60+ dictation commands available on your iPhone or iPad

I use the dictation feature on my iPhone a lot – far more than I use Siri really. In fact, it sometimes seems that Siri and the keyboard dictation uses different voice recognition engines as what you access via the keyboard icon is often far more accurate.

In case you are not aware, the dictation is available on your iPhone or iPad everytime you use a keyboard. It is accessed by clicking on the small microphone icon to the left of the space bar.

Dictation Keyboard Icon

Although less private, dictating is far faster than typing with your thumbs. The trick is to know all of the commands that your phone understands and so I thought I’d compile a list from every source I could find. This should be the complete list, but if you find any others that are not here – please let me know in the comments or via my contact page.

The complete list of iPhone and iPad dictation commands.

Command Result
New line New line (next line)
New paragraph New paragraph (will have a gap between lines)
Space bar
Cap Capitalise the next word
Caps on.. [section of text] ..caps off Capitalise a section of text
No caps Make the next word lowercase
No caps on.. [section of text] ..no caps off Next section of text that you speak will not be capitalised
All caps Make the next word all uppercase
No space on.. [section of text] ..no space off Prevent a section of text from having spaces between words
Period or Full stop .
Quote or “quotation mark”
Semi-colon ;
Colon :
Comma ,
Double comma ,,
Question mark ?
Inverted question mark ¿
Exclamation point !
Inverted exclamation point ¡
Forward slash /
Back slash \
Open quote
Close quote
Open parenthesis (
Close parenthesis )
Open brace {
Close brace }
Open bracket [
Close bracket ]
Em dash
Underscore _
Cent sign ¢
Euro sign
Pound sign £
Dollar sign $
Yen sign ¥
Point .
Dot .
Ellipsis or “dot dot dot”
Equal sign =
Greater than sign >
Less than sign <
Percent sign %
Ampersand &
Asterisk *
At sign @
Hashtag #
Copyright sign ©
Registered sign ®
Degree sign °
Caret ^
Section sign §
Trademark sign
Vertical bar |
Frowny or “frowny face” or “frown face” 🙁
Smiley or “smiley face” or “smile face” 🙂
Winky or “winky face” or “wink face” 😉
E.g. (pronounced as “e g”) e.g.
i.e. (pronounced as “i e”) i.e.


I’ve also uploaded these dictation commands as a PNG or PDF for future reference.


  1. Hi Matt, nice article thanks. What about backspace and delete some commands deletion commands, any ideas since I haven’t found anything best Charles

  2. As well , thanks Matt, have same need as Charles–for backspace, delete letter / word / sentence parGraph. Voice commands. Any clue if thesis inthey works for inbuilt dictation on the iPad Pro ?

  3. Lovely. Thank you so much. [I think there’s a typo on the ‘degree sign’.]
    Yes, it would be nice to have a delete or backspace command.

  4. Hi Cynthia

    I’ve had a look around and it doesn’t seem that you can add bullets. I think that the reason for this, at least for now, is that the focus here is more about “voice to text” and a bit less on formatting – you also can’t add bold or italics.

    However, you could use either the dash or the asterisk to at least simulate bullets in the text your are creating perhaps?

    “this is a list of bullets, new paragraph, asterisk this is bullet one, new line, asterisk this is bullet two, new paragraph”

    Hope this helps,

  5. Hi Linda.

    I couldn’t get “star” to create an asterisk when I tried it just now, but will have another look and update this post when I can get it working.

    Thanks for commenting.

  6. Not that I have found. This should be dealt with by Siri/Apple with their natural language processing technology but I appreciate that it doesn’t always get it right.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *