Speech to Text Apps for Writers

9 Best Speech to Text Apps for Writers

Are you a writer who’s been looking for ways to increase your productivity? Have you considered using dictation software to transcribe your thoughts quickly and accurately? If so, you’re in luck!

As a professional writer, I have used dictation software here and there. It's not always applicable to everything I write. However, when I do use it, it's a great tool.

Dictation can help writers save time and increase productivity when producing written content. By dictation software, writers can transcribe their ideas into words. This can help you finish your work much faster.

In this article, we'll discuss the best voice to text app for writers. We'll discuss their features, benefits, and drawbacks. We'll take a  look at how to speed up your writing process and some tips on making the most of the software.

Also, we'll answer some common questions about dictation software and its use. So if you’re a writer looking to improve your productivity and writing speed, this is the post for you!

What is Speech to Text Apps for Writers?

Dictation software allows writers to speak their thoughts onto a digital document. This type of software takes what you say into a microphone and transcribes it. This makes the process of writing much faster and more efficient.

It also helps to protect your hands from carpal tunnel or general fatigue. This is because it eliminates the need for typing.

There are many reasons one should use speech to text software:

  • It can increase the number of words you can write in a given time.

  • It eliminates the need for typing and can be much faster than doing so.

  • It can decrease the amount of time it takes to write. The process can be quicker than manual typing.

  • Dictation software can help protect your hands from carpal tunnel or general fatigue. It eliminates the need for manual typing.

  • It can help improve accuracy and reduce errors when writing. However, some software is more accurate than others.

Best Speech to Text Apps for Writers Review

Application Best for
Notta Writers, journalists, and other professionals who need to write content accurately and quickly
Apple Dictation Free dictation software on Apple devices
Windows 10 Speech Recognition Windows users who want to quickly transcribe a few words
Google Docs Voice Typing A quick, free solution in Google Docs
Google Mobile Voice Typing (Gboard) Android users who want to type short phrases without a keyboard
Speech Notes Free, web-based tool available on all platforms
Siri Dictation Free mobile solution for iOS users
Microsoft Transcribe for Microsoft 365 Free dictation app for all devices with Microsoft 365 subscription and for MS Word online
Dragon Anywhere Best mobile app for power users, including advanced features

10 Best Dictation Software For Writing a Book

1. Notta Speech to Text App for Writers

Best for writers, journalists, and other professionals who need to write content accurately and quickly

Notta best speech to text app for writers

Notta is real-time voice to text recognition software for authors, bloggers, and anyone who wants to speak words onto a page. It offers users an effective way to write and transcribe their thoughts. It is a powerful tool for those looking for an easy way to record, search, and write.

One of the most important aspects of any dictation software is accuracy. Notta has an impressive 98.86% accuracy rate. It will transcribe all your words onto the page.

Notta voice-to-text dictation software is versatile. It offers up to 104 languages for transcription. There are a wide variety of dialects and accents. These include English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Ukrainian.

Notta’s voice-to-text dictation software is user-friendly. All you need to do is download the software and set up a profile, and then you’re ready to start dictating your text. You can access the dictation interface from your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Cost:

  • Basic: Free

  • Pro: $8.25/mo with 40% off when billed annually

  • Notta Business: $44/mo with up to 25% off when billed annually

  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing

Supported OS:

  • Windows

  • Mac

  • iOS

  • Android

  • Web

    Unleash Creativity with Notta

    Notta is the most accurate and easy-to-use dictation software for writers. With industry-leading transcription and powerful editing tools, it allows you to quickly capture ideas as they come without wasting time on typing.

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2. Apple Dictation Software

Best for free dictation software on Apple devices

Apple dictation voice to text feature on Mac

Apple Dictation is a voice-to-text feature that comes built-in to your Mac computer. With it, you can dictate text anywhere you can type. This allows you to increase your productivity and save time while writing.

Apple Dictation receives praise for its high accuracy levels. Tests have shown it achieves up to 97% accuracy in speech-to-text conversions. Those who need quick and free dictation software for basic use can get good results from this app.

Apple Dictation offers a total of 30 languages. The languages include English, Arabic, Catalan, Croatian, Danish, and Greek.

To activate it:

  1. Go to System Settings on your Mac. 

  2. Click “Keyboard” 

  3. Click “Dictation”. When you turn it on, it may ask if you want to improve Siri and Dictation. In this case, you have the option to share audio recordings or not.

Cost:

  • Free

Supported OS:

  • Mac

3. Windows 10 Voice Typing

Best for Windows users who want to quickly transcribe a few words

Windows voice typing speech to text tool built into Windows10

Windows Voice Typing is a speech-to-text tool built into Windows 10. It allows you to type and edit documents using your voice. It enables you to create, edit, and save documents. You can also use it to dictate punctuation, formatting, and other commands.

Microsoft claims that Windows 10 Voice Typing offers up to 99% accuracy. It will improve overtime as the software learns your voice. However, other independent tests have shown accuracy levels of up to 97%.

