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Use voice typing to talk instead of type on your PC

With voice typing, you can enter text on your PC by speaking. Voice typing uses online speech recognition, which is powered by Azure Speech services.

How to start voice typing

To use voice typing, you'll need to be connected to the internet, have a working microphone, and have your cursor in a text box.

Once you turn on voice typing, it will start listening automatically. Wait for the "Listening..." alert before you start speaking.

Note:  Press Windows logo key + Alt + H to navigate through the voice typing menu with your keyboard. 

Install a voice typing language

You can use a voice typing language that's different than the one you've chosen for Windows. Here's how:

Select Start > Settings > Time & language > Language & region .

Find Preferred languages in the list and select Add a language .

Search for the language you'd like to install, then select Next .

Select Next or install any optional language features you'd like to use. These features, including speech recognition, aren't required for voice typing to work.

To see this feature's supported languages, see the list in this article.

Switch voice typing languages

To switch voice typing languages, you'll need to change the input language you use. Here's how:

Select the language switcher in the corner of your taskbar

Press Windows logo key + Spacebar on a hardware keyboard

Press the language switcher in the bottom right of the touch keyboard

Supported languages

These languages support voice typing in Windows 11:

  • Chinese (Simplified, China)
  • Chinese (Traditional, Hong Kong SAR)

Chinese (Traditional, Taiwan)

  • Dutch (Netherlands)
  • English (Australia)
  • English (Canada)
  • English (India)
  • English (New Zealand)
  • English (United Kingdom)
  • English (United States)
  • French (Canada)
  • French (France)

Italian (Italy)

  • Norwegian (Bokmål)

Portuguese (Brazil)

  • Portuguese (Portugal)
  • Romanian (Romania)
  • Spanish (Mexico)
  • Spanish (Spain)
  • Swedish (Sweden)
  • Tamil (India)

Voice typing commands

Use voice typing commands to quickly edit text by saying things like "delete that" or "select that".

The following list tells you what you can say. To view supported commands for other languages, change the dropdown to your desired language.

  • Select your desired language
  • Chinese (Traditional, Taiwan)
  • Croatian (Croatia)

German (Germany)

Note:  If a word or phrase is selected, speaking any of the “delete that” commands will remove it.

Punctuation commands

Use voice typing commands to insert punctuation marks.

Use dictation to convert spoken words into text anywhere on your PC with Windows 10. Dictation uses speech recognition, which is built into Windows 10, so there's nothing you need to download and install to use it.

To start dictating, select a text field and press the Windows logo key + H to open the dictation toolbar. Then say whatever’s on your mind.  To stop dictating at any time while you're dictating, say “Stop dictation.”

Dictation toolbar in Windows

If you’re using a tablet or a touchscreen, tap the microphone button on the touch keyboard to start dictating. Tap it again to stop dictation, or say "Stop dictation."

To find out more about speech recognition, read Use voice recognition in Windows  . To learn how to set up your microphone, read How to set up and test microphones in Windows .

To use dictation, your PC needs to be connected to the internet.

Dictation commands

Use dictation commands to tell you PC what to do, like “delete that” or “select the previous word.”

The following table tells you what you can say. If a word or phrase is in bold , it's an example. Replace it with similar words to get the result you want.

Dictating letters, numbers, punctuation, and symbols

You can dictate most numbers and punctuation by saying the number or punctuation character. To dictate letters and symbols, say "start spelling." Then say the symbol or letter, or use the ICAO phonetic alphabet.

To dictate an uppercase letter, say “uppercase” before the letter. For example, “uppercase A” or “uppercase alpha.” When you’re done, say “stop spelling.”

Here are the punctuation characters and symbols you can dictate.

Dictation commands are available in US English only.

You can dictate basic text, symbols, letters, and numbers in these languages:

Simplified Chinese

English (Australia, Canada, India, United Kingdom)

French (France, Canada)

Spanish (Mexico, Spain)

To dictate in other languages, Use voice recognition in Windows .


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SpeechTexter is a free multilingual speech-to-text application aimed at assisting you with transcription of notes, documents, books, reports or blog posts by using your voice. This app also features a customizable voice commands list, allowing users to add punctuation marks, frequently used phrases, and some app actions (undo, redo, make a new paragraph).

SpeechTexter is used daily by students, teachers, writers, bloggers around the world.

It will assist you in minimizing your writing efforts significantly.

Voice-to-text software is exceptionally valuable for people who have difficulty using their hands due to trauma, people with dyslexia or disabilities that limit the use of conventional input devices. Speech to text technology can also be used to improve accessibility for those with hearing impairments, as it can convert speech into text.

It can also be used as a tool for learning a proper pronunciation of words in the foreign language, in addition to helping a person develop fluency with their speaking skills.

using speechtexter to dictate a text

Accuracy levels higher than 90% should be expected. It varies depending on the language and the speaker.

No download, installation or registration is required. Just click the microphone button and start dictating.

Speech to text technology is quickly becoming an essential tool for those looking to save time and increase their productivity.

Powerful real-time continuous speech recognition

Creation of text notes, emails, blog posts, reports and more.

Custom voice commands

More than 70 languages supported

SpeechTexter is using Google Speech recognition to convert the speech into text in real-time. This technology is supported by Chrome browser (for desktop) and some browsers on Android OS. Other browsers have not implemented speech recognition yet.

Note: iPhones and iPads are not supported

List of supported languages:

Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Catalan, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Kazakh, Khmer, Kinyarwanda, Korean, Lao, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Malayalam, Marathi, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian Bokmål, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Southern Sotho, Spanish, Sundanese, Swahili, Swati, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tsonga, Tswana, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, Venda, Vietnamese, Xhosa, Zulu.

Instructions for web app on desktop (Windows, Mac, Linux OS)

Requirements: the latest version of the Google Chrome [↗] browser (other browsers are not supported).

1. Connect a high-quality microphone to your computer.

2. Make sure your microphone is set as the default recording device on your browser.

To go directly to microphone's settings paste the line below into Chrome's URL bar.


Set microphone as default recording device

To capture speech from video/audio content on the web or from a file stored on your device, select 'Stereo Mix' as the default audio input.

3. Select the language you would like to speak (Click the button on the top right corner).

4. Click the "microphone" button. Chrome browser will request your permission to access your microphone. Choose "allow".

Allow microphone access

5. You can start dictating!

Instructions for the web app on a mobile and for the android app

Requirements: - Google app [↗] installed on your Android device. - Any of the supported browsers if you choose to use the web app.

Supported android browsers (not a full list): Chrome browser (recommended), Edge, Opera, Brave, Vivaldi.

1. Tap the button with the language name (on a web app) or language code (on android app) on the top right corner to select your language.

2. Tap the microphone button. The SpeechTexter app will ask for permission to record audio. Choose 'allow' to enable microphone access.

instructions for the web app

3. You can start dictating!

Common problems on a desktop (Windows, Mac, Linux OS)

Error: 'speechtexter cannot access your microphone'..

Please give permission to access your microphone.

Click on the "padlock" icon next to the URL bar, find the "microphone" option, and choose "allow".

Allow microphone access

Error: 'No speech was detected. Please try again'.

If you get this error while you are speaking, make sure your microphone is set as the default recording device on your browser [see step 2].

If you're using a headset, make sure the mute switch on the cord is off.

Error: 'Network error'

The internet connection is poor. Please try again later.

The result won't transfer to the "editor".

The result confidence is not high enough or there is a background noise. An accumulation of long text in the buffer can also make the engine stop responding, please make some pauses in the speech.

The results are wrong.

Please speak loudly and clearly. Speaking clearly and consistently will help the software accurately recognize your words.

Reduce background noise. Background noise from fans, air conditioners, refrigerators, etc. can drop the accuracy significantly. Try to reduce background noise as much as possible.

Speak directly into the microphone. Speaking directly into the microphone enhances the accuracy of the software. Avoid speaking too far away from the microphone.

Speak in complete sentences. Speaking in complete sentences will help the software better recognize the context of your words.

Can I upload an audio file and get the transcription?

No, this feature is not available.

How do I transcribe an audio (video) file on my PC or from the web?

Playback your file in any player and hit the 'mic' button on the SpeechTexter website to start capturing the speech. For better results select "Stereo Mix" as the default recording device on your browser, if you are accessing SpeechTexter and the file from the same device.

I don't see the "Stereo mix" option (Windows OS)

"Stereo Mix" might be hidden or it's not supported by your system. If you are a Windows user go to 'Control panel' → Hardware and Sound → Sound → 'Recording' tab. Right-click on a blank area in the pane and make sure both "View Disabled Devices" and "View Disconnected Devices" options are checked. If "Stereo Mix" appears, you can enable it by right clicking on it and choosing 'enable'. If "Stereo Mix" hasn't appeared, it means it's not supported by your system. You can try using a third-party program such as "Virtual Audio Cable" or "VB-Audio Virtual Cable" to create a virtual audio device that includes "Stereo Mix" functionality.

How to enable 'Stereo Mix'

How to use the voice commands list?

custom voice commands

The voice commands list allows you to insert the punctuation, some text, or run some preset functions (#newparagraph, #undo, #redo) using only your voice. On the first column you enter your voice command. On the second column you enter a punctuation mark or a function. Voice commands are case-sensitive. Available functions: #newparagraph (insert new paragraph), #undo (undo the last change), #redo (redo the last change)

To use the function above make a pause in your speech until all previous dictated speech appears in your note, then say "insert a new paragraph" and wait for the command execution.

Found a mistake in the voice commands list or want to suggest an update? Follow the steps below:

  • Navigate to the voice commands list [↑] on this website.
  • Click on the edit button to update or add new punctuation marks you think other users might find useful in your language.
  • Click on the "Export" button located above the voice commands list to save your list in JSON format to your device.

