The best Google Docs text-to-speech extension

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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Speech Synthesis on November 20, 2022
With an appropriate text to speech tool, you’ll be able to listen to Google Docs in just a few clicks. Here’s all you need to know.

    Text to speech Google Docs extension

    Just like Google Slides or Gmail, Google Docs is a free tool. With it, you can create and edit documents. You can use it both on your computer and Android mobile device through a dedicated application. Either way, it’s a go-to for many people who work with text documents as it’s just as capable of doing the job as is, for example, Microsoft Word.

    But what about people with learning disabilities? Can they enjoy Google Docs like the rest? Well, sure. With a proper text to speech extension, listening to text in Google Docs is possible, and more and more people are using this accessibility setting. So, allow us to introduce you to this extension in the following paragraphs.

    Advantages of using Google docs for document management

    The benefits of using Google Docs for document management are significant. Here are some of the key advantages:

    Accessibility and collaboration with Google workspace

    With Google Docs, you can leverage the power of Google Workspace, which includes Google Apps such as Google Sheets, Google Meet, and more. This cloud-based suite of productivity tools allows you to access your documents from anywhere, as long as you have a Google account and an internet connection. Whether you’re in the office or on the go, you can easily add, edit, and collaborate on new documents with your team members, even if they are located in different parts of the world.

    Real-time collaboration with add-ons and interactive features

    Google Docs provides a seamless environment for real-time collaboration. Multiple users can work on the same document simultaneously and track changes, making it easy to collaborate and get work done quickly. Moreover, you can enhance the functionality of Google Docs with various add-ons, which are like mini-applications that extend the capabilities of Google Docs. These add-ons allow you to embed interactive elements, such as drop-down menus and tables of contents, into your documents, enhancing their overall usability and interactivity.

    Document security and authentication

    Google Docs ensures the security of your documents by utilizing Google’s robust authentication protocols. When accessing your files, you can take advantage of Google’s advanced authentication measures, including two-factor authentication and encryption, to protect your data. This level of security gives you peace of mind knowing that your sensitive information is safeguarded.

    Offline access and portability

    While Google Docs is a cloud-based platform, it also offers an offline mode, allowing you to access and edit your documents even when you don’t have an internet connection. This feature is particularly useful when you’re traveling or working in areas with limited connectivity. Once you regain internet access, all your changes will automatically sync with the cloud, ensuring seamless collaboration and data consistency.

    Efficient workflow and productivity tools

    Google Docs provides a wide range of productivity tools to streamline your document management workflow. You can leverage shortcuts and built-in features to format and organize your content efficiently. For instance, you can create a table of contents to navigate through lengthy documents effortlessly. Additionally, the sidebar in Google Docs offers quick access to essential functions and settings, further enhancing your productivity and workflow efficiency.

    Compatibility and file types

    Google Docs supports multiple file types, including Word documents and PowerPoint presentations. This compatibility ensures that you can seamlessly import and export files in different formats, allowing for easy collaboration with users who prefer other word processors. Whether you’re working with Word documents, spreadsheets, or presentations, Google Docs provides a versatile platform for managing and editing a wide range of file types.

    Project management and integration with web apps

    Google Docs can be a valuable asset for project management. You can create project plans, share documents, track progress, and assign tasks to team members within a document. Additionally, Google Docs integrates with various web apps, such as project management tools, further enhancing your project collaboration and organization capabilities. This seamless integration enables you to streamline your workflow and centralize your project-related information within Google Docs.

    Simply put, Google Docs offers a comprehensive suite of features and advantages for effective document management. Its accessibility, real-time collaboration, and integration with Google Workspace make it an ideal choice for individuals and businesses alike. By utilizing Google Docs’ powerful tools, add-ons, and cloud-based infrastructure, you can enhance your workflow, streamline collaboration, and ensure the security and consistency of your documents.

