Are Free Transcription Services Worth Using
- Dragon Naturally Speaking got a perfect 100% accuracy for voice transcription.
- Microsofts free voice-to-text service, Windows Speech Recognition scored an 89% accuracy.
- Google Docs Voice Typing got a total score of 95.2% accuracy.
However, there are some major limitations to free text-to-speech options you should always keep in mind.
GDVT only works in the Chrome browser. On top of that, it only works for Google Docs. If you need to enter something in a spreadsheet or in a word processor other than Google Docs, you are out of luck.
Our test results indicate it is more accurate than WSR, but you have to keep in mind that it only works in Chrome for Google Docs. And you will always need an internet connection.
WSR can make you more productive with its hands-off computer automation features. Plus, it can enter text. Its accuracy is the weakest out of the services that I tested.
That said, you can live with its misses if you are not a heavy transcriber. Its on par with Google Docs Voice Typing but limited to Windows.
For most users, the free options should be good enough. However, for all those who need high levels of transcription accuracy, Dragon Naturally Speaking is the best option around. As an occasional user, if you need a free service, Google Docs Voice Typing is a viable alternative.
These tools prove that your voice can make you more productive. Now, try out which is the best voice-control assistant you can use right now to manage everyday tasks.
Google Docs Voice Typing
Google Docs has now become an integral part of the lives of most content writers. Especially if you are already a google services user. So if you use Google products such as Gmail and Google Drive and need an in-built, powerful, yet free dictation tool, consider using Google Docs or Google Slides and use their Google Voice Typing tool. It enables you to type with your voice, and use over 100 view commands meant explicitly for editing and formatting your documents in any way you like, including making bullet points, changing the style of the text, and moving the cursor to different parts of the material.
To use Voice Typing through Google Docs, all you have to do is click on the Tools button and then select Voice Typing then allow Google access to your laptop or PCs microphone.
Compatibility: Any Google Chrome compatible device
How To Change Your Text
Now that we have added or changed the preferred language for TTS, we can choose between male or female voices. Some languages have even multiple speakers for each option.
How to change a TTS voice on Windows 11 and 10
In settings, go to Time & Language -> Speech and choose a voice from the dropdown menu.
The chosen voice will be used to read text aloud. Dont like any of the installed options? Add new ones using the Add voices button below.
How to change a TTS voice on Windows 7
Select the desired voice from a list.
Now you know how to change text-to-speech voice on Windows 11, 10, and 7. But what if you want to slow it down, change the tone of voice, or apply effects? Then you need an audio editing app.
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Use The Movies & Tv App With Narrator
note:To watch a different episode, use the Tab key to navigate to the episodes list, and then use the arrow keys to navigate to the desired episode. Select the episode, use the Tab key to navigate to the Play button, and then press Enter.
Narrator keyboard shortcuts in the Movies & TV app
Ibm Watson Speech To Text
OS: Requires API
Price: Free / $0.01 per minute
Best for: High volume, single voice transcriptions
G2 rating: 4 out of 5 stars
IBM Watson might be best known as the AI software that once went head-to-head with Jeopardy champions in a battle of trivia. What you may not know is that this software is also very strong for helping people conduct menial tasks, like transcribing your audio and shaping it into text. Using AI and digital learning, this technology applies what it knows about the way people talk to create accurate text transcriptions. If you have hours of speech that need to be formed into text, the IBM Watson may be what youre looking for. Note, however, that the price reflects the advanced software of this program.
OS: Windows XP to 10, the app works on Android and iOS
Price: Free / $79 per year
Best for: People who need multi-language support with a guarantee of accuracy
TechRadar rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Braina Pro is, like many voice recognition software solutions, powered by AI technology. This means that the software will only get better over time. Upon the first time using this program, you may notice the learning in action element involved in its functioning. However, what may seem to be inaccurate text when first dictating to the Braina Pro is afterwards automatically corrected as the software adjusts to the voice its transcribing. The digital brain behind Braina is smart enough to understand accents as well as multiple languages.