Next, send us your file as an attachment via email. You can find the email address at the bottom of the page. Feel free to include a brief description of the mistake or the updates you're suggesting in the email body.

Your contribution to the improvement of the services is appreciated.

Can I prevent my custom voice commands from disappearing after closing the browser?

SpeechTexter by default saves your data inside your browser's cache. If your browsers clears the cache your data will be deleted. However, you can export your custom voice commands to your device and import them when you need them by clicking the corresponding buttons above the list. SpeechTexter is using JSON format to store your voice commands. You can create a .txt file in this format on your device and then import it into SpeechTexter. An example of JSON format is shown below:

{ "period": ".", "full stop": ".", "question mark": "?", "new paragraph": "#newparagraph" }

I lost my dictated work after closing the browser.

SpeechTexter doesn't store any text that you dictate. Please use the "autosave" option or click the "download" button (recommended). The "autosave" option will try to store your work inside your browser's cache, where it will remain until you switch the "text autosave" option off, clear the cache manually, or if your browser clears the cache on exit.

Common problems on the Android app

I get the message: 'speech recognition is not available'..

'Google app' from Play store is required for SpeechTexter to work. download [↗]

Where does SpeechTexter store the saved files?

Version 1.5 and above stores the files in the internal memory.

Version 1.4.9 and below stores the files inside the "SpeechTexter" folder at the root directory of your device.

After updating the app from version 1.x.x to version 2.x.x my files have disappeared

As a result of recent updates, the Android operating system has implemented restrictions that prevent users from accessing folders within the Android root directory, including SpeechTexter's folder. However, your old files can still be imported manually by selecting the "import" button within the Speechtexter application.

SpeechTexter import files

Common problems on the mobile web app

Tap on the "padlock" icon next to the URL bar, find the "microphone" option and choose "allow".

SpeechTexter microphone permission

  • Play Store [↗]

copyright © 2014 - 2024 www.speechtexter.com . All Rights Reserved.

Speech to Text Converter

Descript instantly turns speech into text in real time. Just start recording and watch our AI speech recognition transcribe your voice—with 95% accuracy—into text that’s ready to edit or export.

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How to automatically convert speech to text with Descript

Create a project in Descript, select record, and choose your microphone input to start a recording session. Or upload a voice file to convert the audio to text.

As you speak into your mic, Descript’s speech-to-text software turns what you say into text in real time. Don’t worry about filler words or mistakes; Descript makes it easy to find and remove those from both the generated text and recorded audio.

Enter Correct mode (press the C key) to edit, apply formatting, highlight sections, and leave comments on your speech-to-text transcript. Filler words will be highlighted, which you can remove by right clicking to remove some or all instances. When ready, export your text as HTML, Markdown, Plain text, Word file, or Rich Text format.

Download the app for free

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New: Free Overdub on all Descript accounts, with easier voice cloning

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  • 3 Create a new project Drag your file into the box above, or click Select file and import it from your computer or wherever it lives.

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Expand Descript’s online voice recognition powers with an expandable transcription glossary to recognize hard-to-translate words like names and jargon.

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Record yourself talking and turn it into text, audio, and video that’s ready to edit in Descript’s timeline. You can format, search, highlight, and other actions you’d perform in a Google Doc, while taking advantage of features like  text-to-speec h, captions, and more.

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Go from speech to text in over 22 different languages, plus English. Transcribe audio in  French ,  Spanish , Italian, German and other languages from around the world. Finnish? Oh we’re just getting started.

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Yes, basic real-time speech to text conversion is included for free with most modern devices (Android, Mac, etc.) Descript also offers a 95% accurate text-to-speech converter for up to 1 hour per month for free.

Speech-to-text conversion works by using AI and large quantities of diverse training data to recognize the acoustic qualities of specific words, despite the different speech patterns and accents people have, to generate it as text.

Yes! Descript‘s AI-powered Overdub feature lets you not only turn speech to text but also generate human-sounding speech from a script in your choice of AI stock voices.

Descript supports speech-to-text conversion in Catalan, Finnish, Lithuanian, Slovak, Croatian, French (FR), Malay, Slovenian, Czech, German, Norwegian, Spanish (US), Danish, Hungarian, Polish, Swedish, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese (BR), Turkish.

Descript’s included AI transcription offers up to 95% accurate speech to text generation. We also offer a white glove pay-per-word transcription service and 99% accuracy. Expanding your transcription glossary makes the automatic transcription more accurate over time.

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How to use speech-to-text on a Windows computer to quickly dictate text without typing

  • You can use the speech-to-text feature on Windows to dictate text in any window, document, or field that you could ordinarily type in.  
  • To get started with speech-to-text, you need to enable your microphone and turn on speech recognition in "Settings."
  • Once configured, you can press Win + H to open the speech recognition control and start dictating. 
  • Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

One of the lesser known major features in Windows 10 is the ability to use speech-to-text technology to dictate text rather than type. If you have a microphone connected to your computer, you can have your speech quickly converted into text, which is handy if you suffer from repetitive strain injuries or are simply an inefficient typist.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

Windows 10 (from $139.99 at best buy), acer chromebook 15 (from $179.99 at walmart), how to turn on the speech-to-text feature on windows.

It's likely that speech-to-text is not turned on by default, so you need to enable it before you start dictating to Windows.

1. Click the "Start" button and then click "Settings," designated by a gear icon.

2. Click "Time & Language."

3. In the navigation pane on the left, click "Speech."

4. If you've never set up your microphone, do it now by clicking "Get started" in the Microphone section. Follow the instructions to speak into the microphone, which calibrates it for dictation. 

5. Scroll down and click "Speech, inking, & typing privacy settings" in the "Related settings" section. Then slide the switch to "On" in the "Online speech recognition" section. If you don't have the sliding switch, this may appear as a button called "Turn on speech services and typing suggestions."

How to use speech-to-text on Windows

Once you've turned speech-to-text on, you can start using it to dictate into any window or field that accepts text. You can dictate into word processing apps, Notepad, search boxes, and more. 

1. Open the app or window you want to dictate into. 

2. Press Win + H. This keyboard shortcut opens the speech recognition control at the top of the screen. 

3. Now just start speaking normally, and you should see text appear. 

If you pause for more than a few moments, Windows will pause speech recognition. It will also pause if you use the mouse to click in a different window. To start again, click the microphone in the control at the top of the screen. You can stop voice recognition for now by closing the control at the top of the screen. 

Common commands you should know for speech-to-text on Windows

In general, Windows will convert anything you say into text and place it in the selected window. But there are many commands that, rather than being translated into text, will tell Windows to take a specific action. Most of these commands are related to editing text, and you can discover many of them on your own – in fact, there are dozens of these commands. Here are the most important ones to get you started:

  • Punctuation . You can speak punctuation out loud during dictation. For example, you can say "Dear Steve comma how are you question mark." 
  • New line . Saying "new line" has the same effect as pressing the Enter key on the keyboard.
  • Stop dictation . At any time, you can say "stop dictation," which has the same effect as pausing or clicking another window. 
  • Go to the [start/end] of [document/paragraph] . Windows can move the cursor to various places in your document based on a voice command. You can say "go to the start of the document," or "go to the end of the paragraph," for example, to quickly start dictating text from there. 
  • Undo that . This is the same as clicking "Undo" and undoes the last thing you dictated. 
  • Select [word/paragraph] . You can give commands to select a word or paragraph. It's actually a lot more powerful than that – you can say things like "select the previous three paragraphs." 

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How to use your ipad as a second monitor for your windows computer, you can use text-to-speech in the kindle app on an ipad using an accessibility feature— here's how to turn it on, how to use text-to-speech on discord, and have the desktop app read your messages aloud, how to use google text-to-speech on your android phone to hear text instead of reading it, 2 ways to lock a windows computer from your keyboard and quickly secure your data.

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Deploy speech recognition wherever you need, whether in the cloud with the API or on-premises with Speech-to-Text On-Prem.

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Make your audio data actionable with high-quality text transcripts. Enable new use cases or simply get an accurate, easy to read transcript of your audio.

Customize speech recognition to transcribe domain-specific terms and boost your transcription accuracy of specific words or phrases.

Choose from a selection of trained models for voice control and phone call and video transcription optimized for domain-specific quality requirements.

Support your global user base with Speech-to-Text service's extensive language support in over 125 languages and variants.

Have full control over your infrastructure and protected speech data while leveraging Google’s speech recognition technology on-premises, right in your own private data centers.

Take the next step

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Convert audio to text here for instant, accurate audio transcriptions.

No credit card. No subscriptions. Free.

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Convert audio to text

Save your typing hands' energy. This audio to text converter gives you accurate, downloadable, and editable transcriptions so you can use them any way you want.

Transcribe audio to text accurately

Worried that an auto-generated transcript will be riddled with errors? Our audio transcriber uses speech recognition and machine learning to accurately convert audio to text. It learns from past mistakes and misspellings. Plus, in your Brand Kit, you can save the correct spelling and capitalization of words, phrases, and product names to ensure high accuracy in every transcription you create.

Transcribe audio to text accurately

Get a quick summary from either audio or video files

Once you’ve got an accurate transcript, it’s time to use it. Our audio to text converter supports multiple file formats that are widely compatible. Download your transcript as a TXT file so you can use it for anything you like. Share it with your audience, repurpose it, or save it in your digital asset management system so your audio files are searchable. 

Get a quick summary from either audio or video files

Directly edit your transcript, audio, and video all in one place

Punctuate and capitalize text exactly the way you want. Inside of Kapwing, it’s super easy to edit your auto-generated transcript to perfection. And, you can even remove parts of the transcript to cut the corresponding clips out of your audio and video file, making your editing workflow faster than ever.

