Dictation on a Mac

* Note: Dictation is now found under “keyboard” in system preferences.

Dictation is a feature built right into the Mac that many of us don’t even realize is there, but it’s a great little tool to use once you discover it.

To get started using dictation:

1. Go to System Preferences
2. Click “Dictation and Speech”
3. Turn dictation on
4. Choose the shortcut you’d like to use

[Here is a link to a full description of the feature and phrases you can use directly from Apple: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202584]

Now you’re ready to go! You can use dictation just about anywhere that you would normally type, so try it out and let us know what you think!

You can find hundreds more classes like this on our website at www.techtalkamerica.com.

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Filed Under: Mac Software


Comments (18)

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  1. Gill Morrison says:

    i don't see the diction in my system so where is it?

  2. Rachel Demita says:


  3. rmblejeune says:

    What brand microphone are you using? I need a really good one to screencast with.

  4. Steve Duval says:

    My dictation used to work very well,But all of a suddenIt was leaving out spacesAnd capitalizingWhen it wasn't supposed toThis comment I'm leaving nowIs just how it worksI'm running SierraOn a2016 iMac

  5. Lenny F says:

    Mark, I was hoping I might have gotten some kind of a comment or reply from you on my question (4 months ago).

  6. Cintia Cavalcante says:

    excellent! hugs and thanks from Hollywood, Florida

  7. Nereus says:

    you were using a microphone and it wasn't able to recognise completely your speech… just think about what you can't accomplish with the internal microphone… that dictation sucks a lot in comparison to google's one

  8. Vernon Otero says:

    Thank you:)

  9. WesleyOnlineNet says:

    I just purchased the new Mac with the touch bar and it is running 10.12.1. In this version, the dictation is now under keyboard and also seems to have a version that does not require access to the internet. I just had to give feedback as I have subsribed to your channel and downloading a lot of apps that you and David A Cox are recommending. I feel this is my small contribution back for all the great information you have given me. šŸ˜‰

  10. Nestor Santiago says:

    i am on sierra don't have that ? help please

  11. twominutetips says:

    I so love this tool. Its worth any frustration I have over migrating from PC to Mac. I would love to know how to get the dictation Icon onto my task bar though as its hidden in either the "keyboard" or "accessibility" in the system preferences.

  12. Rob Kunkel says:

    me too … they made it a making money thing … too bad … dictation is a business

  13. Peter Ingram says:

    I followed your guide but do not have "Dictation and Speech" this i believe was replaced with "Siri" can you please help. Do i need to get back "Dictation and Speech" if so how do i do that.
    Thanks Peter

  14. RollYourRock says:

    Hi Mark, I'm very interested in this topic as I have some physical issues that make it difficult to type. Let me ask you a question; are there microphones that would help improve accuracy? I'm using an 27 inch iMac 5K presently and I'm experiencing a high percentage of errors. Thanks !!!

  15. Lenny F says:

    Thank you for that quick but informative to tutorial. I have been using dictation on my 2013 iMac for about two years, and Iā€™m having a great deal of difficulty making it work efficiently. I've had dozens of phone calls with AppleCare on this issue. They are totally incapable of helping me diagnose the problem. Can you suggest any resources I might try to find more help with Dictation?

  16. RokcetScientist says:

    Just tell your story intimately to your screen and HEY! PRESTO! You've got a book!
    I expect a tsunami of books now!
    But you can use it for emails and comments like these too!
    Fantastic little tool!

  17. Ammar Al-Kass says:

    Dear David I want to use garageband app and I wonder what do you suggest for the profissional microphone to record music by GarageBand

  18. donald ducky says:

    Well, to explain using Dictation I would say to start, you need a couple of things:
    A good microphone horror headset
    A quiet room without background noise or music
    Cell phone turned on vibrate or off
    Use "dictation commands" to learn the proper command.

    Note: How do I get rid of two copies of most Applications in 'Dictation Commands"? You see I got interrupted by someone that just came up and started talking while Dictation was active. So be careful.

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