How to Use Speech-to-Text in Google Docs

Speech-to-Text in Google Docs is one of the simplest and most efficient ways to increase productivity and save time when you’ve got lengthy articles to type. The text will be automatically transcribed when you speak directly into your document!

Here, we’ll show you how to “voice type” on Google Docs to save yourself time and energy.

Using Speech-To-Text on Google Docs: Step-By-Step Guide

Before using this feature, ensure that you have either a built-in or external microphone attached to your device. For the best experience, use a high-quality external microphone in a quiet environment.

Step 1: From the menu bar on the top, click “Tools”  > “Voice typing” from the drop-down menu.

Speech to text Google Docs—where is voice typing option in Google Docs


Step 2: Click on the floating microphone icon on your screen. Alternatively, you can use the Speech-to-Text Google Docs shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + S to turn on the microphone.

Click floating microphone voice to text Google Docs


Step 3: Once the microphone turns red, start speaking into it. The microphone is “on” as long as it remains red. To turn it off, simply click on the microphone icon again.

How to speak into Google Docs microphone


Step 4: If Google Docs requires access to your microphone, click on the icon in the address bar, select your microphone, and click “Done.”

How to open microphone settings Google Docs

Speech-to-Text Google Docs Shortcuts

Besides the voice typing feature, various Google voice commands perform useful Speech-to-Text tasks in Google Docs. Let’s go over the basic ones:

Related: To hone your writing voice, why not sign up for a Masterclass taught by expert authors?

General Commands for Voice-to-Text

1. Click on the microphone icon and say “New paragraph.” Google Docs will start a new paragraph in your document.

2. “New line” will start a new line in your Google Doc.

3. Say “Comma” or “Period” to add punctuation wherever required.

4. To select a word or a phrase in a sentence, say “Select” followed by the phrase or word.

Select text with voice type on Google Docs


5. To select a sentence, just say, “Select,” and read the sentence you want. For example, I said, “Select Google Docs Speech-to-Text feature is pretty cool,” and Google Docs selected the intended sentence correctly.

Selecting a sentence using voice to text in GDocs


6. To unselect a sentence, simply say, “Unselect,” and read the desired sentence.

Unselect text in Google Docs


7. Say, “Select next line,” and Google Docs will do so. You can select items and paragraphs by doing the same thing (e.g., “select next paragraph,” “select next table.”).

How to select next line voice type on Google Docs

Editing Commands for Speech-to-Text

Use this feature to edit your document in Google Docs.

1. Voice-select the text you want to remove, then say either “Delete” or “Backspace.”

2. To undo what you’ve just done, simply say “Undo.”

3. To copy and paste a sentence, voice-select the text and say, “Copy.”  Unselect the sentence by saying, “New paragraph, paste.”

Copy and paste in Google Docs with voice text


5. To insert a table, simply say, “Insert table 5 by 5.”

Inserting a table with speech to text Google Docs


6. To insert more rows or columns, just say, “Insert new row” or “Insert new column.”

Related: How to find and replace text in Google Docs

Formatting Commands Using Dictation on Google Docs

Here are some of the commands to use to format your document:

1. Say “Select” the words you want to format, and “Bold,” “Underline,” or “Italics.”

Using dictation on Google Docs to format text


2. To apply headers, select the intended phrase or sentence and say, “Apply Heading 1.” You can do the same for Headings 2 and 3.

Apply heading in Google Docs


3. To change text color, say “Select,” the selection you want to be changed, and “Text color green.”

Changing font color with voice type on Google Docs


4. To change font size, select the text and say, “Make bigger” or “Make smaller” (as per your requirements). This will incrementally increase or decrease the font size by one point.

Increase font size using voice to text on Google Docs


5. To create a bullet point list, select the intended text and say, “Create bullet point list.”

How to talk into Google Docs and make bullet points


6. To align text, select the intended text and say, “Align right,” “Align left,” or “Center” (as per your requirements).

Align text using voice-to-text in Google Docs


7. To clear formatting, select the intended text and say, “Clear formatting.”

How to clear formatting with voice text on GDocs


Related: How to do a hanging indent on Google Docs

How to Do Voice-To-Text on Other Devices

Google Docs web and mobile can be used similarly on all devices. In fact, you can follow the steps above for the same results.

To use Speech-to-Text in the Google Docs mobile app, use your phone’s built-in keyboard. Most phones have built-in keyboards that support voice typing on Google Docs.

Additional Voice-to-Text Option for macOS

An additional option for macOS is the macOS built-in dictation on Google Docs. Enable dictation in the System Preferences and then use the shortcut key to start dictating text directly within Google Docs.

Tips to Ensure the Best Dictation on Google Docs

To enhance your voice-to-text results in Google Docs:

  • Use a high-quality microphone for improved transcription.
  • Speak reasonably to ensure the algorithm grasps your words and commands.
  • Be patient: You may need to repeat yourself.
  • Practice dictating commands in Google Docs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Use Microphone in Google Docs?

The toolbar at the top of Google Docs lets you turn on the microphone by selecting “Tools” > “Voice typing.”

You can also use the CTRL+SHIFT+S shortcut on Windows and CMD+SHIFT+S on macOS. The browser may need your authorization to utilize the microphone.

Can You Use Speech-to-Text on Google Docs for Mac?

Yes, you can use voice-to-text in Google Docs for Mac. However, it will only work if you’re using Google Docs on Chrome. You may have to download Google Chrome on your device.

How to Enable Text-to-Speech Features with Google Docs on Chrome OS?

To enable the Speech-to-Text feature in Google Docs, follow the listed steps:

  1. Open the Google Docs document
  2. In the top menu bar, navigate to “Tools” > “Accessibility” (at the bottom of the list).
  3. Check “Turn on screen reader support” and save the settings by clicking “OK.”

How Do I Turn on Speech-to-Text in Google Docs?

To enable Speech-to-Text in Google Docs, follow these steps:

  1. Open Google Docs.
  2. In the menu bar, navigate to “Tools” > “Voice typing.” A microphone button will now appear on your screen.
  3. Click on the microphone icon to turn it on.
  4. Once turned on, the microphone icon will turn red.
  5. You can start transcribing your speech without clicking on the microphone icon every time you want to transcribe or give a command, as long as the microphone icon remains red.
  6. However, if you need to turn the microphone off and on again, you will need to click on the microphone icon each time to do so.

Why Does My Google Docs Not Offer Voice Typing?

If Google Docs voice typing doesn’t work on a Mac or Windows PC, the following factors may be to blame:

  • Microphone access isn’t enabled in Google Docs.
  • Your Google Docs’ microphone settings are incorrect.
  • You’re using an older Chrome browser version.
  • You have an excessive browser cache/data accumulation.
  • The internet connection is unstable.

Final Thoughts

Using Speech-to-Text in Google Docs is a game-changer for those who struggle with typing. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can easily start using this feature and enjoy its benefits.

Did you know that Canva has an AI-powered feature called Magic Write that can help generate effective content quickly and easily? It’s a fantastic tool for streamlining the writing process! Start creating incredible copy today!


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