How to Use Voice Typing in Google Docs

Kendra D. Mitchell
Kendra D. Mitchell Originally published Jul 27, 22, updated Nov 17, 22

While working on a project, if you're running out of time and want to complete some documentation without typing, you can try Voice typing in Google Docs to expedite things. If you are new to the process, it may take some time to get acquainted with the commands and how Google Docs accepts your speech. However, things can get pretty easy once you are through, and you can complete your tasks within no time.

In this article, I will show you how to convert speech to text in Google Docs. You will also get to know how to control it through your voice commands, add punctuation marks to the content, and many other things to help you simplify your work.

In this article
  1. How to Use Voice Typing in Google Docs
  2. How to Use Voice Commands in Google Docs
  3. Tips for Using Voice Typing in Google Docs

Part 1: How to Use Voice Typing in Google Docs [Step-By-Step]

At the time of this writing, you can voice type Google Docs only while using the Google Chrome browser. Therefore, it is imperative to sign in to your Google account using the said web browser and then follow the procedure given below to do Google Docs speech to text:

Step 1: Open a Blank Google Docs Document

After logging in to your Google account on Google Chrome, click the Google apps icon, scroll down, and click Docs. Click Blank from the upper-left section to open a blank Google Docs document on the next page.

Step 2: Enable Voice Typing for the Document

Go to Tools from the menu bar at the top and click Voice typing. Alternatively, you can press the Ctrl + Shift + S keys together to turn on Voice typing for the document.

Google Docs Voice Typing: Enable

Step 3: Start Using the Voice Type Google Docs Feature

Make sure that the cursor is placed inside the document and is blinking. Click the Microphone icon that appears on the screen. When the consent box appears, click Allow to give Chrome permission to access your microphone. Now, you can start speaking into the mic to use voice to text Google Docs.

Google Docs Voice Typing: Start
Note: If this is the first time you are using any voice recognition program, and the microphone doesn't accept your speech, you may have to go to Start > Settings > Privacy & security, scroll down to the App permissions section on the right window, go to Microphone, and turn on the Microphone access switch along with all other relevant buttons to grant permission.
Google Docs Voice Typing: Enable Microphone Permission

To add punctuation marks, you can name them. For example, adding a period can say, "period"; likewise, to add a new paragraph, you can say, "new paragraph".

Google Docs Voice Typing: add punctuation

Part 2: How to Use Voice Commands to Create, Edit, and Format Professional Documents in Google Docs

When the term 'professional document' appears or is talked about, all that comes to mind is well-formatted content with proper alignment, correctly highlighted phrases, italicized words, etc. When using the Google Docs speech-to-text feature, everything can be done through your voice. A couple of noteworthy commands to make your speech to text Google Docs easier include:

  • "Select <phrase or word>": To select a phrase or word.
  • “Bold”: To bold the selected phrase or word
  • "Italicize": To italicize the selected phrase or word
  • "Underline": To underline the selected phrase or word.
  • "Increase Font Size": To increase the font size of the selected phrase or word
  • "Decrease Font Size": To decrease the font size of the selected phrase or word.
  • "Align Center": To center align a paragraph.
  • “Align Justified”: To justify aligning a paragraph
  • “Align Left”: To align a paragraph left.
  • "Align Right": To align a paragraph right.
  • “Cut” / “Copy” / “Paste” : To cut, copy, or paste the selected phrase or word
  • "Insert Page Break": To insert a page break from the cursor point.
  • “Insert Header”: To add a header to the document.

Part 3: Tips for Using Voice Typing in Google Docs

You can safely skip this section if you're already familiar with the voice type Google Docs feature. On the other hand, if you are new to the process, here are a few pro tips that will help you get familiar with using the microphone for the Google Docs speech-to-text recognition method:

  • Before getting started, take out some time to practice voice typing in Google Docs and use the most commonly used commands that will help you in formatting and decorating the document to make it look professional.
  • Invest some funds in a good quality microphone to avoid time wastage while dictating
  • Dictate your content at a clear and appropriate pace. This will give the voice recognition feature enough time to accommodate and process your commands.
  • Dictate the entire paragraph without worrying about the errors. Once you are done, use the ‘Select’ and other commands to correct the erroneous phrases and words, and format the content accordingly.
  • Try using your voice to control Google Docs as much as possible, and use the mouse and keyboard only when needed.
  • Do not hesitate to use the 'Undo', 'Select', and 'Unselect' commands during and after dictation to control and format the document, and make it look professional and well-written

The voice type Google Docs feature allows you to create and format Google Docs documents through your voice. Furthermore, you can even use certain commands to select, deselect, correct, and/or replace specific words or phrases. However, the only thing you must remember is that at the time of this writing, the Voice typing feature in Google Docs is only available for Google Chrome users.

FAQs About Google Docs Voice Typing

  • Can you use Speech to Text on Google Docs on Mac?
    Yes, you can as long as you have installed Google Chrome on your Mac computer and you are using it for Google Docs.
  • Which language is supported in using voice commands in Google Docs?
    Earlier, the voice type Google Docs feature supported only the English language. However, now almost all major languages are recognized by the app. To switch to a different language, you need to initialize 'Voice typing' on Google Docs, and when the mic icon appears, click to open the 'Language' menu that is present right above the microphone, and select your preferred language from the list.
  • How to fix "We're having trouble hearing you" in Google Docs voice typing?
    While dictating, if you see a message that says, "We're having trouble hearing you", it means that Google Docs is unable to listen to what you are speaking. To fix this, you can do the following:
    ● Move to a quieter place and then try again.
    ● If possible, use an external microphone instead of dictating through your laptop's built-in microphone.
    ● If you're using the headset microphone, try to have the one with the boom mic (A boom mic is a microphone that is extended out of the headset instead of being integrated into the headphone itself)
    ● Try increasing the microphone's volume by going to 'Settings'> 'System'> 'Sound'> 'Microphone'> 'Properties' and then using the 'Input volume' slider for adjustments.
  • How to change the language in Google Docs voice typing?
    Once the 'Microphone' icon appears on Google Docs, make sure that it is inactive. Then, open the 'Language' drop-down list that is present above it, and click to select the language that you want to use while dictating.
  • How to use Google Docs voice typing on a mobile device?
    The process is simple. You can search for and download Google Docs on your phone, sign in to your Google account, launch 'Docs', tap the 'Edit' ('Pen') icon, tap the 'Mic' icon on the keyboard that appears, and start dictating your content.
    Note: Although it may seem that you're using Google Docs' Voice typing feature, it's the phone's built-in microphone that is used in this process.
  • Which punctuations are supported in Google Docs voice typing?
    Voice type Google Docs supports almost all common punctuation marks such as:
    Comma Period Question Mark Exclamation Point New Paragraph New Line
Kendra D. Mitchell
Kendra D. Mitchell Nov 17, 22
Share article: