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Adding punctuation to dictation on the iPad

Today I was testing out the dictation capabilities of the keyboard on the iPad Pro.

As I was dictating, I added pauses for commas and long pauses for full stops.

Unfortunately, the dictation doesn’t consider long pauses to be anything but a pause in thought, and didn’t add any punctuation in for me.

Below are are a few of the commands that you can use. To add a comma you say “comma”, and to add a period at the end of the sentence you say “period” for US keyboards and “Full stop” for UK based keyboards.

Let’s see how the below examples work out

  1. Quote/end quote: begin and end a quote
  2. New paragraph: start a new paragraph
  3. New line: begin a new line
  4. Cap: capitalise the next word
  5. Caps on/caps off: capitalise the first character of each word
  6. Smiley: insert :-)
  7. Frowny: insert :-(
  8. Winky: insert ;-)

For this to be truly useful we’re going to have to get to the situation where the iPad can pick up the intonation of my voice and understands when I want to have a comma, and when I wanna have a full stop to end the sentence.

It should also be possible to add question/exclamation marks.

The hardest thing I’ve found is I can’t get it to write trigger words — comma, full stop, quote etc — as they’re automatically added as punctuation. I have read that you can same them quieter or differently to get the desired effect, but as of yet I’m coming up punctuation only.

I do see some real benefits in this sometimes typing can be quite difficult to get your words out because your fingers don’t round as quick as your thoughts do however with speech and dictating it allows you to have more of a stream of consciousness that comes out.

I wonder if my writing is more interesting in the fact that someone reading this it could, in fact, hear the words coming out of my mouth rather than out of my fingers.

Do the words that are written here sound better and more personable, or is it too — wordy?

One reply on “Adding punctuation to dictation on the iPad”

What I would do is say all the punctuation out loud. If the program successfully inserts those words, do a search/replace on the desktop to replace the words with the punctuation.

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