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How to have announcements and alerts read aloud by your computer in macOS 12 Monterey

How to have announcements and alerts read aloud by your computer in macOS 12 Monterey

Short guide:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen and select System Preferences.
  2. Click Accessibility.
  3. In the sidebar, click Spoken Content.
  4. Tick the checkbox for Speak announcements.
  5. To change the settings for Speak announcements, click the corresponding Options button.

Before and after

Illustrations showing an alert on a computer before and after Speak announcements has been turned on

This section gives you step by step instructions on how to have announcements and alerts read aloud by your computer in macOS 12 Monterey, with pictures of the screens to help.

Open System Preferences

1. Click the Apple icon in the top left corner of the screen and choose System Preferences from the menu.

Open the Accessibility settings

2. In the System Preferences window, click Accessibility.

Find the Spoken Content settings

3. In the sidebar, click Spoken Content.

Turn on Speak announcements

4. Tick the checkbox for Speak announcements.

Change the settings for Speak announcements

5. Click the Options button for Speak announements.

Change the voice used for announcements

6. To change the voice used for announcements, select the drop-down menu for Voice and choose from the options.

Choose the phrase to hear at the start of announcements

7. To change which phrase is at the start of an announcement, select the drop-down list for Phrase and choose from the options. By default, announcements will start with the application’s name, but you can change this to one of the items in the Phrase List or hear a different phrase each time.

8. To add your own phrase to the list, click Edit Phrase List.

9. Click Add and type your new phrase. Click OK to save your new phrase.

Change announcement timing

10. By default, announcements are not spoken until they have been on the screen for 20 seconds. You can make this shorter or longer using the slider for Delay.

Play an example of a spoken announcement

11. To hear how announcements sound, click the Play button.

Save your changes

12. When you are happy with your settings for Speak announcements, click the OK button.

Close System Preferences

13. When you are happy with your settings, close System Preferences by clicking the Close button (red circle) in the top-left corner of the window or using the Cmd + W keyboard shortcut.

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings are managed by someone else (an IT department or administrator for example). If so, you will need to contact them to access these settings or for help.

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