The process of analysis is to identify the variables, then eliminate the factors that are not the problem.

A client complained that when dictating an email when dictating an email the text would duplicate the text would duplicate.


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The first step in analysis is to ask questions. Find out in what environment the malfunction occurred.

What operating system is being used? In which application did it occur?

What changes occurred on the computer between correct operation and malfunction?


What does Google know about the situation? What are the variables?:

System malfunction. Application incompatibility. Incorrect user settings. Preference file corruption.

System malfunction: Create a Test administrator account.


Log into the Test account. Try to duplicate the problem. If the problem reoccurs it is a system malfunction. If it doesn’t occur, the problem is with the client’s user account.

Application incompatibility:

AnalysisThis dictation duplication occurred using Safari browser in Gmail webmail. While still in the Test account, open a different application (such as TextEdit) and try dictating there. If the error occurs in two different applications, the problem is a System malfunction. If the error occurs in Safari, but not in Text Edit, it is an application incompatibility.

Analysis Try dictating into a different web page using Safari. If the problem does not occur in a different web page, the incompatibility is probably with Gmail webmail. If the problem persists on more than one website, then Safari might be incompatible with Dictation.

Try using a different browser (such as Chrome) to test Dictation at the Gmail website. If Dictation works at Gmail in Chrome, then the incompatibility is with Safari.

Incorrect user settings:

AnalysisIf the Test user account checks out without the dictation duplication, log out of Test and back into the user’s account. Try all the other tests: A different web page. A different browser. A different application.

There are only a couple User setting that can be changed. System Preferences > Keyboard > Use Enhanced Dictation checkbox. “Use Enhanced Dictation” allows offline use and continuous dictation with live feedback. Try unchecking this option and running all the tests again.


If the problem is solved by turning off Enhanced Dictation you can try deleting the Enhanced Dictation Pack from the Mac (I do not show you how to do so here). Once deleted you can turn Enhanced Dictation back on and run your tests again.

Another setting is System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard. Drag the Key Repeat slider all the way to the left to the “Off” position. Run all the tests again.


Preference file corruption:

There is a possibility that the speech recognition system preference file is corrupted. Removing the file might solve your problem. The process of removing and rebuilding this plist is beyond the scopeof this bLog.



The most likely reason for this instance of dictation duplication is an incompatibility with the webmail page in Safari. This user was running macOS High Sierra. The duplication only occurred in webmail while running Safari. I could not duplicate the problem on my computer running Mojave. Research uncovered a known problem with dictation duplication in Safari while running High Sierra. His computer is too old to upgrade to Mojave. He is stuck with this operating system/Safari configuration.

Work arounds are: Use a different browser. Use a mail client like Dictate into an application where dictation works, then copy and paste the text into the webmail.


Ultimately, if the problem is with the System or an application incompatibility you should upgrade to the newest incremental version of your operating system and/or perform an upgrade of the problem application.

If none of this solves your problem you may have to take desperate measures such as a reinstall or clean install of your operating system. NEVER DO THIS WITHOUT ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE.


Sometimes you just have to wait for Apple or the third party software developer to fix the problem. If so, don’t hold your breath and do keep your fingers crossed.

“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” — Sherlock Holmes.

One Response

  1. zack August 3, 2019

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