How to Dictate in Mac?

Workspace with laptop showing audio waveforms, suggesting voice tasks.
Discover the convenience of hands-free typing on macOS with using dictation

Transkriptor 2022-11-21

What is Dictation on Mac?

With the dictation feature, it’s possible to convert every word you say into text on Mac, iPhone, and iPad.

How to Enable Dictation on Mac

Before using the dictation feature on your Mac, you must first enable speech recognition/voice dictation commands. Please follow the steps below to accomplish this:

  1. Update iOS on your device. On your Mac, Choose the Apple menu, enter iCloud information, then open System Preferences.
  2. Select the Keyboard in the sidebar. (You might have to scroll below.)
  3. Go to the right and select Dictation , then turn it on. Click Enable enhanced dictation (only available for those with OS X Mavericks v10.9 or later) if a prompt displays.
  4. To dictate in another language, select a language and dialect from the Language pop-up menu.

How to add an unlisted language on Mac:

Choose Customise or Add Language , then add the languages you want to use.

How to Remove a Language on Mac:

Click the Language pop-up menu, choose Customise , then deselect the language you don’t want to use.


How to Dictate Text on Mac

It is possible to use dictation on your Mac in the following ways:

  1. In an app on your Mac, place the insertion point where you want the dictated text to appear.
  2. If it’s available in the row of function keys, press the Microphone key, use the dictation keyboard shortcut, or go to Edit > Start Dictation .
  3. Dictate your text when the feedback window displays a microphone icon with a changing loudness indicator or when you hear the tone that indicates your Mac is ready for dictation.
  4. Do any of the following to insert a punctuation mark or conduct simple formatting tasks:
    • Say the name of the punctuation mark, such as “exclamation mark,” “question mark,” and “comma”.
    • Say “new line” (equivalent to pressing the Return key once) or “new paragraph” (equivalent to pressing the Return key twice). The new line or new paragraph appears when you’ve finished dictating.
  5. If you set up Dictation for more than one language and want to switch as you dictate, click the language in the feedback window, then choose the language you want to use.
  6. See How to Turn on Dictation for information on how to set up Dictation for more than one language.
  7. When you’re done, press the keyboard shortcut for dictation or the Return key, or click the Done button in the feedback window. Your words will appear in the text field.
  8. Text that isn’t clear is highlighted in blue. You can click on the text and choose a different option if the text is wrong. You can also type the correct text or say it out loud.

How to Set the Dictation Keyboard Shortcut

You can pick a particular keyboard shortcut for speech-to-text or make your own.

  • On your Mac, choose the Apple menu, then System Settings
  • Then click Keyboard in the sidebar. (You may need to scroll down.)
  • Go to the Dictation tab on the right, click the drop-down menu next to Shortcut , and then choose a shortcut to start Dictation.
  • Choose Customize , then press the keys you want to use to make a shortcut that isn’t on the list. For example, you could press Option Z.

How to Change the Microphone Used for Dictation on Mac

In the Keyboard settings, the Microphone source tells you which device your Mac is using to listen for voice Dictation.

  1. On your Mac, choose the Apple menu, then System Settings
  2. Then click Keyboard in the sidebar. (You may need to scroll down.)
  3. Go to Dictation on the right, click the pop-up menu next to “Microphone source,” then choose the microphone you want to use for Dictation.
  4. If you choose Automatic , your Mac will listen to the device you will most likely use for Dictation.

How to Use Dictation to Add Emojis to Text on Mac

If you want to dictate emojis into your text, you can do the following steps in order:

  1. Open Messages or any other app that lets you write text.
  2. Tap the icon that looks like a microphone on your keyboard.
  3. Say the name of the emoji and the word “emoji.” E.g., “Cat emoji” or “Happy Face emoji”.
  4. You can look up the name of an emoji you want to use on a website if you don’t know it.
  5. Tap the Dictation icon once more to turn it off.

Frequently Asked Questions

On your Mac, go to the Apple menu and click System Settings. Then, in the sidebar, click on Keyboard . (You might have to scroll.) Go to the right and find Dictation . Then turn it off.

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