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The Best Free Speech to Text Apps on Mac You Might Missed

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Originally published Jul 29, 22, updated Mar 27, 24

Do you struggle to meet deadlines for your text assignments? If you do, then you are in luck. Speech recognition technology is the best way to beat this challenge. Whether you are a student or a corporate professional, several speech to text apps can be used to guarantee that you meet your deadlines. For example, Mac owners can use dragon for Mac to complete typing assignments in half the time.

Below are the best speech to text apps on Mac you might have missed since the beginning of 2022. Some of the apps in the list are in-built into your device, while others may require you to download additional software. Regardless, all of those listed below are free to use on your Mac device. Keep reading to find out more.

In this article
  1. Part 1: Top 1 Filmora (Free trial)
  2. Part 2: Top 2 Microsoft Word
  3. Part 3: Top 3 Google docs
  4. Part 4: Top 4 Built-in Mac Dictation Feature
  5. Part 5: Top 5 Dragon for Mac
  6. Part 6: FAQs
Best STT Software For Mac
Save plenty of time on transcribing subtitles and boost your editing efficiency by applying Filmora Speech-To-Text.
Wondershare Filmora

Part 1: Top 1 Filmora (Free trial)

top 4 filmora

Wondershare Filmora Speech to Text is quite different with other STT service providers. Other STT platforms/stages require you to use the application to convert speech-to-text, save, and export into other third-party software. However, Wondershare Filmora allows you to directly convert your speech-to-text on an ongoing production. For example, you can convert speech into subtitles during a video production on Wondershare Filmora.

What's more, now Filmora's STT feature supports direct transcription of bilingual subtitles with up to 27 languages of transcription in Filmora version 13.

Top Adavantages of Filmora:

  • Supports direct transcription of bilingual subtitles.
  • Allows to transcribe video speech to text in one click.
  • Boosts editing efficiency by applying the STT feature.
Free Download
Free Download

Part 2: Top 2 Microsoft Word

top 2 microsoft word

Another option to consider is speech to text Microsoft Word Mac. The app is free to use and relies on Microsoft Azure Speech Services to transcribe text. Below are the requirements to use speech to text word mac.

  • An external microphone for your Mac desktop, or you can use your built-in microphone for your MacBook. This is because speech to text on Microsoft word mac only allows input with a microphone rather than an audio file upload.
  • An active Office 365 subscription. Please note you need to log in to your account for the app to function.
  • Insider build 16.32 (19120802) and above.
  • An active internet connection.

Once you have everything set up, follow these steps to use speech to text on Word.

  1. Launch Microsoft Word from your desktop.
  2. Click on the Dictate button from the top menu of your Word document, and wait for the red dot to appear. The button features a microphone for easy identification.
  3. Once the dot appears, start speaking to transcribe your text. Ensure you are in a quiet environment for the best results. In addition, speak louder when transcribing punctuations.
  4. Click on the Dictate button to finish the transcription.

Part 3: Top 3 Google docs

top 3 google docs

Google Docs is arguably the market's most accurate free speech to text service. In addition, it allows you to transcribe your voice to text and format documents with your voice. However, you can only use the service through the Chrome browser.

Follow these steps to activate Google Docs voice typing on your Mac device:

  1. Launch the Chrome browser on your macOS and select Docs from the app menu. Please note you will need an active Google account to use the service.
  2. Open a new document and click on the Tools tab from the top menu.
  3. Select Voice Typing from the menu to access speech to text on Google Docs.
  4. Tap the microphone to start transcribing, and tap it again to finish.

Google Docs speech to text is available in 71 languages. In addition, it supports simple commands such as 'create a bulleted list,' which are unavailable on other speech to text apps. As such, it is one of the market's most popular voice typing apps.

Part 4: Top 4 Built-in Mac Dictation Feature

top 1 built in mac dictation feature

Did you know your Mac device comes with a built-in speech to text feature? So whether you use a laptop or desktop, you can generate text from your voice through your device's microphone. Officially known as Dictation, the app allows you to transcribe text anywhere you can type it. So, for example, you can use Apple Dictation for your messaging and word processing apps.

The feature has been available since macOS Sierra as a free built-in feature. Earlier versions of Apple Dictation relied on its own voice recognition software. However, it now relies on Siri for users of macOS Catalina onwards.

Typically, the app allows you to transcribe thirty seconds and below of audio. However, you can enable Enhanced dictation for longer transcription times. According to most users, the app is suitable for getting the first draft of your assignment, which you can manually edit later.

Follow these steps to enable Apple Dictation on your Mac:

  1. Tap the Apple logo on the top-left toolbar of your screen and select System Preferences from the resulting menu.
  2. Click on the Keyboard option from the system preferences screen.
  3. Once there, click on the Dictation option located at the top of the menu.
  4. Select On to activate the app in its default mode. In addition, you can check the Use Enhanced Dictation box to enable additional functions such as offline use and text commands like bold and italics.
  5. Finally, select your language from the dropdown menu and choose a shortcut key.

Please note that you need to speak your punctuations loudly when using Apple Dictation. Otherwise, the app will consider them as regular words.

Part 5: Top 5 Dragon for Mac

top 5 dragon for mac

Dragon Dictate is arguably the best dictation software currently on the market. According to most users, its accuracy and feature sets are next to none. For example, the Smart Format Rules learns how you represent dates, numbers, and abbreviations, resulting in less editing work for you. The Dragon Dictate app is free to download from the Apple Store.

Dragon for Mac users report a dictation accuracy of nearly 99%, which is excellent in the speech to text software category. All of Nuance's Dragon products use deep learning technology to capture your accent and cadence. As such, the app gets better at transcribing your text as you continue using it. In addition, dragon for Mac professional allows you to transcribe audio clips from uploaded files. For example, you can import audio from your iPhone to your Dragon Dictate workspace and transcribe it hassle-free.

Unfortunately, you cannot get a stand-alone dragon app for Mac. This is because Nuance discontinued its development in 2018. In addition, Microsoft's acquisition of the company in 2021 proves that the decision is permanent. However, you can still use the Windows version of Dragon through Parallels, which allows you to run macOS and Windows simultaneously. In addition, this method also works for M1 Macs.

Part 6: FAQs

Is there a difference between voice recognition and speech to text?

Voice recognition software allows your device to capture your accent and tone and then stores that data for different functions, such as user logins and speech to text functionality. For example, Siri will ask you to repeat a sentence several times as one of the setup steps.

Which is the best external device for the speech to text service?

Most users report better speech to text accuracy when using headsets compared to using an external microphone. This is because the microphone is much closer to your mouth, so your voice is less affected by external noise.

Can speech to text apps automatically translate a transcribed text?

Yes, they can. Apps such as Google's Speech to Text include a translation feature in their functionality. However, you will need the Google Chrome browser to access Speech to text. This is because the service is only available to active google account holders.

How much faster is speech to text faster than typing?

A 2017 Stanford study states that speech to text is about three times faster than typing. In addition, it found that speech to text apps can transcribe over 150 words per minute, while professional transcriptionists range between 50 to 80 words per minute.

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Liza Brown
Liza Brown Mar 27, 24
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