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Get a summary, show notes, and an article

Putting the finishing touches on your content is so time-consuming that it leaves little room for promotion. Create accurate transcripts with Kapwing with the click of a button. Then, use them for show notes, or turn snippets of your transcript into blog post paragraphs and social media posts. 

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Translating costs you a ton of time—or a ton of money. Well, not anymore. You can rely on Kapwing’s automated translation features for audio and text. Just upload any audio file, generate subtitles in one click, and select the language you want to translate the text into. Generate translations for all of the languages that matter to your brand.

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The world is full of content, so let’s make yours stand out. After you transcribe your videos with Kapwing, you can auto-generate subtitles or captions in an instant. Choose one of our attention-grabbing subtitles to apply to your video or create a custom look with fonts, colors, and animation styles that match your brand. 

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How to Convert Audio to Text

Click the 'Upload audio' button and select an audio file from your computer. You can also drag and drop a file inside the editor.

Open Transcript in the left-hand toolbar and select "Trim with Transcript." From there, select the audio file you want to transcribe and click on Generate Transcript.

Click on the download icon that's just above the transcript editor (downwards-facing arrow). Choose the transcript file format you prefer. You can download your transcript as an SRT, VTT, or TXT file.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I convert an audio recording to text?

Converting an audio recording to text is easy with Kapwing’s AI-powered video editing platform. Just upload any audio or video file. Then, head over to the Subtitles tab and select the correct language. Kapwing will auto-generate an accurate transcript that you can edit and download. 

How do I transcribe audio to text for free?

With Kapwing, you can generate text for up to ten minutes of audio per month. Use our AI-powered audio-to-text features to add subtitles and download transcripts. To unlock more minutes, choose one of our affordable plans.

Is there a tool that automatically transcribes my audio so I don’t have to manually type it out?

Yes, Kapwing automatically transcribes audio into text. Through speech recognition and machine learning, the automated transcriptions are highly accurate. Download the transcript for any purpose, or use this feature to automatically generate subtitles for a video.

Can I edit my transcript after I transcribed the audio?

Yes, after you use Kapwing’s automated audio-to-text capabilities, you can easily edit the transcript to perfect it. Kapwing even lets you edit your audio (trim and cut) simply by deleting the text you want to remove. Or, if you don’t want to alter the original audio track, you can always download the transcript as a TXT file and edit it on your computer.

What's different about Kapwing?


Kapwing is free to use for teams of any size. We also offer paid plans with additional features, storage, and support.

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The best dictation software in 2024

These speech-to-text apps will save you time without sacrificing accuracy..

Best text dictation apps hero

The early days of dictation software were like your friend that mishears lyrics: lots of enthusiasm but little accuracy. Now, AI is out of Pandora's box, both in the news and in the apps we use, and dictation apps are getting better and better because of it. It's still not 100% perfect, but you'll definitely feel more in control when using your voice to type.

I took to the internet to find the best speech-to-text software out there right now, and after monologuing at length in front of dozens of dictation apps, these are my picks for the best.

The best dictation software

Windows 11 Speech Recognition for free dictation software on Windows

Dragon by Nuance for a customizable dictation app

Google Docs voice typing for dictating in Google Docs

Gboard for a free mobile dictation app

Otter for collaboration

What is dictation software?

When searching for dictation software online, you'll come across a wide range of options. The ones I'm focusing on here are apps or services that you can quickly open, start talking, and see the results on your screen in (near) real-time. This is great for taking quick notes , writing emails without typing, or talking out an entire novel while you walk in your favorite park—because why not.

Beyond these productivity uses, people with disabilities or with carpal tunnel syndrome can use this software to type more easily. It makes technology more accessible to everyone .

If this isn't what you're looking for, here's what else is out there:

AI assistants, such as Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, and Microsoft's Cortana, can help you interact with each of these ecosystems to send texts, buy products, or schedule events on your calendar.

AI meeting assistants will join your meetings and transcribe everything, generating meeting notes to share with your team.

AI transcription platforms can process your video and audio files into neat text.

Transcription services that use a combination of dictation software, AI, and human proofreaders can achieve above 99% accuracy.

There are also advanced platforms for enterprise, like Amazon Transcribe and Microsoft Azure's speech-to-text services.

What makes a great dictation app?

How we evaluate and test apps.

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Dictation software comes in different shapes and sizes. Some are integrated in products you already use. Others are separate apps that offer a range of extra features. While each can vary in look and feel, here's what I looked for to find the best:

High accuracy. Staying true to what you're saying is the most important feature here. The lowest score on this list is at 92% accuracy.

Ease of use. This isn't a high hurdle, as most options are basic enough that anyone can figure them out in seconds.

Availability of voice commands. These let you add "instructions" while you're dictating, such as adding punctuation, starting a new paragraph, or more complex commands like capitalizing all the words in a sentence.

Availability of the languages supported. Most of the picks here support a decent (or impressive) number of languages.

Versatility. I paid attention to how well the software could adapt to different circumstances, apps, and systems.

I tested these apps by reading a 200-word script containing numbers, compound words, and a few tricky terms. I read the script three times for each app: the accuracy scores are an average of all attempts. Finally, I used the voice commands to delete and format text and to control the app's features where available.

I used my laptop's or smartphone's microphone to test these apps in a quiet room without background noise. For occasional dictation, an equivalent microphone on your own computer or smartphone should do the job well. If you're doing a lot of dictation every day, it's probably worth investing in an external microphone, like the Jabra Evolve .

What about AI?

Before the ChatGPT boom, AI wasn't as hot a keyword, but it already existed. The apps on this list use a combination of technologies that may include AI— machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) in particular. While they could rebrand themselves to keep up with the hype, they may use pipelines or models that aren't as bleeding-edge when compared to what's going on in Hugging Face or under OpenAI Whisper 's hood, for example. 

Also, since this isn't a hot AI software category, these apps may prefer to focus on their core offering and product quality instead, not ride the trendy wave by slapping "AI-powered" on every web page.

Tips for using voice recognition software

Though dictation software is pretty good at recognizing different voices, it's not perfect. Here are some tips to make it work as best as possible.

Speak naturally (with caveats). Dictation apps learn your voice and speech patterns over time. And if you're going to spend any time with them, you want to be comfortable. Speak naturally. If you're not getting 90% accuracy initially, try enunciating more.  

Punctuate. When you dictate, you have to say each period, comma, question mark, and so forth. The software isn't always smart enough to figure it out on its own.

Learn a few commands . Take the time to learn a few simple commands, such as "new line" to enter a line break. There are different commands for composing, editing, and operating your device. Commands may differ from app to app, so learn the ones that apply to the tool you choose.

Know your limits. Especially on mobile devices, some tools have a time limit for how long they can listen—sometimes for as little as 10 seconds. Glance at the screen from time to time to make sure you haven't blown past the mark. 

Practice. It takes time to adjust to voice recognition software, but it gets easier the more you practice. Some of the more sophisticated apps invite you to train by reading passages or doing other short drills. Don't shy away from tutorials, help menus, and on-screen cheat sheets.

The best dictation software at a glance

Best free dictation software for apple devices, apple dictation (ios, ipados, macos).

The interface for Apple Dictation, our pick for the best free dictation app for Apple users

Look no further than your Mac, iPhone, or iPad for one of the best dictation tools. Apple's built-in dictation feature, powered by Siri (I wouldn't be surprised if the two merged one day), ships as part of Apple's desktop and mobile operating systems. On iOS devices, you use it by pressing the microphone icon on the stock keyboard. On your desktop, you turn it on by going to System Preferences > Keyboard > Dictation , and then use a keyboard shortcut to activate it in your app.

If you want the ability to navigate your Mac with your voice and use dictation, try Voice Control . By default, Voice Control requires the internet to work and has a time limit of about 30 seconds for each smattering of speech. To remove those limits for a Mac, enable Enhanced Dictation, and follow the directions here for your OS (you can also enable it for iPhones and iPads). Enhanced Dictation adds a local file to your device so that you can dictate offline.

You can format and edit your text using simple commands, such as "new paragraph" or "select previous word." Tip: you can view available commands in a small window, like a little cheat sheet, while learning the ropes. Apple also offers a number of advanced commands for things like math, currency, and formatting. 

Apple Dictation price: Included with macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and Apple Watch.

Apple Dictation accuracy: 96%. I tested this on an iPhone SE 3rd Gen using the dictation feature on the keyboard.

Recommendation: For the occasional dictation, I'd recommend the standard Dictation feature available with all Apple systems. But if you need more custom voice features (e.g., medical terms), opt for Voice Control with Enhanced Dictation. You can create and import both custom vocabulary and custom commands and work while offline.

Apple Dictation supported languages: 59 languages and dialects .

While Apple Dictation is available natively on the Apple Watch, if you're serious about recording plenty of voice notes and memos, check out the Just Press Record app. It runs on the same engine and keeps all your recordings synced and organized across your Apple devices.

Best free dictation software for Windows

Windows 11 speech recognition (windows).

The interface for Windows Speech Recognition, our pick for the best free dictation app for Windows

Windows 11 Speech Recognition (also known as Voice Typing) is a strong dictation tool, both for writing documents and controlling your Windows PC. Since it's part of your system, you can use it in any app you have installed.

To start, first, check that online speech recognition is on by going to Settings > Time and Language > Speech . To begin dictating, open an app, and on your keyboard, press the Windows logo key + H. A microphone icon and gray box will appear at the top of your screen. Make sure your cursor is in the space where you want to dictate.

When it's ready for your dictation, it will say Listening . You have about 10 seconds to start talking before the microphone turns off. If that happens, just click it again and wait for Listening to pop up. To stop the dictation, click the microphone icon again or say "stop talking."  

