Google Docs Voice Typing Tool

Voice typing big

Did you know that a new Voice Typing tool is available in Google Docs (since September 2015) providing speech recognition as a option when using Google Chrome Browser? I may be the only one who was not aware of this new tool, readily available in Google Docs!

Easily available, this tool can be turned on in Google Docs from the Tool menu.  Selecting the Voice Typing option in the menu activates the tool. It’s as easy as that!

Voice typing screen shot 2The microphone is then available requiring a click to begin  voice recognition within the document.

Voice typing with mic

The command  Ctrl + Shift + S (Cmd + Shift + S on a Mac) on your keyboard can also be used to activate the voice recognition tool. The microphone toggles on and to when clicked.  A functioning internal microphone or external mic is required for voice recognition.

A few voice commands are available for punctuation and  very basic navigation. The following commands were listed in Google support :

  • “Period”
  • “Comma”
  • “Exclamation point”
  • “Question mark”
  • “New line”
  • “New paragraph”

Correct mistakes while voice typing

If you make a mistake while you’re typing with your voice, you can move you cursor to the mistake and fix it without turning the microphone off. After correcting the mistake, make sure to move the cursor back to where you want to continue voice typing. You can also right-click words underlined in grey to see a list of suggestions.

Voice recognition is only available for the following languages: English, French, Russian, German, Italian and Spanish.


Initial trial using Google Doc’s Voice Typing tool found accuracy to be at 99% (accuracy in 301 of 303 words). Using my computer’s microphone with verbiage about occupational therapy and assistive technology recognized most of my vocabulary. Misinterpreted words were offered by selecting the word with my cursor, and right clicking. A list of words was generated that could be selected for correction listed. In the 303 words produced errors were: vocation for location and ergonomics for ergo nomics . It was easy to correct the errors using the select and right click with the cursor. I wish my iPhone voice recognition could translate at this rate of accuracy. The word ergonomics has not been correctly recognized after many, many occurrences.  I found my first trial using Voice Typing in Google Docs  quite impressive!

More Information

For more information about Google Doc’s Voice Typing and trouble shooting can be found at:

Here is a short YouTube on Voice Typing:


Have you or your students used this tool? How accurate has it been for your students?

More for your OT eTool Kit!



About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
This entry was posted in Accessibility, Adults, Adults with LD, Apps for OT's, Apps for Special Needs, Assistive Technology, AT for Handwriting, Google Chrome, Google Docs, Learning Disability, Mobility Impairment, Occupational Therapy, Physical Disability Tool, Special education, Special Needs, Universal Design for Learning, Voice Recognition and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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