How to Add New Voices to Mac OS X

Jul 25, 2011 - 24 Comments

OS X Lion includes high quality text to speech voices

Mac OS X includes many high quality voices for it’s text-to-speech abilities, they’re in a wide variety of languages and accents and are probably some of the best computer rendered voices out there. We got a sneak peak at some of the newest voices that arrived with Lion, but now they’re accessible for everyone to add to OS X as long as you are running 10.7, 10.8, or newer. But guess what? Many of these incredible voices are not installed by default! Thankfully that’s easy to change, and we’ll show you exactly how to add new voices to the Mac.

Add High Quality New Text-to-Speech Voices to Mac OS X

This is how you get the great new voices:

  • Launch System Preferences
  • Click on “Speech” under the System items, then click on “Text to Speech”
  • Select the System Voice menu and scroll to “Customize” in the pull-down

Add new high quality voices to OS X Lion

  • Choose the voice or voices you want to add to Mac OS X by clicking the checkbox next to the name, you can play samples by selecting them and clicking “Play”
  • Click “OK” and you will get a popup confirming that you want to add and download the new voice to OS X, click on “Install” to proceed, for the purpose of this walkthrough with chose Tessa, the South African English voice
  • Downloading new Mac OS X Lion voices

That’s all you need to do, just let the voices download and it will become a selectable option in that previously mentioned Voice menu. You’ll notice that each of the high quality voices are somewhat hefty downloads, so if you have limited disk space you may want to just pick one or two new voices rather than adding the entire lot of them all, which take up several GB of data. You can also add new voices from the VoiceOver Utility but going through System Preferences is the easiest way.

The high quality voices are one of the many new great features that arrived with Lion and Mountain Lion, and are now default in OS X. Once you have added a few, you can test out the new voices and what they sound like with larger phrases, documents, or whatever else you want spoken, by using the standard text-to-speech methods of making your Mac talk to you, either through compatible apps like TextEdit and Safari, or by using the command line ‘say’ utility.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

24 Comments

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  1. Chris says:

    Is there a way to remove a voice after you have added it?

  2. Dr_Wilson says:

    The French Canadian is exceptionally well done, sounds very authentic both the male and female voices.

  3. Apprentice says:

    I downloaded a few voice files, and it took quite some time to download. Does anyone know where the voice files are installed? I have more than one machines, and do not want to download these files for each machine or each time a machine is re-installed.

  4. [...] OSXDaily This entry was posted in 苹果业界 and tagged Lion添加新的嗓音, 如何给Mac, [...]

  5. Rick says:

    “for it’s text-to-speech abilities” – please remember that “it’s” means “it is.” The possessive form of “it” is “its” and has no apostrophe, just as “his” and “her” also have no apostrophe.

  6. [...] of OS X Lion‘s many great new features are all the new high quality multi-lingual voices (here is how to add them yourself). If you went on a voice adding spree like I did, you may quickly realize that all these new voices [...]

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  8. [...] aufgezeichnet innerhalb von drei Wochen, entstanden vor fünf bis sechs Jahren. Und wie erfuhr die britische Mac OS-Stimme von seiner neuen Promi-Platzierung? Aus dem Fernsehen. Photo: Jon Briggs Jon Briggs, a former [...]

  9. Jakob says:

    Problems: I keep getting; not connected to the internet when I try to download my location (Danish, Ida).

    My MBP did the same for some time. Now, I got her downloaded there. Does any one have a clue why I keep getting this prompt? (hint, I am on the internet:)

    Jakob

    “The voice “Ida” can’t be installed now, because you are not connected to the Internet.”
    “Connect to the Internet and try again.”

  10. [...] text. You’ll notice the voice is that of Siri’s, which is also the voice of Samantha in Mac OS X which you can add yourself if you haven’t done so [...]

  11. clasqm says:

    I’ve been trying to Download “Daniel” for a week now, and that server keeps timing out with just a few GB to go.

  12. GeoXman says:

    I love the new voices. The international languages are excellent. It is especially useful me living in Thailand and when I chat with my friends in Thai, instead of me having to trust an often incorrect translation using Google, I simply select the text I want to understand and hit the hot piece. Since, I already can speak and understand Thai, but cannot read it (very complex), it helps me a lot.

  13. GeoXman says:

    oops – above meant to say hit the hot key to turn on the speakable text, not to write the words hot piece. I am using SIRI

  14. [...] bundled in both Mac OS X and iOS. If you aren’t happy with the default system voice, you can add new high quality voices very [...]

  15. [...] voices can also be added to the Mac if you want to change things up there too, you’ll need any version of Mac OS X later than [...]

  16. Bob says:

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to force OSX 10.6 to accept the new voices? I’ve downloaded Daniel for my MacBook Air on 10.7.5 and he works a treat – I copied the files over to my iMac on 10.6.8. I put them in the Voices folder, then backtracked and also left them in the Speech folder. However, when I go back to the Clock settings and the Speech settings, the voice is not available in the list, even after pressing ‘show more voices’.
    I’m guessing the new voices are handled differently and therefore aren’t compatible. But has anyone had any success using them on a machine before 10.7?
    Thanks.

  17. jayssing says:

    Thank you this has made all the difference when listening to the e-books that I have downloaded and all the complicated technical papers too. I have finally found a voice that does not make me want to throw something especially when getting a reading of my draft papers.

  18. Jack says:

    I’m making a simple program that involves voices. Is there any way I can add custom voices besides the default custom ones, since I want voices from a game called Team Fortress 2? If it can be done, could you please tell me.

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