How to Enable Offline Voice Dictation in OS X Mavericks

How to Enable Offline Voice Dictation in OS X Mavericks

Voice dictation – which, for those of you not familiar, translates your spoken voice into text to save your fingers from typing – has been around on OS X since the release of OS X Mountain Lion. But with OS X Mavericks, Apple has made the feature even better by adding one simply feature: The ability to use dictation offline!


In Mountain Lion, the use of Dictation required an active internet connection at all times. This could be quite inconvenient for situations such as travel, client work, and so forth. Fortunately, enabling offline dictation in Mavericks is both simple and, in my opinion, well worth it.

To enable offline dictation, first head into the Settings app on your Mac. Next, fire up the Dictation and Speech panel, and locate the ticker button that reads “Use Enhanced Dictation.” Mavericks will display a prompt explaining what the feature does. Simply click “Enable Dictation” to continue.


Enabling the feature does require an 800MB download, which should be no big deal for those with broadband connections (although those without fast internet should be aware the download can take a while). Once the download is finished, you’ll be able to dictate without any connection at all – instead of Apple’s servers, your Mac will due all the processing work.


Other options available in the Speech and Dictation page include the ability to change the trigger key for starting Dictation (by default, you can start Dictation by quickly double-tapping the Fn key), and switching between a number of available languages.

That’s all there is to it! It’s a very welcome feature, especially for FREE, and in my experience, even competes well against products like Dragon Dictation (with the caveat that it is STRICTLY dictation, and doesn’t support the wide variety of macros and voice commands that Dragon Dictate offers).

We hope it works for you as well as it worked for us!

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