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Siri’s Punctuation and Text Formatting Commands

Let’s face it, we all sound goofy dictating a text or email via Siri while driving, showering, or doing hot yoga.

Siri logo with moneyHey Siri text my wife I quote love your cooking comma unquote so all caps please don't ever think otherwise period you are my favorite meal hyphen maker open parenthesis seriously close parenthesis comma so will you please make your begin single quote tuna surprise end single quote again tonight question mark there is only one thing I ask comma however ellipsis new paragraph please don't accidentally tweet no space on hashtag tuna porpoise no space off in place of no space on hashtag tuna surprise no space off like last time because it will all caps appear forward slash all caps seem as though you enjoy dolphin in your albacore exclamation point goofy face

Or something like that. You know, normal stuff. It’s like ordering at the Starbucks drive-through (which I have yet to master). You just kinda have to know what you’re talking about.

My daughter told me that she once used Siri’s voice-to-text on her iPhone to dictate an AP term paper her senior year in High School. I can only assume that “once” was some sort of teenage code for “more-often-than-I’m-willing-to-admit.” (Honest Dad—that was the first time I’ve ever exceeded the posted speed limit!) Mmm Hmmm…

I told her that—technically speaking—she wasn’t really using Siri, but her iPhone’s built-in dictation capability. I got the “whatever” eye-roll 🙄 that indicated it wasn’t worth the argument.

I’m glad I dropped it. She pretty much tested out of her first year of college, in large part due to those AP term papers – saving me about $60,000. Perhaps encouraging your child to use “Siri’s” voice dictation on their iOS device might be worth looking into as a money-saving opportunity for your family as well! Okay, maybe I’m stretching the causal effect a bit too far, but Siri and voice dictation has really changed the way we interact with each other and our devices. Plus, time and efficiency do translate into real-world $s and ¢s.

We here at Rocket Yard figured you might appreciate a handy list of many commonly used punctuation and text formatting commands for your bookmarking pleasure. Enjoy!

Siri’s Punctuation and Text Commands

Speaking these words or phrases will result in the noted punctuation mark, character or emoticon.

apostrophe   forward slash/
open bracket[   caret^
close bracket]   center dot·
open parenthesis(   large center dot
close parenthesis)   degree sign°
open brace{   hashtag#
close brace}   pound sign#
open angle bracket<    percent sign%
close angle bracket>   underscore_
colon:   vertical bar|
comma,   dollar sign$
dash   cent sign¢
ellipsis   pound sterling sign£
exclamation mark!   euro sign
exclamation point!   yen sign¥
hyphen   frowny face :-(
period.   smiley face:-)
point.   winky face;-)
dot.   copyright sign©
full stop.   registered sign®
question mark?   trademark sign
quote   equals sign=
end quote   greater than sign>
begin single quote   less than sign<
end single quote   minus sign
semicolon;   multiplication signx
ampersand&   plus sign+
asterisk*   at sign@

Siri’s Text Formatting Commands

Speaking these phrases gives you control of some basic text formatting.

caps on (formats the next phrase in title case)
caps off (resumes default letter case)
all caps   (formats the next word in ALL CAPS)
all caps on (proceeds in ALL CAPS)
all caps off (resumes default letter case)
newline (adds a line break)
numeral (formats the next phrase as a number)
roman numeral (formats the next phrase as a Roman numeral)
new paragraph (adds a paragraph break)
no space on (formats the next phrase without spaces)
no space off (resumes default spacing)
tab key (advances cursor to the next tab stop)

Again, don’t forget to bookmark this page for easy reference and feel free to share your best example of punctuation and text formatting usage in the comments section below. You just might win a major award! 🏆 *

* Disclaimer: Any major award will likely be a simple “Atta-boy” or “Atta-girl” appended to this post—not a leg-lamp or anything actually cool… And most certainly not $60,000.
Mark Chaffee
the authorOWC Mark C
Content Marketing Manager
A creative by nature, Mark is a writer, programmer, web developer, musician, culinary craftsman, and interpersonal artisan. He loves the outdoors because greenspace is to the soul as whitespace is to the written word. He does not like Diophantine geometry or mosquitos. Most everything else is okay. Oh yeah, he is also the managing editor of the Rocket Yard blog.
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  • Dictation in Siri is a nightmare. There doesn’t seem to be a way to correct Siri constantly typing something other than what I want. For example, Siri will type “+” when I dictate the words “at sign” and not the correct “@” symbol. It also is so inconsistent, I never know if I’m going to get “p.m.” or “PM” when telling time.

    • For the P.M vs. pm, you can add that to your Keyboard. If you want the ability for her to delete text, I believe you enable “Dictation.”

      As for the symbols, yeah. . . Siri sucks, lol. :)

  • I echo the comment below from “Macs R we” posted 20 February 2020 and I hope to see an answer to my question. Using my iPhone’s built-in dictation capability, how in the world do I dictate words that I want as words that happen also to be punctuation words? E.g., “during this period of time” without getting “during this. Of time”. Thank you.

  • There doesn’t seem to be a “literal” command when you want to dictate something like:

    Did I leave my cap in your truck?

    Ossefogva fumbled three passes in the final period.

  • What’s up with the table formatting getting munged with overwrites and cutoffs. It makes the commands hard to read.

    • I’ll assume you were viewing on a mobile device because the desktop version seemed fine, but the responsive was a little wonky. Try it now – it should be a bit better. Thanks for the heads up!

    • I set my siri prefs on iphone so that siri listens as long as I keep pressing the home button. that way I avoid getting cut off.

  • When will true real natural dictation to computers become a reality? I mean, like when you dictate to a human. I know that means artificial intelligence. 10 years? 100 years?