I am trying to enable dictation with applescript and so far have the following that works.
But, how do I set the drop down for the shortcut key using AppleScript?

enter image description here

Below is the AppleScript code:

tell application "System Preferences"
reveal pane id "com.apple.preference.speech"

tell application "System Events"
    tell process "System Preferences"
        tell window "Dictation & Speech"
            tell tab group 1
                click radio button "Dictation"
                tell radio group 1
                    if value of radio button "On" is 0 then
                        click radio button "On"

                    end if
                end tell
            end tell
            if sheet 1 exists then
                tell sheet 1
                    click button "Enable Dictation"
                    repeat while sheet 1 exists
                    end repeat
                end tell
            end if
        end tell
    end tell
end tell
quit -- optional
end tell

Using the shell Defaults command in an Applescript Do shell script seems to work ok for me. This will save on GUI scripting problems.

The script first reads the preference file. Then sets it to the opposite of its Bool.

set dictionToggle to (do shell script " defaults read ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.assistant.support \"Dictation Enabled\" ") as integer

do shell script "defaults write  ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.assistant.support \"Dictation Enabled\" -bool " & (not (dictionToggle as boolean)) as Unicode text

I always backup any preference files using the contextual menu compress "…." to make a zipped copy of it.

enter image description here

The file com.apple.assistant.support.plist that is changed is found in your preferences folder


If you have to use GUI scripting especially if you want to change the short cut keys. ( and since I cannot be Ars… to figure out which one of the symbolic hotkey settings in the com.apple.symbolichotkeys.plist is the right one)

Then this should work. (as it does on my Mac at least :-) )

  set off to 1
set fnTwice to 3
set rightCommandTwice to 4
set leftCommandTwice to 5
set eitherCommandTwice to 6

tell application "System Preferences"
    set current pane to pane "com.apple.preference.speech"
    reveal (first anchor of current pane whose name is "Dictation") 
end tell
tell application "System Events"

    tell application process "System Preferences"
        set theGroup to tab group 1 of window "Dictation & Speech"
        click radio button "On" of radio group 1 of theGroup

            click button "Enable Dictation" of sheet 1 of window "Dictation & Speech"
        end try
        set thePopUp to pop up button 2 of theGroup
        click thePopUp
        click menu item fnTwice of menu 1 of thePopUp
    end tell
end tell
tell application "System Preferences"
end tell
  • How can I set the drop down menu "Shortcut"? – ControlAltDelete Sep 13 '13 at 23:35
  • Updated to show you. Sorry forgot about that bit.. – markhunte Sep 14 '13 at 0:04
  • Added clicking enable button. – markhunte Sep 14 '13 at 0:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .