Enable Speech Recognition on Mac OS X Lion

We have certainly dreamed of talking to our computers at least a few dozen times. Imagine ordering your computer to search a particular keyword over the Internet, to create a document, or compose a message. Yes, this is possible if you sprinkle a few basic speech commands to a commercial voice recognition program, but, as you’d normally expect, these programs are pricey.

Siri For Mac OS X Lion

You know Siri? iPhone 4S is pumped with Siri’s blood.

Siri is one of the highly anticipated addition pushed into the lustrous iPhone 4S, as it allows you to control practically everything with your voice. Siri is, as many would agree, the best voice-control technology smartphones have ever seen. How about Mac? Do we have Siri for Mac? Or, let’s put it this way: Do we really need Siri for Mac?

Of course we need Siri. And it shouldn’t take long for Siri — or Siri-like — app to appear in the Mac App Store. In fact, Siri for Mac could be more useful than Siri for iPhone. Imagine how Siri can indigenously delete items, remove duplicate files, launch application, open documents, move files, and, if you are in the quest for something, it can open browser in private mode.

Throw in a few basic speech commands, and Siri will do everything for you.

Enable Speech Recognition on Mac

Speech Recognition has been in OS X for years. However, it’s not as perfect as Siri is expected to be. Siri removes the need to learn commands, while Mac’s Speech Recognition program wants you to learn commands.

Despite this, Mac users — iMac, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air owners — can still activate the speech recognition feature.

To enable Speech Recognition on your Mac OS X Lion, the first thing you’ve to do is to look at the top-left corner of your Mac screen for the Apple menu. Click on the Apple menu, then System Preference.

This opens the System Preference window where you have to select the Speech icon.

Mac Recognition Window

In the next window, select the radio button on for Speakable Items. You can also change the key and choose either Listen only while key is pressed or Listen continuously with keyword.

In the Text to Speech tab, you can set personal preferences. For example, which voice system do you want, the speaking rate, etc. Play around for a while to get comfortable.

Text to Speech Mac Window

Talk to your Mac With Speech Recognition Shortcuts

If everything is under default setting, hold down the escape key, and say the command. There are a bunch of commands which are visible in the Speech Recognition window.

You can configure the shortcuts, open the items that support voice recognition and switch between applications through your voice. Go to the Commands tab and click on Open Speakable Items Folder to get the list of commands.

Mac Speech commands
You can also see the list of commands supported by Mac from the speech recognition icon which pops in front of the screen when you hold the escape key.

Voice commands Mac