How to Make your Mac Read an Article out Loud

In case you’re missing the salad days of radio, here’s a neat trick: Text to Speech. Mac can talk. And it’s easy to make Apple Mac OSX read an article out loud in Safari.

The following procedure also works in other applications. You can use these steps to listen to text in other apps, such as Textedit, Pages, and Macjournal, using the same steps. It will not work in some apps, including Microsoft Word and Google Chrome.

Continue reading to see how to make Mac talk.

Hear Mac talk

Listen to Mac OSX read aloud an article, such as the piece of news by on the discovery of 18 Jupiter-sized planets (see illustration below, as it appeared on Yahoo news).

  1. In Safari, use your mouse or trackpad to select the text you want recited.
  2. Click Edit in the toolbar on top of the screen.
  3. Select Speech
  4. Click Start Speaking.

Make Mac read aloud articles on the Web by using Mac OSX's easy-to-use text-to-speech technology.

Mac OSX will start reading out loud the selection.

After the jump, try other easy-to-follow steps to make Mac OSX talk.

  • Activate Macintalk talk using right-click
  • Make Mac read text out loud using a keyboard shortcut
  • Trivia: Macintalk appeared in what Pixar blockbuster?

Hear Mac talk using right-click

Alternatively, you can also do the following steps:

  1. Use your mouse or trackpad to select the text you want read out loud.
  2. Show contextual menu by right-clicking (on a mouse), control + click (on your keyboard and trackpad), or tapping with two fingers (on your trackpad).
  3. Select Speech
  4. Click Start Speaking.

Hear Mac talk using a keyboard shortcut

This step requires you to tweak your preferences. But once you’ve done that, you can make Mac OSX read text aloud using a simple keyboard shortcut:

  • Option+Esc

Here’s how activate the keyboard shortcut.

  1. Launch System Preferences
  2. Select Speech
  3. Select Text-to-Speech
  4. Click check box to select “Speak selected text when the key is pressed.

Configure Text to Speech

The Text to Speech feature uses Apple Mac OSX’s speech synthesis technology, called Macintalk. You can configure the type of voice and other preferences in the System Preference, under Speech.

It’s handy for when you want to hear what you are reading though the voice you’ll hear probably won’t have the panache of say, James Earl Jones. You could be disappointed with it’s reading of Robert Frost.

But that hasn’t stopped Macintalk from entering the wild world of show business. Macintalk is credited as the voice of the computerized autopilot in the Pixar movie Wall-E. Macintalk can also be heard in the Pixar short film Burn-E. Just thought I’d let you know.

Macintalk stars in Pixar blockbuster as Auto

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One thought on “How to Make your Mac Read an Article out Loud

  1. Pingback: Mac Mojo

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