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Proofreading Text

Dragon Dictate’s proofreading feature makes it possible for Dictate to read your text back to you. You’ll find that Dictate not only reads back your words, but includes the appropriate pauses signaled by the punctuation in your text. You might find this feature helpful for catching errors that are easily overlooked when you read text back to yourself. Table 4.6 lists the commands that work with this feature; you can substitute the command Proofread for Read in any command.

Table 4.6. Proofreading Commands

To do this:

Say this:

Read the entire document

Read Document

Read selected text

Read Selection

Read specific text

Read The Words firstword Through lastword or Read the Words firstword To lastword

Stop reading

Stop Reading

Dictate uses the Text to Speech feature and voices of Mac OS X to read back text. The voices, although obviously synthetic, are remarkably clear and easy to understand. You can change the default voice and reading speed by setting options in Mac OS X’s Speech preferences pane.

To read back the entire document:

Say Read Document or Proofread Document.

Dictate reads the document aloud, starting from the beginning, highlighting each word as it reads circle_a.jpg. It continues until you stop it or it reaches the end of the document.


circle_a.jpg Dictate selects each word it reads.

To read selected text:

  1. Use a Select command (Table 4.3) to select the text you want Dictate to read circle_b.jpg.


    circle_b.jpg In this example, I said Select Table Four Point Six Through Read to select text to be read to me.

  2. Say Read Selection.

Dictate reads the selected text aloud, starting from the beginning of the selection. It continues until you stop it or it reaches the end of the selected text.

To stop reading:

  1. If necessary, say Wake Up.
  2. Say Stop Reading.

To change the proofreading voice:

  1. Choose Apple > System Preferences to open the System Preferences window.
  2. Click the Speech icon.
  3. In the Speech preferences pane, click the Text to Speech button to show its options circle_c.jpg.


    circle_c.jpg The Text to Speech options of the Speech preferences pane.

  4. Choose a different voice from the System Voice pop-up menu circle_d.jpg.


    circle_d.jpg Choose a voice from the System Voice pop-up menu

  5. If desired, use the Speaking Rate slider to change the speech speed.
  6. To hear what the voice will sound like, click Play.
  7. Repeat step 4 through 6 as desired to set a voice and speed you like.
  8. Close the Speech preferences pane.

The voice you selected will be used from that point forward by Dictate’s proofreading feature.


circle_e.jpg Use this dialog to specify which voices should appear on the System Voice menu.

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