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Voice recognition software Mac

Speech-to-Text Dictation Software for OS X  February 12, 2016 – 02:22 am

OS X Mavericks' System Preferences pane for Speech and Dictation.Speech-to-text software, sometimes known as dictation software, is something that lets you talk to the computer in some form and have the computer react appropriately to what you are saying. This is totally different to text-to-speech software, which is software can read out text already in the computer.

In this article you’ll learn about different types of speech-to-text software for Mac OS X, and what your options are if you want to use it to control your computer, dictate text, or both.

In this article:

Dictation Software

There are really only two options for dictation software when you are using Mac OS X. There is basic dictation software built into OS X, and there is a program developed by Nuance called Dragon Dictate for Mac. Dictate is the successor to a program named iListen which MacSpeech used to produce.

All dictation-capable text-to-speech products work very well for some people and fairly badly for others. Whether it will work for you depends on many things including:

  • How much effort you’re willing to put into learning it
  • How good your microphone is
  • Your age, as text to speech usually works less well for children
  • How much your accent matches the “standard” accent the program expects
  • Whether your disability affects your speech
  • Whether your voice changes a lot through the day, for example when you are fatigued

These types of speech-to-text dictation programs have made huge improvements in the last few years though, so even if you have tried to use dictation software before and given up it is worth trying again.

The Free Option – Built-in OS X Dictation

OS X’s free built in dictation requires OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion or later and can be accessed via the “Dictation and Speech” panel on System Preferences.

OS X Dictation with Mountain Lion and Mavericks

Under Mountain Lion and by default in Mavericks dictation functions by listening to up to 30 seconds of speech and sending the speech to Apple’s servers for processing – the same way that Dictation to Siri on your iPhone works. If you have a stable and reliable broadband connection this is fine, but those with slow or metered internet connections may have trouble. For those users who want local speech processing, under Mavericks you can turn on Enhanced Dictation which allows continuous speech recognition (no waiting) and offline processing.

Speech to Text - Dictation Software for OS X Dragon Dictate icon

Source: atmac.org



Nuance Communications, Inc. Dragon Dictate 3.0 (Mac) (Old Version)
Software (Nuance Communications, Inc.)
  • Mac OS 10.7, 10.8 and 10.9 ONLY (with latest 3.0.4 free update installed). With up to a 15% improvement to out-of-the-box accuracy, Dragon Dictate 3 just gets you...
  • Improved Accuracy: Dragon Dictate for Mac 3 delivers a 15% improvement to out-of-the-box accuracy when compared to version 2.x.
  • Faster, More Advanced Correction: When it comes to making a correction, Dragon Dictate for Mac 3 makes it faster and easier than ever before
  • Control in More Applications with Express Editor: Dragon Dictate for Mac 3 gives you control in more applications, so that you can use your voice to get more done
  • Transcription of Recorded Speech: It s easy to transcribe your own recorded speech into text with Dragon Dictate for Mac 3.

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Nuance Communications Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 12.0, English (Old Version)
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  • Improved Accuracy: Dragon 12 delivers up to a 20% improvement in out-of-box accuracy compared to Dragon 11.
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Nuance Communications, Inc. Dragon for MAC 5.0, US ENGLISH
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  • A fast, accurate, and personalized speech recognition experience by being able to command and control your computer by voice in ergonomic, hands-free comfort
  • Think out loud to create, format and edit by voice quickly and efficiently
  • Create custom voice commands to insert frequently-used text and Import/export custom word lists to share unique vocabulary among peers
  • Sync your desktop with the new Dragon Anywhere Mobile App and gain immediate access to your dictation without having to wait or rely on a costly transcription service
  • Dictation of text anywhere where you normally type within popular applications enables greater productivity and efficient multi-tasking
Nuance Communications, Inc. Nuance Communications Dragon for MAC 5.0 Speech recogination Software, Student/Teacher Edition
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  • A fast, accurate, and personalized speech recognition experience by being able to command and control your computer by voice in ergonomic, hands-free comfort
  • Think out loud to create, format and edit by voice quickly and efficiently
  • Create custom voice commands to insert frequently-used text and Import/export custom word lists to share unique vocabulary among peers
  • Sync your desktop with the new Dragon Anywhere Mobile App and gain immediate access to your dictation without having to wait or rely on a costly transcription service
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  • avatar What is the best voice recognition software for mac on the market?
    • Dragon Systems Power Secretary. Its available from dragon systems at I believe they also make the best voice dictation software for PC as well.

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