How do you put a comma in voice typing?

Voice typing, also known as speech-to-text or dictation software, allows users to speak into a microphone and have their speech converted into text. This can be a useful accessibility tool and time-saver for many people. However, one common challenge with voice typing is correctly adding punctuation like commas.

Commas are important in writing as they help break up sentences into clear, understandable parts. They allow readers to pause briefly and organize information in their minds. Without commas, text can become difficult to interpret and read. That’s why properly using commas is an essential skill when voice typing to ensure clarity.

Enabling Voice Typing

Start by ensuring that voice typing is enabled on your device or in the app you want to use it in. On Android devices, open the Gboard app and ensure “Voice Typing” is turned on under Preferences. You can also toggle it on or off from the keyboard by tapping the microphone icon [1]. On iPhones and iPads, go to Settings > General > Keyboard and turn on Enable Dictation. In most apps like Notes, Messages, Mail etc. there is also a microphone icon you can select to start dictating [2].

On desktops and laptops, Google Docs has built-in voice typing you can enable by going to Tools > Voice typing. The Chrome browser also has dictation you can enable by going to Settings > Advanced > “Enable dictation” [1]. For other desktop apps, you may need to download speech recognition software like Dragon NaturallySpeaking or use a web-based tool like Speechnotes.

The key is to locate and enable the voice typing or dictation capabilities in your desired device or app. Most modern operating systems and apps support it, but you may need to hunt around in the settings to turn it on.

Speaking Commas

One of the easiest ways to insert commas while using voice typing is to simply say the word “comma.” When you say “comma” out loud, your device’s speech recognition will transcribe it as an actual comma in the text. This allows you to dictate text naturally while also inserting punctuation as needed, without having to tap buttons or adjust settings.

For example, you could say a sentence like “Let’s see comma I need milk comma eggs comma bread and cheese” and the commas would be automatically inserted where you paused to say the word. Saying “comma” is often the most seamless way to add commas on the fly.

However, some users have reported issues with voice recognition incorrectly transcribing “comma” as a different word like “karma.” This seems to depend on factors like your speech patterns, accent, audio quality and the device’s speech recognition capabilities. If you find saying “comma” doesn’t work, try adjusting your pronunciation or volume. But for most users, simply stating “comma” will quickly and easily insert commas during voice typing.

Using Short Pauses

One alternative to using verbal commands for commas is to simply pause briefly when you would normally use a comma in your speech.1 With most voice typing services, a short pause of about half a second will automatically insert a comma in the transcribed text. This allows you to speak naturally, as you would in a conversation, and let the software handle the punctuation.

Pausing briefly in place of saying “comma” can help avoid the common issue of voice typing incorrectly entering “karma” instead of a comma. It also flows better than having to consciously insert command words like “comma” as you speak. The key is to pause slightly longer than you normally would between phrases or list items where a comma is needed.

One potential downside is that you have less explicit control over comma placement compared to using commands. But with practice, short pauses can become second nature and mimic your desired punctuation well in voice typing transcription.

Adjusting Punctuation Settings

You can adjust the punctuation settings in Google’s voice typing feature to automatically add commas, periods, and question marks. According to the Google Support article Use Google Assistant to type with your voice – Gboard Help, you can turn on automated punctuation to have Google automatically insert punctuation based on your natural pauses while speaking.

To enable automated punctuation, open the Google app on your Android device and go to Settings > Voice > Automated punctuation. Toggle on the setting for “Automatically add punctuation.” This will make Google’s voice typing automatically punctuate your pauses.

You can also adjust the pause duration for punctuation insertion in Settings. For example, setting a longer duration may be helpful if you tend to pause naturally while speaking. With automated punctuation enabled, Google will insert commas and periods based on your pauses while voice typing.

Using Verbal Commands

One easy way to insert commas and other punctuation while voice typing is by using specific verbal commands. Google Voice Typing has preset phrases you can say out loud to automatically insert common punctuation marks, without having to pause awkwardly or fumble with settings. According to [Call Scotland](, some examples of commands you can use are:

  • “Comma” to insert a comma (,)
  • “Period” for a full stop (.)
  • “Exclamation mark” to add an exclamation point (!)
  • “Question mark” to insert a question mark (?)