It currently supports 7 languages. These include English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese. It's a good tool for transcribing a few words in common languages.

With just a few clicks and voice commands, you can get started right away.

To start Windows Voice Typing:

  1. Select a text field and press the Windows logo key + H to open the dictation toolbar.

  2. From there, you can start dictating.

  3. To stop dictation at any time while you're dictating, simply say “Stop dictation.”

Cost:

  • Free with Windows PC

Supported OS:

  • Windows

4. Google Docs Voice Typing

Best for a quick, free solution in Google Docs

Google voice typing voice recognition feature in Google Docs

Google Voice Typing is an easy-to-use voice recognition feature in Google Docs. It allows you to type and edit your documents by speaking. It's available in the latest Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari browsers.

To start using Google Docs Voice Typing:

  1. Click on the Tools menu and select “Voice typing” from the dropdown menu. A small microphone will appear at the bottom of your document, which you can click to begin speaking.

  2. As you speak, your words will appear on the page. 

  3. You can also use the keyboard shortcuts to pause and resume voice typing.

Voice typing automatically recognizes the language you are speaking. You can also choose the language you want to use in the voice typing menu. This feature supports over 60 languages. These include English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.

It also offers powerful editing features, such as auto-correcting words as you speak. You can also easily delete or add words while speaking.

Cost:

  • Free

Supported Browsers:

  • Chrome

  • Firefox

  • Edge

  • Safari

5. Google Mobile Voice Typing (Gboard)

Best for Android users who want to type short phrases without a keyboard.

Gboard voice typing app for Android and iOS devices

Gboard Voice Typing allows you to type by speaking instead of tapping your keyboard. Developed by Google, the app is available on both Android and iOS devices. It’s a great way to type when you don’t have access to a physical keyboard.

Regarding accuracy, Google Gboard Voice Typing has impressive capabilities. Tests have shown it gets up to a 98% accuracy rate, making it one of the most reliable voice-typing apps available.

Gboard offers support for many languages. These languages include Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and many more.

The feature is very intuitive and simple to use. You don't need any special instructions or settings to begin dictating.

Cost:

  • Free

Supported OS:

  • Android

6. Speechnotes

Best for a free, web-based tool available on all platforms

Speechnotes speech to text web app for writers

Speechnotes is a speech-to-text web app that helps writers capture their ideas and thoughts. It allows you to type with your voice anywhere you have access to the internet. With millions of users, Speechnotes has earned a reputation for being secure and easy to use.

Speechnotes uses Google's speech recognition engine for Chrome. The engine itself has an impressive accuracy rate of 98%.

Speechnotes only offers English as a language option. This can be a good option for English-speaking writers who are looking for a speech-to-text app.

Using Speechnotes is straightforward by accessing their website. 

  1. Click on the ‘Microphone’ to activate speech to text.

  2. It will ask permission to use your computer microphone.

  3. Then you can speak into your computer microphone and it will type the words as you speak them. 

  4. When you are done, click the ‘Microphone’ again to stop voice typing.

Cost:

  • Free

Supported Browsers:

  • Chrome

7. Siri Dictation

Best for quickly taking notes on Apple devices

Siri dictation for Apple users

Siri Dictation is a speech recognition feature developed by Apple for its devices. With Siri Dictation, you can speak and transcribe your words into text.

A study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found the feature to have an accuracy rate of 93.7 percent. This accuracy level means it may only sometimes detect uncommon words and dialects.

Siri Dictation is available in over twenty languages. This includes English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and Japanese. You can type text in any language supported by the device's keyboard. Supported languages continue to expand as Apple adds more languages to its software.

The on-device dictation feature allows you to talk for as long as you want without timing out. You can stop the dictation, or it will automatically stop after 30 seconds of inactivity. Once you have dictated the text, Siri will transcribe it, and you can edit it immediately.

Cost:

  • Free

Supported OS:

  • Mac

  • iOS

8. Microsoft Transcribe for Microsoft 365

Best for a quick built-in solution for Microsoft Word

Microsoft transcribe allows writers to record audio directly into Word

Microsoft Transcribe allows writers to record audio directly into Word. You can also upload audio files to Word. This can then be further edited and used as needed.

Microsoft claims that it’s transcribe feature has an accuracy rate of 99% when you train it. Yet, third-party tests have suggested that the accuracy rate is closer to 97%.

Currently, Microsoft transcribe supports 80 languages. These include Chinese (Simplified), English, French, German, Italian (Italy), Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish. The software can understand and recognize commands in any of these languages.

You will need a Microsoft 365 account and the latest Microsoft Edge or Chrome.

To get started:

  1. You can go to Home > Dictate > Transcribe to get started.

  2. Select Start recording and give the browser permission to use your microphone. In Microsoft Edge, you can find this in the ‘Choose which apps can access your microphone’ section. In Chrome, you can find it in the ‘Allow’ drop-down menu.

