Although Google Docs may seem like any other word processor, Docs offers its fair share of nifty features that can make your life a whole lot easier and save a you a lot of valuable time. The only problem is that few people seem to know about them.

The Voice Typing function is one such example. This tool can be used to drastically cut down on the time it takes to transcribe an interview or audio recording—a feature that professionals from many fields could benefit from. Voice Typing might also be useful to those who prefer to dictate what they want to write, as well as those with impairments that prevent them from typing.

 

Whatever the case may be, it’s extremely easy to use. Just open a blank document, click on “tools” at the top, and then select “voice typing.” A microphone icon will pop up, allowing you to choose your language. After you’ve done that, simply click the icon when you’re ready to start speaking! You may notice that you can tell it punctuation like periods and commas and so on. It’s going to make some mistakes that you’re probably going to need to clean up later but it’s overall a pretty sweet tool for getting ideas down.

Unfortunately, it’s not advanced enough to transcribe a recording played via a speaker-it only reacts to human voice, in a quiet area. If the background noise is too loud, or many people are speaking at once, the transcription will be less accurate. Still, this eliminates the hassle of having to pause and rewind in order to catch up to the audio—unless you’re the champion of a speed typing contest, in which case you probably don’t need this feature anyway.

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