Dictation overview

In this topic, learn how to dictate:

  • Line and paragraph breaks
  • Punctuation
  • Quotes
  • Bullets
  • Email and Web addresses
  • Proper nouns
  • Hyphenated words
  • Compound words
  • Abbreviations
  • Acronyms

Start using Dragon to dictate text into most applications in just three steps.

  1. Open the application you want to use.
  2. Click inside the window or field where you want to place your dictated text.
  3. Turn on your microphone and speak!

In general, you can dictate text the same way you would speak, but with punctuation added. Below are examples of some common types of special text, and how to dictate them.

Text Type


Paragraph and line breaks

To add line or paragraph breaks to your document, say one of the following:

  • New line
  • New paragraph
  • Click Enter / Return


Say: Hi Mark comma new paragraph It was good to see you today period.

Result: Hi Mark,

It was good to see you today.


Most punctuation needs to be dictated to appear in the text. Say the punctuation at the appropriate places in your dictation. Pause briefly before and after you dictate punctuation.

See Dictating punctuation and symbols for more information.


Say: We're going to the park comma then for ice cream period would you like to come question mark

Result: We're going to the park, then for ice cream. Would you like to come?

Dragon will automatically add some punctuation within a word (such as an apostrophe) based on the context of your dictation. For example, when you say "John's hat," Dragon adds the apostrophe automatically.

Dragon may also add punctuation in certain cases, such as street addresses or dates, based on your Auto Formatting preferences. See Auto Formatting for more information.


You can add quotation marks before and after you speak a word or phrase, as you would when typing, or by saying the text first and then putting quotation marks around it.

To dictate quotes as you speak

  1. Say Open quote.
  2. Dictate a word or phrase.
  3. Say Close quote.

To dictate quotes after dictating a word or phrase

  • Say Put quotes around that to put quotation marks around the last phrase you spoke.
  • Say Put quotes around <text> to put quotation marks around the specified text.
  • Say Put quotation marks around the selection to put quotation marks around the selected text.

Example 1

Say: Open quote Don't find fault comma find a remedy period close quote

Result: "Don't find fault, find a remedy."

Example 2

Sample text: My Mom said, my kids are my life.

Say: Put quotes around my kids are my life

Result: My Mom said, "my kids are my life".


  • Say Bullet selection to make the selected text into a bulleted list item.
  • Say Bullet that to make the last phrase you spoke into a bulleted list item.
  • Say Bullet <text> to make the specified text into a bulleted list item.


Say: go to the grocery store

Then say: Bullet that

Result: • go to the grocery store

Email and Web addresses

Dictate email and Web addresses as you would say them conversationally. Many domain names are already in Dragon's vocabulary.

  • To make sure Dragon recognizes that your are dictating a Web address, include www dot at the beginning of the address.
  • If you do not include www dot in the Web address, you can say No space on to prevent Dragon from inserting spaces in longer addresses.
  • Use Spelling mode to enter complex URLs.
  • Say No Caps on if you want to prevent Dragon from capitalizing words within an address.

Example 1

Say: info at nuance dot com


Example 2

Say: www dot Boston Globe dot com


Example 3

Say:No space on [pause] Seattle Times dot com


Proper nouns

Most common names are already in Dragon's vocabulary. When you say the name, Dragon capitalizes it automatically.

For less common proper nouns, or names that may also be words (e.g., Chase, Sandy or Iris), you can say Cap before the word.

Example 1

Say: james is going to boston tomorrow period

Result: James is going to Boston tomorrow.

Example 2

Say: I will meet you and Cap hope at the restaurant period

Result: I will meet you and Hope at the restaurant.

Hyphenated words

Most common hyphenated words are already in Dragon's vocabulary. When you say the word, Dragon automatically hyphenates it.

For less common hyphenated words, you can say Hyphen in the appropriate place.

Example 1

Say: cross country

Result: cross-country

Example 2

Say: power hyphen sharing

Result: power-sharing

Compound words

Most common compound words are already in Dragon's vocabulary. Say the word, and it will be typed correctly.

If you want to create a compound word where Dragon has typed two words:

  • Say No space before dictating the second word.
  • Or

  • Say Insert before <word> to insert the cursor before the second word, then say No leading space.

Example 1

Say: firefighter

Result: firefighter

Example 2

Say: snow No space shovel

Result: snowshovel


Most common abbreviations are already in Dragon's vocabulary. When you say the word, Dragon abbreviates it automatically.

If Dragon is not abbreviating as expected, check your Auto Formatting preferences.


Say: mister james brown

Result: Mr. James Brown


Most common acronyms are already in Dragon's vocabulary. Say the acronym, and Dragon formats it automatically.

For less common acronyms, you can say All caps on followed by the acronym letters. For best results, switch to Spelling mode to do this.

See Dictating Acronyms for more information.

Example 1

Say: The C E O will address the company tomorrow period

Result: The CEO will address the company tomorrow.

Example 2

Say: Spelling mode [pause] All caps on M R S A

Result: MRSA

If you frequently dictate text – such as proper nouns, hyphenated or compound words, abbreviations or acronyms – that Dragon does not recognize, or does not format correctly, say Correct <text> to train Dragon how to recognize the word, or use the Vocabulary Editor to add it to Dragon's vocabulary. See Using Correction and Editing Dragon's Vocabulary for more information.