Wednesday, August 4

Five free dictation tools to use in your day-to-day life

One of the most tedious tasks out there is transcribing an audio or dictation. Having to spend a long time stopping and replaying a recording to normally spend a long time writing.

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It can also be by simple preference: there are people who work better if we work speaking aloud or pointing at a piece of paper; something that forces us to pass notes to “clean” on the computer.

There is a type of tool that helps us a lot when it comes to “skipping” the keyboard: dictation software. They are transcription programs that, on many occasions, accept both audio stored on our computer and speak directly into a microphone.

Google Docs Voice Typing

It is one of Google’s own tools –which we will see more–. Voice Typing can be used in Google Docs as long as we open it from a Chrome browser. It supports more than 100 languages, including Spanish, and accepts some formatting commands.

Gboard | Android and ios

Again from Google, Gboard is an app available for both Android and Apple devices that, unlike the rest, is a keyboard for the mobile.

The great advantage is that, being a mobile keyboard, it works in any app and has a microphone button to use our voice to dictate, instead of writing.

Speechnotes | Android

An app for Android mobiles, there is also a desktop version, which works like a notepad. It is an especially useful tool for those who spend all day writing ideas, texts or comments about their day-to-day life.

Additionally, it supports Bluetooth headsets and microphones and punctuation mark commands. When it comes to saving the text, it is one of the few that offers to export them as PDF or even create several notes for our microSD.


Dictation is, unlike the previous ones, a very simple, but very efficient website. It has voice commands to dictate punctuation marks or different types of elements, plus its AI is quite accurate during dictation.

The dictated text is displayed on a kind of notepad sheet of paper (with the typical horizontal lines) and allows you to share it directly on Twitter or download and / or print it. As a bonus: you don’t need to register.


Like the previous case, Speechtexter is a particularly simple web application, both in design and operation. You simply have to choose the language (in addition to Spanish, it accepts Catalan, Galician and Basque) and press the microphone button to start dictating.

On the right, in addition, there is a short list of commands for how to dictate punctuation marks or change paragraphs. It also gives the option of saving our dictations in the cache, without having to download the text.

Issues to consider

Once we have chosen between these, or other, applications, we must take into account some questions:

Microphone: It is important that the microphone is in good condition and well configured, to avoid problems using any software.

It is not the same as a personal assistant: there are apps, such as Alexa or Siri, that are personal assistants and that, in some cases, can function as transcriptionists. If we are looking for an application exclusively to dictate, then any of the above will do.

Scoring commands: When we dictate in one of these applications, punctuation marks (period, comma, etc.) can be a problem. You have to practice a bit of testing each of the apps to see which one suits us best and which one is more comfortable to use.

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