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Best text to speech for Mac OS

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If you use a macOS-based device, there are dozens of third-party text-to-speech apps that are fully compatible with Apple’s operating system. Let’s review some of the best options out there.

Text to speech for Mac: Improve accessibility and productivity

Text to speech (TTS) technology has revolutionized the way we interact with digital content, and Apple's macOS offers robust support for this valuable accessibility feature. Whether you're using a Mac, iPhone, iPad, or even Windows, text to speech functionality can be a game-changer, allowing you to have selected text read aloud to you, convert written content into audio files, and more. In this article, we'll explore the text to speech capabilities of macOS, along with the best text to speech apps and software available for Mac users. But first, let’s talk about what text to speech is.

Understanding text to speech

Let's learn about Text to Speech! It's a cool tool that turns written words into spoken ones. Think of it like this: your computer can read out loud any words you see on the screen. This is super helpful for people who can't see well or for those who like to do many things at once.

Text to Speech is really important today. It makes sure everyone can use and enjoy what's on the internet, no matter if they can see well or not.

When Text to Speech first started, it mostly helped people who couldn't see. But now, it's everywhere! We use it all the time without even noticing.

One great thing about Text to Speech is that it can save you time. Let's say you have a long story or article to read. Instead of reading it yourself, you can let your computer read it to you. This way, you can do other things at the same time.

It's also a big help for people learning a new language. By hearing how words sound, they can learn faster and better. It's like having a teacher right there with you.

Text to Speech is also changing how we enjoy stories. Writers can now turn their stories into something you can listen to, like audiobooks. This means you can enjoy books while walking, driving, or just relaxing.

Plus, Text to Speech is a lifesaver for people with learning challenges. If someone has trouble reading, they can listen instead. It's another way to understand and learn.

And guess what? Text to Speech is getting even better! There are smart computer programs that are making the spoken words sound more real and natural. Soon, we might have talking robots, helpful chat buddies, and voice systems made just for us!

Built-in text to speech on macOS

Apple has long been committed to accessibility, and macOS is no exception. Within the system preferences, you can easily find the text to speech feature under "Accessibility." With this feature, you can customize the system voice, adjust speech settings, and even use a keyboard shortcut to have selected text read aloud.

The initial setup process is straightforward:

  1. Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Select "System Preferences" from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on "Accessibility."
  4. In the sidebar, select "Speech."
  5. Check the box next to "Speak selected text when the key is pressed," and choose a key combination of your preference.

Once you've completed the initial setup, you can further customize your Text to Speech preferences.

Customizing your preferences

The customization options in Text to Speech on Mac OS X are impressive. To access them, follow these steps:

  1. Go to "System Preferences" from the Apple menu.
  2. Select "Accessibility" and then choose "Speech" from the sidebar.
  3. Explore the various options available, such as changing the voice, adjusting the speaking rate, and modifying pronunciation.

Playing around with settings can help you find the best voice and speed that you like. There are many different voices you can choose from, each one sounding unique. Some of these voices might even be available for download from the App Store.

Setting up Text to Speech on your Mac is easy and user-friendly. Just follow a few simple steps, and your Mac will be able to read text, TXT files, or even your Mail to you in no time!

When you go to the Speech preferences, you’ll see how many cool changes you can make. You can pick different voices, including guys and girls, and even ones with different accents or languages. If you ever want the voice to stop speaking, there's a "stop speaking" option available. And if you want to hear a preview, just hit the play button.

But you can change more than just the voice! You can also decide how fast the voice talks. This is great if you like listening slowly to understand better or quickly to save time.

You can also change how words are pronounced. This is super helpful for words that sound different than they look, for words from other languages, or even for apps like Ghost Reader.

By trying out all these changes, you can make Text to Speech work just the way you like it. It’s great for school, understanding what you read better, or just for fun. Finding the right voice and settings will make using your Mac even more enjoyable.

Remember, Text to Speech on Mac can read more than just a bit of text. It can read whole documents, websites, or emails to you. This is really helpful for people who have trouble seeing or who like to hear things instead of reading them.

With all these custom changes, Text to Speech on Mac makes reading stuff easy and fun for everyone. Whether you’re in school, working, or just like listening to stories or articles, this feature makes learning and enjoying information easy.

