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How to Rate and Flag Photos with Your Voice on a Mac


Want to navigate through a large set of photos and assign star ratings using only your voice instead of your keyboard? It’s extremely easy to set up for any image organization software if you use a Mac. Here’s a 6.5-minute tutorial by photographer Tony Hoffer on how to set this up.

Hoffer’s walkthrough shows how to set things up for culling in Photo Mechanic, but the steps are identical for other apps like Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Bridge.

All you need to do is visit the Keyboard and Accessibility sections of your System Preferences.

In Keyboard, simply make sure Dictation is set to On. This screen also shows you the shortcut for activating dictation.

In Accessibility, click the Dictation Commands button.

Now you can choose the voice commands you’d like to turn on, the app they should apply to (e.g. Photo Mechanic, Lightroom, Bridge, etc), and the keyboard shortcut the voice command should be translated into.

By setting the word “five” to the keyboard key “5”, you can have your app give your photo 5 stars simply by saying “five.” Likewise, if you set the word “back” to the left arrow key, you can navigate back to the previous photo simply by saying “back.”

Watch Hoffer’s video above if you’d like to see the detailed step-by-step process in setting this up as well as a demo of voice culling in action.