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OS X Mavericks: Create spoken commands

Create spoken commands

Make sure that Speakable Items is on in Accessibility preferences, and you have calibrated speech recognition in your environment.

About 20 seconds after you save a command, it appears in the Speech Commands window. Commands for webpages are listed in the section for your browser and are visible only when the browser is the active app.

To rename a command, select it in the Speakable Items folder, click it again, then type a new name.

Create a command for a keyboard shortcut

Create a command for any keyboard shortcut that appears in a menu.

  1. Open the app that contains the shortcut.
  2. Press the listening key or say the keyword, then say “Define a keyboard command.”
  3. In the window that appears, use the keyboard shortcut (such as Command-S), then click OK.
  4. Type a name for the command, such as “Save document.”
  5. Choose where to use the command, then click Save.

Create a command to open an item

Create a command to open an app, a document, a webpage, or any other item you can open by double-clicking. You can’t create a command for an icon in the Dock.

  1. Select the item to open.
  2. Press the listening key or say the keyword, then say “Make this speakable.”
  3. If you’re viewing a webpage, enter the command. Otherwise, the name of the item you selected is used as the command.

Create a command to insert text or an image

Create a command to insert selected text or images at the insertion point in an app. For example, use a command to insert your email address into a message, or an image into a Pages document.

  1. Open the app that contains the text or image, then select the text or image.
  2. Press the listening key or say the keyword, then say “Make this speakable.”
  3. Type a name for the command.

Create a command to run a script

Create a command to run a script for an app. For example, say a command to run a script that automatically applies font settings to a TextEdit document.

  1. Open an app for which you’ve written a script, and make sure it’s the active app.

    When you open the app, a folder for it is created in the Library/Speech/Speakable Items/Application Speakable Items folder in your home folder. To see the folder, in the Finder, press the Option key, then choose Go > Library.

  2. Save the script in the app’s Speakable Items folder. The name you use to save the script is used as the command.

Guidelines for naming commands

  • Use three to six words, and avoid names with a single syllable. For example, use “Make this bold” rather than “Bold.”
  • Avoid proper names, names that sound similar to other words, or names that may be confused with other commands.
  • Don’t use names that are used for other Speakable Items commands. To see all the Speakable Items commands, press the listening key or say the keyword, then say “Open the Speakable Items folder.”
Last Modified: May 8, 2014
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  • Last Modified: May 8, 2014
  • Article: PH14380
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