Google Talk Shortcuts and Text Formatting

Format your text in Google Talk and use keyboard shortcutsGoogle Talk is arguably the one of the best messenger clients for communicating with your contacts.  The only thing is, it doesn’t have a whole lot of features.  Though, if both you and your recipient are using  Google Talk, you can use “markup” to add some mild formatting to your text.  There are also some program specific keyboard shortcuts for Google Talk, and we’ve listed them below.

Format your text

To send your words with bold or italic emphasis, just enclose them with an underscore or asterisk.

  • _italic_ = italic
  • *bold* = bold

Google Talk italic and bold text

Groovy keyboard shortcuts

Here are a few keyboard shortcuts that only work in Google Talk.

  • CTRL + Mousewheel Scroll
    Zooms text in for your writing box, the recipient of the message does not see the increased size.
  • F11
    Start a Google Talk call
  • F12
    End a call
  • ESC
    Close current window
  • ALT + ESC
    Minimize current window


Did we miss any groovy shortcuts or text formatting tricks?  Let us know your favorite Google Talk tips in the comments below!



  1. blub

    July 20, 2011 at 5:54 am

    strikeout: -word-

  2. Mike

    March 9, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Would really love a way to disable these stupid shortcuts. We have _ symbols in SQL queries that we need to chat to each other at work. It doesn’t work since it just italicizes everything. And we have to use the web client which has little to no configuration options.

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