macOS Catalina introduces Voice Control, a new way to fully control your Mac entirely with your voice. Voice Control uses the Siri speech-recognition engine to improve on the Enhanced Dictation feature available in earlier versions of macOS.1
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Speech Recognition in Mac OS X Lion enables your Mac to recognize and respond to human speech. It lets you issue verbal commands to your Mac and have it actually perform the commanded tasks. When Speech Recognition is turned on, a round feedback window appears on-screen. Now, here’s how to actually use Speech Recognition: To. Using voice recognition (OS 10.4 & later) Step 1: Open the 'Speech' window Make sure you are in 'Finder'. If necessary, press Apple + Tab to cycle through the. Step 2: Turn on and use Speakable Items. Jul 12, 2017 Use Voice Dictation To Speak To Your Mac Macs have voice dictation built-in, allowing you to talk instead of type. This feature functions more like voice dictation on a mobile operating system, and less like the more complicated Speech Recognition feature found in Windows. OS X Mavericks contains an “Enhanced Dictation” feature. Dragon Home v15 speech recognition helps you get more done on your PC by voice. Dictate documents, send email, search the Web, and more. Designed using Nuance Deep Learning technology, it delivers up to 99% recognition accuracy, adapts to different accents, and even works in noisy environments.
How to turn on Voice Control
After upgrading to macOS Catalina, follow these steps to turn on Voice Control:
- Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Accessibility.
- Click Voice Control in the sidebar.
- Select Enable Voice Control. When you turn on Voice Control for the first time, your Mac will complete a one-time download from Apple.2
Voice Control preferences
When Voice Control is enabled, you will see an on-screen microphone representing the mic selected in Voice Control preferences.
To pause Voice Control and stop it from from listening, say “Go to sleep” or click Sleep. To resume Voice Control, say or click “Wake up”.
How to use Voice Control
Get to know Voice Control by reviewing the list of voice commands available to you: Say “Show commands” or “Show me what I can say”. The list varies based on context, and you may discover variations not listed. To make it easier to know whether Voice Control heard your phrase as a command, you can select “Play sound when command is recognised” in Voice Control preferences.
Voice Control recognises the names of many apps, labels, controls and other on-screen items, so you can navigate by combining those names with certain commands. Here are some examples:
- Open Pages: “Open Pages”. Then create a new document: “Click New Document”. Then choose one of the letter templates: 'Click Letter. Click Classic Letter.” Then save your document: “Save document”.
- Start a new message in Mail: “Click New Message”. Then address it: “John Appleseed”.
- Turn on Dark Mode: “Open System Preferences. Click General. Click Dark”. Then quit System Preferences: “Quit System Preferences” or “Close window”.
- Restart your Mac: “Click Apple menu. Click Restart” (or use the number overlay and say “Click 8”).
You can also create your own voice commands.
Use number overlays to quickly interact with parts of the screen that Voice Control recognizes as clickable, such as menus, checkboxes, and buttons. To turn on number overlays, say “Show numbers”. Then just say a number to click it.
Number overlays make it easy to interact with complex interfaces, such as web pages. For example, in your web browser, you could say “Search for Apple stores near me”. Then use the number overlay to choose one of the results: “Show numbers. Click 64.” (If the name of the link is unique, you might also be able to click it without overlays by saying “Click” and the name of the link.)
Voice Control automatically shows numbers in menus and wherever you need to distinguish between items that have the same name.
Use grid overlays to interact with parts of the screen that don't have a control, or that Voice Control doesn't recognise as clickable.
Say “Show grid” to show a numbered grid on your screen, or “Show window grid” to limit the grid to the active window. Say a grid number to subdivide that area of the grid, and repeat as needed to continue refining your selection.
To click the item behind a grid number, say “Click” and the number. Or say “Zoom” and the number to zoom in on that area of the grid, then automatically hide the grid. You can also use grid numbers to drag a selected item from one area of the grid to another: “Drag 3 to 14.”
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To hide grid numbers, say “Hide numbers.” To hide both numbers and grid, say “Hide grid.” How to use tv app on mac.
