Forget typing, use Dictation

Siri is a pretty awesome tool on your devices. I use the the Alex voice, but there are other voices. So choose one you like.

Have you tried using dictation on the Mac yet? Dictation has come a long way and if your are on Mavericks, Yosemite or El Capitan, Apple’s enhanced dictation works magnificently.

Although, Dictation will be a frustrating experience if you are in a noisy room, (people talking, music, etc), but in a quiet place, it can be an awesome tool for dictating in nearly any program including mail. 

Setting up Enhanced Dictation

  • Open System Preferences, select Dictation & Speech. Turn on Dictation and set up your options.
  • Check the Use Enhanced Dictation box. This will download a file so you can dictate without an internet connection.
  • Choose the keyboard shortcut you will use to signal that you’re ready to start dictating. The default is pressing the function Fn key twice, which I find convenient and I can remember it. You will find the Fn key on the lower left of the keyboard.
  • Choose your preferred microphone from the pop-up menu below the microphone icon. Normally, you use the internal microphone but it works very well to use earbuds that came with your phone, that little bar on the cord is a mic and does a nice job of filtering out background noise.

Using Dictation

  • Open mail, or a word processor or any place you normally type 
  • Press the keyboard shortcut (Fn Fn twice) for starting dictation.  Or choose Edit > Start Dictation. 
  • When your Mac is listening, it displays a microphone.
  • Speak the words that you want your Mac to type. Use dictation commands to add punctuation, formatting, and more.  In other words say comma, person, new paragraph, etc. 
  • To stop dictating, click Done below the microphone icon, or press Fn.

The more you use Dictation, the better it understands you and the more accurate. Dictation learns the characteristics of your voice and adapts.

Give Dictation a try!