Sunday, 21 July 2013

DragonDictate to Control your Computer

Controlling your computer using DragonDictate

Most of the time when I'm using DragonDictate it is to turn speech into text in OS X. I find this to be most successful when I'm using the actual DragonDictate text input window. Due to this my workflow has evolved into me dictating into this window and using a Keyboard Maestro shortcut which selects all of the text, copies it and then pastes it into my text editor that I use for a read through and editing process. I use Mou Text editor for this. To a certain extent I also use DragonDictate when I want to dictate into other applications like Day One the journalling application, into the various social networking pages on the Chrome browser. If I have my Twitter client open on the desktop I will also dictate into that and I find that DragonDictate works well with the Messages application. It is really quite simple to dictate the message and at the end of it simply say "Send message" and the message is sent. What I should really do though, is to spend some time learning other commands that I can use in applications such as Apple Mail, Safari and maybe some of the global commands. I already use the global command to switch from one application to another, most often when I am dictating into DragonDictate and I want to see the HTML results in the Marked application. All I have to do is to say "Open Marked" and the application is there in front of me ready to go.

DragonDictate available commands

Learning more by using the available commands window

Grid Transparent Window 2

When the available commands window is open it shows you the various types of available commands that you can use. As I am looking at it now, I can see three words in the list, Dictation, Global, DragonDictate and each of these have disclosure triangles. Click on the dictation disclosure triangle and you get another list of command types such as Capitalisation Commands, proofreading, special symbols and text editing and movement. So if I want to learn more commands that I can use specifically with regards to text editing and movement, I can quickly see the available commands within the DragonDictate window. There are a huge number of commands that are available. I would suggest that the best way to learn how to use these and to get them so that you know them, is to choose a couple of commands and concentrate on them for as long as it takes to get them into your head. It could be that you will need a number of sessions using these commands before you have them in your working vocabulary for DragonDictate in memory.

Controlling Safari with DragonDictate

I have been testing the available commands that are in DragonDictate for Safari and to be honest it is quite overwhelming. I have started to learn some of these, two commands at a time. I just choose a commands that I think will be useful and use them over and over again until I remember them. You can use the commands to do things like scrolling to the bottom of the page and back again to the top. You can open new windows of Safari and you can also open a new tab. There is a command that will let you do a web search which puts the cursor into the text area for creating a search and all you have to do is to dictate in what you want to search for. I find it quite useful to open the find on page command, enter a word I'm looking for and this can save an awful lot of clicks and typing.

free applications

Saturday, 20 July 2013

You don't need a Mavericks to be able to tag files

I was kind of wondering why there was such a fuss about tagging files in Mavericks by the Apple people at the WW DC event that happened to the beginning of June. It is already possible to tag your files using free software called Tag it and also if you use useful utilities like Default Folder X or Houdaspot. So for at least a year or two years I have been tagging my files as I create them and for me I find these his way to do this is using Default Folder X.

free applications

A better system of tagging in Mavericks

I have seen recently that it is going to be possible to tag files by doing a drag-and-drop. I don't have the full details on that yet but it does look like it could be something that would be very useful for quick and easy tagging of files. I can already do a drag and drop files to Tag It, but obviously it is going to be much better to be able to do all of that in the Finder. With the other enhancements to the finder that is coming with Mavericks maybe I will be drawn away from using the application Pathfinder. Often I find that I don't get the full use out of Pathfinder as I haven't spend the time yet to delve into all of the extra functionality that there is available within it.

Friday, 19 July 2013

OpenPGP/ GPG get started

This is the best way to encrypt your emails. Using GPG Tools and the Public / Private key pair does take a bit to get your head around the way it works but it is not rocket science really. It is a cross platform solution and you can easily get sending encrypted emails that can't be read by governments around the world. Think PRISM and how un protected your emails are now. It is like you sending a postcard - Anyone can read whatever you have written as it travels across the internet.

Now there is the plug in you can get for Apple Mail as well as one for Thunderbird if you prefer which makes it really easy to use. This is the first in a series of videos about how to use GPG Tools so that you can be an expert without having to try too hard.