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How to read selected text aloud in Android 11

How to read selected text aloud in Android 11

In this article

How to enable Select to Speak
How to use Select to Speak
Reading text in the background
Reading text aloud using the camera

How to enable Select to Speak

  1. To access the Accessibility features on your Android device open the Settings app .
  2. In the Settings app, scroll down and select Accessibility from the list.
  3. On the Accessibility screen, scroll down to the Screen readers section and select Select to Speak.
  4. Select Use service to set the toggle switch to On.
  5. You will see a notification advising you that Select to Speak needs to have full control of your device. If you are happy to proceed, select Allow.
  6. Next, you will see an alert informing you about the Accessibility button that you will use to activate Select to Speak. Select OK.
  7. The Accessibility button  will appear in the navigation bar at the bottom of your device.

How to use Select to Speak

  1. Select the Accessibility button  in the bottom navigation bar on your device. 
  2. Select some text or an image on the screen.
  3. Drag you finger across the screen to select more than one item.
  4. To hear everything, select the Play button on the controller.
  5. Use the controls to pause or stop speech.
  6. Select the arrow to access controls for skipping paragraphs and altering the speed of the speaking rate.

Reading text in the background

You can do other tasks on your device while Select to Speak continues reading text aloud in the background. Note: This is currently an experimental feature and may not always work correctly.

To enable this feature:

  1. To access the Accessibility features on your Android device open the Settings app .
  2. In the Settings app, scroll down and select Accessibility from the list.
  3. On the Accessibility screen, scroll down to the Screen readers section and select Select to Speak.
  4. On the Select to speak screen, select Settings.
  5. Select Read in background to set the toggle switch to On.

Reading text aloud using the camera

You can point your camera at text and use Select to Speak to read it aloud. 

  1. To access the Accessibility features on your Android device open the Settings app .
  2. In the Settings app, scroll down and select Accessibility from the list.
  3. On the Accessibility screen, scroll down to the Screen readers section and select Select to Speak.
  4. On the Select to speak screen, select Settings.
     
  5. On the next screen, select Read text on images to set the toggle switch to On.
  6. Your device will ask for permission to read text in images and in the camera viewfinder. Click Continue to grant permission.
  7. You will see another alert informing you that the Android Accessibility Suite will have access to all the information that is visible on your screen. Select Start now to continue.

How to use the camera to read text aloud

  1. Open the Camera app .
  2. Point the camera at anything that contains text.
  3. Select the Accessibility button  in the bottom navigation bar on your device.
  4. Select the that appears in the camera viewfinder to have it ready loud. Drag you finger across the screen to select more than one item.

Note: we have written these instructions for devices running the standard version of the Android operating system. You may find some minor presentation differences if the manufacturer has customised the theme.

More information

How to customise the voice used by screen readers in Android Pie

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