Are You Talking To Me? Setting Up Dictation And Voice In OS X


Have you ever wanted your computer to talk to you, and do what you say?
Science Fiction?  No no.  

Today is the day to make your Mac sing!
(OK, not sing.  Haven’t found a singing setting yet.)

In OSX 10.8 and above, you can customize the System Preferences under “Speech & Dictation” and really start chewing the fat with your computer.

First, open up System Preferences and go to “Dictation & Speech”  Once you click on the “On” Radio Button, OSX will ask you to Use Enhanced Dictation or not.  This may require a 1.2gb download to enable.  What it does do is that it will dictate regardless of whether you are online or not.


In the “Text to Speech” tab of the Dictation & Speech, you can select the voice, the speed, to vocally announce alerts, etc.


Once the download for Enhanced Speech is completed, you are ready to go.

So how do you get your ol’ pal the computer talking?

It fairly simple.   Choose any text you wish to start hearing and right click and choose “Speech” and “Start Talking.”  After listening to the voice and the speed of dictation, remember that you can change it back in the System Preferences>Dictation and Speech.


To stop, you right click and choose “Stop Speaking.”

Now Let Me Tell You Something!!!

So now it’s time to talk!

Not only can you control your Mac using Speakable Items (check the Accessibility pane) but in OS X 10.8 you can also dictate text anywhere you would type. By default you just press the Function key twice and then start talking.  The Microphone pop up will appear.  When you are done dictating simply click “Done”.


“I am dictating this as we speak. “ 

Now you have total voice control of your universe!!!  

(Not really; but you do have some control over your machine!)