Using Dictation for the words, you can’t spell: Quick fix

Sometimes a word can be so hard to spell that any attempts are too garbled for autocorrect to offer helpful suggestions. For those times when autocorrect gives up on you

Use your device’s built-in Dictation whenever you struggle to spell a word. You can double-tap the Command key on my Mac to activate dictation mode.

From there, you can say the word out loud, and most of the time, the comment you are looking for will appear on your screen. You can then double-tap Command again to tell your computer to stop listening.

Being a terrible speller, you can do this trick at least once a week, and it’s the only reason you can spell the word “guarantee” because your brain cannot retain it.

Most devices have a built-in way of voice-to-text, but there’s often a tiny bit of setup involved.

Activate Dictation on a Mac

To turn on Dictation in macOS Monterey, go to System Preferences > Keyboard and navigate to the Dictation Tab. From there, you can turn Dictation on. You’ll then be able to choose which language you want to dictate and what shortcut you want to use to activate it. In Ventura (currently in beta), go to System Settings > Keyboard and scroll to the Dictation section, where you can turn it on.

The Dictation pane in macOS Monterey. In macOS Ventura, the Dictation tab is just a section in the keyboard pane but works the same way.

If you don’t think you’ll use the feature that often, you don’t have to have a keyboard shortcut for it — in most apps, you’ll be able to access Dictation from the Edit button in the menu bar.

If an app or menu has its Edit menu, you can use the one in the menu bar to access the Start Dictation option.

If an app or menu has its Edit menu, you can use the one in the menu bar to access the Start Dictation option.

Activate Dictation on an iPhone

Go to Settings > General > Keyboards and turn on Enable Dictation. When using the keyboard, a microphone button will be available in the bottom right corner of your screen (if you’re using a device with Face ID) or next to the space key (on devices with a home button). Tapping the microphone icon starts Dictation.

Activate Voice Typing in Windows 11

You are writing in a Google Doc with Windows Voice Typing. Press Windows key + H to bring up the voice typing window, which should float over whichever app you’re trying to use. Clicking on the microphone button will signify that you agree to the terms and conditions, and your computer will automatically start listening. The next you press Windows key + H, it’ll automatically begin to listen.

Activate Dictation on an Android Phone

How you activate Dictation on an Android phone depends (of course) on which phone you’re using. First, look for the microphone icon on the top right corner of the keyboard on a Pixel phone or another Android phone using the Gboard keyboard. Tap that and start talking. (The icon will have a half-circle of rainbow colors to indicate it is live.) You can tap it again to turn it off; if you stop talking, it will stop by itself in a few seconds.

The permissions process is for Samsung’s default voice dictation. On a Samsung phone, assuming you’re using the default Samsung Keyboard, you should see a microphone button above the top row of keys. Tapping it should prompt asking if you want to allow Samsung voice input to record audio.

If you acquire a prompt saying that you need to allow it to appear on top of other apps, tap on Settings to open the App Info screen for Samsung voice input. Scroll down until you see the Appear on the top option. Tap on it, then tap Allow permission. Push the back key to return to the App info screen, then scroll up to Permissions to turn on microphone access if it isn’t selected already.