Helping you get the most out of your Mac, iPhone & iPad

Bay Mac's Help Desk with Steve Paris

Q: Windows have Dragon Naturally Speaking.

What does the Mac have to help me control my computer with my voice?

A: You’re right that Dragon Naturally Speaking doesn’t exist for the Mac, but that doesn’t mean to say your computer has no accessibility features. In fact, Apple have worked hard to make such features not only built-in on iPhones and iPads, but also on your Mac. With this enabled, it’s then possible to control your computer to your voice alone.

Check it out by going to the System Preferences. Choose Accessibility and scroll down until you see Voice Control. In order to enable it, you need to download 422MB of additional software but once that’s done, you can use your voice to control your Mac, dictate letters, emails, browse the internet, what have you.

There’s a whole list of commands pre-built which you can scroll through by clicking on the ‘Commands’ button. Select any one of them and you’ll see to the right which commands trigger it. You also have the ability to create your own custom commands should you need to.

There are many advantages over Dragon, for one thing, it’s part of your Mac, so it’s free. You also don’t need to train the software to get used to your voice.

This means that multiple people can take advantage of that feature on a single machine, and you can get up and running as soon as you switch this feature on.

Hope this helps.

Steve Paris is an internationally published writer, an Apple Certified Trainer, and provides consultancy, training and troubleshooting services to the Swansea area. You can email him at or contact him on 077-8866-0407.



All Articles