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Enabling Dictation on OS X

Starting with OS X Mountain Lion, you can use Siri-style dictation on your Macintosh. You enable this feature in the System Preferences Dictation & Speech pane (see Figure 1-5). Setting the Dictation option to On activates dictation services on your computer. These services enable you to speak text wherever you would normally type it.

Figure 1-5

Figure 1-5. OS X’s Dictation & Speech settings pane enables you to activate dictation on your Macintosh.

The Shortcut pop-up menu lets you choose how to begin dictation. In Figure 1-5, this shortcut is set to Press Right Command Key Twice. Other preset options enable you to press the function (Fn) key twice, the left command key twice, or (our favorite) either command key twice.

If you’d rather use a nonstandard key choice, choose Customize from the pop-up menu and type a different key or key combination. For example, you might use Shift-F6 or Control-Shift-D. You choose the key combination that best fits your personal workflow.

Select the dictation language and region from the Language pop-up menu. OS X Mountain Lion currently supports English, French, German, and Japanese. This set will almost certainly grow over time.

Figure 1-6

Figure 1-6. OS X dictation currently offers a limited number of languages and regions.

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