Best Overall: Dragon Professional Individual
Dragon Professional Individual
Dragon has always been the gold standard of speech recognition programs, which continues to be the case even today. Packed with a truckload of features and extensive customization capabilities, Dragon Professional Individual is undeniably the best speech-to-text software available. Its next-generation speech engine uses Deep Learning technology, thereby allowing the program to adapt to the users voice and environmental variationseven when theyre dictating.
Thanks to the Smart Format Rules feature, users can easily configure how they want specific items to appear. Dragon Professional Individuals advanced personalization features allow it to be tailored for maximum efficiency and productivity. You can import or export custom word lists for acronyms and unique business-specific terms. Plus you can configure custom voice commands for quickly inserting frequently used content in documents and even create time-saving macros to automate multi-step tasks with simple voice commands.
Use Speech To Text For Windows 10
Click START and type Windows Speech Recognition and then follow the on-screen instructions.Microsoft has a tutorial that includes a list of useful commands. It was created for Windows 8, but works for Windows 10 as well. It might be helpful to print the dictation commands so you can refer to them. Once you enable dictation there will be an icon in the lower right corner that looks like the following:
You can improve the accuracy by clicking on this microphone icon. On the menu that appears is an item called, Configuration. Move your mouse over that and you will see another command to, Improve Speech Recognition. Select that and read through the sample text so it learns to understand you better.
Now you will be able to dictate emails, documents, and other text without using the keyboard. View this list of Speech Recognition commands for a list of commands that will help you navigate without a mouse.
How To Convert Text To Speech Online Free
If we talk about the converting process then its not that much easy in Windows 10 because for that you have to record it using third-party software and then convert it into different formats.
And in that case, online apps can work well as they have lots of features as compared to Windows Narrator and are much easier to use.
Here are the two best picks from our side:-
- NaturalReaders with natural voices
Both the online reader apps can easily convert text into speech with lots of voice support, languages, and speed adjuster. But the Naturalreaders has one advantage, you can directly download the converted text into MP3 format with good quality sound.
Thats it for now
Accessibility Options With Windows 10 Apps
- Mail: Mail introduced an improved account setup experience when using a screen reader.
- Cortana: Cortana includes more reliable search and navigation when using a keyboard, improved high contrast mode support, and general fixes that improve the Cortana experience when used with accessibility tools such as Windows Speech Recognition, Narrator, and other screen readers.
- Groove: Groove now provides better support for high-DPI scaling and high contrast, better color combinations and text boxing, and enhancements that improve the apps function when used with a screen reader.
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Training Your Computer And More
Youre all set at this point to use speech-to-text with a variety of files within Windows Docs. But first, you might want to take the time to fine-tune Windows voice-recognition capabilities. With a little training, Microsofts latest software can learn your voice and process it to text with greater accuracy.
Step 1: Go to the Ease of Access menu. Click on Speech Recognition.
Step 2: Select Train Your Computer to Better Understand You.
Step 3: Windows will have you read out extended sequences of text, which will help it learn the particular quirks of your voice and intonation, allowing it to understand your voice better.
Near the bottom of the speech-recognition menu is the Speech Reference Card, which is a helpful tool. It provides a cheat sheet on controlling software programs verbally, for those new to voice commands. You can access the cheats in either a small side screen or a print-out.
Use Scan Mode To Get Going Fast
Scan Mode can help you navigate apps and webpages more quickly. To turn Scan Mode on or off, press Caps lock + Spacebar.
When Scan Mode is turned on, press the up and down arrow keys to move to the next or previous line of text in an app or webpage. Press the right and left arrow keys to move to the next or previous character. To activate an item such as a button, press the Spacebar.
You can also navigate by word or paragraph. Press Ctrl + Left arrow and Ctrl + Right arrow to move by word. Press Ctrl + Up arrow and Ctrl + Down arrow to move by paragraph.
Note: Narrator is available in Arabic , Catalan , Cantonese , Czech, Danish , Dutch , English , Finnish , French , German , Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin , Norwegian , Polish, Portuguese , Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish , Swedish , Thai, Turkish .
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Activate And Use Text To Speech In Windows 10
However, after enabling the narrator its pretty easy to use this text-to-speech but I would suggest you to configure or activate it fully before using it. Here we will also be taking the help of Notepad for the demo purpose.
And here are the steps to follow:-
1. First, open the Control Panel by searching in the search box and then pressing the Enter button.
2. Now go to Ease of Access by clicking on it.
3. After that, click on Speech Recognition to configure speech on your computer or PC.
4. Now on the left-hand side section, click on the Text to Speech link.
5. Here you can select the voice of your computer as Microsoft David Desktop English and can check Preview Voice or Voice speed& then click on the OK button.
6. Now open any text file that you want to be read aloud or converted into speech in the Notepad. Once the file is opened, press Windows Key + Ctrl + Enter shortcut keys to turn on the narrator.
7. After that, the narrator dialog box will open showing the keyboard changes, so click on OK.
8. Now the Welcome to Narrator window will pop up, so Minimize it.
At last, go to the text file which was opened in Notepad and then press the Shift + Ctrl + J shortcut keys to read the selected text, and you are done.
Windows 10 Text-to-Speech Shortcut Keys
Although, the above two mentioned shortcuts are enough for reading text on the screen using the Windows Narrator. But if you want to use it on daily basis then here are some more shortcuts for faster navigation.
Make Keyboard Shortcuts Easier To See
Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys
note:Filter Keys can be turned on before signing in, but additional Filter Key settings cannot be selected before signing in.
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Best Speech To Text Software Faqs:
Is there speech to text on Microsoft Word?
Yes, dictation technology is available for Microsoft Word independently and as a part of Windows 10. Just press the Windows and H key to launch the toolbar and start speaking. However, it is best to use the Microsoft Office speech to text tool since it will work seamlessly with any Office product. Heres how you can activate the dictation feature if you are an Office 365 subscriber .
What is the best voice recognition software for Mac?
The best text to speech software for Mac systems is the built-in Apple Dictation software. It is also one of the best text to speech software with natural voices. To use it, go to the Apple menu to activate and enjoy.
How To Enable Text
Microsoft has been experimenting with text-to-speech technology for quite some time. In fact, Windows 2000 and XP had TTS software included with the OS. The app was known as Microsoft Sam, and users could explore this functionality with narration and so much more.
Microsoft went through many changes and improvements of its TTS software. Windows Vista and Windows 7 had Microsoft Anna, and Windows 8 introduced several new voiceover options. Today, Microsoft 10 uses Hazel, David, George, Susan, Zira, and Mark as default voices.
To turn on text-to-speech on your PC, all you need to do is go to Settings, click on Ease of Access, and you should notice the Narrator section of the page. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + Ctrl + Enter to start Narrator.
Here, you will also get the chance to customize the entire experience, choose different voices, adjust speed of the playback, and so much more.
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Common Problems On Android App
I get a message: Speech recognition is not available.
Google app from Play store is required for SpeechTexter to work.
Can I use SpeechTexter for android offline?
Yes, you can, but accuracy will be lower.
List of available languages packs for offline use : Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish.
To download a language pack open Google app. Tap: MoreSettingsVoiceOffline speech recognitionAll and then select the language you would like to download.
Windows Speech Recognition :
Windows Speech Recognition is a good software for speech recognition, especially because it is specifically designed to work with Windows, and works best in its newest update with Windows 10. Most people reviewed it as good, not great, but also claimed that it is at par with Google Docs Voice Typing and is a Windows version of the same level.
The advantages specific to WSR are that it has computer automation and related features, because it is especially integrated into and designed for the Windows operating system, it has complete control over the computer and its features, like sleep or shutdown options, etc. In addition, it gives the user text editing options, whereby any mistakes can be there and then corrected.
Though, some downsides include the fact that it is not the most accurate voice recognition software available in the market, as its accuracy is on the weaker side, and it cannot be freely used with other operating systems is need be for a change.
Its unique selling point would be the fact that it can control the whole computer through the software options, and can edit as you go. It is also free of cost, without additional charges, and works fine with Windows 10.
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