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How to make your device read text aloud with Select to Speak in Chrome OS

How to make your device read text aloud with Select to Speak in Chrome OS

Short guide:

  1. To enable Select to Speak, click on the Time widget in the bottom right corner of the screen to open the System menu. Click on the Settings  button .
  2. Select Accessibility from the left-hand menu, then Manage accessibility features.
  3. Scroll down to the Text-to-Speech section and click on Select to Speak to set the toggle switch to on.
  4. Click on Open Select to Speak settings. To change the voice used, click on the Preferred voice drop-down menu and select a voice from the list.
  5. You can also use Google’s AI-powered natural voice. Click on the toggle switch for Use natural voice when device is online.

Before and after

Select to speak with highlighting being used on a Web page

This section covers the steps you need to follow to enable and use Select to Speak in Chrome OS, complete with pictures of the screen to help.  

Open the settings

1. To enable Select to Speak, click on the Time widget in the bottom right corner of the screen to open the System menu. Click on the Settings  button .

Click on the Settings button

Find the Accessibility settings

2. Select Accessibility from the left-hand menu. If Accessibility is not visible, select Advanced to reveal more menu items.

Select Accessibility or click Advanced if you can't see the option

Open the Accessibility settings

3. Click on Manage accessibility features on the right.

Click on Manage accessibility features

Enable Select to Speak

4. Scroll down to the Text-to-Speech section and click on Select to Speak to set the toggle switch to on.

Click on the toggle switch for Select to Speak to turn it on

Open the Select to Speak settings

5. You can customise how Select to Speak works by clicking on Open Select to Speak settings.

Click on Open Select to Speak

Select a new voice

6. The settings screen will open in a new web browser tab. Click on the Language drop-down menu to change the language. To change the voice used, click on the Preferred voice drop-down menu and select a voice from the list.

Click on Preferred voice to select a new voice

Try Google's natural voice

7. You can also use Google’s AI-powered natural voice. Click on the toggle switch for Use natural voice when device is online to turn it on. Note: Google will have access to any text submitted for reading by this voice.

Click on Use natural voice when device is online

Enable and customise the highlights

8. If you’d like items to be highlighted as they are read aloud, check that the Highlight each word as it is spoken switch is turned on. You can set the colour for the highlights using the drop-down menu below.

Make sure Highlight each word as it is spoken is turned on and set the colour from the menu

Shade the background content

9. You can also have a shade overlaid on any other content in the window to make it easier to see what’s being read. Click the switch for Shade background content.

Click the toggle switch for Shade background content

Open the Text-to-speech voice settings

10. To see more options, go back to the Accessibility settings and click on Text-to-speech voice settings.

Click on Text to speech voice settings

Change the voice settings

11. Use the Speech properties sliders to adjust the Rate, Pitch and Volume of your chosen voice. Pres the Play button in the Preview section to check the results.

Adjust the Speech properties sliders to alter the voice

Using Select to Speak

12. To use Select to Speak, click on a word or click and drag around a chunk of text. Press the Search + S keys and the words or sentences will be read aloud.

Highlight the text and press Search and S to hear it read

Note: If this does not work it could be because someone else manages your computer settings (an IT department or administrator). If this is the case, you will need to contact them to access these settings or for further help.

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