Using Speech to Text Tools for Mac Devices


Speech recognition tools allow you to dictate words to your computer instead of using a keyboard. This is especially useful for Microsoft Word documents as well as Google Docs. For speech recognition to work on your computer, you must have a microphone connected.

MacOS contains a speech recognition tool called Dictation feature which allows you to convert your spoken words into text.

Tools such as these can make it much easier to put your thoughts to text without having to type on a keyboard.




To get started with dictation, you must first get it set up.

  1. Choose Apple menu icon > System Preferences, select Keyboard, then select Dictation. Then you can turn on Dictation and choose from these Dictation options:

  • Choose whether to use Enhanced Dictation, which lets you use dictation when you're not connected to the Internet.
  • Choose your language and dialect. Some languages, such as English, have multiple dialects.
  • Choose the keyboard shortcut you will use to start start dictating. 
  • Choose your preferred microphone from the pop-up menu below the microphone icon.

image depicting the macOS dictation menu for getting started

  1. Once it is done setting up, it is ready to be used. Go to a document such as Word document and place the insertion point where you want your dictated text to appear.
  2. Select the keyboard shortcut for starting dictation, or select Edit > Start Dictation. The default shortcut is Fn Fn (select the Fn key twice). 
  3. When your Mac is listening, it displays a microphone to the left or right of the page, aligned with the insertion point. If you turn on advanced dictation commands, the microphone appears in the lower-right corner of your screen, and you can drag it to another position. When your Mac can hear you, the input meter inside the microphone rises and falls as you speak.
  4. Speak the words that you want your Mac to type. Dictation learns the characteristics of your voice and adapts to your accent, so the more you use it, the better it understands you. If it doesn't understand you, learn what to do.
  5. To stop dictating, select Done below the microphone icon, select Fn once, or switch to another window.

For more help, please contact ITS at or 718-862-7973.

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Article ID: 78288
Tue 5/14/19 1:59 PM
Mon 10/28/19 3:11 PM

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