How to Use Dictation to Write What You Say on a Mac

Dictation on a Mac

There are many reasons you might want to avoid typing on your Mac. Perhaps your arms are tired, or you have an injury or you just would rather dictate your text. Mac OS X comes with built-in dictation so you can fill in forms quickly by just speaking what you want to type.

1. Select Dictation & Speech from the System Preferences menu.

Dictation and Speech

2. Switch Dictation to “On.”

turn it on

MORE: How to Back Up Your Mac With Time Machine

3. If you want Enhanced Dictation, click “Use Enhanced Dictation” in the menu that appears. This will allow you to use dictation when the Mac is offline and does not send your speech to Apple to be parsed.

enhanced dictation

4.  Double-tap the Function (fn) button and begin saying what you want to type when you are in a form field you wish to fill out.

dictation indicator

You can also use dictation in writing apps, like Word. Double-tap the Function button whenever you want to activate it.

dictation in Word

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Jennifer Kyrnin
Jennifer Kyrnin
Jennifer Kyrnin has been building websites since 1995, and teaching others how to do it since 1997. She's written several books on the topic, and is probably working on another one right now. And she does it all on her beloved iMac and sometimes her MacBook Air.
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