu.

For MacOS: In an app, click your cursor where you want the dictated text to appear. Press the microphone button if available in the row of function keys or choose Edit > Start Dictation. Press the Dictation keyboard shortcut or the Escape key when you’re done.

A man uses a computer

Working on a laptop (James Sheppard/Future via Getty Images)

One last pro tip

Pro tip: I won’t name names, but someone in my life (OK, fine, it’s my husband) gets super frustrated with smart assistants and talks too loudly to them. That just makes it worse! Use your “inside voice” for the best results.

Keep your tech-know going 

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.

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PRODUCTION - 02 September 2021, Berlin: ILLUSTRATION - A man types on a keyboard of a laptop. Photo: Fabian Sommer/dpa

A man types on a laptop Sept. 2, 2021, in Berlin.  (Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Plus, pilot Jon Kotwicki bought three old (and super huge) planes to turn into Airbnbs. Hear how he did it. Nearly 4,000 car dealers are pleading for delays in EV regulations — here’s why. And Airbnb is banking on the solar eclipse. Also, I’ll tell you what the kids want for Christmas.

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”

Sound like a tech pro, even if you’re not! Award-winning popular host Kim Komando is your secret weapon. Listen on 425+ radio stations or get the podcast. 

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