Need to read an email, a document, or anything else on your Mac, but your eyes or your brain are just too tired? How about having your Mac speak the text to you? Watch this video to see how to make your Mac your own personal reader.
When selecting a key combination to tell your Mac to speak selected text, try to pick a key combination that isn’t used for something else. A combination with “S” (for speech) might seem natural, but steer clear of Command+S (âŒ˜S), which is usually reserved for “Save”, and Command+Shift+S (â‡§âŒ˜S), which is often “Save As…”. As I show in the video, Command+Control+S (âŒƒâŒ˜S) is probably a safe bet, as are more complicated combinations like Command+Option+Control+S (âŒƒâŒ¥âŒ˜S). Find something you’ll easily remember but isn’t already used by some other function.
Although highly recommended, you don’t absolutely have to use a modifier key (Command, Shift, Option, Control), but if you don’t your Mac will warn you with an alert “Are you sure you want to set the key combination without using a modifier key?” You’ll have the option to “use without a modifier key” or canceling and choosing another key combination.
The function keys (F1 through F12) across the top of your keyboard can be used but require a little special handling. If you want to use one of them (alone or in combination with any modifier keys), you must also include the “fn” key (in the lower left of the keyboard). This tells your Mac that you don’t want the function designated by the icon on the key (like changing the display brightness, volume, changing music tracks, etc.).
This feature should read any text that you have selected before you press your designated key combination. If you decide you want to stop your Mac’s speech before it reaches the end of the selected text, you use the same key combination to stop the computer speech.
Finally, you can choose the voice and set the speaking rate using the controls on the top of the “Speech / Text to Speech” System Preferences window. So, lean back, kick up your feet, and let your Mac do your reading for you. Your eyes could probably use the rest.