I’m testing out free dictation software mac OSX El Capitan and it seems to work quite well. I’m quite surprised at how well it is working. You could do some fairly useful work with the free dictation on your Mac. I’m getting some of the same sorts of facilities as I’m able to get with using DragonDictate. To get started you have to do a double press of the function key. Tap the function key twice quickly and start talking. It is possible to tell the free dictation software to select a word. Of course you’re able to use all of the punctuation commands such as a comma or a full stop. You also have commands to start a new paragraph or a new line. It is also possible to make corrections to words you’ve already put into the page. I don’t think it is anywhere near as good as the Dragon dictation software,but it is quite usable. It gives you an idea of what it’s like to do dictation. If you’re going to make some sort of test as to whether the dictation software will suit you, make sure the test tells you what you want to know. Using simple software like this will let you know about the basics of speech to text dictation. Using the free Mac built-in dictation software is not a proper comparison with what it’s like to work with dedicated dictation software like Dragon for Mac. It would not be right to try the free speech to text software on the Mac and when you don’t like it completely, say that dictation software is rubbish.
How many words do you write?
If you don’t plan on doing too much dictation, it is not really going to be cost-effective for you to pay out the amount of money required for the proper dictation software. If you regularly create a 500 to 1000 words per day then I would suggest it’s a good idea to spend money to buy DragonDictate. It is worth it in my opinion. Try the free dictation software mac and then get Dragon Dictate. I consider to be money well spent.
Using the free dictation software Mac OSX
in the OSX dictation it seems to be a good idea to do with the dictation in short bursts. Press the function key twice, listen for the ding sound to get started – Write three or four sentences. Do the double press on the function key to turn the dictation off. Maybe you’ll want to do some work on the sentences you’ve just done. Use the keyboard to make a couple of corrections, just so the sentences make sense. Then repeat the process.
Differences in the Dragon dictation
When using DragonDictate you get a window which shows you what’s happening with your dictation. It shows you when you’re in dictation mode and when you are in spelling mode. You can also change to transcription mode if you have an audio file you want to convert from recorded audio into editable text. What I like about this DragonDictate information window is that when I select a word, it will give me options of words I might have meant. This makes it very easy to do corrections where necessary. I miss that when using the free dictation software mac OSX.
Enhanced dictation commands in OSX built in speech to text
It is possible to use the dictation with Enhanced Commands. You have to go to the accessibility tab and scroll down to the bottom of the section on the left. Click on the button for dictation commands. You’ll see a list of all the things you can do with the free speech to text capabilities of OS X. It isn’t quite as predictable as using DragonDictate, but it does work. You could crank out a lot of words using this system. With the idiosyncrasies of how it works you will need to do more editing than you would need to do with DragonDictate. OSX free built in dictation is still impressive if you want to do speech to text on your Mac and don’t want to give yourself repetitive strain injuries by continuous typing.
Training your Dragon Dictate software
The thing about using DragonDictate is when you’re using it, you are training your Dragon. The Dragon learns your words and speech patterns and becomes more accurate the more you use it. I’m not sure if this is the case with the built-in free dictation service in OS X. It will not improve itself as you use it. One of the things that make Dictate for Mac worth paying for.
Talking to the computer like on the Starship Enterprise
If you want to make sure the speech to text of OS X will give you a command rather than putting words into your text, Then you can use a special dictation keyword phrase. When you put the tick in a box to enable the dictation keyword phrase, the default word is Computer. This is obviously a Star Trek reference when they used to use that word when asking their computer something on the Enterprise. If when you’re doing your normal writing you often write the word computer, it will be wise to change that and use something else. For example, you could use the word bananas! It’s kind of cute and you can make sure you’ll get a command rather than text in your document. If you’ve changed it to a different word or a name it could be funny for a while and then it might get tedious. There is an option to get audio feedback when it recognises a command in the free dictation software Mac.
Mac OS X free speech to text versus DragonDictate
I wrote all of the previous section of this article using the free speech to text software in OS X. The free dictation software Mac didn’t work perfectly or as well as Dragon Dictate and I did get a little frustrated with how it worked. Having said that, I was impressed with how quickly I was able to get some text onto the page in the Ulysses writers application. When I was editing the nearly 900 words, I found there were many more changes required than what I’m used to with DragonDictate. I suspect that using the dictation of El Capitan Mac OS X is still faster than typing with fingers on a keyboard. If you’re a writer you should have the best and that’s worth paying for. It’s handy with DragonDictate to edit the vocabulary and give one-off training for specific words. There are more options for setting up your microphone within Dragon Dictate for Mac 5. By all means have a little experiment with the free dictation service of OS X, but if it doesn’t work exactly right don’t let it put you off dictation software completely.
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See the video showing how to use DragonDictate on the Mac