How to Text to Speech on Mac

Charlotte Daniels

Mac, Tutorials

Have you ever wanted to have your Mac read text out loud to you? Maybe you want to listen to an article or a document while doing something else, or perhaps you struggle with reading and would find it helpful to have your Mac speak the text for you.

Fortunately, Macs come with a built-in Text-to-Speech feature that can make this possible. In this tutorial, we will guide you on how to use the Text-to-Speech feature on your Mac.

Step 1: Accessing the Accessibility Options

To enable the Text-to-Speech feature on your Mac, start by opening System Preferences. You can do this by clicking on the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen and selecting “System Preferences” from the dropdown menu.

Tip: You can also use the shortcut Command + Spacebar to open Spotlight Search and type “System Preferences” to quickly access it.

Once you are in System Preferences, locate and click on the “Accessibility” icon. This will open up a new window with various accessibility options.

Step 2: Enabling Text-to-Speech

In the Accessibility window, navigate to the “Speech” tab located on the left-hand side of the screen. Here, you will find all the settings related to speech and text-to-speech options.

Note: If VoiceOver is enabled on your Mac, you might need to disable it temporarily before proceeding with enabling Text-to-Speech. VoiceOver is a separate accessibility feature that provides spoken descriptions of what is happening on your screen.

To enable Text-to-Speech, check the box next to “Speak selected text when the key is pressed.” By default, this key combination is set as Option + Esc, but you can customize it by clicking on the “Change Key” button.

Step 3: Testing Text-to-Speech

Now that you have enabled Text-to-Speech on your Mac, it’s time to test it out. Open any text document or select some text on a webpage, then press the designated key combination (Option + Esc) to have your Mac read the selected text out loud.

Note: If you’re using a MacBook with Touch Bar, you can also add a “Speak” button to your Touch Bar for quick access to the Text-to-Speech feature. To do this, go back to the “Accessibility” settings and click on “Speech” in the left-hand menu.

Then, check the box next to “Speak Button. “

Step 4: Customizing Text-to-Speech Options

If you want to customize the voice or other aspects of the Text-to-Speech feature, you can do so by clicking on the “System Voice” dropdown menu in the Speech tab of Accessibility settings. Here, you can choose from various voices and even download additional voices if desired.

You can also adjust other options such as speaking rate and volume by using the sliders provided. This allows you to personalize your experience and make the text sound more natural or comfortable for your preferences.


Congratulations! You have successfully enabled and configured the Text-to-Speech feature on your Mac.

Now you can enjoy having your Mac read text out loud whenever needed. Whether it’s for accessibility reasons or simply convenience, this feature can be a valuable addition to your Mac’s capabilities.

Note: Remember to disable VoiceOver if you had temporarily enabled it earlier to enable Text-to-Speech. You can do this by going back to the Accessibility settings and unchecking the “VoiceOver” option.

So go ahead, sit back, and let your Mac do the reading for you!

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