Using Basic Dictation Commands

The ability to dictate text instead of typing is built in to macOS. But in order to use dictation effectively, you should know how to use some basic commands for moving the cursor, selecting text, replacing text, and correcting mistakes. You can also use dictation commands to access toolbar and menu bar commands for more advanced changes.

Comments: 14 Responses to “Using Basic Dictation Commands”

    Dean Kutzler
    2 years ago

    Gary. I did exactly like you said, but the commands don’t work: show commands, undo that, etc. Is there a setting? I looked and didn’t see any problems. It’s enabled.

    2 years ago

    Dean: Hard to say without checking all of your settings. Using Enhanced dictation? Latest macOS? Check and recheck everything.

    Arnie Keller
    2 years ago

    Excellent tutorial–in fact I’m using it to dictate this message. I find however but it gets a fair number of words wrong. I’m using my built-in microphone; would it be better to use an external one? And is there any way that I can train it to recognize certain words? Thanks again for a very helpful tutorial.

    2 years ago

    Arnie: There’s no training or anything like that. A quiet room and better mic may help, but you will simply get better the more you use it as you train yourself to speak at a good pace and such.

    Laraine
    2 years ago

    One of my problems is my accent. I’ve tried both UK English and Australian, but neither works. Kiwis do NOT sound like Australians! It’s such a pity that Apple doesn’t realise this.

    Judith Wilkinson
    2 years ago

    My biggest problem is that 50% of the time “it” types my command (e.g., “Computer, scroll down”) instead of executing. I always precede commands with “Computer”. I do not say “Computer” when I want it to type my words. Can’t seem to isolate any difference between the environment and input when it executes and when it types commands. It will behave properly for an hour or two, then for no reason refuse commands. Most, but not all commands. Can’t find a pattern in that either.

    Ed Cupman
    2 years ago

    This is a very interesting video. Would it be possible to do all of these tricks with iOS? I primarily using an iPad. Thanks.

    Martin
    2 years ago

    I tried this in my trusty Word from 2011 (used for over 40 books) and it totally does not work in word. is this a Page centric function?

    2 years ago

    Ed: On the default iOS keyboard there is always the little microphone button for you to be able to dictate text instead of typing.

    2 years ago

    Martin: It should work with just about everything. Is it that the keyboard shortcut to bring up dictation doesn’t appear? Or something else? I don’t have that old version of Word around to test.

    Mike W
    2 years ago

    Using dictation on my iMacIt seems to assume that if I wait too long between sentences it robs them together and capitalizes the first letter of the next word. It also appears that there is no provisionFor double spacing between sentences.I seem to have to do it manually as you can see reading my response

    Peter Whitford
    2 years ago

    Wow! that was amazing! I had no idea. I am going to try this out and hopefully I won’t get too frustrated with all the commands. Thanks so much for sharing this.

    Martin
    2 years ago

    Gary, I always like your vids…just this one won’t work. i have no problem bringing up the dictation microphone on my 2011 iMac. But in Word I could not get it to do anything except record text. Commans were ignored and like the literal command, simply typed in. Too bad, cause I love my word from yore.

    2 years ago

    Martin: Which version of macOS are you using? And do you have enhanced dictation turned on?

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