Writing and Conversing with Your MacBook

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Using handwriting recognition to control Mac OS X Speaking to your MacBook Having your laptop 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 MacBook by simply writing as you would on a sheet of paper.
♦ Speech: Talk to your MacBook to make it listen and obey your commands. It even talks back!
This topic guides you through the various options that you have for controlling your laptop 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 give you 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 just so you don’t get lonely, the MacBook even talks back to you. (Now you can control your computer just as Spock from “Star Trek” could!) And Snow Leopard’s VoiceOver feature makes it easy for your MacBook to read aloud all sorts of text, including Web pages, Mail messages, and word processing documents.
So scoot away from your computer, lean that chair back, and let your laptop take care of the rest.

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