One of the most useful features of Google Docs — and arguably one of the things that set it apart from other apps in terms of how well it functions — is the ability to type with your voice. Specifically, using Google’s speech and voice recognition algorithms and a mic-enabled gadget. That is, of course, just one of its features. But it’s a useful one to have.
Now, there are plenty of reasons why anybody would want to use your voice to type — in Google Docs or elsewhere. For instance, if you’re busy and don’t have time to sit down and type, you might be able to multitask for the bulk of that work. Coming back to manually edit your work later. Or maybe you’ve got some other reason why you can’t use your hands to type.
Conversely, maybe you’d like to keep a transcript of a conversation or meeting. And voice typing features work reasonably well for that too.
Whatever your reason for needing to use your voice to type in Google Docs, that’s exactly what this guide is here to help you do. Whether you’re on your mobile device, tablet, or computer. So let’s dive in.
Here’s how to voice type into Google Docs
Voice typing in Google Docs is very different depending on where you’re doing it. In fact, on the app side, it isn’t even really supported on mobile. Instead, it utilizes keyboard-specific features to work. But it does, in fact, work on either a phone or tablet as long as your keyboard supports it — as we’ll discuss in the second half of the guide below.
The most commonplace, however, will be on your computer. And, fortunately, that’s an almost identical process across the board. So this guide will work whether you’re on Mac, Linus, Chrome OS, Windows, and whether you’re on a laptop, desktop, or tablet on that front too. Unlike many guides pertaining to this suite of tools.
It’s worth noting, and we’ll cover this again a bit later on, that you’ll also need to speak out punctuation. For instance, saying “period” to insert a period, “left parenthesis” for that symbol, and more. You’ll also need to manually create a “new line” for the “Enter” key and certain other phrases will complete an action instead of typing. So there is a bit of a learning curve.
- On your computer or Chromebook
- Navigate to Google Docs and either create a new document or select one that you’ve already been working on
- Place the cursor in the spot you’d like to use voice type in the Google Docs document
- Now, you can either
- Press and hold the “Ctrl” and “Shift” key and then press “S” or
- Click Tools in the top bar and select “Voice typing”
- A new microphone icon, with a language selector and helpful tips, will appear to the left of your document. Click or tap the microphone
- Grant permissions, if you haven’t previously done so
- Speak to type. The icon will change dramatically while recognizing speech. You can also type punctuation by speaking the punctuation, add a new line by saying “new line,” and other actions. For instance, you can select a word by saying “select” and then the word. Some experimentation and practice will help you discover more actions
- On your phone or tablet
- Now, if you want to voice type on your phone in Google Docs, you’ll need to be using a keyboard that supports voice typing. For our example, we’re using Google’s own Gboard. But there are plenty of other apps that also support the feature and they provide effectively the same method for accessing it. Although there may be at least a few differences in how that process works from keyboard to keyboard. We’re using Gboard because we’ve found Google’s keyboard to be the most accurate
- Start by opening up the Google Doc you want to edit in the Google Docs app
- Navigate to where you’d like the text to be entered
- Tap the on-keyboard mic button and speak. Depending on your keyboard, you may need to press and hold the button. Or you may need to press it again to stop the mic from picking up your speech. You’ll also likely need to speak out any punctuation you’d like to use. Most modern keyboards will automatically add spaces after punctuation. So you shouldn’t need to add that. But adding in a new line can be finicky. You might try, for instance, to say the punctuation you need to add a line with and then say “new line” but some have reported the next line will need to be started immediately to avoid confusing the algorithm