Talking and Listening to Your Mac

Your primary methods for interacting with your Mac are typing and reading text. But there’s another way you can commune with your faithful computer: voice.

Whether you know it or not, your Mac has a lot of speech savvy up its sleeve (er . . . up its processors?) and can talk to you as well as listen, type the words you speak, and obey your spoken commands. In the following sections, you discover how to make your Mac do all of the above and more.

Dictation: You talk and your Mac types

newinmountainlion_4c.eps Mountain Lion is the first version of OS X to include Dictation, so you can now talk instead of type. It’s almost identical to the dictation feature found on the iPhone 4S and third-generation iPad.

First, make sure Dictation is enabled in the Dictation & Speech System Preference pane’s Dictation tab; if it’s set to Off, click the On button.

After it’s enabled, Dictation couldn’t be easier to use. First, click where you want your words to appear, and then choose Edit⇒Start Dictation, or press the Fn key twice in rapid succession.

tip_4c.eps If your keyboard doesn’t have an Fn key, click the Shortcut pop-up menu in the Dictation & Speech System Preference pane to change the shortcut one that works with your keyboard.

When you start dictation, a little microphone icon appears. The ...

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