Cost:

  • Free with Microsoft 365 subscription (starting at $6.99 per month)

Supported OS:

  • Windows

  • Mac

9. Dragon Anywhere

Best for writing drafts on the go

Dragon Anywhere professional grade speech to text software

Dragon Anywhere is a professional-grade speech to text software. It helps you create and edit documents of any length on your mobile device. You can capture your thoughts and ideas on the go.

Dragon Anywhere is a powerful speech to text software for writers, with a claimed accuracy rate of 99%. In reality, third-party tests have found that Dragon Anywhere has an accuracy rate of 97%. This makes it on par with other voice recognition software on this list.

It supports a few common Latin-based languages. These include US English, French, and German.

Dragon Anywhere is one of the more in-depth dictation apps to use. It allows you to customize your experience by training it to recognize your unique voice.

This is a great feature as it ensures that Dragon Anywhere can recognize and translate the words you say. However, this feature also means that it takes a while to train it to your voice. This is especially evident if you have an accent or a tendency to speak quickly.

Cost:

  • Free 1-week trial

  • $15 monthly subscription

  • $150 annual subscription

Supported OS:

  • iOS

  • Android

Tips for Writers Using Speech to Text Apps

Below are some tips to ensure your writing is as fast and accurate as possible. With these tips, you'll be able to take advantage of all the benefits of speech to text software for writers. Prepare to write more effectively than ever before!

1. Speak clearly and at a consistent pace when dictating. This ensures that the software accurately captures your words.

2. Have a plan before speaking so you don't lose your train of thought while dictating.

3. Take breaks while dictating to give yourself time to think and collect your thoughts.

4. Use punctuation commands to make it easier to format your text.

5. Proofread your text after dictation to catch any mistakes or inaccuracies.

6. Take advantage of any built-in editing features to fine-tune your work.

7. Invest in a quality headset. Better mics improve audio clarity and reduce background noise interference from your environment.

8. Create custom voice commands and shortcuts. These help streamline your writing process even further.

9. Train the app to recognize your voice. Start by recording sample sentences for better accuracy down the line.

10. If available, take advantage of cloud syncing capabilities. This helps access your documents on multiple devices.

11. Finally, be patient! Even with training, the app may not always understand exactly what you're saying.  Allow enough time for corrections and adjustments as needed.

With practice and perseverance, you'll soon be able to take full advantage of all these apps have to offer!

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Try the best note-taking tool in the world

As a professional writing tool, Notta automatically records and transcribes your dictation so you can devote your energy to the writing process instead of spending time typing.

FAQ

What is the difference between dictate and transcribe in Word?

Dictation and transcription are two different ways of turning spoken language into text.

Dictation is when you speak your words into a microphone converting speech to text.

Transcription is when you transcribe audio or video recordings into written form.

Many publications (including this one) use these terms interchangeably. However, in a literal context it's important to be aware of these distinctions.

How many words can you dictate in an hour?

The amount of words you can dictate in an hour depends on a few factors. These factors can include your speech rate and the accuracy of your software.

If you speak at a moderate pace, you can expect to dictate around 80 to 100 words per minute. This equates to around 4800-6000 words per hour.

How do writers practice dictation?

For writers using speech-to-text software and looking to get better at dictation, it can be a steep learning curve. There are a few simple steps to practice that can make the process smoother:

  1. The first step is to get used to speaking punctuation. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you speak the punctuation you would use if you were typing.

  2. The next step is to get a good microphone. If you’re using dictation software to write a book, this will be increasingly important when dictating thousands of words. Using a microphone instead of the built-in one on your device will help the software pick up words better.

  3. Finally, it’s important to practice regularly. This will help you get better at dictation, and you’ll become faster and more accurate as time goes on.

How do writers transcribe words?

Transcribing words can be a time-consuming and tedious process. Nonetheless, it is a necessary skill for any writer. Here are some tips for successful transcription:

  1. If you need to do a lot of transcriptions, it might be worth investing in a transcription program. They have helpful features like adjustable speed playback and an automatic timestamp function. These features make transcription easier and faster.

  2. It’s important to listen to the recording several times to ensure accuracy. Take notes as you listen so that you don’t forget any important details.

  3. As you’re transcribing, use headings and bullet points to organize your thoughts. This makes it easier to read later.

Is dictation faster than typing?

Yes, dictation is generally faster than typing for many reasons. Dictation requires no hand-eye coordination. This allows you to speak naturally without worrying about typing mistakes.

Additionally, dictation offers more flexibility. It's more comfortable than using a keyboard or mouse. Many dictation programs can be up to seven times faster than typing for the same amount of text.

Final Thoughts

Speech to text apps is a powerful tool for writers to use. It can increase your productivity and speed up the writing process.

Notta is the best all-around application for dictation and transcription on our list. It allows you to quickly convert your words into text in real time.

It also is the most user-friendly and is available in hundreds of languages. Sign up for a free account today and experience the power of dictation.

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