When the cursor is in a document, email message, text message or other text field, you can dictate continuously. Dictation converts your spoken words into text.
- To enter a punctuation mark, symbol or emoji, just speak its name, such as “question mark” or “percent sign” or “happy emoji”. These may vary by language or dialect.
- To move around and select text, you can use commands such as “Move up two sentences” or “Move forward one paragraph” or “Select previous word” or “Select next paragraph”.
- To format text, try “Bold that” or “Capitalise that”, for example. Say “numeral” to format your next phrase as a number.
- To delete text, you can choose from many delete commands. For example, say “delete that” and Voice Control knows to delete what you just typed. Or say “Delete all” to delete everything and start again.
Voice Control understands contextual cues, so you can seamlessly transition between text dictation and commands. For example, to dictate and then send a birthday greeting in Messages, you could say “Happy Birthday. Click Send.” Or to replace a phrase, say “Replace I’m almost there with I just arrived.”
You can also create your own vocabulary for use with dictation.
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Create your own voice commands and vocabulary
Create your own voice commands
- Open Voice Control preferences, such as by saying “Open Voice Control preferences”.
- Click Commands or say “Click Commands”. The complete list of all commands will open.
- To add a new command, click the add button (+) or say “Click add”. Then configure these options to define the command:
- When I say: Enter the word or phrase that you want to be able to speak to perform the action.
- While using: Choose whether your Mac performs the action only when you're using a particular app.
- Perform: Choose the action to perform. You can open a Finder item, open a URL, paste text, paste data from the clipboard, press a keyboard shortcut, select a menu item or run an Automator workflow.
- Use the checkboxes to turn commands on or off. You can also select a command to find out whether other phrases work with that command. For example, “Undo that” works with several phrases, including “Undo this” and “Scratch that”.
To quickly add a new command, you can say “Make this speakable”. Voice Control will help you configure the new command based on the context. For example, if you speak this command while a menu item is selected, Voice Control helps you make a command for choosing that menu item.
Create your own dictation vocabulary
- Open Voice Control preferences, such as by saying “Open Voice Control preferences”.
- Click Vocabulary, or say “Click Vocabulary”.
- Click the add button (+) or say “Click add”;
- Type a new word or phrase as you want it to be entered when spoken.
- For the best performance when using Voice Control with a Mac notebook computer and an external display, keep your notebook lid open or use an external microphone.
- All audio processing for Voice Control happens on your device, so your personal data is always kept private.
- Use Voice Control on your iPhone or iPod touch.
- Learn more about accessibility features in Apple products.
1. Voice Control uses the Siri speech-recognition engine for US English only. Other languages and dialects use the speech-recognition engine previously available with Enhanced Dictation.
2. If you're on a business or school network that uses a proxy server, Voice Control might not be able to download. Have your network administrator refer to the network ports used by Apple software products.
Speech Recognition in Mac OS X Lion enables your Mac to recognize and respond to human speech. It lets you issue verbal commands to your Mac and have it actually perform the commanded tasks.
When Speech Recognition is turned on, a round feedback window appears on-screen.
Now, here’s how to actually use Speech Recognition:
To see what commands are available, click the little triangle at the bottom of the feedback window, and select Open Speech Commands Window.
As you might expect, selecting Speech Preferences from this menu opens the Speech System Preferences pane for you.
Peruse the Speech Commands window, and find a command you’d like to execute by speaking its name.
Speak that command exactly as written.
At this point, several things happen:
In the feedback window, Esc disappears, and the microphone lights up to subtly indicate that your Mac is waiting for speech input.
The command and my Mac’s response appear in little boxes above and below the Feedback window.
The Speech Commands window changes to reflect the command you’ve spoken.
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This technology is clever and kind of fun, but it can also be somewhat frustrating when it doesn’t recognize what you say. And it requires a decent microphone — although the mic built into most Macs sometimes works okay. You might not be able to get Speech Recognition to work well enough to continue using it beyond a few hours at best. Still, it’s kind of cool (and it’s free), and some users profess love for it.