Voice Typing Shortcuts and Edits

by Joe Kemery: @Mr_Kemery

I know that we’ve already seen one post on Voice Typing, but with all the new tricks that have recently been added, I just felt that another post was in order. Voice typing is great for capturing ideas, jotting down a quick note or letter, and really capturing those ‘stream of thought’ moments. It is so useful to be able to really focus on ideas and concepts without needing to touch your keyboard.


On February 24th, Google announced that you can also edit and format your documents with your voice. Getting started is a breeze, simply select “Voice typing” in the “Tools” menu when you’re using Docs in Chrome. Anyone familiar with the speech-to-text applications on most phones will be very comfortable with the technology.  The biggest thing to get comfortable with is saying the punctuation marks. Although a bit awkward while typing those first few sentences, it becomes very fluid after a few minutes.  When teaching my students how to use this tool, I generally start by having them read a page from a book, practicing the punctuation marks in particular.


Editing and Formatting do take a bit more time to get comfortable with, but for quick changes, it has proved to be invaluable.  Simple edits and revisions can now be done hands free! Rather than selecting text, clicking buttons and toggling between different tools, you can now quickly tell Docs exactly what you want it to do.  In the short amount of time that this has been available, I’ve really found it beneficial when conferencing with students on their own writing.  It is no longer about making edits on their writing, or explaining my notes to the student.  We can now edit together, with our conversation being an authentic, teachable moment.  The editing and formatting commands can be a bit overwhelming, so for my students I have started with a very simple list of commands. It’s also helpful in the teaching of grammar rules, with students being taught a new commands after direct instruction that has been given.

As they become very comfortable with those commands, I will be adding others. My focus has been on the basic rules so far, but I plan on expanding to include formatting in addition to editing.


Check out the full list of commands in the Help Center or simply say “Voice commands help” when you’re voice typing.



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