How do I add voice to text on Android?

Adding voice to text on Android allows users to dictate text instead of typing. This can make writing faster and easier, especially for those who find typing difficult. Voice typing has many benefits, including allowing people to get their thoughts down quickly without the barriers of manual typing [1]. It can help people with disabilities or conditions like ADHD express themselves more easily [2]. Overall, voice to text makes writing accessible and can save time for all users. This guide will provide steps on how to enable and use voice typing to add speech to text on Android devices.

Enable Voice Typing in Settings

To enable voice typing on your Android device, you first need to turn on the Google voice typing option in your settings. Here are the steps to follow:

Go to the Settings app on your device and select System. Then choose Languages & input > Virtual keyboard. Under Available virtual keyboard, make sure Gboard is enabled. Tap Gboard to open its settings.

Under Gboard settings, find Voice typing and toggle the switch ON. This enables Google’s voice typing capability so you can start dictating text instead of typing.

According to Google’s Gboard help, with voice typing enabled you can tap the microphone icon on the keyboard to start dictating into any app that allows text input.

Use the Microphone Icon

Once you have enabled voice typing on your Android device, using it is very simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the app you want to use voice typing in, like Messages, Notes, or Gmail. Make sure the keyboard is open.
  2. Look in the top row of the keyboard and tap the microphone icon (it looks like old school microphone). This will activate the voice typing feature.
  3. Speak clearly into your phone’s microphone to convert your speech to text. Say what you want to type out loud and it will appear on screen.

The microphone icon allows you to seamlessly dictate text just by speaking. As long as the mic is active, anything you say will be transcribed into the text field or document automatically. This makes voice typing much faster than pecking at keys, especially for longer messages or notes.

One tip is to make sure you annunciate and speak clearly at a normal volume and pace. Say punctuation marks like “period” or “comma” so they get added automatically. You can also say commands like “new line” or “new paragraph” to format the text.

Overall, tapping the microphone icon is the easiest way to start voice typing on Android. Just press it, speak, and watch your speech convert into text.

Say Period, Comma, Etc. for Punctuation

One useful feature of voice typing on Android is the ability to add punctuation by voice commands. Simply say words like “period”, “comma”, or “question mark” while dictating, and Gboard will automatically insert the corresponding punctuation mark.

For example, if you say “What time is it question mark”, it will type “What time is it?”. This allows you to add punctuation without having to tap the screen or keyboard.

According to Google Support, you can say the following commands to automatically insert punctuation:

  • Period or full stop
  • Comma
  • Question mark
  • Exclamation mark
  • Colon
  • Semicolon

This feature allows you to dictate text quickly and seamlessly without interrupting your flow. It’s especially useful for longer passages or if you need to add punctuation while keeping your hands free.

Use Voice Commands

You can use certain voice commands while voice typing to make the process easier and more efficient. Some useful commands include:

Say “new line” or “new paragraph” to start a new line or paragraph. The speech recognition will enter the proper formatting.

Say “no space” to remove the space between words. This allows you to correct spacing issues quickly.

You can say punctuation like “period”, “comma”, “question mark”, etc. to automatically insert the symbols.

Other commands like “delete that” let you easily edit the text.

You can also give commands to capitalize words, insert emojis, enter numbers and more. Experiment to find all the supported commands.

Using these voice commands helps optimize the voice typing experience on Android. With some practice, you can dictate full documents efficiently hands-free.

Choose Input Language

To switch between languages for voice typing on Android, you’ll need to change the input language in your device settings or keyboard app. Here’s how to find the language options:

Open the Settings app on your Android device and go to System > Languages & Input > Languages. Here you can add or remove languages for your device’s system.1

If using Gboard, go to Gboard app settings > Languages and tap “Add keyboard” to select additional languages. You can then switch languages by tapping the globe icon in the keyboard.2

Samsung devices also allow you to add languages in the Samsung keyboard settings. Go to Settings > General Management > Language and input > On-screen keyboard > Languages and types.

Having multiple languages enabled makes it easy to switch as needed for voice typing. Just be sure the desired language is selected before speaking your text.

Offline Voice Typing

Android allows you to download language packs for offline voice typing. This can be useful when you don’t have an active data or WiFi connection.

To enable offline voice typing:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to System > Languages & input > Virtual keyboard > Gboard.
  2. Tap on Voice typing.
  3. Toggle on Use offline speech recognition.
  4. Tap Languages.
  5. Download the language packs you want to use offline.

Once the language packs are downloaded, you can use voice typing without an internet connection. The offline speech recognition may not be as accurate as online, but can still be very useful when needed.1

Some tips for optimal offline voice typing include speaking slowly and clearly, and ensuring you have downloaded the language packs for the language you plan to use.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you are having issues with voice typing not working properly on your Android device, here are some troubleshooting tips to try:

First, make sure you are speaking clearly and limiting background noise. The microphone needs to be able to pick up what you are saying without too much interference. Find a quiet environment or try using headphones with a built-in mic for better accuracy.

You also need to make sure the keyboard app you are using has permission to access your phone’s microphone. Open your Android settings, go to Apps & Notifications > App Permissions > Microphone and make sure the keyboard app has access enabled. For the standard Gboard app, look for an entry called “Google Voice Typing.”

If you are using a Samsung device, check that “Voice Assistant” has microphone access allowed. For other Android devices, look for the manufacturer’s pre-installed keyboard app such as “LG Keyboard” or “HTC Keyboard.” If you have multiple keyboard apps installed from the Play Store, you may need to grant each of them microphone permission.

With microphone access enabled and minimized background noise, voice typing accuracy should improve significantly. Check the keyboard settings as well for a “Voice input” option to ensure everything is configured properly.

Third-Party Apps

In addition to the built-in voice typing in Android, there are various third-party apps that offer enhanced voice typing features:

Google Docs, Evernote, and other productivity apps often include built-in voice typing capabilities. These can be convenient for drafting documents or taking notes by voice within these apps. However, the features may be more limited compared to dedicated voice typing apps.

Third-party keyboard apps like Gboard and SwiftKey also provide voice typing, and some have expanded voice command options. These keyboards can fully replace the default typing keyboard.

Specialized voice typing apps like Dragon Anywhere offer robust transcription capabilities, custom voice commands, and integration with other apps. They excel at long-form dictation.

Consider your usage needs when choosing third-party voice apps. Built-in tools may suffice for quick voice notes, while dedicated apps provide more control for frequent drafting or documentation.


In summary, adding voice to text on Android devices is straightforward with just a few steps. First, enable Voice Typing in your device’s Settings. Then, tap the microphone icon on your keyboard to start dictating. Say “period,” “comma,” and other punctuation to automatically insert them. Use voice commands like “delete that” or “new line” for editing. Switch input languages as needed. While an internet connection is required for full functionality, offline voice typing is also available. If you encounter any issues, try troubleshooting tips like adjusting microphone settings or installing a third-party voice typing app.

The ability to add voice to text can greatly increase efficiency and accessibility. Speaking naturally and seeing your words transcribed automatically is quicker than manual typing, especially for longer documents. This hands-free method also helps those unable to type or uncomfortable with touchscreen keyboards. With some practice to master the voice commands and features, voice typing can save you time and effort on Android devices.

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