Mac Dictation

Mac Dictation turns your spoken works into text on the screen.

To activate Dictation:

  1. If your Mac is running OS X Sierra, click System Preferences > Keyboard > Dictation. If you have an earlier operating system installed, click System Preferences > Dictation & Speech. 

  2. Click the checkbox next to Use Enhanced Dictation. Enhanced Dictation allows for continuous dictation without the need to be connected to the internet. An additional download will be required to use Enhanced Dictation.  

  3. Choose your Languagethe keyboard Shortcut you will use to start dictating, and your preferred Microphone from the pop-up menu below the microphone icon.

To use Dictation:

  1. Open a document (Word, Pages, email, etc) and place your cursor where you want to start dictating.

  2. Press the keyboard Shortcut to start dictating. A microphone icon should pop up to indicate that your Mac is listening.

  3. Begin dictating. Dictation is designed to learn the characteristics of your voice and the words you use, so the more you use it, the better your recognition results will be. Consult these troubleshooting tips if Dictation is not understanding you. 

  4. To stop dictating, click Done below the microphone icon. 


You can dictate punctuation and other characters into your document. Consult the list of punctuation/characters available on this page.

See the video below for a demonstration of activating and using Dictation.

This video demonstrates how to activate and use the Dictation utility on a Mac.