Create And Edit A Google Doc Using Voice Commands

We want to remind you back about one of the old and less known features of Google Docs that lets you speak instead of type and allows you to do hand-free writing.

1. How To Enable Voice Typing

If you have Google Account then you already have Google Docs. When you open Google Docs, a window pop ups asking you, would you try voice dictation.

Try google typing

If you click TRY IT then following window pop ups, asking you to either Block or Allow using microphone. You can click Allow.

allow microphone

Now before you start using Voice Typing, you must choose the language you find yourself comfortable with.

select language

If you want you can enable this feature manually as well, you can open your Google Docs and go to Tools menu and find Voice Typing in the drop down list. When you click Voice Typing, it automatically gets enabled in your doc and appears at the left edge of the doc.

enable google typing

2. How To Use Voice Typing

Now you are just one step away from Voice Typing. You will see a microphone just below the language, click on microphone unless it changes into red colour and start speaking what you want to write.

google voice typing

Voice Typing is exclusively for chrome browser and while using it, you can choose out of dozens of languages but voice commands for editing and formatting are only available in English.

To use Voice Typing or voice commands, your microphone needs to be on and working fine.

3. How To Use Voice Commands

The feature of voice commands makes Google Docs a complete document editor that enable you to do editing and formatting according to your needs. For e.g. you can say “Select paragraph” and it would select the paragraph or “Go to the end of the line” and it would take your cursor to the end of the line.

Note: Voice commands are available only in English so account language and document language both should be English.

There is a huge list of Google Docs voice commands which are classified in different categories. Let’s start with

A. Select Text

To select text, say these commands:

  • Select [word or phrase]
  • Select all
  • Select all matching text
  • Select list item
  • Select list items at current level
  • Select next character
  • Select next [number] characters
  • Select last character
  • Select last [number] characters
  • Select line
  • Select next line
  • Select next [number] lines
  • Select last line
  • Select last [number] lines
  • Select paragraph
  • Select next paragraph
  • Select next [number] paragraphs
  • Select last paragraph
  • Select last [number] paragraphs
  • Select word
  • Select next word
  • Select next [number] words
  • Select last word
  • Select last [number] words
  • Deselect
  • Unselect
  • Select none
B. Format Your Document

Text Formatting

  • Apply heading [1–6]
  • Apply normal text
  • Apply subtitle
  • Apply title
  • Bold
  • Italicize
  • Italics
  • Strikethrough
  • Subscript
  • Superscript
  • Underline
  • All caps [word or phrase]
  • Capitalize [word or phrase]

Note: “All caps” makes the word or phrase all capital letters. “Capitalize” capitalizes only the first letter.

Text colour and highlighting

  • Text color [color]
  • Highlight
  • Highlight [color]
  • Background [color]
  • Remove highlight
  • Remove background color

Note: The colors available are: red, red berry, orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue, cornflower blue, purple, magenta, black, white, and gray. For all colors except black and white, you can add “light” or “dark” along with numbers 1-3 (for gray, 1-4), such as “dark purple 3.” If you say “highlight” by itself, the highlighting color is yellow.

Font Size

  • Decrease font size
  • Increase font size
  • Font size [6-400]
  • Make bigger
  • Make smaller
Paragraph Formatting

  • Decrease indent
  • Increase indent
  • Line spacing [1-100]
  • Line spacing double
  • Line spacing single

  • Align center
  • Align justified
  • Align left
  • Align right
  • Center align
  • Left align
  • Right align

  • Apply 1 column
  • Apply 2 columns
  • Apply 3 columns
  • Column options
  • Insert column break

  • Create bulleted list
  • Create numbered list
  • Insert bullet
  • Insert number
Remove formatting

  • Clear formatting
  • Remove formatting
  • Remove bold
  • Remove italics
  • Remove strikethrough
  • Remove underline
C. Edit Your Document

To edit your document, say these commands:

  • Copy
  • Cut
  • Paste
  • Delete
  • Delete last word
  • Delete [word or phrase]
  • Insert link [then say the URL you want to use]
  • Copy link
  • Delete link
  • Insert table of contents
  • Delete table of contents
  • Update table of contents
  • Insert comment [then say your comment]
  • Insert bookmark
  • Insert equation
  • Insert footer
  • Insert footnote
  • Insert header
  • Insert horizontal line
  • Insert page break


If you say “Delete” by itself, you delete the word before the cursor.

If you select the text of a URL and say “Insert link”, the selected text becomes a hyperlink.

D. Add And Edit Tables

To add and edit tables, say these commands:

  • Insert table
  • Insert table [1-20] rows by [1-20] columns
  • Insert row
  • Insert column
  • Insert new column
  • Insert new column on the left
  • Insert new row
  • Insert new row above
  • Insert new row below
  • Delete column
  • Delete row
  • Delete table
  • Remove column
  • Remove row
  • Remove table
  • Exit table
E. Stop Voice Typing

To stop voice typing, say “Stop listening.”

F. Resume Voice Typing

To move the cursor to the end of the paragraph and start voice typing again, say “Resume.”

To move the cursor to the end of a particular word or phrase, say “Resume with [word or phrase].”

Here are all the commands you can say to resume voice typing:

  • Resume
  • Resume with [word or phrase]
  • Go to the end of the paragraph
  • Move to the end of the paragraph
  • Go to the end of the line
  • Move to the end of the line
  • Go to [word]

4. Accuracy

Generally, voice recognition tools are not accurate and it may take long hours to edit or format a document using voice recognition feature but Google Voice Typing allows you typing text with 99% accuracy and the nice thing is that it handles background noise very effectively.

5. Dictation Speed

The voice dictation speed of Google Voice Typing is rather good to keep up with high rate of speaking. And I feel that this tool is completely different from other voice recognition tools.

The biggest problem with Google Voice Typing tools is that punctuation marks do not go well with the text but as Google is improving its other products then surely it would also be improved and one day it would be able to insert punctuation automatically based on cadence of your voice.

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