Dictation is a new feature in OS X that transcribes your speech and inserts it as text into a document. How it works, is that any words you say are sent to Apple’s servers, where they are then processed and sent back to you. OS X then inserts the text into the active document. Thus, in order to dictation to work, you must be connected to the Internet.
By default, pressing the fn key on your keyboard twice will enable the dictation service. You can also choose Edit > Start Dictation from the menu of any application that supports dictation to launch the service. When you do so, a message box appears informing you that what you say will be sent to Apple for processing. If you wish to continue, click the Enable Dictation button. You can change the default hot key (fn) from the Dictation & Speech pane of System Preferences.
When dictation is on, a small microphone appears. Speak clearly to transcribe your speech into text. Note that you must say the word for any punctuation you wish to add, such as period, question mark, colon, semi-colon or exclamation point. For instance, you would say:
This is a test of dictation period
Which would be transcribed as: This is a test of dictation.
Click Done when finished. Your words will then be inserted into your document as text. Note that the Dictation feature is not always 100% accurate so be sure to proofread any text inserted by the feature.
To turn off the Dictation feature, launch the Dictation & Speech pane of System Preferences, click the Dictation tab and then click the Off radio button.
To Use Dictation
- To enable dictation, press the fn key twice
Choose Edit > Start Dictation from the menu of any application that supports dictation
Launch the Dictation & Speech pane of System Preferences, click the Dictation tab and then click the On radio button.
- Speak clearly.
- When finished, click the Done button.
- To continue transcribing, press the fn key twice again.
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