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How to setup your Mac text-to-speech

  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Dictation & Speech, then click Text to Speech.

  • Select the “Speak selected text when the key is pressed” checkbox.

  • By default, speaking is enabled when you press Option-Esc. To choose a different key, click Change Key, press one or more modifier keys (Command, Shift, Option, or Control) together with another key, then click OK.

  • To have your Mac start speaking, press the specified key. To stop the speaking, press the key again.

  • If text is selected when you press the key, the selected text is spoken. Otherwise, available text items in the current window are spoken; for example, if Mail is the current window, an email message is read. If no text items are available, you will hear a beep.

You can also use VoiceOver, the spoken interface for OS X, to hear descriptions of every item on the screen and to control your Mac using the keyboard.

Google Chrome

The Chrome store has many options for add-ons and extensions. New extensions are being added regularly so we recommend trying a few to see what might work best for you. Try searching for "text to speech" in the Chrome Web Store. Here are a few to check out: 

Click2Speech - Pros: High-quality voice. Cons: Must click paragraph by paragraph, does not work in Google Docs.

Selection Reader - Pros: Allows you to select areas for reading. Cons: Does not work in Google Docs. 

Select and Speak- Pros: Reads entire page or selections (via right click). Cons: Free version only reads 500 words per day, does not work in Google Docs. Premium version available for $2.99/month.

Read Aloud - Pros: High-quality voice options, supports multiple language voices, ability to jump forward and backward. Cons: Opens reader into small box on screen, does not work with Google Docs.