[A Google support thread]( confirms you can say these punctuation names aloud naturally in your dictation, and they will automatically be inserted in the correct places. So instead of pausing awkwardly to try to indicate a comma in your speech, just clearly saying “comma” will add the , for you.

Audible Feedback

When using voice typing, Google Assistant provides audible feedback in the form of beeps and audio cues to confirm punctuation and capitalization. This can be helpful to know whether your words were transcribed correctly, but some users find the sounds too loud and distracting.

By default, Google Assistant will beep once for a comma, twice for a period or question mark, and will say “cap” for capital letters. You can disable or adjust the volume of these audio cues in your phone or app’s voice typing settings. For example, in Gboard for Android you can turn off punctuation sounds and lower the volume under Voice Typing > Advanced > Punctuation readout and Voice typing sound.

On an iPhone, go to Settings > Accessibility > Spoken Content and toggle off Speak Punctuation. For Google Docs voice typing, click the mic icon > Speech settings and disable “Play sound for punctuation and capital letters.” You can also say verbal commands like “period” “comma” “no sound” while dictating to adjust settings on the fly.

While some rely on the audio feedback for accuracy, others find turning it off improves their voice typing experience. Adjust the settings according to your personal preference.

Editing After the Fact

If you notice punctuation issues after completing voice typing, there are a few ways to manually edit the punctuation:

You can simply tap where you want punctuation to be added in the text and insert it manually using the keyboard. This allows you to go back through and insert periods, commas, question marks, etc. wherever they are needed.

You can also use the editing features within your voice typing app to fix punctuation. For example, in Google Docs you can click on the gear icon while viewing your document and select “Voice Typing” then click on “Transcribe audio” which will open a sidebar. Here you can play back the audio recording of your dictation and manually add punctuation as needed.

The Google Docs transcription sidebar also has an “Auto punctuate” feature which will automatically add some basic punctuation to your dictation, though you may still need to manually correct some items. This can be a helpful starting point before editing yourself.

For minor edits, you may also be able to simply speak the punctuation aloud to insert it. Try saying “period” “comma” “question mark” etc. in the appropriate spots to add them.

Overall, while voice typing apps do their best to punctuate accurately, you’ll often need to go back and manually correct punctuation for the clearest communication. But editing after the fact is straightforward and gives you full control.

Choosing the Right Method

When deciding which method works best for adding commas during voice typing, consider the following advice:

Using short pauses is the simplest option that doesn’t require any special settings or commands. However, it can feel unnatural to pause frequently mid-sentence. It also relies on the voice typing technology accurately detecting pauses.

Adjusting punctuation settings in your voice typing app is convenient if you always want commas automatically added. However, automatic punctuation isn’t always accurate, especially for more complex sentences. It’s best for basic punctuation.

Verbal commands allow you to naturally dictate commas on the fly. However, you have to memorize the command words and consistently remember to use them. This method has a learning curve.

Editing after the fact is useful if you don’t want to interrupt your dictation flow. However, it can be time-consuming to manually insert a lot of commas after finishing. This works best if you just need to fix a few missed commas.

Many find that a combination of short pauses and verbal commands works well, according to users on Reddit (source). Adjust pauses and verbal cues to match your individual preference and style.


Adding commas while using voice typing can ensure your text is clear, concise, and properly punctuated. As we’ve discussed, there are several methods for inserting commas, including short pauses, adjusting settings, verbal commands, and editing after the fact.

Recap the main points:

  • Take a brief pause when you want a comma to be inserted.
  • Enable automatic punctuation in your voice typing settings.
  • Use clear verbal commands like “comma” to insert punctuation.
  • Review and edit the text afterwards to fix any punctuation issues.

Being able to add commas and proper punctuation while voice typing makes documents more readable and coherent. It also helps ensure your thoughts are communicated accurately. With some practice, inserting commas during voice dictation can become second nature.

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