How to enable text to speech on Safari

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Find out how to enable text to speech on Safari and improve your overall browser reading experience.

Table of Contents

The Safari web browser is Apple’s alternative to Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. Designed primarily for iOS and macOS and OS X devices, Safari is the standard browser for Apple users and offers one of the best browsing experiences.

But no matter how good the browser is, not everyone can use it to its fullest extent. Some people need to supplement it with text to speech software. Fortunately, Safari already has a built-in solution to speak screen text aloud.

What is text to speech software?

Text to speech software is an assistive technology used to process, decipher, and convert digital text into spoken content. Also called read aloud software, TTS reads text to people who suffer from reading difficulties, visual impairment, or anyone who doesn’t have the time to look at a screen.

Advancements in text to speech technology have made it available on most platforms, including Windows, Apple, macOS, Android, and iOS. Naturally, some TTS software is available on every operating system through cloud-based apps users can access in their browsers.

Text to speech software has some key benefits.

  • Improves word recognition – Many people use TTS software to overcome dyslexia. TTS apps enable users to read and listen to text as they read it and back up when needed, making it easier to distinguish confusing letters and words.
  • Helps maintain focus – Another significant advantage is the interactive element TTS software adds to reading. Using natural-sounding voices and controllable reading speeds helps kids stay more focused on their assignments with less effort.
  • Reduces eye fatigue – Eye strain doesn’t get the concern it deserves. Students and avid readers may strain their eyes as they go through their materials. Text to speech software on mobile devices, laptops, and workstations can help people go through their content without pushing their eyes to the limits, yet still learn.
  • Enhances accessibility – TTS software is available to convert onscreen elements, video game environments, and convert other written text into audio. Therefore, it helps more people with visual impairment use modern devices, as well as those without.

Activating text to speech on Safari

Using the Safari text to speech feature is one of the easiest ways to use this assistive technology on iPhones, iPads, and Macbooks. Here are the steps to activating TTS in the Safari browser.

Safari TTS on macOS

You won’t have to install special extensions to access the default Safari TTS feature.

  • Open the browser and click the “Reader” icon.
  • Click the “Edit” button on the toolbar and navigate to “Speech.”
  • Click the “Start Speaking” button to make the browser read aloud.

To change the voice, navigate to “Dictation & Speech” in the “System Preferences” menu. From there, go to “Text to Speech” and adjust the app’s reading speed, voice, and other speech options.

The Safari TTS feature doesn’t have a keyboard shortcut.

Safari TTS on iOS

Activating TTS accessibility feature on an iOS device is slightly different.

  • Launch the “Settings” app.
  • Go to the “General” tab.
  • Navigate to “Accessibility.”
  • Tap the “Speech” option.
  • Tap the “Speech Screen” option to turn it on.

Additionally, you may want to hit the “Speech Selection” button to enable the feature on websites and documents.

When you bring up the Safari browser, tap on the “Reader” icon or swipe down the screen using to fingers. That will make Safari read the web page content aloud.

Alternatives to Safari’s default text to speech

Voice Dream Reader

Voice Dream Reader is a multiplatform TTS app available on Android and iOS. You can install it on an iPhone or iPad to listen to various documents, eBooks, and web pages.

The software comes with synthesized voices and has a relatively simple user interface. It will also allow you to export audio files in MP3 and MP4 audio file formats, making it useful even without a Wi-Fi connection or mobile data.

iSpeech

iSpeech is a popular TTS app that can export audio in multiple formats, including WAV, WMA, and FLAC. It comes with various features, including a translator.

The app’s TTS API supports dictation, multiple digital file formats, and webpage reading and is flexible regarding playback control. It also has high-quality voices.

NaturalReader

NaturalReader has a dedicated iOS and Mac app but is more of an educational tool than a TTS screen reader. The software focuses on reading documents and PDF files aloud.

It’s a helpful tool for students, kids with dyslexia, and teachers who want to interact easier with all of their students. Besides supporting multiple file formats and integrating with Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive, NaturalReader has high-quality voices.

Aloud!

Aloud! is a Mac and iOS-friendly text to speech app that supports multiple languages. It can assist native speakers and foreign language students in learning from a wide range of documents and files, including PDF, ePub, and iWork Pages.

 Users can import webpage content into the app’s interface and track the reading process or fast forward and rewind through sections.

Speechify

Speechify leverages advanced machine learning and AI technology to create some of the most realistic narrations of selected text. Its design makes it a reliable tool for students. It also benefits users with dyslexia, multitaskers, and people looking for a multi-sensory reading experience.

The app has online and offline audio narrations and can function similarly to a personal assistant like Siri in multiple languages and voices.

Try Speechify with Safari

If you want a versatile TTS software, Speechify is a good choice. The app comes with a dedicated Safari version in the you can use on iOS and macOS devices. Alternatively, you can download it from the App Store. It allows you to customize a great deal with regard to voices, speaking rate, and highlighted text options.

One of the main highlights is the use of natural-sounding voiceovers and believable accents that make the text more legible.

In addition, Speechify has OCR technology. That means it can convert physical text into audio by scanning your hard-copy books and documents into the app. You can start using Speechify now with a free trial, so get your Airpods ready, and enhance your reading experience.

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