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Use Siri-style Dictation in any app

Use your voice to write in any app using Yosemite's brilliant built-in dictation tools

Step 1

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When Apple introduced Siri on iPhone and iPad back in iOS 5, it was expected that the system would soon be making its way over to the Mac. While we’re still yet to see the full version of Siri make its way to OS X, you do have the ability to speak to your Mac and have it understand exactly what you mean.
Dictation enables you to tap a key on the keyboard and then speak to your Mac. The Mac will listen to what you say until you click Done, and then transcribe your words onto a page or into another app on your Mac. The system needs an internet connection to work normally, just like Siri, but you can change this with a download. For now, read on to find out how to speak to your Mac and, more importantly, help it understand.

Find even more expert tutorials in the latest issue of iCreate.

Step 1

1 Activate Dictation

First, you’ll need to activate dictation on your Mac. Open System Preferences and click Dictation & Speech in the menu. In the Dictation tab, click On beside Dictation.

Step 2

2 Choose your language

Next, use the drop-down menu below this section to choose your language. It will use your system language by default, but you can add more languages here if necessary.

Step 3

3 Set your input

If you have headphones with a built-in microphone connected, you can use it as the input. To select your input, click below the microphone and pick the one you want.

Step 4

4 Choose the shortcut

You can also choose a shortcut to activate Dictation quickly. Choose the keyboard combination you want with this drop-down, or choose Customize and enter your own.

Step 5

5 Enhanced Dictation

If you are using a MacBook, you may want the option to use Dictation when you’re not connected to the internet. You can download a file to allow this option by checking this box.

Step 6

6 Check your levels

You can speak to see your input levels on the microphone on the left. If your Mac can’t hear you, open the Sound area of System Preferences, choose Input and adjust the volume.
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