Google Docs has offered voice typing on the web since 2015, and the input method is now set to pick up “enhancements” that will also improve automatic captions in Google Slides.

When viewing a Google Doc, Tools > Voice Typing opens a floating microphone that accepts input until you click again. You can also edit and format with your voice.

The upcoming update will “reduce transcription errors and minimize lost audio,” but Google doesn’t provide any specific examples. Google Docs voice typing will also get “expanded availability to most major browsers.” At the moment, this feature is “only available in Chrome browsers” and does not work in Safari. 

These updates to transcription quality will also apply to automatic captions in Google Slides that help audience members read/subtitle your presentation.

We hope this launch leads to more inclusive and accessible user interactions within Docs and Slides. 

These features are rolling out now and will be fully available over the next month for both free and paid Workspace tiers. 

Meanwhile, Google Docs is also rolling out support for non-printing characters that help visualize a Paragraph/Hard break, Line/Soft break, Section break, Page break, Column break, Tab, and Space. These symbols can be helpful when formatting a document.

To enable on the web, open View > Show non-printing characters in the coming weeks.

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Abner Li

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