As I dictated into a Word document, the gray box reminded me to hang on, we need a moment to catch up . If you're speaking too fast, you'll also notice your transcribed words aren't keeping up. This never posed an issue with accuracy, but it's a nice reminder to keep it slow and steady. 

To activate the computer control features, you'll have to go to Settings > Accessibility > Speech instead. While there, tick on Windows Speech Recognition. This unlocks a range of new voice commands that can fully replace a mouse and keyboard. Your voice becomes the main way of interacting with your system.

While you can use this tool anywhere inside your computer, if you're a Microsoft 365 subscriber, you'll be able to use the dictation features there too. The best app to use it on is, of course, Microsoft Word: it even offers file transcription, so you can upload a WAV or MP3 file and turn it into text. The engine is the same, provided by Microsoft Speech Services.

Windows 11 Speech Recognition price: Included with Windows 11. Also available as part of the Microsoft 365 subscription.

Windows 11 Speech Recognition accuracy: 95%. I tested it in Windows 11 while using Microsoft Word. 

Windows 11 Speech Recognition languages supported : 11 languages and dialects .

Best customizable dictation software

Dragon by nuance (android, ios, macos, windows).

The interface for Dragon, our pick for the best customizable dictation software

In 1990, Dragon Dictate emerged as the first dictation software. Over three decades later, we have Dragon by Nuance, a leader in the industry and a distant cousin of that first iteration. With a variety of software packages and mobile apps for different use cases (e.g., legal, medical, law enforcement), Dragon can handle specialized industry vocabulary, and it comes with excellent features, such as the ability to transcribe text from an audio file you upload. 

For this test, I used Dragon Anywhere, Nuance's mobile app, as it's the only version—among otherwise expensive packages—available with a free trial. It includes lots of features not found in the others, like Words, which lets you add words that would be difficult to recognize and spell out. For example, in the script, the word "Litmus'" (with the possessive) gave every app trouble. To avoid this, I added it to Words, trained it a few times with my voice, and was then able to transcribe it accurately.

It also provides shortcuts. If you want to shorten your entire address to one word, go to Auto-Text , give it a name ("address"), and type in your address: 1000 Eichhorn St., Davenport, IA 52722, and hit Save . The next time you dictate and say "address," you'll get the entire thing. Press the comment bubble icon to see text commands while you're dictating, or say "What can I say?" and the command menu pops up. 

Once you complete a dictation, you can email, share (e.g., Google Drive, Dropbox), open in Word, or save to Evernote. You can perform these actions manually or by voice command (e.g., "save to Evernote.") Once you name it, it automatically saves in Documents for later review or sharing. 

Accuracy is good and improves with use, showing that you can definitely train your dragon. It's a great choice if you're serious about dictation and plan to use it every day, but may be a bit too much if you're just using it occasionally.

Dragon by Nuance price: $15/month for Dragon Anywhere (iOS and Android); from $200 to $500 for desktop packages

Dragon by Nuance accuracy: 97%. Tested it in the Dragon Anywhere iOS app.

Dragon by Nuance supported languages: 6 languages and dialects in Dragon Anywhere and 8 languages and dialects in Dragon Desktop.  

Best free mobile dictation software

Gboard (android, ios).

The interface for Gboard, our pick for the best mobile dictation software

Gboard, also known as Google Keyboard, is a free keyboard native to Android phones. It's also available for iOS: go to the App Store, download the Gboard app , and then activate the keyboard in the settings. In addition to typing, it lets you search the web, translate text, or run a quick Google Maps search.

Back to the topic: it has an excellent dictation feature. To start, press the microphone icon on the top-right of the keyboard. An overlay appears on the screen, filling itself with the words you're saying. It's very quick and accurate, which will feel great for fast-talkers but probably intimidating for the more thoughtful among us. If you stop talking for a few seconds, the overlay disappears, and Gboard pastes what it heard into the app you're using. When this happens, tap the microphone icon again to continue talking.

Wherever you can open a keyboard while using your phone, you can have Gboard supporting you there. You can write emails or notes or use any other app with an input field.

The writer who handled the previous update of this list had been using Gboard for seven years, so it had plenty of training data to adapt to his particular enunciation, landing the accuracy at an amazing 98%. I haven't used it much before, so the best I had was 92% overall. It's still a great score. More than that, it's proof of how dictation apps improve the more you use them.

Gboard price : Free

Gboard accuracy: 92%. With training, it can go up to 98%. I tested it using the iOS app while writing a new email.

Gboard supported languages: 916 languages and dialects .

Best dictation software for typing in Google Docs

Google docs voice typing (web on chrome).

The interface for Google Docs voice typing, our pick for the best dictation software for Google Docs

Just like Microsoft offers dictation in their Office products, Google does the same for their Workspace suite. The best place to use the voice typing feature is in Google Docs, but you can also dictate speaker notes in Google Slides as a way to prepare for your presentation.

To get started, make sure you're using Chrome and have a Google Docs file open. Go to Tools > Voice typing , and press the microphone icon to start. As you talk, the text will jitter into existence in the document.

You can change the language in the dropdown on top of the microphone icon. If you need help, hover over that icon, and click the ? on the bottom-right. That will show everything from turning on the mic, the voice commands for dictation, and moving around the document.

It's unclear whether Google's voice typing here is connected to the same engine in Gboard. I wasn't able to confirm whether the training data for the mobile keyboard and this tool are connected in any way. Still, the engines feel very similar and turned out the same accuracy at 92%. If you start using it more often, it may adapt to your particular enunciation and be more accurate in the long run.

Google Docs voice typing price : Free

Google Docs voice typing accuracy: 92%. Tested in a new Google Docs file in Chrome.

Google Docs voice typing supported languages: 118 languages and dialects ; voice commands only available in English.

Google Docs integrates with Zapier , which means you can automatically do things like save form entries to Google Docs, create new documents whenever something happens in your other apps, or create project management tasks for each new document.

Best dictation software for collaboration

Otter (web, android, ios).

Otter, our pick for the best dictation software for collaboration

Most of the time, you're dictating for yourself: your notes, emails, or documents. But there may be situations in which sharing and collaboration is more important. For those moments, Otter is the better option.

It's not as robust in terms of dictation as others on the list, but it compensates with its versatility. It's a meeting assistant, first and foremost, ready to hop on your meetings and transcribe everything it hears. This is great to keep track of what's happening there, making the text available for sharing by generating a link or in the corresponding team workspace.

The reason why it's the best for collaboration is that others can highlight parts of the transcript and leave their comments. It also separates multiple speakers, in case you're recording a conversation, so that's an extra headache-saver if you use dictation software for interviewing people.

When you open the app and click the Record button on the top-right, you can use it as a traditional dictation app. It doesn't support voice commands, but it has decent intuition as to where the commas and periods should go based on the intonation and rhythm of your voice. Once you're done talking, Otter will start processing what you said, extract keywords, and generate action items and notes from the content of the transcription.

If you're going for long recording stretches where you talk about multiple topics, there's an AI chat option, where you can ask Otter questions about the transcript. This is great to summarize the entire talk, extract insights, and get a different angle on everything you said.

Not all meeting assistants offer dictation, so Otter sits here on this fence between software categories, a jack-of-two-trades, quite good at both. If you want something more specialized for meetings, be sure to check out the best AI meeting assistants . But if you want a pure dictation app with plenty of voice commands and great control over the final result, the other options above will serve you better.

Otter price: Free plan available for 300 minutes / month. Pro plan starts at $16.99, adding more collaboration features and monthly minutes.

Otter accuracy: 93% accuracy. I tested it in the web app on my computer.

Otter supported languages: Only American and British English for now.

Is voice dictation for you?

Dictation software isn't for everyone. It will likely take practice learning to "write" out loud because it will feel unnatural. But once you get comfortable with it, you'll be able to write from anywhere on any device without the need for a keyboard. 

And by using any of the apps I listed here, you can feel confident that most of what you dictate will be accurately captured on the screen. 

Related reading:

The best transcription services

Catch typos by making your computer read to you

Why everyone should try the accessibility features on their computer

What is Otter.ai?

The best voice recording apps for iPhone

This article was originally published in April 2016 and has also had contributions from Emily Esposito, Jill Duffy, and Chris Hawkins. The most recent update was in November 2023.

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Miguel Rebelo

Miguel Rebelo is a freelance writer based in London, UK. He loves technology, video games, and huge forests. Track him down at mirebelo.com.

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Best speech-to-text app of 2024

Free, paid and online voice recognition apps and services

Best overall

Best for business, best for mobile, best text service, best speech recognition, best virtual assistant, best for cloud, best for azure, best for batch conversion, best free speech to text apps, best mobile speech to text apps.

  • How we test

The best speech-to-text apps make it simple and easy to convert speech into text, for both desktop and mobile devices.

Someone using voice commands on a laptop.

1. Best overall 2. Best for business 3. Best for mobile 4. Best text service 5. Best speech recognition 6. Best virtual assistant 7. Best for cloud 8. Best for Azure 9. Best for batch conversion 10. Best free speech to text apps 11. Best mobile speech to text apps 12. FAQs 13. How we test

Speech-to-text used to be regarded as very niche, specifically serving either people with accessibility needs or for  dictation . However, speech-to-text is moving more and more into the mainstream as office work can now routinely be completed more simply and easily by using voce-recognition software, rather than having to type through members, and speaking aloud for text to be recorded is now quite common.

While the best speech to text software used to be specifically only for desktops, the development of mobile devices and the explosion of easily accessible apps means that transcription can now also be carried out on a  smartphone  or  tablet . 

This has made the best voice to text applications increasingly valuable to users in a range of different environments, from education to business. This is not least because the technology has matured to the level where mistakes in transcriptions are relatively rare, with some services rightly boasting a 99.9% success rate from clear audio.

Even still, this applies mainly to ordinary situations and circumstances, and precludes the use of technical terminology such as required in legal or medical professions. Despite this, digital transcription can still service needs such as basic  note-taking  which can still be easily done using a phone app, simplifying the dictation process.

However, different speech-to-text programs have different levels of ability and complexity, with some using advanced machine learning to constantly correct errors flagged up by users so that they are not repeated. Others are downloadable software which is only as good as its latest update.

Here then are the best in speech-to-text recognition programs, which should be more than capable for most situations and circumstances.

We've also featured the best voice recognition software .

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The best paid for speech to text apps of 2024 in full:

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Dragon Anywhere website screenshot

1. Dragon Anywhere

Our expert review:

Reasons to buy

Reasons to avoid.

Dragon Anywhere is the Nuance mobile product for Android and iOS devices, however this is no ‘lite’ app, but rather offers fully-formed dictation capabilities powered via the cloud. 

So essentially you get the same excellent speech recognition as seen on the desktop software – the only meaningful difference we noticed was a very slight delay in our spoken words appearing on the screen (doubtless due to processing in the cloud). However, note that the app was still responsive enough overall.

It also boasts support for boilerplate chunks of text which can be set up and inserted into a document with a simple command, and these, along with custom vocabularies, are synced across the mobile app and desktop Dragon software. Furthermore, you can share documents across devices via Evernote or cloud services (such as Dropbox).

This isn’t as flexible as the desktop application, however, as dictation is limited to within Dragon Anywhere – you can’t dictate directly in another app (although you can copy over text from the Dragon Anywhere dictation pad to a third-party app). The other caveats are the need for an internet connection for the app to work (due to its cloud-powered nature), and the fact that it’s a subscription offering with no one-off purchase option, which might not be to everyone’s tastes.

Even bearing in mind these limitations, though, it’s a definite boon to have fully-fledged, powerful voice recognition of the same sterling quality as the desktop software, nestling on your phone or tablet for when you’re away from the office.

Nuance Communications offers a 7-day free trial to give the app a try before you commit to a subscription. 

Read our full Dragon Anywhere review .

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Dragon Professional website screenshot

2. Dragon Professional

Should you be looking for a business-grade dictation application, your best bet is Dragon Professional. Aimed at pro users, the software provides you with the tools to dictate and edit documents, create spreadsheets, and browse the web using your voice.   

According to Nuance, the solution is capable of taking dictation at an equivalent typing speed of 160 words per minute, with a 99% accuracy rate – and that’s out-of-the-box, before any training is done (whereby the app adapts to your voice and words you commonly use).

As well as creating documents using your voice, you can also import custom word lists. There’s also an additional mobile app that lets you transcribe audio files and send them back to your computer.   

This is a powerful, flexible, and hugely useful tool that is especially good for individuals, such as professionals and freelancers, allowing for typing and document management to be done much more flexibly and easily.

Overall, the interface is easy to use, and if you get stuck at all, you can access a series of help tutorials. And while the software can seem expensive, it's just a one-time fee and compares very favorably with paid-for subscription transcription services.

Also note that Nuance are currently offering 12-months' access to Dragon Anywhere at no extra cost with any purchase of Dragon Home or Dragon Professional Individual.

Read our full Dragon Professional review .

Otter website screenshot

Otter is a cloud-based speech to text program especially aimed for mobile use, such as on a laptop or smartphone. The app provides real-time transcription, allowing you to search, edit, play, and organize as required.

Otter is marketed as an app specifically for meetings, interviews, and lectures, to make it easier to take rich notes. However, it is also built to work with collaboration between teams, and different speakers are assigned different speaker IDs to make it easier to understand transcriptions.

There are three different payment plans, with the basic one being free to use and aside from the features mentioned above also includes keyword summaries and a wordcloud to make it easier to find specific topic mentions. You can also organize and share, import audio and video for transcription, and provides 600 minutes of free service.

The Premium plan also includes advanced and bulk export options, the ability to sync audio from Dropbox, additional playback speeds including the ability to skip silent pauses. The Premium plan also allows for up to 6,000 minutes of speech to text.

The Teams plan also adds two-factor authentication, user management and centralized billing, as well as user statistics, voiceprints, and live captioning.

Read our full Otter review .

Verbit website screenshot

Verbit aims to offer a smarter speech to text service, using AI for transcription and captioning. The service is specifically targeted at enterprise and educational establishments.

Verbit uses a mix of speech models, using neural networks and algorithms to reduce background noise, focus on terms as well as differentiate between speakers regardless of accent, as well as incorporate contextual events such as news and company information into recordings.

Although Verbit does offer a live version for transcription and captioning, aiming for a high degree of accuracy, other plans offer human editors to ensure transcriptions are fully accurate, and advertise a four hour turnaround time.

Altogether, while Verbit does offer a direct speech to text service, it’s possibly better thought of as a transcription service, but the focus on enterprise and education, as well as team use, means it earns a place here as an option to consider.

Read our full Verbit review .

Speechmatics website screenshot

5. Speechmatics

Speechmatics offers a machine learning solution to converting speech to text, with its automatic speech recognition solution available to use on existing audio and video files as well as for live use.

Unlike some automated transcription software which can struggle with accents or charge more for them, Speechmatics advertises itself as being able to support all major British accents, regardless of nationality. That way it aims to cope with not just different American and British English accents, but also South African and Jamaican accents.

Speechmatics offers a wider number of speech to text transcription uses than many other providers. Examples include taking call center phone recordings and converting them into searchable text or Word documents. The software also works with video and other media for captioning as well as using keyword triggers for management.

Overall, Speechmatics aims to offer a more flexible and comprehensive speech to text service than a lot of other providers, and the use of automation should keep them price competitive.

Read our full Speechmatics review .

Braina Pro website screenshot

6. Braina Pro

Braina Pro is speech recognition software which is built not just for dictation, but also as an all-round digital assistant to help you achieve various tasks on your PC. It supports dictation to third-party software in not just English but almost 90 different languages, with impressive voice recognition chops.

Beyond that, it’s a virtual assistant that can be instructed to set alarms, search your PC for a file, or search the internet, play an MP3 file, read an ebook aloud, plus you can implement various custom commands.

The Windows program also has a companion Android app which can remotely control your PC, and use the local Wi-Fi network to deliver commands to your computer, so you can spark up a music playlist, for example, wherever you happen to be in the house. Nifty.

There’s a free version of Braina which comes with limited functionality, but includes all the basic PC commands, along with a 7-day trial of the speech recognition which allows you to test out its powers for yourself before you commit to a subscription. Yes, this is another subscription-only product with no option to purchase for a one-off fee. Also note that you need to be online and have Google ’s Chrome browser installed for speech recognition functionality to work.

Read our full Braina Pro review .

Amazon Transcribe website screenshot

7. Amazon Transcribe

Amazon Transcribe is as big cloud-based automatic speech recognition platform developed specifically to convert audio to text for apps. It especially aims to provide a more accurate and comprehensive service than traditional providers, such as being able to cope with low-fi and noisy recordings, such as you might get in a contact center .

Amazon Transcribe uses a deep learning process that automatically adds punctuation and formatting, as well as process with a secure livestream or otherwise transcribe speech to text with batch processing.

As well as offering time stamping for individual words for easy search, it can also identify different speaks and different channels and annotate documents accordingly to account for this.

There are also some nice features for editing and managing transcribed texts, such as vocabulary filtering and replacement words which can be used to keep product names consistent and therefore any following transcription easier to analyze.

Overall, Amazon Transcribe is one of the most powerful platforms out there, though it’s aimed more for the business and enterprise user rather than the individual.

Microsoft Azure Speech to Text website screenshot

8. Microsoft Azure Speech to Text

Microsoft 's Azure cloud service offers advanced speech recognition as part of the platform's speech services to deliver the Microsoft Azure Speech to Text functionality. 

This feature allows you to simply and easily create text from a variety of audio sources. There are also customization options available to work better with different speech patterns, registers, and even background sounds. You can also modify settings to handle different specialist vocabularies, such as product names, technical information, and place names.

The Microsoft's Azure Speech to Text feature is powered by deep neural network models and allows for real-time audio transcription that can be set up to handle multiple speakers.

As part of the Azure cloud service, you can run Azure Speech to Text in the cloud, on premises, or in edge computing. In terms of pricing, you can run the feature in a free container with a single concurrent request for up to 5 hours of free audio per month.

Read our full Microsoft Azure Speech to Text review .

IBM Watson Speech to Text website screenshot

9. IBM Watson Speech to Text

IBM's Watson Speech to Text works is the third cloud-native solution on this list, with the feature being powered by AI and machine learning as part of IBM's cloud services.

While there is the option to transcribe speech to text in real-time, there is also the option to batch convert audio files and process them through a range of language, audio frequency, and other output options.

You can also tag transcriptions with speaker labels, smart formatting, and timestamps, as well as apply global editing for technical words or phrases, acronyms, and for number use.

As with other cloud services Watson Speech to Text allows for easy deployment both in the cloud and on-premises behind your own firewall to ensure security is maintained.

Read our full Watson Speech to Text review .

Google Gboard at the Play store

1. Google Gboard

If you already have an Android mobile device, then if it's not already installed then download Google Keyboard from the Google Play store and you'll have an instant text-to-speech app. Although it's primarily designed as a keyboard for physical input, it also has a speech input option which is directly available. And because all the power of Google's hardware is behind it, it's a powerful and responsive tool.

If that's not enough then there are additional features. Aside from physical input ones such as swiping, you can also trigger images in your text using voice commands. Additionally, it can also work with Google Translate, and is advertised as providing support for over 60 languages.

