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How to use text-to-speech output on Android 8 Oreo

How to use text-to-speech output on Android 8 Oreo

‘Text-to-speech output’ is also used by ‘Google Translate’ and a growing number of apps available from the Google Play store such as ‘Google Play Books’ and ‘Google News’. This article explains how you can adjust the settings for Google’s ‘Text to speech output’ on your Android device.

To use this feature;

  1. Open ‘Settings’ and choose ‘Accessibility’ (see the article Android – How to open the Accessibility Settings on this website for more information).
  2. Under the ‘Screen readers’ section tap on ‘Text-to-speech output’.
    Tap Text-to-speach output

Speech rate and Pitch settings

You can alter the speed and pitch of the spoken voice by dragging the ‘Speech rate’ and ‘Pitch’ sliders to the left or right.

To hear an example of how your new settings sound, tap the ‘Play’ button.

Tap the ‘Reset’ button to return the sliders to their default positions.
Adjust the Pitch rate and Pitch sliders

Language settings

To change the language used by Text-to-speech output tap ‘Language’ and select from the list that appears. Note: If you choose a language that isn’t pre-installed on your device you may have to wait while it downloads in the background before you’ll be able to hear it.
Tap Language, choose a language

Many languages offer multiple male and female voices.  To use a voice different from the default:

  1. Tap the settings icon next to ‘Preferred engine’.
  2. Tap ‘Install voice data’.
  3. Tap the language you wish to choose a voice from (in our example we have chosen ‘English (United Kingdom)’. Note: You may be asked to download a ‘voice set’ for your chosen language before you can proceed with the following steps.
  4. Tap one of the voices to select it and to hear a sample of that voice. Note: If you have already enabled TalkBack or Select-to-Speak you will see a small play button to the right of each voice. Tap the play button to hear a voice sample.
  5. Tap your device’s back button to return to the previous screens.
    Tap the settings icon next to Preferred engine, tap Install voice data, select a language, choose a voice

Other settings

From the main ‘Text-to-speech output’ screen tap the settings icon next to ‘Preferred engine’ to access the following settings:
Tap the settings icon next to Preferred engine, settings options

Amplify speech volume

Increase the volume of ‘Text-to-speech’ so that it can be heard above other audio that may be playing on your device. Tap to toggle on or off.

Intonation
Tap Intonation, choose level of intonation

Tap on ‘Intonation’ and choose from Expressive, Somewhat expressive and Flat.

Number detection

This will determine if numbers are a date or a phone number, etc., and read them out accordingly. Tap to toggle on or off.

Language detection

Text-to-speech output will attempt to switch languages when it detects more than one language in a text. Tap ‘Language detection’ and choose from Off, Conservative and Aggressive.
Tap Language detection, choose detection level

When you are happy with all your ‘Text-to-speech’ settings press your device’s ‘home button’ to return to the home screen.

Note: These instructions apply to the standard version of Android 8 Oreo. Please be aware that many manufacturers add their own customisations to the Android operating systems so you may find minor differences from the steps shown.

Related information

Android 8 Nougat – TalkBack

Android 8 Nougat – Select-to-Speak

Google’s TalkBack overview: https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/6283677?hl=en-GB&ref_topic=3529932

For more information about ‘Explore by touch’ see the Google help article: https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/6006598

For more information about ‘Show context menu as list’ see the Google help article:

https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/6007066

For more information and a full list of TalkBack gestures see the Google help article: https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/6151827

For more information and a full list of TalkBack keyboard shortcuts see the Google help article: https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/6110948

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