How to Use Speech-To-Text in Google Docs

771802 How to Use Speech-To-Text in Google Docs

Google Docs’ speech-to-text feature, also known as voice typing, allows you to dictate text instead of typing. This can help you write faster, avoid fatigue from typing, and improve accessibility. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use speech-to-text in Google Docs.

Enable Voice Typing in Google Docs

  1. Make sure you are using the Chrome browser. Voice typing is only available in Chrome.
  2. Open a document in Google Docs or create a new blank document.
  3. Go to Tools > Voice typing. Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + S (Windows) or ⌘ + Shift + S (Mac).
  4. A microphone box will appear. Click on it to activate voice typing. The mic icon will turn red to indicate it is listening.
  5. Start speaking to dictate text. Speak clearly and at a natural pace into your computer’s microphone.
  6. Say “comma,” “period,” “new line,” or “new paragraph” to automatically add punctuation.
  7. Click the mic again when you are done to stop voice typing. The text will convert from gray underlined text to normal black text.

Edit Text with Voice Commands

You can edit text using voice commands instead of the mouse and keyboard:

  • Say “select [text]” to select text to edit
  • Say “delete that” or “delete [number] words” to delete text
  • Say “copy” or “cut” text
  • Say formatting commands like “bold that,” “underline that,” or “italicize that”

Fix Voice Typing Errors

Google Docs underlines words it is not 100% confident about in gray. To correct errors:

  • Put your cursor on the underlined text
  • Right-click and choose the correct option from the menu
  • Alternatively, dictate the correct text verbally

Customize Voice Typing

You can customize voice typing to improve accuracy:

  • Go to Tools > Voice typing > Speech settings
  • Train the system to recognize your voice better
  • Add words to improve recognition of unique vocabulary

Best Practices for Accuracy

Follow these tips to boost voice typing accuracy:

  • Speak clearly in a quiet environment
  • Speak at a natural pace, not too fast
  • Enunciate words fully
  • Add a headset microphone for better sound quality

Use Voice Typing for Faster Writing

Voice typing excels at first drafts or brainstorming sessions. The automatic dictation to text allows you to get thoughts down quickly. You can then use the keyboard and mouse to neatly edit and format later.

Set up shortcuts and voice commands to format on the fly:

  • Say “new heading” to start sections
  • Say “bullet list” then dictate list items
  • Say “numbered list” then dictate numbered items

Improve Accessibility with Voice Typing

People unable to use a keyboard can benefit tremendously from voice typing. It provides independence and flexibility to dictate documents and emails.

Voice typing helps those with:

  • Physical disabilities
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Dyslexia or reading/writing difficulties
  • Visual impairments
  • Motor difficulties

With some practice, voice typing can boost productivity and make writing accessible to all.