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Tech tips

Breeze through annoying online forms with this handy app

No doubt about it, filling out web forms can be time-consuming. Whether they be job applications, subscriptions or requests for further information, you have to type in all sorts of things, including your name and address.

And you can never be too careful with your information on the internet. Tap or click to learn the seven ways to delete yourself from the internet. Of course, you can rely on auto-fill to lessen the burden of having to manually enter all of your info; however, while convenient, this puts your personal information at risk.

Behind what may appear to be a legit web form could lie a phishing site that uses hidden text boxes to steal additional autofill data, such as your phone or credit card numbers. But thanks to the Chrome desktop browser extension, Voice In Voice Typing, you can disable auto-fill and enter text in web forms via dictation.

That’s right, you can now use your voice to fill in those boxes completely hands-free. Well, you do need to turn on the microphone manually, but that’s it. Here’s a quick look at this easy-to-use tool.

Voice In, text out

Spare the keyboard and speak your words. Voice In is a free browser extension that utilizes Chrome’s speech recognition engine and allows you to add speech-to-text to most websites including:

  • Gmail
  • Outlook
  • Google search
  • Zendesk

In addition, webpages with simple text or input boxes also work with Voice In. A quick tap to turn on the feature, and you can dictate an email to a coworker, look up references for class or ask for help from sites that offer Zendesk service.

Concerned about whether browser extensions are safe? Tap or click to find out what you need to know.

Although the default dialect is English-US, the extension supports over 120 languages, which can be viewed on the developer’s help center at dictanote.co.

Like other transcription products, Voice In is not perfect. You must speak clearly and slowly to ensure the application understands what to type. Furthermore, it only works with Chrome and is incompatible with several popular sites, such as Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Reddit and Google Docs.

The reason Voice In doesn’t work with these websites is they utilize custom text handling. But that’s not to say the extension is useless. There are tons of other sites you can use it with, like your email provider, most scholastic or business-related webpages, several government sites and more.

If you’re always hopping from site to site, Voice In is the extension for you.

How to use Voice In

To set up Voice In, visit the Chrome Web Store and click Add to Chrome, Add extension. Once installed, the icon (microphone) will display to the right of your address bar. You will need to Allow permissions when prompted.

If you do not receive a prompt, tap the video camera in the right corner of the address bar. Select the first option Always allow…, then tap Done.

To change the language, right-click the microphone at any time and tap Options. Select your language from the list. After you enable microphone use and select your language, restart Chrome. Further changes to Settings will not require a restart.

If you want to start or stop voice recognition. Tap the microphone, right-click in a text field and select Start/Stop Recording from the drop-down menu, or CTRL + SHIFT + 9 (Windows/Chromebook) or CMD + SHIFT + 9 (Mac).

When you click the microphone to start the dictation tool, a settings button will appear. This is where you can change settings, or you can just go here. here.

You will also notice an upgrade button for the browser extension. This $20 annual subscription offers Spacebox, which allows you to type on sites where Voice In does not usually work, like Facebook. Other additional features include the ability to create custom voice commands.

Any time you need to fill out a web form, such as a short survey or long application, Voice In can make the process simple without jeopardizing your data. So give it a try, and if you fall in love, get the upgrade.

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