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How to Use iPad Voice Dictation


Voice Dictation Help for the iPad - Tips and Tricks
iPad Voice Dictation

Image © Apple, Inc.

Siri may get all the press, but she isn't the only way to talk to your iPad.  In fact, the iPad's ability to do voice dictation might be even more useful than Siri for those who regularly need to write lengthy emails or create large documents.   Voice dictation means you can create larger documents without awkwardly tapping out the words on the on-display keyboard or hooking up a wireless keyboard.

And what if you need to dictate more than one sentence or create a document with multiple paragraphs? Don't worry. The iPad's voice dictation can handle it.

iPad Keyboard Shortcuts

How to Use iPad Voice Dictation

Believe it or not, voice dictation on the iPad is as easy as one-two-three.

  1. Tap the microphone button on the iPad's on-screen keyboard. This tells the iPad that you want to start dictating. Not seeing a microphone button? Remember, you need a valid internet connection to use voice dictation.
  2. Talk. The iPad will record your voice and turn it into text when you are finished. (Be sure to read over the keywords below to find out how to start a new sentence or a new paragraph.)
  3. Tap the done button that appears onscreen to stop dictating. In a few seconds, the iPad will turn your speech into words on the screen. Be sure to read it over. Voice dictation isn't perfect, so you may need to make a few adjustments using the keyboard.

The great thing about this implementation is that voice dictation is readily available any time the on-screen keyboard is available, which means no hunting around for it when you really need it.

iPad Voice Dictation Keywords

The iPad's voice dictation is surprisingly good at translating voice into speech, even for those of us who have thick accents. But what about ending a sentence with a question mark or starting a new paragraph? To get the most out of voice dictation, you should remember these keywords:

  • "Period". The "." is the standard way to end a sentence. It includes a space after the period, so you are ready for your next sentence.
  • "Question Mark". The "?" also includes a trailing space.
  • "New Paragraph". This keyword phrase starts a new paragraph. Remember to end the previous sentence before beginning the new paragraph.
  • "Exclamation Point". The "!" includes a trailing space.
  • "Comma". The "," includes a trailing space.
  • "Colon". The ":" includes a trailing space.
  • "Semi-Colon". The ";" includes a trailing space.
  • "Elipsis". The "..." includes a trailing space.
  • "Quote" and "Unquote". The " produced by saying "quote" does not produce a trailing space. The " produced by saying "unquote" does include a trailing space.
  • "Slash". The "/" symbol.
  • "Asterisk". The "*" symbol.
  • "Ampersand". The "&" symbol.
  • "At Sign". The "@" symbol.

And more... A number of other punctuation marks are also programmed into the system, so if you need one of the more rare marks, simply say it. For example, "upside down question mark" will actually produce an upside down question mark.

Great Tips Every iPad Owner Should Know

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