Document by dictating?

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

-Isaac Newton

Sometimes you have to do some heavy lifting, and other times it’s nice to let someone else do the work. One area we’re happy to piggy-back on others work is voice entry. Yes, it is amazing. No we didn’t build it ourselves, but it’s still a lot of fun to use.

One important thing to point out when dictating text, is that you need to speak punctuation and symbols: To include punctuation in your dictation, you need to say “comma,” “period,” “hyphen,” and so on. Here is how it works across a few different platforms. 

Mac OS X (Mountain Lion and later)

You can use dictation with any application that supports text input.

  1. Turn Dictation on in System Preferences

To use dictation, place the Mac’s cursor in a text field, choose Edit > Start Dictation (or, by default, press the Fn key twice in succession) within the application you’re using, wait for the microphone icon to appear, and start speaking.

iOS (iPad and iPhone, iOS 6 and later)

  1. First, you need to make sure dictation is turned on. To do this, go to Settings > General > Siri, and then turn Siri on. Even if you don’t want to use Siri’s personal assistant features, you need to turn it on for speech recognition to work.
  2. Any time you see the small microphone icon next to the spacebar on the iOS keyboard, dictation is available. Just tap anyplace you can type text, and then tap the microphone icon to start dictating. When you’re finished, tap Done and then wait for your words to be processed. It can take a few seconds for text to appear.

Android 

Similar to iOS Any time you see the small microphone icon next to the spacebar on the iOS keyboard, dictation is available. Just tap anyplace you can type text, and then tap the microphone icon to start dictating. When you’re finished, tap Done and then wait for your words to be processed. It can take a few seconds for text to appear. With Android, there are many more configurations, and if you are inclined you can install other keyboards to get different voice dictation engines.

Windows

To dictate text

    1. Open Speech Recognition by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking Windows Speech Recognition. 

    2. Say "start listening" or click the Microphone button to start the listening mode.

    3. Open the program you want to use or select the text box you want to dictate text into.

    4. Say the text that you want dictate.

Think about the ways this can make things easier. For therapists who are on the go, visiting patients at their homes, this makes it faster to enter blocks of text on the train, bus, or getting into the car. Working in a clinic, this may be the difference between getting a treatment note finished in the break between patients or waiting until the end of the day. 

For anyone using voice to enter your notes, let us know how you are using it.

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