by Craig Mill
on Thu Mar 09, 2017
Did you know that Macs have a range of built-in tools to help with literacy difficulties? This new guide will take you through some of the tools that can help to support Mac users with reading and writing.
The Mac operating system is often abbreviated as ‘OS X’ or ‘macOS’ although you might know it as ‘Mountain Lion’, ‘Mavericks’, ‘Yosemite’, ‘El Capitan’ or ‘Sierra’. The OS X you have installed will depend on the age of your Mac and the frequency you update it. The tools highlighted in the guide reflect most up-to-date Macs.
Tools covered in the guide include:
- Speech – a built-in text-to-speech or text reader which works with the Scottish voices.
- Word Completion – a basic word completion tool that might come in handy if you forget the word you want to type or the spelling of a word. Word Completion may not suit everyone, depending on your typing style, but it can help with potential spelling mistakes as words are drawn from the Mac’s built-in dictionary.
- Dictionary - when reading or writing projects or essays and you become stuck on a word or terminology you can look it up using Dictionary. The Dictionary feature gives you quick access to definitions and synonyms to help with grammar, spelling and pronunciation.
- Dictation - lets you talk to your Mac instead of typing. You can reply to an email, search the web or write a report or essay, using just your voice (with a bit of practice!). With Dictation you can also tell your Mac to bold a paragraph, delete a sentence or replace a word.
- Changing the colour background – the Mac is limited if you need to change the background colour, i.e., if you experience visual stress, but you can use a 3rd party app, i.e., Shades to customise the screen.
The current version of OS X, Sierra (at the time of writing) also has Siri built-in (similar to the iPad) but it requires an internet connection to work.