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How to dictate text in macOS 12 Monterey

How to dictate text in macOS 12 Monterey

Short guide:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen and select System Preferences.
  2. Click Keyboard.
  3. Select the Dictation tab.
  4. Click the On button for Dictation to turn it on.
  5. When you want to dictate text, place the cursor where you want the dictated text to appear.
  6. To start dictation, press the microphone icon in the row of function keys, if available, or use the dictation keyboard shortcut, or choose Edit > Start Dictation.
  7. When the dictation feedback window appears (a microphone with a fluctuating sound level indicator), you can start dictating your text.
  8. When you have finished, press the dictation keyboard shortcut or the Return key, or click Done in the dictation feedback window.

Before and after

Images illustrating entering text before and after turning on dictation

This section gives you step by step instructions on how to dictate text in macOS 12 Monterey, with pictures of the screens to help.

Open System Preferences

1. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen and choose System Preferences from the menu.

Open the Accessibility settings

2. In the System Preferences window, click Keyboard.

Find the Dictation settings

3. In the Keyboard window, click the Dictation tab.

Enable Dictation

4. Click the On button for Dictation to turn it on.

Choose a keyboard shortcut to launch Dictation

5. One of the ways you can start Dictation is by using a keyboard shortcut. Click the drop-down menu for Shortcut and choose your preferred shortcut from the options. If you choose Customise… press the key combination you would like to use when prompted.

Choose which microphone to use

6. If you have more than one microphone, you can choose which one to use for dictation from the drop-down menu under the microphone icon on the left.

Close System Preferences

7. When you are happy with your settings, close System Preferences by clicking the Close button (red circle) in the top-left corner of the window or using the Cmd + W keyboard shortcut.

Using Dictation

8. When you want to dictate text, place the cursor where you want the dictated text to appear.

To start dictation, press the microphone icon in the row of function keys, if available, or use the dictation shortcut, or choose Edit > Start Dictation.

When the dictation feedback window appears (a microphone with a fluctuating sound level indicator), you can start dictating your text.

You can enter punctuation by saying the type of the punctuation you wish to use, e.g. “full stop” to enter ‘.’ or “question mark” to enter ‘?’. You can find the full list of punctuation commands on Apple’s dictation support page: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/mac-help/mh40695/mac

When you have finished, press the dictation keyboard shortcut or the Return key, or click Done in the dictation feedback window.

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings are managed by someone else (an IT department or administrator for example). If so, you will need to contact them to access these settings or for help.

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