    Benefits of having text-to-speech as a Google Docs extension

    Before we go any further, we need to talk about the text to speech function in general. Namely, why would anyone use it at all? Aren’t text files meant for reading? Well, yes, they are. However, reading requires certain skills that some people don’t have due to medical conditions and it also necessitates complete dedication.

    When it comes to medical conditions, some people like dyslexics, those with ADHD, or impaired vision can’t read fast enough or properly comprehend the written material. As such, they need assistive technology, and text to speech is just that. It allows for simultaneous listening and reading, scientifically proven to improve material comprehension.

    On the flip side, people without dyslexia use a text to speech extension for Google Docs. With it, you can play your documents and listen to them while doing other things like house chores or work-related obligations. Moreover, students use it for e-learning and language studying.

    Productivity tips for using TTS in Google Docs

    There are many use cases of text to speech software. The same goes for its Google Docs extension. So, let’s list some of them, shall we?


    Many podcast hosts use Google Docs to write their scripts or at least some parts of their show’s episodes. As such, a text to speech extension allows them to create an audio file out of it for jingles or full episodes. This is a great option for those who don’t feel confident about their voice but have something to share with the rest of the world.


    As mentioned, text to speech is a great way to improve your studying. Many students use it to ace their tests and get better grades. The reason is that material comprehension is improved significantly through listening than reading. Luckily, all notes and study guides you have on Google Docs can be turned into e-learning audio.

    Voice-over for video content

    Regardless of whether you’re creating a short, funny video for YouTube or something more serious, you can always count on TTS apps. You create a script through Google Docs and run the content through the extension to get a voice-over for the video. All that with an option to choose various male and female voices in different languages and accents.

    Speechify’s text to speech Google Docs extension

    In a sea of text to speech extensions that work with Google Docs, Speechify sets itself apart from the rest. This is due to its versatility and functionality. Namely, Speechify can be added as a plug-in for Google Chrome and voice selected text in the web browser—meaning Google Docs files too.

    When it comes to narration, Speechify includes more than 30 realistic-sounding AI voices and works in well over 15 different languages. It also utilizes optical character recognition, meaning that you can snap photos of text, and the app will recognize it. Furthermore, you can listen to your Google Docs file at various speeds, with the maximum being 900 wpm.

    Besides being available as a plug-in for Google Chrome, you can also use it on other devices and platforms. For example, iOS and Android phones, Apple’s Mac computers, and Safari web browser. Nevertheless, let’s focus on how you can add Speechify to your Chrome browser to listen to Google Docs documents.

    Speechify’s installation steps

    Using Speechify on Google Chrome is pretty simple. All you need to do is add it like any other extension through the Chrome Web Store. Go to the store, type Speechify, and press “Add.” That’s it. You can use Speechify for free this way. But if you want advanced text to speech features, you can become a premium member for a reasonable pricing.

    But how does Speechify work once you add it as an extension? Easy. Navigate to the webpage you want to listen to—Google Docs in this case—select the text with your cursors and right-click on it, and select the Play button that will appear in the floating toolbar. The same goes for choosing the narrator. No permissions required. Try Speechify for free today.


    Can Google Docs do text to speech?

    As a standalone app, it can’t. However, you can listen to any document by adding Speechify as a Chrome extension, through which you use the Google Docs app.

    How do I get text to speech to work on Google Docs?

    Firstly, go to the Chrome Web Store and type in “Speechify.” Once you do that, press “Add” and wait for the extension to install. Once it does, a floating widget will appear, on which you can press the “Play” button for the added app to read aloud.

    Is there a Google extension that reads text?

    Yes, Google has a text to speech tool, which you can get through their Cloud service. It offers more than 220 voices and works in over 40 languages. Then again, if you don’t enjoy it, you can opt for third-party apps like Speechify, Amazon’s Polly, NaturalReader, or ChromeVox.

    What can I use Google Docs for?

    Google Docs allows for creating and editing documents. It’s like Microsoft Word, only it’s online and free.

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    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.

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