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Google introduces Voice Typing for Docs (and it transcribes too!)


I rely heavy on voice typing for messaging and searching on my phone.  I type pretty darn fast, but I talk and think way faster than I type and I just lose ideas before they make the page.

Along with several other enhancements (a See New Changes feature and research tools that I will describe in upcoming posts), on Wednesday, Google introduced a voice typing feature that resembles a dictation app.

It’s free.  It works in the Chrome browser. And it is available in an array of 40 languages!

My test below reveals that it is also pretty darn accurate and pretty darn sweet.  (Sure, I talked a little slower that usual and sure, I will need to  edit a bit.)

Here’s Google’s official video

To review, here’s how it works:Voice typing

  1. In your Chrome browser Drive, open a Doc
  2. Open the Tools menu > Voice typing.
  3. When the pop-up microphone box appears, you may click the microphone or press Ctrl + Shift + S (Cmd + Shift + S on a Mac) on your keyboard.
  4. Speak your text clearly (without background noise)  See punctuation listed below.
  5. When you’re finished, click the microphone again to stop recording.
  6. Note: If you make an error typing with your voice, you can move the cursor to that point in the text, and correct without turning off your mic. When you finish correcting, you may move your cursor back to where you were to continue voice typing.  You may also right-click words underlined in grey to see a list of suggestions.

You may speak a variety of punctuation marks and commands as you dictate, although spoken punctuation is only supported in German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Russian.

  • period
  • comma
  • exclamation point
  • question mark
  • new lineFloating microphone
  • new paragraph

(Check out Google’s support page for more information about troubleshooting settings.)

So what?  This is free.  And I think it is huge.

I suspect it will allow our early (and more reluctant) writers to get their ideas on a page without the inhibitions of spelling and vocabulary and limited keyboard speed.  It can support language learner. Getting the early content out there without barriers may encourage more careful editing and tweaking.

There’s another major benefit.

I opened YouTube in one browser window and a Google Doc in another and made a discovery.  Voice Typing is also darn good at transcribing video and audio!  This is huge for researchers.  It will be a game changer for capturing interviews. And it is huge for captioning video and podcasts for accessiblity and for flipping and for taking notes about video.

And we can now so easily write and cook (etc.) at the same time, and save our work to the platform many of us call home.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Joyce, terrific article. I just wrote a new module introducing closed captioning and transcript creation. This tool could be very useful. I do note that as of 9/4/2015 voice typing is not available if you are using Windows 10. Shows up fine on my Windows 7 machine.

    Thanks for helping me stay the cutting edge! ~ Dennis

  2. Hi Joyce,
    This is terrific! Are you able to provide any further instruction on how to transcribe an audio file?

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