Voice activation software for mac

You use them to perform simple tasks rather than dictate at length.

They can make a shopping list, but they can't help you write a speech. So, you won't find them on this list. Dictation apps are impressive, but they aren't perfect. You do need to change how you speak a little for them to work well. Keep these pointers in mind when dictating text. Speak like a newscaster. With a dictation app, you need to enunciate clearly, but you shouldn't talk like a robot. Speaking like a newscaster is about where you need to be. When you dictate, you have to say each period, comma, question mark, and so forth. Learn a few commands. Take the time to learn a few simple commands, such as "new line" to enter a line break.

There are different commands for composing, editing, and operating your device. Commands may differ from app to app, so learn the ones that apply to the tool you choose. Know your limits. Especially on mobile devices, some tools have a time limit for how long they can listen, usually around 30 to 45 seconds. Glance at the screen from time to time to make sure you haven't blown past the mark.

It takes time to adjust to voice recognition software, but it gets easier the more you practice. Some of the more sophisticated apps invite you to train by reading passages or doing other short drills. Don't shy away from tutorials, help menus, and on-screen cheat sheets.

Go ahead; be a dictator

To use dictation software, you need a microphone. Depending on what you want to accomplish, the built-in microphone on your device could suffice. If you plan to dictate more than a few sentences, switch to an external microphone for better accuracy. Earbuds that have a mic on the cord will do.

For more advanced uses, you'll get the best results by investing in a higher quality mic. The options for microphones used for dictation fall into three broad categories: wired headsets, wireless headsets, and desktop microphones. Among wired headsets, look for a device that puts the microphone close to your mouth, which minimizes the amount of ambient noise it picks up.

If you prefer a wireless Bluetooth option, you'll likely end up spending a little more. Look no further than your Mac, iPhone, or iPad for one of the best dictations tools. Apple's built-in Dictation feature, powered by Siri we'd be unsurprised if the two merged one day , ships as part of Apple's desktop and mobile operating systems.

On iOS devices, you use it by pressing the microphone icon on the stock keyboard. By default, Apple Dictation requires the internet to work and has a time limit of about 30 seconds for each smattering of speech. Enhanced Dictation adds a local file to your device so that you can dictate offline. You can format and edit your text using simple commands, such as "new paragraph" or "select previous word.

Speech-to-Text Dictation Software for OS X | ATMac

Apple also offers advanced commands for creating custom ones. Accuracy: On a word test using standard Dictation, three words were inaccurate. On a word test with Enhanced Dictation, two were inaccurate. The standard version is annoying and inconvenient for anything longer than 40 seconds. For short messages on mobile devices, it works fine.

Using and Creating Voice Commands on Your Mac

Enhanced Dictation is the way to go for continuous dictating, however. Languages: Enhanced Dictation supports 20 languages. You need an internet connection to use it because your speech gets processed through Google's servers in real time. In testing, it was reasonably accurate, with a need for cleanup in punctuation and capitalization in particular.

There's no time limit, though you may need to reload the page if a pesky ad appears over the controls for switching the microphone between listening and stop mode. For example, to insert a period, you can say, "full stop," which the app confused with "stop listening," the command to turn off the mic. Everything runs in the browser with Dictation.

When you finish dictation, you can copy and paste your work, export to a. While the developer notes that your voice isn't being recorded or stored anywhere, it's worth mentioning that the site has no terms of service or privacy statement. It's a good tool when you need to dictate once here or there, or if you're looking for a hard-to-find language, as this app supports 67, including many Asian languages.

Accuracy: In a word passage, Dictation. Recommendation: Dictation. Languages: Dictation. If you never want to touch your keyboard or mouse again, Dragon by Nuance is the voice dictation software for you. With a variety of software packages and mobile apps for different use cases Dragon Legal, Dragon Medical, Dragon Professional , Dragon can handle specialized industry vocabulary, and it comes with excellent features, such as the ability to transcribe text from an audio file you upload.

Dragon is a leader in speech recognition, and if you're committed to dictation and hands-free computer use, it's worth the investment. Dragon's desktop software lets you compose text using your voice in just about any app, G Suite included. It also lets you navigate the web and control your computer. Be sure to check the system requirements for the edition you want before buying. You can also count on Dragon to be highly accurate and fast. The apps contain training modules that coach you on how to use it for dictating, editing, and whatever else you want to do with your voice.

