iPhone iPad Dictation

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.

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6 Responses to 60+ dictation commands available on your iPhone or iPad

  1. Charles February 3, 2016 at 5:44 am #

    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. Matt Hopkins February 3, 2016 at 6:30 am #

    Hi Charles. Unfortunately, you cannot do this with the native iOS dictation at the moment. You can, however with something like Dragon Anywhere if that functionality is what you need – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dragon-anywhere/id1024652126?mt=8

  3. buzzmybiz May 5, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    Nice! Thanks for the post!

  4. Richard Stanley July 17, 2016 at 10:13 pm #

    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 ?

  5. Piers Hutchinson September 25, 2016 at 10:48 pm #

    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.

  6. Matt Hopkins September 28, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    Thanks Piers (degree sign fixed, not sure what happened there).

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