I’ve recently picked up I really handy new tool. It’s a microphone and I use it to voice type new posts using WordPress. I’ve been doing this a while and prior to now, I had been typing directly into Google Drive using my Samsung Galaxy but unfortunately, I’m an idiot and I put my phone through the washing machine so I had to purchase a new phone and it’s not here yet.
So, I grabbed a sweet little microphone and I’m ready to create some new posts! Woo!!! But first, I’m looking for the perfect Chrome extension so I can directly craft new posts in WordPress using my voice.
Are these extensions really that different?
So far, all signs point to yes. I’ve tried a handful of different extensions or addons in the past and each of them seems to behave a little bit differently. Especially when creating posts about WordPress, very specific words are recognized. On top of that, other functions are a little bit different and I’m planning to highlight some of the good stuff and some of the bad stuff that I notice about each of these plugins or extensions.
Why use voice typing with WordPress anyway?
I found that I can voice type about twice as fast as I can type by hand, at least twice as fast, possibly as much as three times as fast. Of course, there’s a lot more editing that goes on with a voice typing. So, there are some pluses and there are some minuses.
With any voice to text plugin, you’re trading writing time for editing time. Personally, I can create things in almost exactly the way I want them to be and I don’t have to go back to edit. No plug-in works perfectly 100% of the time, so I expect to spend a bit more time editing posts after I’ve completed the writing process. But, I think that trade-off is well worth it because I can get a lot more done in a given amount of time.
I should also note, another tool I used to write posts is Grammarly, which can help correct spelling and grammar issues. These are automatically highlighted in the WordPress post editor, so it’s really a pretty simple process to go through and edit mistakes and just give everything a quick double-check to make sure it’s properly written and grammatically correct.
But today, I’m going to test out a bunch of different voice to text extensions for Chrome to see which one is the best.
One option you can try is to do what I used to do and type directly into Google Documents. Overall, it works generally well and I like the fact that if I’m typing a lot of content, the search and replace function can help to get rid of some of the typos that Google consistently makes. This may not be the ideal system now, you still have to cut and paste all of that content into the post you’re editing. I’ve noticed one issue doing this, Google Drive adds span classes to the text, informing you of what size the font is.
<span style="font-weight: 400;">This is what it shows when you cut and paste out of Google Docs and look at the text in text view. What is this? I don't like this!</span>
I guess it’s attempting to put in rich text format, but I don’t really want that. I’m just typing body paragraphs and I don’t want a bunch of extra code in there slowing things down. I’m sure it’s not really slowing things down, but I just don’t want it there so, you have to remember to turn on the paste as text function in your WordPress document. It feels like an extra step and considering the voice recognition software it isn’t all that great, to begin with, it’s just not worth it to me.
As for how Google Documents performs. It’s fine I guess. It adds a few extra words here and there. It doesn’t consistently drop too many words, but it doesn’t it consistently capitalize every sentence properly. One great thing is it’s available to anyone, which makes it a decent option and a fine baseline. Hopefully, I can find a few options that are a lot better in my search.
In this post, there were 2 missing capital letters, an extra ‘ing’ and an extra ‘ed’ in a couple of spots. A couple of words were added and there was one section where I must have put marbles in my mouth because it had zero clue what I was saying. (I didn’t really put marbles in my mouth.)
Voice in Voice Typing
I’m pretty sure this add-on used to be called Dictanote. So, if you’ve never heard of this one, but you have heard of that one, you’ve heard of it after all! Good to be able to clear that up. I’m sure everybody really wanted to know.
Overall, this one seems to work fairly well. I’ve got to tell you, it’s not the best if you speak really quickly. The plug-in has a tendency to get bogged down and it forgets a word or two here and there. But overall, this plug-in does seem to work almost exactly as advertised. The free version seems to work pretty well but the paid version has a lot of added functionality that could be really useful.
The free version seems to work pretty well, but they do have a pro version as well. The professional version allows you to hide recording pop up in your browser, which might be useful for some people. For me, I didn’t find it to be that intrusive hanging out there in the upper right-hand corner. It seems to just kind of do its thing and it doesn’t bother me, I don’t bother it. So, that’s no reason to purchase a premium version of the. But let’s move on.
Another premium feature is a custom voice commands setting. Now we’re talking.
In the freebie version, Voice in Voice Typing includes 21 English language commands that provide certain shortcuts for alternative characters and other stuff.
Of course, when you say ‘period’, it puts in a period, kind of like this. But you can also use exclamation points by saying exclamation point! My friend said, “You can even use quotation marks”. But that stuff is all pretty standard. Google can do a lot of that as well. This plugin actually lets you create custom commands.
If you’re doing a lot of voice typing and you have certain phrases that come up quite a bit, you can substitute a word that you would never, ever say and when you say it, it will key in the entire block of text that you assign for that word.
