How to: Use Dictation on a Mac OS X

Dictation is a built-in tool that is used to type in documents through voice. It is not enabled by default which is why many users are wondering how to use it. There are also some other methods that do not require the built-in dictation utility. In this article, we will be providing methods through which you can easily use the Dictation in MacOS.

Dictation in MacOS

1. Using the MacOS Built-in Dictation

A built-in dictation tool is already available in the MacOS. The speech-to-text or dictation utility has been around since the OS X Yosemite. However, the interface and setting will be a bit different for each MacOS version. You just need to enable it from the System Preferences and then it can be used in all text editors. Follow the below steps to enable and use it:

  1. Click on the Apple menu on the top left corner and choose the System Preferences option.
    Opening System Preferences
  2. Now click on the Keyboard option in the listed settings.
    Opening Keyboard settings
  3. Choose the Dictation tab and click on the ON toggle to enable the Dictation.
    Enabling Dictation utility
  4. You can choose to share audio files for improving Dictation and Siri or click on the Not Now.
  5. The shortcut keys for starting dictation can also be customized accordingly.
  6. Now open any text editor in MacOS and press the shortcut keys to bring the dictation tool. You can also simply click on the Edit menu and choose the Start Dictation option.
    Starting Dictation
  7. You can now speak into a microphone to convert voice into text in the editor.

2. Using the Online Website

The online speech-to-text conversion tools are much easier to use. It provides a text editor with several different options that help in formatting a document. Most sites will work better or only with the Google Chrome browser. Therefore, if it isn’t working on safari, you can try using Google Chrome and try again:

  1. Open your browser and go to the site. Select the language that you want to use on the right side and then click the Microphone icon to start the dictation.
    Note: You must allow the microphone in your browser to make it work.

    Opening an online site for dictation
  2. Now you can start speaking in your microphone and it will convert voice into text. You can also use commands like changing paragraphs, adding punctuation marks, or stopping/starting the dictation.
    Using dictation
  3. Once you are done, you can edit the text with the provided text formatting tools. You can also save it as a text file or share it.

3. Using a Third-party Speech to Text

You can also use a third-party application like Dragon NaturallySpeaking for Speech to Text. It is one of the famous applications for converting voice to text. However, it is a paid application and pretty expensive for most users. When it comes to comparison with the built-in speech recognition, the Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a bit better in response speed.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.