Do you regularly use dictation software? Some of you may already be using Dragon Dictate, but do you know that your Mac has dictation software already installed?  The Macintosh’s Enhanced Dictation may have everything you need or just a quick way to use advanced dictation commands when writing emails or short documents.  When enabled, “Enhanced Dictation” allows for offline use and continuous dictation, with live feedback. You do not have to have an active internet connection to use this feature and you can see word for word what you are dictating – the text appears as you speak.

Here is how to enable Enhanced Dictation:

1) Go to System Preferences and open “Dictation & Speech”

sys pref - icon

2) Go to the  Dictation pane

Click ON for Dictation and check the box “Use Enhanced Dictation”

click on & check

Software will now be download to your computer.

3) Choose a Dictation Shortcut Command

shortcut options

short cut option menuI

4) Close out of System Preferences

5) Now open any app that can edit text – such as Gmail, Safari, or Pages.

6) To start dictation, use the shortcut command (I chose Press Function Key Twice)  Fn-Fn  or you can go to Edit > Start Dictation.

7) A microphone will appear on your screen.  Start talking and like magic your words will appear.  Click Done when you are finished.

micro pop up

Dictation understands basic text-related commands such as “period”, “comma” “question mark” “new paragraph,” and “new line.”   The basic commands are enabled by default.

To view the list of commands and to enable Advanced Commands:

  1. Go to System Preferences
  2. Choose Accessibility Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 8.48.24 PM
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the list on the left side and Choose Dictation then Click “Dictation Commands”…
    Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 8.49.15 PM
  4. The basic Commands are listed and checked by default.
    Check the box for Enable Advanced Commands <  Done
    Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 8.49.30 PM

Advanced Commands include commands that would be used in Applications and Documents such as “Save Document” and  “Quit Application”