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'OK, Mac': Using Automator's Dictation Commands, new in Yosemite

Christopher Breen | Oct. 20, 2014
Over the past few years we've grown accustomed to using our voice to interact with Siri-enabled iOS devices. So why not expect a similar experience with our computers? While not the hoped-for "Siri for the Mac," use of the new Dictation Commands feature in Yosemite can deliver a powerful and personalized interactive experience in OS X.

4. Drag in the Speak Text action from the Text library and choose the voice you'd like to use (Alex is the default).

5. At the top of the workflow enter the command you'll speak to trigger the workflow. I like "Spit that out." Then click on the Command Enabled checkbox. Save and name your workflow and quit Automator.

To use the workflow, just press the key command that initiates dictation (pressing the Fn key twice is the default). The Dictation Response HUD will appear. Speak your command and, after a second or two, you'll see that command written out above the HUD and the workflow will be triggered. Your USB thumb drive will unmount and to confirm it, Alex will tell you of his relief.

And that's it, a simple job performed with a simple spoken command. If you'd like more information about this and other Automator workflows, visit


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