Free Speech Recognition and Dictation Software and Tutorials

These Tutorials are for Mac OS X

For Windows Users: Windows Speech Recognition Tutorials (WSR)


Mac OS X comes with a built-in speech recognition dictation software program. This program can be turned on from the Speech Preferences located in the  System Preferences Application found in the Applications Folder of the Hard Drive. By using AppleScripts, the user can control programs like Safari, FireFox, TextEdit, MS Word, and even Windows running in Parallels (See Tutorial 3).  The scripts to control Safari, FireFox, and the mouse can be found half way down this page. The scripts are easy to install and the setup time is a few minutes. To setup the program for speech recognition, run the program that you want to control and copy and paste the software (scripts) into that program’s folder within the Application Speakable Items Folder (Mac HD --> Users --> [Your Login name] --> Library --> Speech --> Speakable Items). The video tutorials on how to setup speech recognition, installing the software, customize the programs to the user’s needs, and using the software (Tutorial 1, Tutorial 2, Tutorial 3, Tutorial 4) are located at the bottom of the page. The video tutorials take about 35 minutes total time to complete.

Cost: FREE

The speech recognition software is freeware. SchoolFreeware is not a non-profit company. It is just a group of people trying to help others. We can use some help ourselves. If you like what this organization has accomplished, please send a few dollars or equivalent in other currency. It will greatly help us out - Thank You

Notes For Making and Using Speech Recognition AppleScripts:

To make sure that the speech recognition works properly:

1)  Make sure that the speech recognition software is calibrated. (Found in System Preferences --> Speech --> Speech Recognition --> Settings)

2)  Do not shout at the computer when speaking commands

  1. 3) Make sure that the room is free of background noise.

  2. 4)Try using a better microphone. Most headset microphones and semiprofessional microphones work better than the internal one found on most macs.

5) Make sure that the file names of the scripts are unique enough that the computer does not get confused when the command is dictated.

6) Create scripts for frequently used commands and situations. Do not overload the program with unused and unneeded commands.

7) If using Safari, make sure that the “Press Tab to highlight each item on a webpage” box is checked (Found in Safari’s Preferences Tutorial 2)

  1. 8)If using the voice recognition commands for the mouse, make sure that the Mouse Keys are turned on. Mouse Keys are found in the Universal Access Preferences within the System Preferences Application. (Tutorial 4)

Download: To install the scripts. Unzip the file, turn on speech recognition (Tutorial 1), Run the program designed for the scripts (Safari, Firefox, etc) and place the scripts in the program’s folder (Safari, Firefox, etc) located in the Application Speakable Items folder (Tutorial 2, Tutorial 3, Tutorial 4). The computer is now ready to receive voice commands.

Safari Scripts (zip)      

FireFox Scripts (zip)

Core Scripts (zip)

Mouse Scripts (zip)







AppleScript Links:

Apple’s AppleScript Developer’s Site ADC

Doug’s Free Scripts for iTunes


Video Tutorials: - Posted On YouTube

Speech Recognition For Mac Tutorial 1 - Setting Up The Computer

Speech Recognition For Mac Tutorial 2 - Customizing Safari (Section 1/2)

Speech Recognition For Mac Tutorial 2 - Customizing Safari (Section 2/2)

Speech Recognition For Mac Tutorial 3 - FireFox, Core Settings, TextEdit and Word Within Parallels

Speech Recognition For Mac Tutorial 4 - Controlling the Mouse - For Free