To enable dictation:

Check Your Audio Settings Any time you're using speech recognition on a Mac, taking a moment to verify and adjust your headset or standalone microphone input levels is wise.

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A slight tweak up or downwards might improve your voice recognition accuracy significantly. But if you're really serious about getting consistent, spot-on results, consider investing in a dedicated Mac speech recognition headset or Apple compatible dictation microphone to give you the utmost in transcription accuracy.

Control Your Sound Environment Be aware of external environmental factors that might continuously or intermittently impact your speech recording session. That could be a ringing telephone, a barking dog, an unexpected notification Beep! Review Your Dictation Commands Really knowing your Apple speech recognition software's keystroke and voice-based editing commands matters alot.

You have to explicitly checkbox 'Enable Advanced Commands' to take advantage of them. Have A Topic Outline It's a lot easier to talk than type - at least on a physical and mechanical level. The mechanics of typing typically involve frequent pauses, then it's on to the next phrase or sentence. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Leave this field empty. THis is still no replacement for Dragon Dictate for Mac. I used this all the time. The main deficiency of the current Mac Dictate is the inability to save and correct user specific words.

Until that is available we will be severely handicapped. Setting up Dictation Setting up Dictation is easy. How to use Dictation To make your Mac listen for Dictation commands, press the keyboard shortcut for starting dictation. Create your own commands Once you become comfortable using Dictation, you may wish to create your own commands.

Use your voice to enter text on your Mac

Dictation apps have a variety of use cases. They're well known among the accessibility community, as not everyone has full and dexterous use of their fingers and hands for typing, moving a mouse, or tapping a touchscreen. They're also quite popular with productivity enthusiasts because once you get comfortable dictating, it's typically faster than typing. Dictating also enables multitasking. You can write while walking, cooking, or even breastfeeding. Some people also find that writing by dictating silences their internal editor.

You might be more inclined to get all your thoughts out first and review them later, rather than revising ideas as you form them.

How to enable Enhanced Dictation in OS X for streaming speech-to-text with live feedback

Here are more details about the best dictation apps and voice recognition tools, with a few words about what makes them different to help you choose. In the last few years, dictation software has become more readily available, easier to use, and much less expensive. Also sometimes called voice-to-text apps or voice recognition apps, these tools turn your spoken words into writing on the screen quickly and accurately.

In looking for the best dictation apps, we tested both free and paid options for desktop and mobile devices, paying attention to accuracy, ease of use, and languages supported.

Dictation On Mac OS X • 01-07-2017

Some are standalone software programs while others are features that come inside other apps or operating systems. Take Google Docs Voice Typing, for example.

Set up Dictation

It's a feature inside Google Docs, rather than a standalone app. You can use it to write in Google Docs as well as edit and format your text. They're not true dictation services. They're better classified as AI assistants. You use them to perform simple tasks rather than dictate at length. They can make a shopping list, but they can't help you write a speech.

So, you won't find them on this list. Dictation apps are impressive, but they aren't perfect. You do need to change how you speak a little for them to work well. Keep these pointers in mind when dictating text. Speak like a newscaster. With a dictation app, you need to enunciate clearly, but you shouldn't talk like a robot. Speaking like a newscaster is about where you need to be.

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When you dictate, you have to say each period, comma, question mark, and so forth. Learn a few commands. Take the time to learn a few simple commands, such as "new line" to enter a line break. There are different commands for composing, editing, and operating your device. Commands may differ from app to app, so learn the ones that apply to the tool you choose. Know your limits.


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Especially on mobile devices, some tools have a time limit for how long they can listen, usually around 30 to 45 seconds. Glance at the screen from time to time to make sure you haven't blown past the mark.

It takes time to adjust to voice recognition software, but it gets easier the more you practice. Some of the more sophisticated apps invite you to train by reading passages or doing other short drills. Don't shy away from tutorials, help menus, and on-screen cheat sheets.


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To use dictation software, you need a microphone. Depending on what you want to accomplish, the built-in microphone on your device could suffice.

Using Dictation

If you plan to dictate more than a few sentences, switch to an external microphone for better accuracy. Earbuds that have a mic on the cord will do. For more advanced uses, you'll get the best results by investing in a higher quality mic. The options for microphones used for dictation fall into three broad categories: wired headsets, wireless headsets, and desktop microphones. Among wired headsets, look for a device that puts the microphone close to your mouth, which minimizes the amount of ambient noise it picks up. If you prefer a wireless Bluetooth option, you'll likely end up spending a little more.

Look no further than your Mac, iPhone, or iPad for one of the best dictations tools. Apple's built-in Dictation feature, powered by Siri we'd be unsurprised if the two merged one day , ships as part of Apple's desktop and mobile operating systems. On iOS devices, you use it by pressing the microphone icon on the stock keyboard. By default, Apple Dictation requires the internet to work and has a time limit of about 30 seconds for each smattering of speech.

Enhanced Dictation adds a local file to your device so that you can dictate offline. You can format and edit your text using simple commands, such as "new paragraph" or "select previous word. Apple also offers advanced commands for creating custom ones. Accuracy: On a word test using standard Dictation, three words were inaccurate. On a word test with Enhanced Dictation, two were inaccurate. The standard version is annoying and inconvenient for anything longer than 40 seconds.