TEXT-TO-SPEECH & THE MAC

Written by THRIVE Program Teacher, Tyson Schoeber • Last Updated: 08-21-2014

For more than a decade, all Mac computers have included one or more high-quality text-to-speech voices. Although they must be "turned on" in order to be used, it is very easy to do so! Just follow these simple directions:

IF YOU'RE USING Tiger, Leopard or Lion ...

1.   Click on System Preferences under the Apple menu.

2.   Find the Speech Tool and click on it.  

3.   Select the "Speak selected text when the key is pressed ..." option. (A black tick mark should appear beside it.)

4.   Press the "Set Key ..." button. When prompted, hold down the "Control" and THEN press the letter "S".

5.   From now on, your Mac will read ANY text you can get on-screen — what you type into your word processor or find on the web! All you need to do is highlight the text you want read to you, and press Control-S. Try it!

IF YOU'RE USING mountain Lion ...

1.   Click on System Preferences under the Apple menu.

2.   Find the Dictation & Speech button and click on it.

3.   Click on the Text to Speech tab at the top and then follow Steps 3-5, as above.

4.   Note that the Dictation options on this page are relatively new. Go ahead and experiment with them! They seem to work pretty well with adults who speak English fluently! Yet we haven't had much success with them with kids as of yet.

WHICH VOICE SHOULD I USE?