How to Control Your Mac with Voice Control Accessibility

Xiaobai Software  2022-07-19 12: 29  read 40 views

Apple has included a number of features in macOS that make Macs available to all users.Voice Control is one such feature that, as the name suggests, lets you control your Mac with just your voice.You just need to enable it, learn a specific set of commands, and you are ready to go.

Next, we'll take a closer look at how to use your Mac's voice control features.We'll look at everything about it, from enabling it to adding custom commands, and more.


How to enable voice control and give commands

To enable Voice Control, go to System Preferences > Accessibility and scroll down to the Motor section from the panel on the left.Tap Voice Control, then toggle the Enable Voice Control button.A small window will pop up showing a microphone with a button on it that says sleep or wake.


When the button says "Sleep", the feature is activated and you can issue commands.So if you're in a text field (an area where you can type something), you can start dictating to test the functionality.

However, once you hit the button, it says "wake up", which means the feature is inactive and it can't hear you.If you've added additional languages, you may also see a language button here (explained below).

All different types of commands in voice control

There's a long list of commands you can issue to operate your Mac using voice control.You can find these commands from the command buttons at the bottom of the Accessibility > Voice Control window.

Here's an overview of the different things Voice Control can help you do:

Basic Navigation: These commands are primarily used to open and quit applications, save and find documents, wake your Mac and put it to sleep, and more.You can also scroll up or down, jump to different tabs in the browser, and launch Spotlight.

Overlays & Mouse: The commands under this section are mainly used to replace mouse functions such as dragging and dropping files, zooming in and out, and clicking, double-clicking, and triple-clicking.These not only replace the mouse function, but also help you control the cursor by moving it around the screen.

Dictation: You can use these commands in text fields, mainly for inserting text.

Text Selection: The commands for text selection are extensive, allowing you to perform almost any selection (and selection extension) you can perform with the mouse and keyboard.Again, these are mainly used when you are in a text field (like a document) or a page with text (like a blog).

Text Navigation: These commands are also comprehensive and help you move through text as you dictate it to your Mac.

Text Editing: Important commands such as cut, paste, replace, and insert text are all under this section.These also allow you to bold, italicize or underline text.

Text deletion: The delete command helps you delete different areas of the text you are dictating, such as the last word or phrase you dictated.It also allows you to delete sentences, lines and paragraphs.

Voice Control Using VoiceOver

The last set of commands in Voice Control lets you control another accessibility feature called VoiceOver, which you'll find at the top of the left pane of System Preferences > Accessibility.


Apple's VoiceOver is a screen-reading app that reads aloud whatever appears on the screen.It's helpful for visually impaired users because it reads everything on the screen and helps them operate their Mac.With voice-controlled VoiceOver commands, you can do everything from activating VoiceOver to asking it to read specific text.

VoiceOver is a great tool to use outside of other apps designed to help visually impaired users.

How to Add Custom Voice Control Commands

You can also add your custom commands to Voice Control by going to Voice Control > Commands and clicking the Add (+) button in the lower left corner.To add your custom command, you need to enter three things:

When I say: here, enter the command you want to speak out loud to perform the action.

When used: This applies to the application you want to use the command for.

Execute: Here you have to choose what you want the command to do.


However, the tools for adding commands are limited in helping you.From the "Execute" drop-down menu, you can see that there are only a few actions you can do, such as pasting text, opening a URL, and starting a new recording.

How to add your own vocabulary

Adding your own vocabulary is an exciting feature.Not only can you add custom words, but you can also use them later in custom commands.So, for example, you can say "Abracadabra" instead of the command "Paste item" and Voice Control will paste the clipboard item for you.

To add your own vocabulary, go to Accessibility > Voice Control and tap the Vocabulary button to the right of the command button.


Then, click the Add (+) button, enter your word, and click Save to add the word to the list.Finally, click "Save" to save the list and you've successfully added your word.

How to add more languages

You can use voice control in many languages.To add another language, go to Accessibility > Voice Control, click the language drop-down menu in the middle, and then click Add language.


Instead of scrolling through the list to check if your language is available, use the search bar at the top.If it is available, toggle the language and the window will tell you the size of the language you want to add (will be downloaded).Click OK to download and add languages.

You can switch to other languages ​​using the same drop-down menu or the voice-controlled microphone pop-up shortcut.

Use the overlay function

The overlay feature makes it easier to navigate and execute different commands when using voice control by dividing elements on the screen into different sections.

You can divide the screen into a grid.


Alternatively, you can number each interactive element.


You can then use the commands under "Overlay and Mouse" in the command list to navigate and perform different actions.

Show shortcuts to menu bar for added convenience

If you don't want to keep Voice Control (or any other accessibility feature) on all the time, you can use the menu bar shortcuts to toggle those features as needed.


To do this, check the "Show accessibility status in menu bar" option at the bottom of the System Preferences > Accessibility window.This will add accessibility icons to the menu bar that you can use to interact with different functions.

MacOS accessibility features are incredibly powerful

Apple's accessibility features are so powerful and intuitive that anyone can benefit from them.For example, when you're multitasking, you can use voice control to boost your productivity by simply saying out loud what you want the system to do while you're doing other things.

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