Even though Google Keyboard isn't a dedicated transcription tool, as there are no shortcut commands or text editing directly integrated, it does everything you need from a basic transcription tool. And as it's a keyboard, it means should be able to work with any software you can run on your Android smartphone, so you can text edit, save, and export using that. Even better, it's free and there are no adverts to get in the way of you using it.

Just Press Record website screenshot

2. Just Press Record

If you want a dedicated dictation app, it’s worth checking out Just Press Record. It’s a mobile audio recorder that comes with features such as one tap recording, transcription and iCloud syncing across devices. The great thing is that it’s aimed at pretty much anyone and is extremely easy to use. 

When it comes to recording notes, all you have to do is press one button, and you get unlimited recording time. However, the really great thing about this app is that it also offers a powerful transcription service. 

Through it, you can quickly and easily turn speech into searchable text. Once you’ve transcribed a file, you can then edit it from within the app. There’s support for more than 30 languages as well, making it the perfect app if you’re working abroad or with an international team. Another nice feature is punctuation command recognition, ensuring that your transcriptions are free from typos.   

This app is underpinned by cloud technology, meaning you can access notes from any device (which is online). You’re able to share audio and text files to other iOS apps too, and when it comes to organizing them, you can view recordings in a comprehensive file. 

Speechnotes website screenshot

3. Speechnotes

Speechnotes is yet another easy to use dictation app. A useful touch here is that you don’t need to create an account or anything like that; you just open up the app and press on the microphone icon, and you’re off.   

The app is powered by Google voice recognition tech. When you’re recording a note, you can easily dictate punctuation marks through voice commands, or by using the built-in punctuation keyboard. 

To make things even easier, you can quickly add names, signatures, greetings and other frequently used text by using a set of custom keys on the built-in keyboard. There’s automatic capitalization as well, and every change made to a note is saved to the cloud.

When it comes to customizing notes, you can access a plethora of fonts and text sizes. The app is free to download from the Google Play Store , but you can make in-app purchases to access premium features (there's also a browser version for Chrome).   

Read our full Speechnotes review .

Transcribe website screenshot

4. Transcribe

Marketed as a personal assistant for turning videos and voice memos into text files, Transcribe is a popular dictation app that’s powered by AI. It lets you make high quality transcriptions by just hitting a button.   

The app can transcribe any video or voice memo automatically, while supporting over 80 languages from across the world. While you can easily create notes with Transcribe, you can also import files from services such as Dropbox.

Once you’ve transcribed a file, you can export the raw text to a word processor to edit. The app is free to download, but you’ll have to make an in-app purchase if you want to make the most of these features in the long-term. There is a trial available, but it’s basically just 15 minutes of free transcription time. Transcribe is only available on iOS, though.   

Windows 10 Speech Recognition website screenshot

5. Windows Speech Recognition

If you don’t want to pay for speech recognition software, and you’re running Microsoft’s latest desktop OS, then you might be pleased to hear that speech-to-text is built into Windows.

Windows Speech Recognition, as it’s imaginatively named – and note that this is something different to Cortana, which offers basic commands and assistant capabilities – lets you not only execute commands via voice control, but also offers the ability to dictate into documents.

The sort of accuracy you get isn’t comparable with that offered by the likes of Dragon, but then again, you’re paying nothing to use it. It’s also possible to improve the accuracy by training the system by reading text, and giving it access to your documents to better learn your vocabulary. It’s definitely worth indulging in some training, particularly if you intend to use the voice recognition feature a fair bit.

The company has been busy boasting about its advances in terms of voice recognition powered by deep neural networks, especially since windows 10 and now for Windows 11 , and Microsoft is certainly priming us to expect impressive things in the future. The likely end-goal aim is for Cortana to do everything eventually, from voice commands to taking dictation.

Turn on Windows Speech Recognition by heading to the Control Panel (search for it, or right click the Start button and select it), then click on Ease of Access, and you will see the option to ‘start speech recognition’ (you’ll also spot the option to set up a microphone here, if you haven’t already done that).

Best speech to text software

Aside from what has already been covered above, there are an increasing number of apps available across all mobile devices for working with speech to text, not least because Google's speech recognition technology is available for use. 

iTranslate Translator  is a speech-to-text app for iOS with a difference, in that it focuses on translating voice languages. Not only does it aim to translate different languages you hear into text for your own language, it also works to translate images such as photos you might take of signs in a foreign country and get a translation for them. In that way, iTranslate is a very different app, that takes the idea of speech-to-text in a novel direction, and by all accounts, does it well. 

ListNote Speech-to-Text Notes  is another speech-to-text app that uses Google's speech recognition software, but this time does a more comprehensive job of integrating it with a note-taking program than many other apps. The text notes you record are searchable, and you can import/export with other text applications. Additionally there is a password protection option, which encrypts notes after the first 20 characters so that the beginning of the notes are searchable by you. There's also an organizer feature for your notes, using category or assigned color. The app is free on Android, but includes ads.

Voice Notes  is a simple app that aims to convert speech to text for making notes. This is refreshing, as it mixes Google's speech recognition technology with a simple note-taking app, so there are more features to play with here. You can categorize notes, set reminders, and import/export text accordingly.

SpeechTexter  is another speech-to-text app that aims to do more than just record your voice to a text file. This app is built specifically to work with social media, so that rather than sending messages, emails, Tweets, and similar, you can record your voice directly to the social media sites and send. There are also a number of language packs you can download for offline working if you want to use more than just English, which is handy.

Also consider reading these related software and app guides:

  • Best text-to-speech software
  • Best transcription services
  • Best Bluetooth headsets

Speech-to-text app FAQs

Which speech-to-text app is best for you.

When deciding which speech-to-text app to use, first consider what your actual needs are, as free and budget  options may only provide basic features, so if you need to use advanced tools you may find a paid-for platform is better suited to you. Additionally, higher-end software can usually cater for every need, so do ensure you have a good idea of which features you think you may require from your speech-to-text app.

How we tested the best speech-to-text apps

To test for the best speech-to-text apps we first set up an account with the relevant platform, then we tested the service to see how the software could be used for different purposes and in different situations. The aim was to push each speech-to-text platform to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced tools.

Read more on how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar .

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Brian Turner

Brian has over 30 years publishing experience as a writer and editor across a range of computing, technology, and marketing titles. He has been interviewed multiple times for the BBC and been a speaker at international conferences. His specialty on techradar is Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, covering everything from office suites to IT service tools. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, published as Brian G Turner.

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With customizable options and quick turnaround, you have full control over the transcription process. Join countless professionals who rely on VEED to streamline their work, making every spoken word accessible and searchable. Our text converter also features a built-in video and audio editor to help you achieve a crisp, studio-quality sound for your recordings. Increase your productivity to new heights!

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Review and edit the transcription if necessary. Just click on a line of text and start typing. Download your transcript in VTT, SRT, or TXT format.

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Transcribe videos to bump your content in search results

Our audio-to-text tool is part of a robust and powerful video editing software that also lets you edit and transcribe your video content. Transcribe your video and add captions to help your content rank higher in search engine results. Drive traffic to your website, increase engagement in your social media pages, and grow your channel. Animate your captions and captivate viewers in just a few clicks!

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VEED can help your brand create content that caters to a diverse audience. With automatic transcriptions and instant translations , you can publish globally accessible and inclusive content. Translate your audio and video transcriptions to over 100 languages. Reach untapped markets and help your business grow with instant, reliable, and affordable transcriptions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

VEED lets you automatically transcribe your audio to text at lightning-fast speed! Upload your audio file to VEED and click on the Subtitles tool on the left menu. Upload your audio file to VEED and auto-transcribe from the Subtitles menu. Download your transcript in VTT, TXT, or SRT format!

Yes, you can! Upload your video file to VEED and our software will transcribe the original audio that was recorded in your video with the help of AI.

Absolutely! When you’re done downloading the TXT, VTT, or SRT file, click on ‘Export’ to download the video with the subtitles on it. Your video will be exported as an MP4 file.

Depending on how the speech or recording is spaced out through the video, VEED will separate the transcriptions into different boxes. Just click on each box and start typing or editing the text.

Yes—but only the subtitles appearing on the video and not the TXT file. You can choose from a wide range of fonts and styles. Change its size, color, and opacity.

VEED features a 98.5% accuracy in automatic transcriptions and translations with the help of AI. Transcribe your audio to text and translate them to over 100 languages instantly without sacrificing quality.

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  • Speech to Text Finnish
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  • Tamil Audio to Text
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Veed is a great piece of browser software with the best team I've ever seen. Veed allows for subtitling, editing, effect/text encoding, and many more advanced features that other editors just can't compete with. The free version is wonderful, but the Pro version is beyond perfect. Keep in mind that this a browser editor we're talking about and the level of quality that Veed allows is stunning and a complete game changer at worst.

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How to Get Started With Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API

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How to Get Started With Google Cloud's Text-to-Speech API

  • Introducing Google’s for Text-to-Speech API
  • Using Google’s for Text-to-Speech API
  • Finetuning Google’s Text-To-Speech Parameters
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API

In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up and using Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API, including examples and code snippets .

Introducing Google’s for Text-to-Speech API

As a software engineer, you often need to integrate various APIs into your applications to enhance their functionality. Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API is a powerful tool that converts text into natural-sounding speech.

