Local Voice Dictation on MAC for Lawyers
OS X Mavericks facilitates offline dictation service with live feedback, helping
lawyers improve efficiency and save time on legal transcription
Apple’s dictation service just got a big boost with Internet-free dictation in the OS X
Mavericks. This universal dictation option is proving a great advantage for legal
transcription. The notable challenge with the OS X Mountain Lion version is that the
dictation has to be sent to Apple’s servers for conversion to text. The new version has
brilliantly tackled the issue by making dictation offline. Lawyers just have to dictate into
their computer’s microphone and the words appear on the screen – something that is not
possible with the Web-based method. In other words, dictation just got ‘enhanced'.
How OS X Mavericks Outsmarts OS X Mountain Lion
When Apple came out with OS X Mountain Lion in 2012, lawyers were at first quite happy.
Their efficiency greatly improved when a lot of time was saved with quick entry of data
into the system. However, with Mountain Lion, the dictated information is sent to an Apple
server for processing before it available as text. There were limits, and as you had to
pause to let the data reach Apple and return. The conversion of long paragraphs is difficult
and dictation had to be limited to just a few sentences at a time. Transcribing complex
court proceedings and legal documents can be quite challenging with Mountain Lion.
The latest version, OS X Mavericks, brilliantly resolves these issues with ‘enhanced
dictation’. It works smoothly without the need of an Internet connection. Instead of
depending on a server, this speech recognition software is designed to work as a local
service on the MAC. The dictation is converted to text and displayed on the screen in real
time. As the feature supports live processing of speech, lawyers no longer need to limit
the length of the audio. Other capabilities of Mavericks are
Enables switching between available languages
Customizable dictation trigger (single key press/keystroke)
Specific commands such as upper and lower case, paragraphs, line breaks,
The ‘enhanced dictation’ feature enhances the speed of the overall process. The dictation
appears on the screen as the lawyer speaks and live feedback allows them to make
necessary corrections immediately, improving their efficiency. Lawyers can carry out their
documentation tasks anywhere, even where there is no Internet connectivity. Apple has
also included several security and performance updates for greater safety and smooth
Simple Steps to Enable Enhanced Dictation on MAC
Just a few simple steps can enable offline dictation service with live feedback on the
Visit the menu section
Tap open the “System Preferences”
Go to the “Dictation & Speech” control panel
Check the box for “Use Enhanced Dictation”
To complete the process and make the service local, you will have to perform the
download of a specified file on the screen. The size of the download may differ depending
on the selected language.
Using Live Speech-to-Text Feature
As with normal dictation, you can now start the offline dictation process by double hitting
the “fn” key. A microphone icon is displayed to show that it is ready to accept the input.
Just speak the required data into the microphone which is entered ‘live’ in the respective
text fields. The machine recognizes pauses and prolonged pauses which are entered as
punctuation, commas and periods. Lawyers have the flexibility to easily specify any
commands in between such as a special character, return or a line break.
Expected Improvements with “Enhanced Dictation”
Even with all the advantages offered by the continuous and live dictation feature, users
are expecting further improvements. It is hoped that edits and corrections of the entered
content will become even quicker. They hope that the software could learn from repeated
corrections and perform them automatically in the future. Integrating conventional legal
transcription services with the solutions offered by advanced speech recognition
technology can help improve efficiency and accuracy.