Join Chad Chelius for an in-depth discussion in this video Dictation, part of Up and Running with Mac OS X Mountain Lion.
The dictation feature in Mountain Lion is a ground breaking tool that could change the way you work, and how long it takes you to get that work done as well. As someone who knows how to type, I don't mind doing so as part of my job. But the new dictation feature is such a time saver, that whenever possible I now avoid typing when I can. Let me show you just how this feature works. So to begin I want to show you the preferences that set up the speech and dictation feature inside of Mountain Lion. So, we're going to do that by going to the Apple menu, coming down to System Preferences and going down to Dictation and Speech.
And at the top of this preference pane, we have two buttons. One for dictation, one for text to speech, that allows me to control how these features work. So I'm going to click on the dictation button. And you can see that as I'm talking the microphone is picking up my voice commands. Now it's really not doing anything at this point, it's just detecting the audio waves. From this drop down menu here you can choose which microphone you want to use. And you can also choose other microphones as well. So you don't have to have an external microphone.
You can use the internal microphone on your computer. But you may get better results with a external microphone. But give it a shot. I think you'll find that it works pretty well. For the Dictation, we can turn it On and Off. So, we want to make sure that we turn that On. And then, we could Choose the Shortcut that we want to use to Initiate the Dictation Feature. Now, the Default is to Press the Function Key on your Keyboard Twice. And I find that that works pretty well for the most part. You could click on that drop down menu and choose from a couple of other predefined keys, or you could customize it on your own, whichever you prefer. We're going to set the language to English, at least in my example, and then, that is all you need for the Dictation feature. Now, while we're in this preference pane, let's click on Text to Speech. The text to speech is the ability of Mountain Lion to read text back to you. So, we could choose the system voice that is used. We can choose a male or female.
So if we choose Cathy, I can come over here and click the Play button to see what that sounds like. >> Isn't it nice to have a computer that can talk to you? >> Let's try Vicky. >> Isn't it nice to have a computer that can talk to you? >> And Victoria. >> Isn't it nice to have a computer that will talk to you? >> And if we go to the male voices, how about Alex? >> Most people recognize me by my voice. >> So, maybe we'll start with that. You can also adjust the speaking rate, so we can slow it down, we can speed it up. I encourage you to adjust this to whatever works for you. And then in addition, we can have the computer announce when alerts are displayed.
And we can set the alert options, you know, what we want it to identify. I'm just going to cancel. We can also announce when an application requires your attention. And also when the selected text when the key is pressed. So you can turn this on and then the current key is option escape, and that will speak the selected text that you have highlighted on your screen. We can also have the clock announce its time and then we can also change the voice over settings in the Accessibility preferences.
So we're going to go ahead and close out of this. And now we'll start to use this dictation feature. Now there's a lot of applications in Mountain Lion that can utilize this feature. Now in my example, I'm going to use the mail application. So I'm going to go ahead and open the mail application. And I'm going to create a new mail message. Just going to open this up a little bit. And this is going to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Say today's meeting. Now, when I'm, in a text field of some sort in Mountain Lion, that's where we can utilize the dictation feature.
So it doesn't matter if it's in an email, if it's in text edit, if it's in a reminder, you can utilize this dictation feature. So, what I'm going to do, is I'm going to press the function key twice, and I'm going to speak some text, to put it in my email. (NOISE) Mary comma I really appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and your team today, regarding your need for training at your company. I feel like we can definitely improve your workflow in the graphic design department so that your team can make the most of the software, and potentially reduce the amount of time required to produce your projects.
I'll prepare a report and send it to you via email within the week. So I'm going to click the Done button. (audio playing) And you can see that it actually picked up a little bit here, so we'll go ahead and delete that. (audio playing) And you can see that all of the text that I've spoken has been recorded and has been now dictated and is live text that I can modify. In my experimentation I found that the dictation feature is pretty accurate.
I found that it works really well, and every once in a while you'll have to fix an error of some sort, but it does a pretty good job overall. Now in the same regards, what you can also do is if you go to the Edit menu, I had Highlighted some text and I'm going to the Edit menu, I'm going to go to Speech and I can then choose Start Speaking. So this will do the reverse, I can Highlight a area of text and choose Start Speaking. >> Mary, I really appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and your team today regarding your need for training at your company.
I feel like we can definitely improve your workflow in the graphic design department so that your team can make the most of the software and potentially reduce the amount of time required to produce your projects. I'll prepare a report and send it to you via email within the week. >> Now, you'll notice that when I recorded this content, that I really didn't indicate, any sentence breaks or anything. So what you can do as you're dictating, is you can actually say the word period. So just as an example, (audio playing), thanks for your time today period.
(audio playing) And you can see when I click the Done button, it recognizes period and it, puts, a period at the end of the sentence. So, there's a lot you can do with the Dictation feature to get some accurate dictation in your text, and really saves you a lot of typing. As you could see, this feature is quite powerful, and I really encourage you to give the feature a try on your own, because I think you'll really be happy that you did.
- Installing Mountain Lion
- Creating and logging in to a user account
- Setting parental controls
- Customizing the Finder window toolbar
- Sharing files between users
- Browsing the web with Safari
- Sending and receiving email
- Installing applications
- Using Reminders, Notes, Messages, and the Notification Center
- Backing up and restoring files with Time Machine