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How to use speak screen in iOS 12 for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch

How to use speak screen in iOS 12 for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch

Once ‘Speak Screen’ is enabled, all text on the screen is read aloud by simply swiping down from the top of the screen with two fingers.

To enable ‘Speak Screen’:

  1. Open the ‘Accessibility Settings’: Settings > General > Accessibility. (See the article Open Accessibility Preferences on this website for more information.)
  2. Under the ‘Vision’ section, tap on ‘Speech’.
    Tap Speech
  3. Tap on the toggle switch next to ‘Speak Screen’.
  4. When ‘Speak Screen’ is turned on you will see an option for ‘Highlight Content’. Here you can choose the amount of text to highlight as it is being read aloud.
    Tap the on/off toggle switch for Speak Screen
  5. Tap ‘Highlight Content’.
  6. Tap the on/off toggle switch next to ‘Highlight Content’.
  7. The following options will be displayed
    • Words
    • Sentences
    • Words and Sentences
  8. Tap to select which items you would like to be highlighted as content is spoken.
    Tap Highlight Content, select which items you'd like highlighted
  9. To choose the colour used for highlighting content, tap ‘Word Colour’.
  10. Tap the colour you wish to use to highlight content.
    Tap Word Colour, select a colour

Note: You can customise the voice used for ‘Speech’ and the speed at which text is read aloud. See the article:  Speech Settings - iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch on this website for more information.

When you are happy with your settings, either tap the back button in the top left of the screen to return to the main ‘Accessibility’ settings screen or press your device’s ‘Home’ button to return to the home screen.

Using ‘Speak Screen’

  1. If you would like to hear the current screen of your device read aloud, swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers.Alternatively, you can ask ‘Siri’ to do this: Launch ‘Siri’ (by pressing and holding the ‘Home’ button or by saying the “Hey Siri” command) and say “Speak screen”.
  2. When ‘Speak Screen’ is active, a controller will appear on the screen. In our example with have activated ‘Speak Screen’ while viewing the Notes.
    Example of using Speak Screen

    The controller allows you to:
    • Play / Pause speaking. (1). 
    • Move Forwards/Backwards to the next/previous paragraph or list item. (2). 
    • Adjust the speech rate – tap the ‘Tortoise’ icon to slow speech down, tap the ‘Hare’ icon to speed speech up. (3).
    • Turn ‘Speak Screen’ off. (4). 
    • Minimise the controller by tapping the arrow button. (5).  

Note: You can also reposition the controller by pressing and holding your finger on the controller and dragging it to another part of the screen.

The Speak Screen controller options

More information:

To change the voice used for ‘Speech’ and the speed at which text is read aloud, see the article:
Speech Settings - iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch on this website.

If you would like to be able to select what text is read aloud rather than the whole screen, see the article:
Speak Selection – iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch on this website.

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