Accuracy: Testing on Dragon Professional Individual, all words were correct in a word passage, with one capitalized letter that should have been lowercase. Testing on the mobile app, only one was incorrect out of Recommendation: Dragon is a hefty investment. If you're committed to working hands-free, however, it's worth it because it's the most accurate dictation tool we've found. Languages: Dragon desktop products are available in several languages, which vary by version, and include Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

Gboard, available for both Android and iOS, is a powerful keyboard app that includes a dictation tool. Press and hold the spacebar, and you can dictate at length. Gboard transcribes everything you say in real time and without a time limit, although you need an internet connection to use it. Be warned that Gboard is fast. It will cut you off if you take too long of a breath or even pause for a moment. Its speed is both its strength and its weakness, as it scored the lowest in accuracy of all our apps likely because it forces the speaker to rush through the text.

Accuracy: In transcribing a word passage, Gboard flubbed about 20 percent of it. Recommendation: Gboard works fast, but it pushes you to speak fast, too, which may not be your cup of tea. In getting the hang of it, I found myself rushing and not breathing at a natural rhythm. Use Gboard when you need speed, and when you're dictating a few short ideas at a time. Google Docs contains a built-in tool for dictation and voice-driven editing. Turn it on from the Tools menu, and a microphone appears on your document. Click the mic to start and stop dictation mode. Similar to Dragon, Google Docs Voice Typing gives you plenty of voice commands for formatting, editing, and navigating the page as you write.

For example, you can say "create bulleted list," "select word," or "go to end of paragraph. It's a solid option if you work primarily in Google Docs and are looking for free dictation software. Recommendation: Voice Typing is an incredibly helpful tool if you use Google Docs avidly, but it doesn't work anywhere else. Find him on Twitter here. Thanks Ben for an extremely useful long-form article on dictation options in I look forward to implementing one of these options.

No incredible pressing need for dictation exists for me now. I do occasionally get pain in my right mouse hand. At that point, I switch to using my left hand for the mouse. Nothing like what you have gone through! I do want to get better at dictation as an alternative to typing at the keyboard. I will say that dictation is pretty fun as an alternative to writing all day though, especially if you do a lot of it. More than giving your hands a break it makes the same work feel like a different task altogether, which is great for helping to avoid burnout.

This is an extremely useful article! Perfect reviews for dictation software! Going to try some of those! Great article! Thank you. I was in the same boat with knowing about it, but not really looking into it. Hi Thanks a lot for this article, I am a new content writer from reading this my production has just gone from 5 words a minute to 80 words a minute, I am stoked. Many thanks for your comments useful as moving from Windows P. In passed have used Dragon are there great differences between the Dragon, have been used to and the Dragon Mac version?

Great question! First, you could get the Mac version and then mainly dictate into TextEdit. This seems to be the most stable form of dictation and supposedly barely ever crashes. Alternatively, you could run the Windows version of Dragon in virtualisation software such as Parallels or VMware Fusion.

These essentially run a version of Windows on your Mac which can be used to run Dragon and other programs. The trouble with doing that is that you need a pretty recent Mac device roughly within the last 3 years , 8Gb of RAM, and a Windows license which can cost a pretty penny in of themselves. I used Dragon on Windows for over 10 years and it is an extremely good product with extensive abilities with custom commands. However when I moved over to Mac OS Macbook Pro at the start of this year and started using Dragon for Mac, I discovered it is a totally different product and very inferior to the Windows version.

It does Support creating custom commands, but with much less functionality than the Windows version. For example it does not support parameterized commands. The speech recognition accuracy is quite good if you can get the product to work without crashing. If you have any further questions feel free to reach out. Many thanks in actual fact I have been very impressed with the Mac dictation tool, which very nearly has as good a results as I used to get from Dragon even on the Windows version of Dragon! Ben: A thorough, useful survey of dictation options.

Several years ago I used the PC version, found it worth the money for good and growing accuracy and production.. Thanks for pointing this out! It takes them a long time to get around to updating. On another note, I also have a lot of experience with healing carpal tunnel syndrome and other skeletal-muscular injuries. Chapter 9 in my book teaches the technique and I also work with people online to do direct energy healing.

There is also an anti-inflammatory formula on my blog that could be of immense value in reducing stress-related inflammation. Take a look RebuildHealth. As for the health advice, thanks for reaching out. Really good article thoroughly researched and excellent information. Very impressive. One comment about Dragon for Mac is that it can be frustratingly variable.

This is particularly true when using it with Gmail and Google Docs. The program sometimes inserts miscellaneous letters refuses to start new lines and misunderstands some commands. It seems Dragon have not invested as much in the Mac version of their product. Having said all that I still use it a lot and find it to be both time-saving and less physically arduous. Once again thank you for a very helpful post. How many of these apps are trainable to a specific person?

