Microsoft's experimental R&D group, Microsoft Garage, has released a new tool that aims to make you more efficient over typing on a keyboard. Dubbed Dictate, the new tool is available as an add-in for Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint for Windows and allows for hands-free speech-to-text functionality.
Of course, Office already supports voice-to-text typing, and there are a handful of third-party options too. But Dictate brings along some pretty advanced features: The add-in supports dictation in 20 languages, translates 50 languages in real time, and includes an auto punctuation option based on your tone.
The tool also supports a series of commands that let you edit as you go, such as “New Line,” “Delete,” “Stop Dictation,” and the names of punctuation marks if not using the auto function. As for the real time translation feature, you have to manually set the input and output language, then start dictating. You could speak in Spanish and have Dictate output text in German, for example.
The add-in appears as a new menu in the app’s toolbar and works on 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office 2013 or higher. It requires Windows 8.1 or later as well as .Net framework 4.5.0 or later. Because it’s a Garage project, it’s only an experiment for now and not an official app that Microsoft is committed to.