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How to use text-to-speech on Chromebook (Best Guide)

How to use text-to-speech on Chromebook

On a Chromebook, the text-to-speech function which is also known as select-to-speak, allows users to hear the selected text on the screen. The chosen text will begin to be read aloud by Chromebook in the desired language and voice.

In essence, this is an accessibility tool created for persons who have visual impairments. The feature to listen to the text is also available to normal users. Let’s look at how to use text-to-speech on a Chromebook and activate it.

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How to Turn on Chrome’s Text-to-Speech feature

On Chromebooks, the text-to-speech function is deactivated by default. To use it, you must first activate it and then choose the text.

The steps to enable text-to-speech are outlined below.

1. Access Chromebook settings. To do so, choose time from the Shelf’s bottom right menu, then select Settings from the menu that appears.

2. Click on Manage accessibility options after selecting Accessibility in the Advanced section of the left sidebar.

3. Slide the switch to the right of “Enable Select to Speak.”

Observe the instructions above one again and switch off the Enable Select to speak toggle.

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How to Use Chromebook’s Select-to-Speak feature

1. Choose and hear the text

You must choose the text that you want the Chromebook to read aloud when the select-to-speak function is turned on. Once chosen, the selected text will have a purple box around it.

Tip: Navigate to Settings > Device > Touchpad if you want to choose the text using the touchpad on the Chromebook. For optimum performance, turn on the toggle for Enable tap dragging.

The text may be chosen in three different ways.

1. Use of the Search Key

Drag the mouse to choose the text or an area while pressing and holding the Search key on the keyboard.

2. Making use of keyboard shortcuts

Choose or emphasize the text you want to use. Then, on the keyboard, hit Search + S.

3. Use the “Select-to-Speak” button

You may notice the symbol for select-to-speak on the Chromebook’s shelf if you activate it in settings. The speakerphone in the symbol is shown to have waves. Use your mouse or finger to choose the text or area after clicking this symbol (for touchscreen devices).

2. Manage playback

Once the text has been chosen, the Chromebook will begin reading it while underlining the spoken words. Below the chosen text, you will notice a toolbar for text-to-speech. 

Use it to navigate, pause/play text, advance to the next line or paragraph, and change the spoken text’s pace.

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Stopping Select-to-speak

One of the following methods will stop the Chromebook from reading the text once you have finished listening to it:

  • On the keyboard, hit the Ctrl key.
  • Press the Search key (or Launcher key) (or Launcher key).
  • In the toolbar for choose-to-speak, pick the X button.
  • The stop button on the shelf should be clicked.
  • Tap the Pause button in the toolbar for select-to-speak to pause the text.

Important tips on using Select-to-Speak on a Chromebook

The Chromebook’s select-to-speak function allows you to choose a variety of settings, including the language or voice, the colour of the highlight box, and whether or not to turn on navigation buttons.

1. Change Language and Voice for Select-to-Speak

The system voice will read the content by default in the device language. But you may change both the voice and the language.

Accessibility > Manage accessibility options may be found under Settings. Under Text-to-Speech, choose Open Select-to-Speech settings.

Under the Speech area, choose the language and voice of your choice. The natural voice feature’s voice may be selected as well as enabled or disabled.

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2. Customize Highlights

If you don’t want the words to be highlighted, you may change the colour of the highlights or turn them off.

Accessibility > Manage accessibility options may be found under Settings. Select-to-speech settings should be opened. 

Change the colour you want to use for word highlights by turning off the toggle to Highlight each word as it is spoken.

You may also pick the option to Shade background content, which would darken everything on the screen except the chosen text. 

3. Turn the Navigation Control Toolbar off

By turning off the option next to Enable navigation controls, you may remove the toolbar that displays below the highlighted text if you don’t like it. 

The option may be accessed by going to Settings > Accessibility > Manage Accessibility Settings > Open Select-to-Speech Settings.

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How to Listen to an Entire Page on Chromebook

On a Chromebook, you may use ChromeVox, a more sophisticated text-to-speech program, to hear the full website. It is only an integrated screen reader that reads everything that is shown on the screen.

Go to Options > Advanced > Manage accessibility settings to turn it on. ChromeVox should be enabled. Alternatively, you may toggle ChromeVox on or off from any screen by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + Z.

FAQs

How do I Fix Chromebook Text-to-speech Not Working?

Restart the Chromebook once if text-to-speech isn’t functioning, or if it’s not reading the text. Next, activate text-to-speech as shown above. Update your Chrome OS by navigating to Settings > About Chrome OS > Check for updates if it doesn’t resolve the problem.

How Do I Turn On Chromebook’s Speech-to-Text?

Users may use the Chromebook to dictate text, which is then automatically typed. Go to Settings > Manage accessibility settings to turn on this function. Turn on the dictation setting.