Com­mand your Mac

Use Au­toma­tor in Yosemite to au­to­mate tasks trig­gered with voice ac­ti­va­tion

Mac Format - - IMPROVE | SYSTEM -

In OS X Yosemite, Ap­ple has revamped how you can speak to your Mac. Now go­ing un­der the new name of Dic­ta­tion Com­mands (pre­vi­ously Speak­able Items), it en­ables you to spec­ify, us­ing typed words, the com­mand you want to say in or­der to run a work­flow that turns a man­ual task into one where your Mac does the work for you.

The sim­plest way to set up a com­mand is in Ac­ces­si­bil­ity un­der Sys­tem Pref­er­ences. Un­der Dic­ta­tion there, ‘En­able ad­vanced com­mands’ lets you cre­ate new com­mands. Click­ing the ‘+’ but­ton re­veals a form in which you can spec­ify the words you want to say, limit your com­mand’s avail­abil­ity to a sin­gle ap­pli­ca­tion, and de­fine the Mac’s re­sponse – to open a file or an app, paste text or other data, run an ex­ist­ing work­flow cre­ated in Au­toma­tor or Script Ed­i­tor, or mimic a key­board short­cut be­ing pressed.

Dic­ta­tion com­mands can’t re­ceive any in­put, which pre­vents you adding words to, for ex­am­ple, spec­ify the name of an ex­ter­nal drive to eject. The Run Ap­pleScript or Run JavaScript ac­tions can ex­tend Au­toma­tor’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties and over­come this, but that’s beyond this tu­to­rial’s scope. Nonethe­less, the work­flow we’ll cre­ate is prac­ti­cal as it en­ables you to cre­ate a new event with­out hav­ing to switch to the Cal­en­dar app. Alan Stone­bridge

Spec­ify a com­mand that runs a work­flow to turn a man­ual task into one where your Mac does the work

Dic­ta­tion Com­mands pro­vide a way to deal with dis­tract­ing tasks with­out leav­ing your cur­rent app.

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