Invicta TTS is a very simple free Text To Speech app available on the Mac App Store. Once you open up the app, it presents you with a text box where you can enter or paste any text which will be then converted to speech. The app is very lightweight and minimal in nature with everything being to the point. It is, here’s how to use text to speech on the Mac to speak selected text and save that spoken audio as an audio file, and it works it in all versions of Mac OS X. How to Convert Text Into a Spoken Audio File in Mac OS X. The Text to Spoken Audio feature is enabled by default in modern versions of Mac OS, therefore, to use it in MacOS and Mac.
VoiceOver is a full function screen reader somewhat similar to using JAWS. It reads all elements of the window and uses specific keystrokes and trackpad swipes to interact with menus and the contents of programs. It was designed for people who are blind so it may be too feature rich for people just wanting to read text in a document. The hotkey for starting VoiceOver for all Mac version since OS 10.5 is Command+F5.
VoiceOver will not read in Microsoft Office for Mac or in Adobe Acrobat Reader for Mac. Comparable programs that VoiceOver will work in are Pages (an Apple word processor) and Preview (the default PDF viewer for Mac). More information can be found at
Mac OS X also has a Text to Speech Option which will read selected text when the user presses a user defined Shortcut Key. The text to speech option also works in the Apple Calculator to make it self voicing. It is a simpler option than VoiceOver to use for reading e-texts for people with learning disabilities.
Now each time you type this key combination, your Mac will read aloud any text you have selected. To stop the speech, type the same key combination again.
The default hotkey for TTS is Option+Escape. You can adjust the voice and speech rate in the Dictation and Speech options in System Preferences.
Alex is the default reading voice on the Mac OS. It is an incredibly realistic voice but there are other options for text to speech voices in Mac. Mac OS has a large number of high quality voices available from Nuance in many languages and dialects. To access these voices do the following.
The additional voices will take some time to download. Each file is around 200 megabytes. If you install voices for different languages it will also download additional files Mac will need to support those languages. You probably do not want to download more voices than you will use.
Books2Burn is a free Text-To-Speech MP3 creation program for the Mac OS X Leopard. It can use the high quality Alex voice to create MP3's that you can load onto your iPod. This program has not been tested by our office yet but our understanding is that it will only open text files. You may need to cut and paste the text you want for the MP3 in the user interface.
Click here for more info and to download Books2Burn.
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