Microsoft Word

Microsoft has released a fresh new Office for Windows update for those in the Windows Beta Channel of the Office Insider Program.

Office for Windows Version 2101 (Build 13704.20000) is available for download and adds new dictation toolbar, voice commands, and auto-punctuation support to make it easier to create and edit content with your voice.

Word, Outlook

Dictation updates

It’s now easier to create content with your voice with the new dictation toolbar, voice commands, and auto-punctuation support.


Notable fixes

  • We fixed an issue where Preview of embedded Excel range in PowerPoint shows incorrect size.

Dictation toolbar

To show the Dictation toolbar, click the Dictate button on the Home tab or press Alt+` (same as the ~ key).

Explore the improvements we've made to dictation in Word and Outlook for Windows.

The toolbar gives you access to dictation, in addition to the ability to change settings like language and automatic punctuation. You can also use it to open this article that tells you more about the supported punctuation and voice commands.

Auto punctuation

Auto punctuation tries to add punctuation marks to your dictation without you having to say “period” or “comma.” Punctuation is determined by the pauses in dictation. In other words, speak naturally and fluidly for the best results. If you’d rather leave auto punctuation disabled, you can still speak punctuation marks to insert them in your content.

To turn on auto punctuation:

  1. Click the Dictate button on the Home tab.
  2. On the Dictation toolbar, click the Dictation Settings button, and then click Auto punctuation.
Explore the improvements we've made to dictation in Word and Outlook.

Tips and tricks

  • You can pause and resume dictation using Alt+` (same as the ~ key).
  • Most importantly, speak clearly and conversationally, but feel free to pause in between thoughts.
  • For the best results, we recommend using an external microphone or headset. This is the best thing you can do to improve the accuracy of dictation!

Supported Languages

Fully supported languages

  • Chinese (China)
  • English (Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States)
  • French (France)
  • German (Germany)
  • Italian (Italy)
  • Spanish (Mexico and Spain)

Preview languages*

  • Chinese (Taiwan)
  • Danish
  • Dutch (Netherlands)
  • English (Australia and India)
  • Finnish
  • French (Canada)
  • Hindi
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Norwegian (Bokmål)
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal)
  • Russian
  • Swedish (Sweden)
  • Thai

*Preview languages may have lower accuracy or less punctuation available. Improvements will happen over time.


We don’t store your speech data. Instead, your speech utterances are sent to Microsoft only to provide you with this service. For instance, when the transcription is done, your audio and transcription results are not stored. For more information, see  Connected Experiences in Office.

This feature is powered by the Microsoft Azure Speech Services and built-in directly to Word and Outlook.