Voice dictation coming to Microsoft's Office web apps

Microsoft today announced that it is the first company to sign the Made by Dyslexia pledge, which aims to give people with dyslexia around the world access to technology that can help them "excel in their academic journey, and in life." As part of that pledge, the company announced several new features headed to its apps, and one of the biggest is voice dictation, which will soon make its way to Word and OneNote online before making its way to other Office online apps.

Dictation is already available as part of the Office 365 desktop apps, but its move to the Office online apps will make it freely accessible to students in any browser. Dictation will allow anyone, but particularly those with dyslexia or who may suffer from mobility impairments, type more accurately using their voice.

Word and OneNote are the first apps getting dictation in the coming weeks. However, The Verge reports that PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook are all expected to get dictation in 2019.

In addition to dictation in Office online apps, Microsoft is also bringing Translator to Immersive Reader, allowing anyone to translate a page, word, or sentence into another language in real time. The feature is expected to roll out later this fall in Word Online, OneNote Online, OneNote for Windows 10, OneNote iPad, OneNote Mac, Outlook Online, Teams and Flipgrid.

Lastly, Immersive Reader is coming to Office Lens on Android. You'll be able to use the feature to capture a photo in Office Lens and have it sent to Immersive Reader, which then uses optical character recognition to turn any text into accessible content that can be used with Read Aloud, Voice Speed, Text Spacing, Font Size, and Forward/Backwards.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl