Use This Mac Shortcut to Let Your Keyboard Do the Typing

Protect your precious keyboard from whatever food residue is on your fingers.
Protect your precious keyboard from whatever food residue is on your fingers. / spkphotostock/iStock via Getty Images

Whether you’re trying to keep up with your email correspondence while cooking dinner or just hoping to give your hardworking fingers a much-deserved break, you might be inclined to take advantage of dictation technology available on most computers these days.

For Mac users, here’s a handy trick: Position your cursor wherever you want to start your sentence—on any site, app, or platform where you can usually type—and double-tap the “Fn” key in the lower left corner of your keyboard. A small microphone icon will appear, ready to transform your spoken words into written ones. Once you’re finished, you can end your session by double-tapping the “Fn” key again, hitting the “Return” key, or clicking “Done” under the microphone icon.

If it’s your first time dictating on your device, a window will pop up asking you to confirm you’d like to enable dictation. As Lifehacker explains, you can customize your settings by going to “System Preferences” and clicking “Dictation and Speech,” (or “Keyboard” and then “Dictation,” depending on which iOS system you’re using). There, you can choose to dictate in a language other than English and you can even switch your shortcut to something other than double-tapping the "Fn" key; the suggested options include double-tapping your left or right “Command” key, but feel free to make up your own.

For novice dictation users, Apple also has a helpful guide on how to dictate punctuation, formatting, symbols, and more. Some commands, like saying the word comma to type a comma, are pretty intuitive, while others require specific wording that’s not quite as easy to guess—if you’re using brackets, for example, you have to state open bracket and close bracket to differentiate between the beginning and end of your sentence or phrase.

Looking to make your typing experience more efficient without using dictation? Here are six simple tricks to help you type faster.

[h/t Lifehacker]