Speakable items was first introduced as part of Apple's speech recognition software PlainTalk in 1993. Originally available only on Quadra AV models, it was later integrated with the System 7.1.2 release of the Macintosh system software.
With the release of Mac OS X v10.4 it was featured as #12 on their list of features.
If a workflow is saved as an application and put in the Speakable items folder it becomes available to the speech recognition software. The words the computer will recognize to execute the command will be the name of the saved Automator application. Some words might have to be misspelt for the computer to know the proper pronunciation. (For example, the computer best recognizes "Les Misérables" as Lay Mizzer Ob).
Because Automator is made to comply with AppleScript applications only, most third party or non AppleScript applications, such as Limewire or Final Cut Studio apps will not work with speakable items, unless you configure commands only with "define a keyboard command": in which you'll just select "this application only" after making a keyboard command such as +C or other combinations.
There has also been recurring problems users experience where Speakable Items inexplicably stops functioning, and can no longer be accessed. This can be corrected by doing the following:
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