The most common use cases for the Google TTS API include:

  • Accessibility : One of the primary applications of TTS technology is to improve accessibility for individuals with visual impairments or reading difficulties. By converting text into speech, the API enables users to access digital content through audio, making it easier for them to navigate websites, read articles, and engage with online services
  • Virtual Assistants : The TTS API is often used to power virtual assistants and chatbots, providing them with the ability to communicate with users in a more human-like manner. This enhances user experience and enables developers to create more engaging and interactive applications.
  • E-Learning : In the education sector, the Google TTS API can be utilized to create audio versions of textbooks, articles, and other learning materials. This enables students to consume educational content while on the go, multitasking, or simply preferring to listen rather than read.
  • Audiobooks : The Google TTS API can be used to convert written content into audiobooks, providing an alternative way for users to enjoy books, articles, and other written materials. This not only saves time and resources on manual narration but also allows for rapid content creation and distribution.
  • Language Learning : The API supports multiple languages, making it a valuable tool for language learning applications. By generating accurate and natural-sounding speech, the TTS API can help users improve their listening skills, pronunciation, and overall language comprehension.
  • Content Marketing : Businesses can leverage the TTS API to create audio versions of their blog posts, articles, and other marketing materials. This enables them to reach a broader audience, including those who prefer listening to content over reading it.
  • Telecommunications : The TTS API can be integrated into Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems, enabling businesses to automate customer service calls, provide information to callers, and route them to the appropriate departments. This helps companies save time and resources while maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction.

Using Google’s for Text-to-Speech API


Before we start, ensure that you have the following:

  • A Google Cloud Platform (GCP) account. If you don’t have one, sign up for a free trial here .
  • Basic knowledge of Python programming.
  • A text editor or integrated development environment of your choice.

Step 1: Enable the Text-to-Speech API

  • Log in to your GCP account and navigate to the GCP console .
  • Click on the project dropdown and create a new project or select an existing one.
  • In the left sidebar, click on APIs & Services > Library .
  • Search for Text-to-Speech API and click on the result.
  • Click Enable to enable the API for your project.

Step 2: Create API credentials

  • In the left sidebar, click on APIs & Services > Credentials .
  • Click Create credentials and select Service account .
  • Fill in the required details and click Create .
  • On the Grant this service account access to project page, select the Cloud Text-to-Speech API User role and click Continue .
  • Click Done to create the service account.
  • In the Service Accounts list, click on the newly created service account.
  • Under Keys , click Add Key and select JSON .
  • Download the JSON key file and store it securely, as it contains sensitive information.

Step 3: Set up your Python environment

Install the Google Cloud SDK by following the instructions here .

Install the Google Cloud Text-to-Speech library for Python:

Set the GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS environment variable to the path of the JSON key file you downloaded earlier:

(Replace /path/to/your/keyfile.json with the actual path to your JSON key file.)

Step 4: Create a Python Script

Create a new Python script (such as text_to_speech.py ) and add the following code:

This script defines a synthesize_speech function that takes a text string and an output filename as arguments. It uses the Google Cloud Text-to-Speech API to convert the text into speech and saves the resulting audio as an MP3 file.

Step 5: Run the script

Execute the Python script from the command line:

This will create an output.mp3 file containing the spoken version of the input text “Hello, world!”.

Step 6 (optional): Customize the voice and audio settings

You can customize the voice and audio settings by modifying the voice and audio_config variables in the synthesize_speech function. For example, to change the language, replace en-US with a different language code (such as es-ES for Spanish). To change the gender, replace texttospeech.SsmlVoiceGender.FEMALE with texttospeech.SsmlVoiceGender.MALE . For more options, refer to the Text-to-Speech API documentation .

Finetuning Google’s Text-To-Speech Parameters

Google’s Speech-to-Text API offers a wide range of configuration parameters that allow developers to fine-tune the API’s behavior to meet specific use cases. Some of the most common configuration parameters and their use cases include:

  • Audio Encoding : specifies the encoding format of the audio file being sent to the API. The supported encoding formats include FLAC , LINEAR16 , MULAW , AMR , AMR_WB , OGG_OPUS , and SPEEX_WITH_HEADER_BYTE . Developers can choose the appropriate encoding format based on the input source, audio quality, and the target application.
  • Audio Sample Rate : specifies the rate at which the audio file is sampled. The supported sample rates include 8000, 16000, 22050, and 44100 Hz. Developers can select the appropriate sample rate based on the input source and the target application’s requirements.
  • Language Code : specifies the language of the input speech. The supported languages include a wide range of options such as English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, and many others. Developers can use this parameter to ensure that the API accurately transcribes the input speech in the appropriate language.
  • Model : allows developers to choose between different transcription models provided by Google. The available models include default, video, phone_call , and command_and_search . Developers can choose the appropriate model based on the input source and the target application’s requirements.
  • Speech Contexts : allows developers to specify specific words or phrases that are likely to appear in the input speech. This can improve the accuracy of the transcription by providing the API with context for the input speech.

These configuration parameters can be combined in various ways to create custom configurations that best suit specific use cases. For example, a developer could configure the API to transcribe a phone call in Spanish using a specific transcription model and a custom list of speech contexts to improve accuracy.

Overall, Google’s Speech-to-Text API is a powerful tool for transcribing speech to text, and the ability to customize its configuration makes it even more versatile. By carefully selecting the appropriate configuration parameters, developers can optimize the API’s performance and accuracy for a wide range of use cases.

In this tutorial, we’ve shown you how to get started with Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API, including setting up your GCP account, creating API credentials, installing the necessary libraries, and writing a Python script to convert text or SSML to speech. You can now integrate this functionality into your applications to enhance user experience, create audio content, or support accessibility features.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API

What are the key features of google cloud’s text-to-speech api.

Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API is a powerful tool that converts text into natural-sounding speech. It offers a wide range of features including over 200 voices across 40+ languages and variants, giving you a lot of flexibility in terms of language support. It also provides a selection of neural network-powered voices for incredibly realistic speech. The API supports SSML tags, allowing you to add pauses, numbers, date and time formatting, and other pronunciation instructions. It also offers a high level of customization, including pitch, speaking rate, and volume gain control.

How can I get started with Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API?

To get started with Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API, you first need to set up a Google Cloud project and enable the Text-to-Speech API for that project. You can then authenticate your project and start making requests to the API. The API uses a simple syntax for converting text into speech, and you can customize the voice and format of the speech output.

Is Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API free to use?

Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API is not entirely free. It comes with a pricing model based on the number of characters you convert into speech. However, Google does offer a free tier for the API, which allows you to convert a certain number of characters per month for free.

How can I integrate Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API into my application?

You can integrate Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API into your application by making HTTP POST requests to the API. You need to include the text you want to convert into speech in the request, along with any customization options you want to apply. The API will then return an audio data response, which you can play or save as an audio file.

Can I use Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API for commercial purposes?

Yes, you can use Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API for commercial purposes. However, you should be aware that usage of the API is subject to Google’s terms of service, and you may need to pay for the API if you exceed the free tier limits.

What languages does Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API support?

Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API supports over 40 languages and variants, including English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. This makes it a versatile tool for applications that need to support multiple languages.

How can I customize the voice in Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API?

You can customize the voice in Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API by specifying a voice name, language code, and SSML gender in your API request. You can also adjust the pitch, speaking rate, and volume gain of the voice.

Can I use Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API offline?

No, Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API is a cloud-based service and requires an internet connection to function. You need to make HTTP requests to the API, and the API returns audio data over the internet.

What is the audio quality of the speech generated by Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API?

The audio quality of the speech generated by Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API is very high. The API uses advanced neural networks to generate natural-sounding speech that is almost indistinguishable from human speech.

Can I use Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API to create an audiobook?

Yes, you can use Google Cloud’s Text-to-Speech API to create an audiobook. You can convert large amounts of text into high-quality speech, and you can customize the voice to suit the content of the book. However, you should be aware that creating an audiobook with the API may involve a significant amount of data and may incur costs if you exceed the free tier limits.

Matt is the co-founder of SitePoint, 99designs and Flippa. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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Automatically detect if the dominant language of the spoken audio is supported by our API and route it to the appropriate model for transcription.

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Offline Transcription provides a fast and privacy-safe way to transcribe audio, video, and podcast files. If you are looking for an app to transcribe - Minutes of meetings. - Classroom audio recording. - Create subtitles for YouTube videos. - Transcribe podcasts into text. - etc. ◼ Features: - No data leaves your Mac. Transcription happens locally without the internet. - Easy to use interface. Drag and drop + one click are all you need to do. - Supported formats: - Audio: mp3, wav, m4a, ogg, aac, and caf - Video: mov and mp4 - Exported formats: text, srt, vtt, and csv. - Transcribes multiple files at once. ◼ Supported 100 different languages The app can transcribe audio in 100 different languages: Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Assamese, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Bashkir, Basque, Belarusian, Bosnian, Breton, Bulgarian, Burmese, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Faroese, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hausa, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Kazakh, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Latin, Latvian, Lingala, Lithuanian, Luxembourgish, Macedonian, Malagasy, Malay, Malayalam, Maltese, Māori, Marathi, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian, Norwegian Nynorsk, Occitan, Pashto, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Sanskrit, Serbian, Shona, Sindhi, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Somali, Spanish, Sundanese, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tajik, Tamil, Tatar, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Turkish, Turkmen, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Welsh, Yiddish, Yoruba Terms of Use: https://offlinetranscription.com/terms/ Privacy Policy: https://offlinetranscription.com/privacy/

Version 1.0.5

Minor bug fixes and improvements.

Ratings and Reviews

Anything remotely long doesn't work.

I had it do something two hours long and it just repeated the same phrase over and over again, like it had just stopped working

App Privacy

The developer, Sarun Wongpatcharapakorn , indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy .

Data Not Linked to You

The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More


  • Flexible Plan $2.99
  • Lifetime $12.99
  • All-Year Plan $7.99
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New: ImgBurn (Apr 08, 2024), Platform 29.4 (Apr 10, 2024) 1,000+ portable packages , 1.1 billion downloads Please donate today

Balabolka Portable (text-to-speech on demand) Released

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Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Vandalia, Ohio, on 16 March, at which he predicted there would be a ‘bloodbath’ if he loses the election.

