Google Docs – Voice typing & voice control

More and more we’re seeing devices controlled by your voice and Google Docs is no exception. It gives you the opportunity to input text via your voice instead of via the keyboard. It also allows you to control, what would normally be controlled by the mouse, by your voice. For example, you can change the format of your text, edit the document, select certain areas, all with your voice.

It is of course a wonderful tool for those who can’t use a keyboard and mouse, and offers a free solution to what would normally require dedicated software. As an experiment, I’ve ‘voice typed’ the first half of this post. As you will see later on, it wasn’t perfect and does take a little while getting used to, plus you end up having to edit the document, but the question is, is this what we’ll all be doing in the future?


Voice typing

Note, before starting you will need to have some kind of microphone to do this. If you are using a laptop with a built-in webcam then probably you don’t need anything else, but if you’re using a desktop computer, then you might need a microphone or a headset to use this. Basically, you need something to record your voice.

Secondly, at present this only works in the Google Chrome browser.

To start, you will need to turn voice typing on. Go to the “Tools” menu and select “Voice typing…”.

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This opens up a box with a microphone symbol.

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Prior to using it, check it’s set to your variation of your language, or at least something close to it. If you’re particular area isn’t listed, you may need to try different ones to see which is best for you.

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To start recording and voice typing, just click on the microphone symbol. It’ll turn red to show you it’s recording.

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Then just start talking.

Here’s the first paragraph. As you can see, it’s not perfect, although I was speaking fairly naturally into the computer, so it’s down a pretty good job, considering I haven’t touched the keyboard. I’m just not sure how Rambo got in there!?

More and more will seeing devices controlled by your voice and Google Docs is no exception. It gives you the opportunity to input text by voice instead of by the keyboard. It also allows you to control what would normally be controlled by the mouse, by your voice. free Rambo you can change the format of your text, headed the document, select certain areas, all with your voice.

To add punctuation, you just say the name of the punctuation mark. These are the ones it accepts at the moment:

full stop (period), comma, exclamation mark, question mark

Plus it allows you to decide when to create a new line or paragraph:

new line, new paragraph

At the time of writing, these punctuation commands only work in English, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish.


Correcting your text

Once you’ve voice-typed your text, you can either go back in and manually correct things with your mouse or you can do it with voice commands. Note, at the time of writing, these commands are only available in English and your account and document language must be in English for it to work.

Selecting text

Say “select” + one of the commands below. For example, “select last word”.

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Most of options above are pretty easy to remember and after a bit of practice you realise that most make logical sense.

To correct a word, for example, say “select last word” then say the correct word.


Formatting your document

You can also format your document, for example, we can align the text. Note, it allows different ways to say the options, for example, “align center” or “center align”.

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I’ve included most of the options below, but there is a help menu in Docs that will give you all the options. Click on the question mark in the corner of the voice typing box, or with voice typing on, just say “voice typing help”.

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This will open up all the options. As you can see, there are lots to choose from and can do the majority of tasks with just using your voice. Have fun practising!

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eBooks now available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, and Slides:

  • Join the Google Slides Tips Google Space (for now: personal accounts only)

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


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