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Mac OS® X Snow Leopard™ All-in-One for Dummies® by Mark L. Chambers

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Chapter VIII.3. Talking and Writing to Your Macintosh

In This Chapter

  • Using handwriting recognition to control Mac OS X

  • Speaking to your Mac

  • Having your Mac speak back

  • Using VoiceOver to provide feedback in Snow Leopard

If you're a hunt-and-peck typist — leaving you certain that there must be some better way to get information into your computer — you'll be happy to know that Apple has you in mind. Since the very first Mac rolled off the assembly line, Apple has had a keen interest in alternative modes of interaction between human and machine. Mac OS X continues in this tradition of alternative computer controls, offering two options for controlling Mac OS X without the keyboard: handwriting and speech.

  • Handwriting: By using a pen and computer tablet, you can enter text into your Mac by simply writing as you would on a sheet of paper.

  • Speech: Talk to your Mac to make it listen and obey your commands. It even talks back!

This chapter guides you through the various options that you have for controlling your Macintosh without using the keyboard. First, I cover the Mac OS X Ink feature, which you use to write on a tablet to enter data into your computer. (Although it sounds a bit ironic, think of Ink as your "digital paper" for the new millennium.) Whatever you write on the tablet appears on the screen as text.

I also take a look at the more space-age speech capabilities available to you in Mac OS X. With your voice, you can command a Macintosh to perform all sorts of interesting feats. And ...

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