Speak Selected Text with a Keystroke in Mac OS X
The excellent OS X text to speech function can be activated with a simple keystroke, but first you have to enable the feature:
- Open System Preferences from the Apple menu
- Choose the “Dictation & Speech” panel then select the “Text to Speech” tab
- Check the box next to “Speak selected text when the key is pressed”
Once this is enabled, select any text then hit Option+Escape to speak the text in the system voice.
To speak all text, hit Command+A to select all, followed by the Option+Escape keyboard shortcut, and all words will be spoken using the text-to-speech engine that’s 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 easily.
The default keystroke is Option+Escape but can be adjusted easily, assuming it doesn’t interfere with any other custom keyboard shortcuts you set it’s probably a good one to keep as is.
This is a great trick to use to have webpages, documents, or emails read to you aloud, just like on the iPad and iPhone.