How to Use Google Docs Predictive Text

how to use google docs predictive text featured

Google Docs can help you to write your documents quicker by offering predictive suggestions. Here’s how to use Google Docs predictive text.

Machine learning can produce some impressive results. By analyzing huge amounts of data, machine learning algorithms can make impressively accurate predictions. You probably use an example of this every day, without even thinking about it. That’s because this is how the predictive text of your phone works, making predictions of the most likely word or phrase that you want to type.

You can use a similar feature in Google Docs, too, if you have a G Suite subscription. The Smart Compose feature makes predictions as you type, allowing you to autocomplete phrases or sentences without having to type out the whole thing.

With practice, it can help you to create documents even faster. Here’s how to use Google Docs predictive text.

What is Google Docs Predictive Text?

If you’re using Google Docs, you can take advantage of a useful feature called Smart Compose. It uses machine learning to predict what you’re going to write as you’re typing it out and will give a suggestion of the most likely way to finish the sentence you’re typing.

Using Smart Compose, you only need to start typing a sentence, and if the suggestion is accurate, Google Docs can fill in the rest of the sentence for you. It allows you to complete your documents much more quickly and without as much typing. If the suggestion isn’t what you wanted to say, you can just carry on typing as normal and the suggestion will disappear.

If you use Gmail, you may have already tried Smart Compose, as it’s included for free in all Gmail accounts. Smart Compose isn’t available with the free versions of Google Docs, however. It’s only included with a G Suite subscription.

How to Use Google Docs Predictive Text

Smart Compose is enabled by default, so all you need to do to use it is to start typing your document. Suggestions won’t appear for everything you write; Smart Compose will only give a suggestion when it is fairly confident about what you’re intending to write.

To use Smart Compose on Google Docs:

  1. Open a Google document and start typing the contents of your document.
  2. As you’re typing, you should see a Smart Compose suggestion appear after your cursor in gray.
    google docs smart compose suggestion
  3. To accept the suggestion, press the Tab key or the Right Arrow key.
  4. If you’re using Google Docs on mobile, swipe right across the text to accept the suggestion.
  5. The gray text will change to black, and the cursor will move to the end of the Smart Compose suggestion so that you can continue typing.
    google docs smart compose entry
  6. If you don’t want to use the suggestion, keep typing as usual. The suggestion will disappear or change to an alternative suggestion.
  7. If you accept a Smart Compose suggestion by mistake, press Ctrl+Z on Windows or Cmd+Z on Mac to undo the suggestion.
  8. The suggestion will be removed, and your cursor will return to the point where you first accepted the suggestion.

How to Disable Google Docs Predictive Text

If you find Smart Compose suggestions distracting and would rather not have to see them when you’re working, you can turn off the Smart Compose feature. This will stop any suggestions from appearing. You can then continue working on your document distraction-free.

Turning off Smart Compose on your PC or Mac will also turn off the feature for the same document when you’re editing on mobile. If you don’t see the Smart Compose check box in your preferences, it means that you’re not using a paid G Suite subscription, so you don’t have access to the Smart Compose predictive text, either.

To disable Google Docs predictive text:

  1. Open your Google Docs document.
  2. Click the Tools menu.
    google docs tools menu
  3. Select Preferences.
    google docs preferences
  4. Uncheck Show Smart Compose Suggestions.
  5. The Smart Compose suggestions will no longer appear when you type.
  6. To turn Smart Compose back on, open Preferences again and check Show Smart Compose Suggestions.

Using Google Docs Effectively

Learning how to use Google Docs predictive text can save you a lot of time once you’re familiar with how it works. The predictions are usually fairly accurate and can help you to complete your document much more quickly. And if you don’t like the suggestions, you can just overwrite them or turn them off completely.  If you’re not seeing the feature in Google Docs, it’s because you’re using the free version—Smart Compose only works with a G Suite subscription.

Google Docs has plenty of other useful features under the hood too, allowing you to do a wide range of tasks, from making labels to creating your own QR codes.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


To Top