Apple Speak-Aloud Instructions

  1. Open "System Preferences." You can do this by finding the gear icon on the dock or dropping down the Apple menu in the upper left.
  2. Click the "Accessibility" icon. It has a picture of a person in a blue circle.
  3. Select "Speech" in the left menu.
  4. Make sure "Speak selected text when the key is pressed" checkbox is selected. You can change a lot of settings now. (What kind of voice do you want to hear and how quickly do you want it to speak?) The main thing you want to learn is the key combination that starts the speaking. (On most recent versions, it's Option + Esc.)
  5. Close System Preferences and go back to your document.
  6. Highlight the section you want to hear, then press the key combination you learned in step #4. The computer should read the text aloud to you.

By the way, this procedure works with any on-screen text, so you can get it to read your email or anything else on the screen.

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Revised 11/16/17 • Page author: Curtis Allen • e-mail: