Best text to speech app for Mac

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    Convert any text into spoken words with the best text to speech app options for Mac. Discover the top list here.

    Best text to speech app for Mac

    If you’re looking for a way to have your Apple Mac dictate text to you, you’ll want to check out text to speech software. This software can convert any written text into natural-sounding voices. This can improve your reading comprehension or make your computing experience more hands-free.

    This article will look at some of the best text to speech software available for Mac users.

    What is text to speech software?

    Text to speech software, or TTS software, is a type of assistive technology that converts text files into spoken words. It can be used by people with visual impairments, learning disabilities, or by anyone who likes multitasking.

    Advanced designs can even use optical character recognition (OCR) to convert scanned images of handwritten, typewritten, or printed text into machine-readable text. The software also often supports different languages, including English, Spanish, French, and German.

    Most modern designs are compatible with Windows and Android devices as well as Macs, iPads, and tablets, making them extremely accessible.

    Some programs are designed for specific purposes, such as helping students with dyslexia or visual impairments, where others focus on general web pages and Microsoft Word documents. Their speech functions will also vary between quality, voice changing, and advanced options.

    Others are more general-purpose and can be used for a wide range of tasks.

    With a text to speech software on your Mac, you can:

    How to use the Mac text to speech feature

    Macbooks come with a number of built-in accessibility features, including a text to speech feature. To convert text to speech on Mac, you’ll need to navigate to your system settings. Here’s step-by-step how to activate it:

    Step 1: Enabling text to speech

    • Click on the Apple menu at the top-left corner of your screen, then open System Preferences.
    • Click on Accessibility.
    • In the sidebar of the Accessibility preferences, click on Spoken Content.
    • Check the box that says “Speak selected text when the key is pressed.” This enables text to speech functionality.

    Step 2: Setting a shortcut

    • After checking the box in the step above, click on Change Key to set your own shortcut. This is the key combination you’ll use to trigger text to speech.
    • Press the combination of keys you’d like to use for this feature (for instance, Option+Esc), and click OK.

    Step 3: Using text to speech

    • To use the text to speech feature, select any text in a document, webpage, or other compatible areas, and press your chosen shortcut. Your Mac will read out the selected text.

    Remember, these instructions are as of macOS version up until 2021. If you’re using a newer version, some steps might slightly vary, or there might be additional features available. Always refer to the most recent user guide or Apple support for the latest instructions.

    Top text to speech Mac apps

    If you want higher-quality TTS voices than the system voice provided by Apple, or if you want more text to speech features in a TTS app, here’s our list of the best text to speech apps for Mac computers:

    NaturalReader

    NaturalReader is a text to speech tool that can read any file format out loud. That includes text, Microsoft Word, HTML, PDF, Docx, RTF, TXT, and ePub, among other formats.

    It’s great for when you need to skim a long document or want to hear how something sounds out loud. And because it reads in a natural-sounding voice, it’s easy to follow along.

    It’s available for a one-time payment, but you can also opt for the free version and still enjoy unlimited high-quality voices.

    Whether you’re trying to get through a dense book or want somebody to read you a bedtime story, NaturalReader can help make reading easier and more enjoyable.

    Read Aloud

    Read Aloud is a great extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge that allows you to turn web-based text into audio. It supports over 40 languages and different voices, so no matter where you are in the world, you can still use it to read articles aloud.

    The voices are clear and easy to understand, and you can even choose from various text to speech providers, including Google Wavenet, Amazon Polly, IBM Watson, and Microsoft.

    Some voices may require an in-app purchase, but the overall quality is worth it.

    Read Aloud is also available on Windows and Android.

    VoiceOver

    VoiceOver is a free text reader built into Apple’s macOS and iOS operating systems.

    With VoiceOver, you can easily navigate around your Mac, open and use apps, and even control mobile devices and Braille displays via speech commands.

    The program can be turned on by clicking on the Accessibility tab under System Preferences. It can be used with any application that runs on mac OS X.

    To use VoiceOver, move your cursor to the item you want to select and press the space bar. VoiceOver will then speak the name of the item.

    You can then use the arrow keys to navigate through the items on the screen. In addition, you can take advantage of several keyboard shortcuts to quickly and easily access frequently used options.

    VoiceOver is an essential tool for mac users who are visually impaired, and it can significantly improve their computing experience. If you need help getting started with VoiceOver, check out Apple’s comprehensive guide.

    Capti Voice

    If you’re looking for a TTS app that will make your online reading and learning experiences more accessible on your Mac, Capti Voice is definitely worth checking out.

    This app offers a wide range of features to customize the way you listen to web content, ebooks, and even PDF documents. You can adjust playback speed, toggle between male and female voices, and more. Plus, the app syncs across all your devices, so you can pick up where you left off no matter where you are.

    When using an iOS device such as an iPhone, you can take advantage of Capti’s built-in screen reader capabilities.

    Whether you’re a student, a busy professional, or just someone who wants to avoid certain fonts, Capti Voice is worth a try.

    Voice Dream Reader

    Voice Dream Reader is an app that converts text to speech, making it perfect for anyone who needs assistance reading.

    The app offers a variety of features to customize the reading experience, including the ability to adjust the reading speed, change the voice, and add bookmarks. In addition, Voice Dream Reader can read texts aloud in over 30 languages.

    Perhaps best of all, the app is compatible with a wide range of file formats, making it easy to convert almost any document into an accessible format.

    Whether you are a student struggling with a particularly dense textbook or a busy adult with vision problems, Voice Dream Reader can help you conquer your reading list.

    Speechify

    Imagine being able to listen to your email, articles, PDFs, and more instead of having to read them. That’s what Speechify desktop app for macOS is all about.

    This text to speech synthesizer can help you power through docs, articles, PDFs, and e-mail faster than ever before. It supports multiple audio formats, including MP3 and WAV. A simplified API lets you listen to content with just a single click.

    Because it integrates seamlessly with almost all native and third-party apps, you can use it practically anywhere. Speechify is available as an app for iOS devices, as well as a browser extension for Safari that operates without annoying pop-ups.

    One area where Speechify outshines other tools is its availability in over 30 languages. With more than 150 natural-sounding text to speech voices to choose from, you can find transform any text to speech. It comes with many other text to speech features, like the ability to speed up or slow down the speaking rate and customize the TTS voices before they even start speaking.

    With Speechify, sharing your audio files on your Mac is easy. You can even export a file to iTunes and then sync to your iPad or iPhone.

    You can download the Speechify desktop apps for macOS and Windows from the App Store.

    Try Speechify for free on macOS

    Speechify brings your Mac to life. Whether you’re catching up on Slack messages or reading an important email, Speechify makes it easy to consume information hands-free.

    So why not give it a try? Visit speechify.com to get started.

    FAQ

    How do you use Siri?

    To use Siri on an Apple device, press and hold the side (or home) button until Siri pops up, or simply say “Hey Siri” if you have that feature enabled. Once Siri is activated, you can ask it a question or give it a command, like “Set an alarm for 7 AM” or “What’s the weather like?”. You can also ask Siri to open apps, send messages, make calls, and a multitude of other tasks.

    Is there a text to speech app built into macOS?

    VoiceOver is a free text reader built into Apple’s macOS operating system.

    What is the most realistic text to speech app?

    Speechify is the most realistic text to speech app because it allows you to adjust the speed, pitch, and tone of each voice, so you can create a unique vocal experience for each project.

    What is the best-sounding text to speech?

    The best-sounding text to speech app is Speechify. It offers natural-sounding voices that are easy to understand and are perfect for a wide range of applications, from reading stories to learning a new language.

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

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