Trump’s bizarre, vindictive incoherence has to be heard in full to be believed

Excerpts from his speeches do not do justice to Trump’s smorgasbord of vendettas, non sequiturs and comparisons to famous people

Donald Trump’s speeches on the 2024 campaign trail so far have been focused on a laundry list of complaints, largely personal, and an increasingly menacing tone.

He’s on the campaign trail less these days than he was in previous cycles – and less than you’d expect from a guy with dedicated superfans who brags about the size of his crowds every chance he gets. But when he has held rallies, he speaks in dark, dehumanizing terms about migrants, promising to vanquish people crossing the border. He rails about the legal battles he faces and how they’re a sign he’s winning, actually. He tells lies and invents fictions. He calls his opponent a threat to democracy and claims this election could be the last one.

Trump’s tone, as many have noted, is decidedly more vengeful this time around, as he seeks to reclaim the White House after a bruising loss that he insists was a steal. This alone is a cause for concern, foreshadowing what the Trump presidency redux could look like. But he’s also, quite frequently, rambling and incoherent, running off on tangents that would grab headlines for their oddness should any other candidate say them.

Journalists rightly chose not to broadcast Trump’s entire speeches after 2016, believing that the free coverage helped boost the former president and spread lies unchecked. But now there’s the possibility that stories about his speeches often make his ideas appear more cogent than they are – making the case that, this time around, people should hear the full speeches to understand how Trump would govern again.

Watching a Trump speech in full better shows what it’s like inside his head: a smorgasbord of falsehoods, personal and professional vendettas, frequent comparisons to other famous people, a couple of handfuls of simple policy ideas, and a lot of non sequiturs that veer into barely intelligible stories.

Curiously, Trump tucks the most tangible policy implications in at the end. His speeches often finish with a rundown of what his second term in office could bring, in a meditation-like recitation the New York Times recently compared to a sermon. Since these policies could become reality, here’s a few of those ideas:

Instituting the death penalty for drug dealers.

Creating the “Trump Reciprocal Trade Act”: “If China or any other country makes us pay 100% or 200% tariff, which they do, we will make them pay a reciprocal tariff of 100% or 200%. In other words, you screw us and we’ll screw you.”

Indemnifying all police officers and law enforcement officials.

Rebuilding cities and taking over Washington DC, where, he said in a recent speech, there are “beautiful columns” put together “through force of will” because there were no “Caterpillar tractors” and now those columns have graffiti on them.

Issuing an executive order to cut federal funding for any school pushing critical race theory, transgender and other inappropriate racial, sexual or political content.

Moving to one-day voting with paper ballots and voter ID.

This conclusion is the most straightforward part of a Trump speech and is typically the extent of what a candidate for office would say on the campaign trail, perhaps with some personal storytelling or mild joking added in.

But it’s also often the shortest part.

Trump’s tangents aren’t new, nor is Trump’s penchant for elevating baseless ideas that most other presidential candidates wouldn’t, like his promotion of injecting bleach during the pandemic.

But in a presidential race among two old men that’s often focused on the age of the one who’s slightly older, these campaign trail antics shed light on Trump’s mental acuity, even if people tend to characterize them differently than Joe Biden’s. While Biden’s gaffes elicit serious scrutiny, as writers in the New Yorker and the New York Times recently noted, we’ve seemingly become inured to Trump’s brand of speaking, either skimming over it or giving him leeway because this has always been his shtick.

Trump, like Biden, has confused names of world leaders (but then claims it’s on purpose ). He has also stumbled and slurred his words. But beyond that, Trump’s can take a different turn. Trump has described using an “iron dome” missile defense system as “ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. They’ve only got 17 seconds to figure this whole thing out. Boom. OK. Missile launch. Whoosh. Boom.”

These tangents can be part of a tirade, or they can be what one can only describe as complete nonsense.

During this week’s Wisconsin speech, which was more coherent than usual, Trump pulled out a few frequent refrains: comparing himself, incorrectly , to Al Capone, saying he was indicted more than the notorious gangster; making fun of the Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis’s first name (“It’s spelled fanny like your ass, right? Fanny. But when she became DA, she decided to add a little French, a little fancy”).

Trump attends a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on 2 April.

He made fun of Biden’s golfing game, miming how Biden golfs, perhaps a ding back at Biden for poking Trump about his golf game. Later, he called Biden a “lost soul” and lamented that he gets to sit at the president’s desk. “Can you imagine him sitting at the Resolute Desk? What a great desk,” Trump said.

One muddled addition in Wisconsin involved squatters’ rights, a hot topic related to immigration now: “If you have illegal aliens invading your home, we will deport you,” presumably meaning the migrant would be deported instead of the homeowner. He wanted to create a federal taskforce to end squatting, he said.

“Sounds like a little bit of a weird topic but it’s not, it’s a very bad thing,” he said.

These half-cocked remarks aren’t new; they are a feature of who Trump is and how he communicates that to the public, and that’s key to understanding how he is as a leader.

The New York Times opinion writer Jamelle Bouie described it as “something akin to the soft bigotry of low expectations”, whereby no one expected him to behave in an orderly fashion or communicate well.

Some of these bizarre asides are best seen in full, like this one about Biden at the beach in Trump’s Georgia response to the State of the Union:

“Somebody said he looks great in a bathing suit, right? And you know, when he was in the sand and he was having a hard time lifting his feet through the sand, because you know sand is heavy, they figured three solid ounces per foot, but sand is a little heavy, and he’s sitting in a bathing suit. Look, at 81, do you remember Cary Grant? How good was Cary Grant, right? I don’t think Cary Grant, he was good. I don’t know what happened to movie stars today. We used to have Cary Grant and Clark Gable and all these people. Today we have, I won’t say names, because I don’t need enemies. I don’t need enemies. I got enough enemies. But Cary Grant was, like – Michael Jackson once told me, ‘The most handsome man, Trump, in the world.’ ‘Who?’ ‘Cary Grant.’ Well, we don’t have that any more, but Cary Grant at 81 or 82, going on 100. This guy, he’s 81, going on 100. Cary Grant wouldn’t look too good in a bathing suit, either. And he was pretty good-looking, right?”

Or another Hollywood-related bop, inspired by a rant about Willis and special prosecutor Nathan Wade’s romantic relationship:

“It’s a magnificent love story, like Gone With the Wind. You know Gone With the Wind, you’re not allowed to watch it any more. You know that, right? It’s politically incorrect to watch Gone With the Wind. They have a list. What were the greatest movies ever made? Well, Gone With the Wind is usually number one or two or three. And then they have another list you’re not allowed to watch any more, Gone With the Wind. You tell me, is our country screwed up?”

He still claims to have “done more for Black people than any president other than Abraham Lincoln” and also now says he’s being persecuted more than Lincoln and Andrew Jackson:

“ All my life you’ve heard of Andrew Jackson, he was actually a great general and a very good president. They say that he was persecuted as president more than anybody else, second was Abraham Lincoln. This is just what they said. This is in the history books. They were brutal, Andrew Jackson’s wife actually died over it.”

You not only see the truly bizarre nature of Trump’s speeches when viewing them in full, but you see the sheer breadth of his menace and animus toward those who disagree with him.

His comments especially toward migrants have grown more dehumanizing. He has said they are “poisoning the blood” of the US – a nod at Great Replacement Theory, the far-right conspiracy that the left is orchestrating migration to replace white people. Trump claimed the people coming in were “prisoners, murderers, drug dealers, mental patients and terrorists, the worst they have”. He has repeatedly called migrants “animals”.

Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Hyatt Regency in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“Democrats said please don’t call them ‘animals’. I said, no, they’re not humans, they’re animals,” he said during a speech in Michigan this week.

“In some cases they’re not people, in my opinion,” he said during his March appearance in Ohio. “But I’m not allowed to say that because the radical left says that’s a terrible thing to say. “These are animals, OK, and we have to stop it,” he said.

And he has turned more authoritarian in his language, saying he would be a “dictator on day one” but then later said it would only be for a day. He’s called his political enemies “vermin”: “We pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country,” he said in New Hampshire in late 2023.

At a speech in March in Ohio about the US auto industry he claimed there would be a “bloodbath” if he lost, which some interpreted as him claiming there would be violence if he loses the election.

Trump’s campaign said later that he meant the comment to be specific to the auto industry, but now the former president has started saying Biden created a “border bloodbath” and the Republican National Committee created a website to that effect as well.

It’s tempting to find a coherent line of attack in Trump speeches to try to distill the meaning of a rambling story. And it’s sometimes hard to even figure out the full context of what he’s saying, either in text or subtext and perhaps by design, like the “bloodbath” comment or him saying there wouldn’t be another election if he doesn’t win this one.

But it’s only in seeing the full breadth of the 2024 Trump speech that one can truly understand what kind of president he could become if he won the election.

“It’s easiest to understand the threat that Trump poses to American democracy most clearly when you see it for yourself,” Susan B Glasser wrote in the New Yorker. “Small clips of his craziness can be too easily dismissed as the background noise of our times.”

If you ask Trump himself, of course, these are just examples that Trump is smart.

“The fake news will say, ‘Oh, he goes from subject to subject.’ No, you have to be very smart to do that. You got to be very smart. You know what it is? It’s called spot-checking. You’re thinking about something when you’re talking about something else, and then you get back to the original. And they go, ‘Holy shit. Did you see what he did?’ It’s called intelligence.”

  • Donald Trump
  • US elections 2024
  • Republicans
  • US politics

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Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. New Tab , opens new tab

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Thomson Reuters

Dan Wiessner (@danwiessner) reports on labor and employment and immigration law, including litigation and policy making. He can be reached at [email protected].

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