Dictation, Speech-to-text, Transcription – What’s the Difference?

Dictation, Speech-to-text, Transcription – What’s the Difference?
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In today’s digital age, we are lucky to have so many different kinds of software that help make our lives a little bit easier. Dictation software is one that is particularly helpful to the medical field both human and veterinarian. By definition, dictation is “the action of saying words aloud to be typed, written down, or recorded on tape.” You may have also heard this definition applied to speech-to-text and transcription software, as well.

While dictation software, speech-to-text software, and transcription software all perform the same essential function (turning the spoken word into something that can be read), they each have their own definitions that are a bit nuanced. Let’s discuss their differences and how they can help you at work!

Dictation Software

When we talk about dictation software, we’re really talking about dictation technology. It can be considered as the umbrella term for the different types of software that help turn words you can hear into words you can read.

There are a few different types of methods of using dictation technology:

  • Built-in dictation software – Most smart phones and computers are built with dictation software that works with the device’s built-in microphone. This is what allows users to use “speech-to-text” features.
  • Dictation apps – Even if a decide has built-in dictation software, it may not be compatible with certain programs or be suitable for your specific needs. Dictation apps can be downloaded on computers, tablets, and smartphones to be used on their own or in conjunction with other apps.
  • Dictation software programs – Typically, these will have more features than dictation apps or built-in dictation software. These programs work with users to learn their vernacular and style of speaking to provide a more personalized and accurate experience. 

Let’s take a deeper dive into how dictation software can be used.


Speech-to-text software is exactly what it sounds like: it turns your speech into readable content. This can be incredibly helpful in situations where you need to take accurate notes (like SOAP notes) but want to make sure you’re really listening to the speaker. 

Speech-to-text is much more efficient than using a voice recording device because you don’t have to listen to an entire conversation just to recall a certain detail! With speech-to-text software, you can skim the words on the page until you find what you’re looking for. 

Transcription Software

Transcription software helps turn spoken word into readable text, but most will only turn pre-recorded audio files into text – they cannot be used in real-time. There are also transcription services that you can utilize in which a human being transforms your recordings into text files. However, this method can be time-consuming and pricey!

If you have a collection of audio notes that you need turned into readable content, transcription software can be very helpful.

Save Time & Money with Talkatoo Dictation Software

Talkatoo Dictation software is built with artificial intelligence that does so much more than turn your words into readable text – it learns your specific style of speaking so it just gets better and better every time you use it!

Talkatoo dictation software includes speech-to-text and transcription services so you’ll never have to miss a word again. Save time writing your notes and improve your accuracy with Talkatoo!

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