My daughter has some speech impediments and the off-the-shelf software does not do well with her. I would hope that if it were trained for her voice we could get reasonable accuracy.

Set up Dictation

I never thought of that issue. Thanks a lot for sharing such an informative and useful article. All the reviews for dictation software are best. I just tried my best to cover everything that might help someone who was in the same position I was. I have used Dragon many years ago on a Windows laptop. I decided to get it today for my Mac. After I downloaded and tried to install did it go to my Windows partition still on my Mac.

I closed out and looked at my order again. Nowhere does it say that this is for Windows only! What a total ripoff! I am hugely disappointed. Apparently there is no other quality dictation software for the Mac. Buying an external USB microphone. Hope it improves performance. Thanks for the exhaustive overview. It does seem odd though, that the several Google ops should be so different in their accuracy.


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One should expect them to use the same engine. It does quite well as long as no commands are involved. I thought it was odd too Hendrik — surely products from the same company with similar uses should have similar technology behind them, after all. Except, well, that would make a little too much sense apparently. Heck, if they could all focus their efforts on different elements of dictation and them pool their findings into a single project they might well be able to create something better and less confusing than Dragon.

Sadly, as it stands, this is what we have. Thank you and will read the above again,lots to digest. Also find myself thinking in one language whilst speaking in another, not a problem but can slow the writing. My editing quality is good and there will be others in the task. The mechanics can be an issue more so than other aspects. I also used to have a problem with editing as I wrote rather than at the end of my work, and dictation was one of the things that helped with that.

Talking is far more fluid than writing, letting you flow from one sentence to the next without necessarily worrying about the sentence structure, spelling or punctuation. How very helpful of you to produce such a comprehensive review and great advice. It was more trouble that it was worth. The percentage accuracy you report is very good for something that is free!

Wishing you well, Phil. Thanks for the warning! Great write up! Note: Lilyspeech has stopped their operations, to be removed. It was a difficult decision, but ultimately what needs to happen. This little piece of software was something of an experiment for us and while somewhat successful, our focus needs to be placed elsewhere at this time.

Thanks for catching that! Great Article! I am an extensive user of dragon Naturally Speaking but I am looking for an alternative because I am planning to leave Windows platform.

Speech Software For Mac

I was wondering if it is possible to make Google Docs voice type functionality working without an internet connection as it seems to be possible for Macintosh for instance… Due to my work sometimes I have confidential matters in my papers and writings and I wish not to show them with Google or anyone else… If you see my point…. Do you know if it is possible to translate happy command from English into Italian with a sort of developer option in Google Docs? Thank you for a thoughtful, well written piece. It is so refreshing to find something of value on the interwebs instead of the usual click-bait nonsense.

I have been using native iOS dictation for many years and it is actually quite good, all things considered i. Thanks again. I really enjoyed your article Ben. I have been using Windows speech recognition and Dragon Premium for the last two years for all of my writing as unfortunately my hands developed repetitive stress injuries.

I Windows speech recognition the best tool for using Windows commands in Windows applications and searching for files on my computer or in the cloud, while Dragon is far superior for dictation. Dragon for Mac Is now useless as the result of Mohave. Does anybody have any input? I personally have found that the dictation software which is available with in the Apple Pages and the other Apple software is of very high standard, previously on PC I did use Dragon however on the Mac have found the built-in software of a very high standard. This is actually has been done using the software.

How did that go for you? Thank you Ben. Great article. I have severe osteoarthritis in both hands and generally have one or both hands in a rigid custom splint, so that as well as constant pain makes typing an issue. I have a Mac at home and find the built-in dictation adequate, but not brilliant. I recently started using Dragon Professional on my Windows machine at work and the difference is remarkable — I find it far superior to the Mac dictation. I was really disappointed to see that Dragon is no longer available for Mac.

It seems there really is no other alternative. Hey, great article. So bummed out that Dragon is discontinuing its accurate software for MacOS. Why Dragon?!?!? Any reputable alternative for software dictation? I always facepalm and quit the app. So pleased to find this comprehensive review of yours, Ben! And so many helpful comments. Thank you for all the advice, Ben and everyone! Hi Pam!

So great to hear the post helped you with such an interesting use. They ended up on show in the Imperial War Museum for a time. We're hiring. Blogging , Personal , Productivity , Writing. You might think that sounds silly, and so did I. Then my hands seized up. Repetitive strain injury. During all this time I still had to work, and so I had to find a way to write without typing. Disadvantages of dictation Now for the disadvantages.

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