How to start Dictation with a spoken word in OS X El Capitan

There’s no word on when (if?) Siri, the spoken word “personal assistant” Apple gives us on iOS devices, will come to Mac OS X. However, El Capitan at least gives us some Siri-like features such as the ability to start Dictation with a spoken word.

Dictation lets you talk where you would type. You can reply to an email, search the web, or write a report using just your voice. Navigate to any text field, activate Dictation, then say what you want to write. Dictation converts your words into text. 

OS X also comes with more than 50 editing and formatting commands. You can turn on Dictation and tell your Mac to bold a paragraph, delete a sentence, or replace a word. You can also use Automator workflows to create your own Dictation commands.

With El Capitan, you can now set your Mac so it will begin accepting dictation upon a spoken command. Here’s how:

  • Open System Preferences and go to Accessibility.
  • Choose Dictation from the sidebar. Enable the Dictation & Speech feature.
  • Click the “Enable the dictation keyword phrase.”