If you’re using voice-to-text software in your day-to-day life, here are five of the best browser extensions to download.
Voice to Text (VTT), sometimes called Speech to Text, is more than just a useful feature. For those with hand injuries or disabilities that affect the hands, it’s a lifesaver. Modern VTT technology is accurate and smooth-flowing.
It can accommodate accents, speech impediments, and even background noise. You can use them with any kind of microphone, including an internal laptop mic. Voice-typing is easier than ever!
These five Chrome extensions let you use your voice to type online and navigate the internet.
Lipsurf doesn’t stop at dictation, it adds full voice control to Chrome. With this extension, you can fill in text fields, click buttons, navigate pages and tabs, and more. You only need your voice. When you first install it, you’ll go to its Options page. From there, you can access an easy and quick tutorial.
Several helpful features make Lipsurf easy to use. You can easily select anything on the page with the Tags command, which applies a simple letter tag to every object. You can then name the tag to select the associated button, image, link, text field, or other item.
Lipsurf has a robust support system. The built-in Help command opens a contextual pop-up menu, showing support for the feature you’re currently using. Any feature you could expect from a full VTT app is in this extension. This includes text formatting, custom shortcuts, and more.
The Custom Shortcuts are how Lipsurf gets around individual voice quirks. With them, you can fix issues such as the extension misunderstanding the word you say. You can also speed up long-form typing by using Shortcuts. For example, you can tell it to insert a prepared paragraph promoting your website when you say “website plug”.
Lipsurf also has several helpful background features. For instance, it can automatically disable itself if Chrome isn’t in focus. That is, if you speak while Chrome isn’t selected, Lipsurf will ignore it.
2. Speech Recognition Anywhere
This extension from Sea Breeze Computers leverages Google Voice to Text. This is the same software that powers Voice Typing in Google Docs. It’s lightweight and simple, focusing on text alone. If you still want to use the mouse for clicking and scrolling, it might be the solution for you.
Clicking the extension icon will open a tab for it. You need to keep that tab open for Speech Recognition Anywhere to work. Once it’s running, the extension will automatically detect text boxes, including search bars. You can also use the Click On command to click things, but this is somewhat less reliable.
Like many VTT Extensions, this one offers a variety of language and accent options. Unlike many, it also includes a lightweight Text-to-Speech function. This allows it to double as a simplified screen reader.
DictationBox focuses on long-form text rather than fillable forms or web navigation. It opens a floating box that takes down your dictation. It also has a one-click Copy button that selects all your text and copies it into the clipboard for easy pasting.
It also allows you to pre-format text, save it, and set up a command word to insert it. This is very similar to Lipsurf’s Custom Shortcuts. You can further automate it using a bit of code.
For instance, if you add [*] into the template, DictationBox will select that bracket. Then you can replace it by voice typing. This makes it especially good for composing long-form text or fillable forms.
However, this extension is not a voice control extension. It can’t answer commands like “undo” or “select [text]” or click “submit” for you. So, this extension is only recommended if you are still able to use the mouse and backspace key.
Speech Agent detects the active text field and allows you to feed dictation into it. Your dictation also appears in the Speech Agent pop-up. Lastly, there’s a one-click copy button for cases when it can’t find the text field.
This software works on a wide variety of social media websites. However, it doesn’t work on Facebook or in word-processing programs like google Docs. Therefore, it’s better for short-form communication. Like DictationBox, this extension focuses on removing your need to type.
You’ll still need the mouse to click-activate Speech Agent and navigate web pages. But if you can use a mouse, Speech Agent will take care of the keyboard concerns. It doesn’t accept speech commands like “undo” or “delete text” though, so you may still need to press the backspace key sometimes.
5. Voice In
Voice In is another dictation app from the developers of DictaNote, a note-taking app made with dictation in mind. Voice In is more polished and robust with its commands than some of the more lightweight options.
It starts you off with a quick four-step tutorial. When you dictate, your dictation appears in a translucent popup before it goes in the text box. The text in this pop-up is larger, which means this app could also be nice for those with vision problems.
It also offers custom shortcuts through Dictation Box. This is a premium feature, though. Premium users can also switch between languages with keyboard shortcuts and use Voice In on more websites.
However, the free version already works smoothly. It functions on Facebook, Reddit, and other popular websites, and integrates with email clients like Gmail and Outlook. As a bonus, Its gray microphone icon looks like a natural part of the Chrome window.