If you want to create a signature for posts and you don’t mind that it’s the same each time, create a custom command to handle it.
It also works with special characters or if you often use a name that has a specific spelling that might not be the most commonly recognized spelling, you can create that as a custom command. It also works with words that relate to your industry but that aren’t commonly used. These custom commands give you control over how the voice typing spells things that you can often find misspelled.
There are custom shortcuts for switching languages available to premium users, though I don’t think that is going to be helpful for me, it might be a really critical thing for somebody. There’s also a special setting that can allow you to add functionality to certain domains that support this plug-in natively. I think that’s Facebook that would be the most recognizable website that does not work with this plugin.
EDIT – so, I just found the full list of sites that only work with that premium paste mode. Facebook, Discord, Reddit, WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger. So, there you have it. If you’re really into writing on those websites, you might need to spring for the premium version. Luckily, it’s only $20 for an entire year. Not too bad.
So, it’s about for this extension, I wrote this entire little mini-review using Voice in Voice Typing and once I started talking a bit louder, it worked really well. It’s much, much better than Google. It just functions way more properly. It doesn’t spell things wrong as much, it doesn’t add extra little words here and there as often and it generally gets things post-ready a lot faster than Google.
Dragon, Naturally Speaking
I don’t really have the money to purchase a copy of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, so I asked a few friends if they had ever purchased it. I finally managed to run into one guy who has a copy and here I am at his house giving this a test drive. Now, he swears by this application and all that it can do, but I’ve never used it so it’s completely foreign to me.
My first impression is, this is pretty accurate. It seems to understand everything I have said and there really haven’t been to many spelling errors that I’ve seen. It corrects grammar on the spot and it makes completely sure it has caught all of the errors you’ve made.
This isn’t just a Chrome extension, it’s not a WordPress plug-in either, it’s an entirely standalone application that is probably the industry leader in voice recognition and voice to text. So, it’s not quite as handy as working in one specific place, but it really does seem to work very well.
So this is Dragon NaturallySpeaking by Nuance and let’s just see how good it is at recognizing different phrases. Well, so far so good, this is actually pretty incredible. It hasn’t had a single issue about 10 paragraphs of text and I’ve already taught several different words that I personally use quite a bit in my work. This actually may be totally worth $300. 300 bucks, that’s a lot of cash, but it looks like it’s almost editing free.
EDIT – Okay, I just went to their website and I’m seeing that they have a version for home use the costs hundred and $50. So, that’s not nearly as bad.
In fact, this software is pretty awesome. You can quickly teach it different words and if there’s something that you recognize that Dragon is not catching the first time, you can spend a couple of seconds adding custom words or teaching at exactly how you say certain phrases. This process is completely simple and since doing that, I haven’t noticed it getting any of these words wrong. WooCommerce is one word that never seems to be capitalized properly. At least the free versions of all of the voice to text software’s I’ve tried don’t spell it properly. Here, WooCommerce is spelled correctly the first time, every time, because I took 15 seconds to teach it that word. WP Bakery Page Builder is another one that never formats correctly. Again, I taught at that phrase in about 10 seconds.
Boy, this thing is dangerous.
Currently, I’m getting into my microphone and it’s putting all the text in what they call the DragonPad. It’s not exactly a perfect situation for creating new posts on the go, but if you’re at your desk and creating a new post and you have the ability to cut and past it into your WordPress editor, but that’s what I was doing with Google Docs and that wasn’t really working out too well. Here, there’s going to be a heck of a lot less editing and that means in terms of words per minute, you can really crank some stuff out.
Honestly, this tool is incredibly powerful, but I just can’t see it being practical. It’s a little out of my price range. However, it does perform better than anything I’ve tested so far.e spending $300 for it at this point. Perhaps down the road this is something that I’ll look into, but at this point, I’m gonna have to make do with something a little bit cheaper that works almost as well.
Wait a minute, it does seem to be working out. It’s actually typing directly into my WordPress post. Can this be real? WooCommerce, WP Bakery Page Builder and Templified are some of the words that I’ve taught it and yes, these are perfectly displaying exactly as they were supposed to. So, this actually does work with WordPress posts and that could be a complete game changer.
Oh this application is insanely good.
And here’s a bit of an update, all I had to do was install the add-on and now I am able to voice type directly into a post using Firefox. I suppose there’s probably one for Chrome as well, but I don’t really use that browser very much. So, problem solved.
Best Tools for Voice Typing Directly into WordPress
So what you think? Are any of these tools ones that you’ve used in the past? Do you have other voice typing tools that you prefer? We’d love to hear about it so please let us know in the comments because we are here to provide only the best information possible and I haven’t tried everything out there. If you know of an outstanding tool for voice typing directly into WordPress posts, we would love to hear all about it. Let us know in the comments and will be sure to add it to our collection the next time we update it.