Ask Your Mac To Read Aloud

Mac OS X has always had a solid text to speech feature built right in.  When you've been reading a while and your eyes are getting tired, it's a great tool to use.  I've also found it extremely useful in previewing any text during the editing process.  No matter if you are simply composing an email and want it read back to you to see how it sounds, editing a long report, or putting together a letter, using the text to speech feature is fun and easy to use.  

Usage Scenarios

  • Reading emails aloud
  • Reading web site articles
  • Proofreading email and word processing documents
  • Proofreading text for web content

How to Ask Your Mac to Read Aloud

  1. Click and drag your mouse over any text content in virtually any application
  2. Right click the highlighted selected text
  3. On the pop up menu choose 'Speech" > "Start Reading"

The selected text will begin being read aloud to you by your system.  It will stop reading when it reaches the end of your selected area.  Unfortunately, you can only stop the reading if needed.  There is no pause feature yet.

If you need to stop your Mac from reading aloud, there are a couple of ways to do it:

  1. Right click the highlighted text being read back to you
  2. Choose "Speech" > "Stop Reading"


  1. From the application menu bar across the top of your Mac, choose "Edit" > "Speech" > "Stop Reading"

Adjusting How Your Mac Reads Aloud

You can adjust the text to speech settings in the System Preferences app.  You can change the type of voice you hear by selecting different male or female voices.  You can choose the speed at which text is read back to you.  You can also set other spoken features, such as when alerts pop up on screen, they can be read aloud to you if you like.  You can even have your computer speak the date and time at set intervals.

To Adjust Text to Speech Options:

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Locate the "Speech" icon under the System group (fourth row down, fifth icon from the left) and click to open.
  3. Once in the speech settings area, at the top click on the "Text-to-Speech" section.
  4. Review and adjust your text-to-speech settings to fit your needs.

Yes, there are many very cool features built right into your Mac that you may not know about yet.  I hope you find this tip useful.  I know I use the text-to-speech feature on a daily basis.  If you would like to learn more about what your Mac system can do in a business or work environment, please do not hesitate to contact us today!