So, go ahead and see what Text to Speech on your Mac can do! With a few clicks, you can make your Mac read to you, making words come alive and easy for everyone to understand.

Expanding the capabilities with third-party apps

While the built-in text to speech feature is reliable, third-party apps offer additional functionalities and natural-sounding voices. Apps like "VoiceOver" on iOS devices and "Natural Reader" for macOS provide more customization options and support a wide range of file formats, including web pages, Microsoft Word documents, and more.

Using keyboard shortcuts and pop-up tools

For seamless multitasking, you can use keyboard shortcuts to initiate text to speech on Mac. Simply select the text you want to hear, press the key combination, and the system will start speaking. Some apps also offer pop-up tools, allowing you to easily access text to speech capabilities while reading content online or within documents.

Text to speech apps and software

For Mac users seeking powerful text to speech software, Speechify stands out with its advanced AI, optical character recognition (OCR), and support for over 30 languages. The app's high-quality voices and customizable features make it a top choice for converting text into audio files, making it perfect for creating podcasts, audiobooks, and more. Available for Mac, Android, Windows, and more, it’s accessible to all.

Speechify stands out as the best text to speech app for Mac due to its exceptional features and advanced capabilities. Powered by advanced AI, machine learning, and optical character recognition (OCR), Speechify delivers a seamless and natural-sounding reading experience.

With support for over 30 languages, users can choose from more than 150 high-quality voices, making it highly versatile for diverse audiences. Whether you want to listen to emails, web pages, or text files, Speechify offers an intuitive interface, easy customization options, and the ability to adjust reading speed, enhancing both accessibility and productivity.

Its compatibility with macOS devices, including Macbooks and iPhones, makes it a convenient and reliable choice for converting text into audio files. For users seeking a next-generation text to speech app, Speechify is undoubtedly the top contender that unlocks the full potential of spoken content on Mac.

Enhancing accessibility and productivity

Text to speech technology and TTS software have become a valuable tool, not only for individuals with disabilities but also for enhancing productivity and multitasking. Whether you're an avid reader looking for a more immersive experience to convert text or a content creator seeking innovative ways to engage your audience or to create compelling YouTube videos, text to speech for Mac offers a wealth of possibilities.

Text to speech for Mac, a valuable feature offered by the macOS operating system, empowers users to have selected text read aloud effortlessly. With a variety of options available, including Siri, Speak Selection, and Dictation, Mac users can enjoy spoken content in English and other languages.

Whether you're reading emails, browsing web pages on Chrome or Safari, or working on a text file, Mac's text to speech tool, available in the Apple Menu and system settings, allows for seamless conversion of text into spoken words. Simply press play, and the Macbook will read text with ease, providing accessibility and convenience for various tasks.

Text to speech capabilities on macOS empower users to access and consume digital content in new and efficient ways. Whether you're reading emails, browsing web pages, or working on documents, text to speech apps and software provide a seamless solution for converting written content into spoken words.

With the ability to customize voices, adjust settings, and enjoy high-quality audio, Mac users can take full advantage of text to speech technology to enhance their accessibility and productivity.

Get to know the power of Speechify Text to Speech on your Mac!

If you haven’t tried Speechify on your Mac yet, you should. It’s a game-changer! With its advanced AI and support for over 30 languages, it turns any text into natural-sounding speech, making it perfect for creating audiobooks, podcasts, or just reading out your emails and articles. Whether you’re learning a new language or just want to rest your eyes, Speechify makes it so easy and enjoyable to listen to text. Ready to transform your reading experience? Give Speechify Text to Speech a try today!


How do I enable text to speech on my Mac?

To enable Text to Speech, go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Speech. Here, you can select the "Speak selected text when the key is pressed" option. You can also choose your preferred voice and adjust the speaking rate.

Can I change the voice or accent of the text to speech feature?

Yes! Mac offers a variety of voices in different accents and languages. Go to System Preferences > Accessibility > Speech and click on the dropdown menu next to "System Voice" to explore and select your preferred voice.

Is there a way to make my Mac read entire documents or web pages aloud?

Absolutely. You can highlight the text you want to be read, then press the key combination you've set up (default is Option+Esc). If you want to read an entire document, simply select all the text (Cmd+A) and then use the Text to Speech shortcut.

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.