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How to voice type in Google Docs

You're going to want to speak up for this one.
By
February 21, 2022

Your microphone, be it one you plug into your computer or the one built into your phone, can be used for more than voice calls and recording. Over the last ten years, many applications have started adopting the microphone as an input device for text-based solutions. Speech-to-text has gained a great deal of relevance in many different programs, and Google Docs is no different. Let’s go over how to type with your voice in Google Docs.

Read more: How to use subscript and superscript in Google Docs

QUICK ANSWER 

To voice type in Google Docs, click ToolsVoice typing. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + S.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS 

How to use voice typing in Google Docs

You can use your voice to type in Google Docs, but only on the Chrome desktop browser. You can always use the Google keyboard on your smartphone to voice type into any field. However, the actual voice typing tool built into Google Docs only works on the platform’s desktop version.

Additionally, you will need a working microphone plugged into your computer. If you use a webcam, a microphone may be built into your webcam. Alternatively, many USB microphones and XLR mics work great with Google Docs voice typing.

To start using your voice to type, open a Google Doc in Chrome and click Tools–>Voice typing. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + S.

location of the voice typing button
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

A pop-up window will appear on your Google Doc with a grey microphone button in the middle. Click it.

click to speak button
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

If you haven’t done so already, allow Google Docs to access your microphone.

allowing google docs to access your hardware
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

When you have granted Google Docs access to your microphone, you will enter voice typing mode. If you don’t say anything for a while, the microphone icon on the left will go from red back to grey. If that happens, reactivate the voice typing function by clicking the grey microphone button in the pop-up window.

voice typing test on google docs
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

How to use Google voice punctuation commands

Google Docs also allows you to make voice commands using your microphone. When you are in voice typing mode, you can use voice commands to select words, format your document, edit your document, add and edit tables, move around your document, and more.

For example, you can say select [word], and Google Docs will select the word you just said. It isn’t always the most intuitive function, and Google Docs prioritizes typing out what you say more than anything. Sometimes, you will need to try multiple times to get Docs to correctly identify and carry out the voice command.

select testing test on google docs
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

All voice commands must be in English, and “the account language and document language must both be English,” according to Google. For a complete list of voice commands, check the Google support doc under Use voice commands.


Read more: How to search for a word in Google Docs

FAQs

Why can’t I use voice typing on Google Docs?

Voice typing is only available on the desktop version of Google Docs on Google Chrome. You must make sure that your microphone is plugged in, enabled, and accessible by Google Docs.

If you want to use voice typing on Google Docs on your phone, you can use the microphone function on the Google keyboard. However, voice commands won’t work.

Where is the voice typing tool in Google Docs?

The voice typing tool in Google Docs is located under ToolsVoice typing.