Google Docs now lets you create entire documents hands-free

Yay for accessibility and tech

Voice control is something Google does well. Google Now has come on leaps and bounds since it was launched and has reshaped how many people use their Android devices. It all started with being able to dictate text and make voice searches. Today, we can speak to initiate and control fairly complex actions. “OK Google, remind me to call mum when I get home.” It just works. The wearables trend is only helping the technology.

The improved voice control has mostly focused on the newest technology. We live in a world of notifications and apps, so voice control has focused on smartphone features. More traditional computing tasks haven’t received the same attention for voice control. We’ve had voice-to-text dictation for many years, but not much beyond that. Google have offered dictation in their Google Docs for a few months but have just upped their game significantly with more powerful voice control. Check it out:

If you know all the commands, you could create an entire document with formatting using voice alone. Commands for Google Docs include “copy”, “paste”, “insert indent”, “move to footnote” and even the selection of specific words. You can find a full list of commands  on Google’s help page. To try it, just load up Google Docs in Google Chrome and you should receive a notification explaining the new feature.

We’re big fans of anything that improves accessibility. Sure, this will be a novelty to some people. Others might use this feature just to save navigating menus or learning keyboard short-cuts. However, the ability to get such fine control over documents using voice alone is going to make life significantly better for a lot of people.