How to Make Your Mac Read Out Documents, Emails, and Webpages

How to Make Your Mac Read Out Documents, Emails, and Webpages

There are a lot of things you can do with your Mac these days. One of the most unique ways to personalize your device is to have it read documents or emails, as well as other text, which is useful if you suffer from sight problems.


Macbook on table

When you customize your Mac to read text on your screen, you can change the speed and voice. Additionally, you can enable your device to play content in other languages.

Read on to find out how you can get your Mac to read documents and emails, as well as the different ways you can change this functionality. These tips will work whether you have a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or iMac.

Make your Mac read documents and emails

For your Mac to read documents and emails, you must use the Spoken Content feature.

Getting started with this is pretty straightforward; all you need to do is follow the steps below.

Step 1: Click on the Apple logo at the top left.

Apple logo on mac


Apple logo on mac

2nd step: Select System Preferences.

Access mac system preferences


Access mac system preferences

Step 3: Go to Accessibility and tap your trackpad.

Mac System Preferences Accessibility Icon


Mac System Preferences Accessibility Icon

Step 4: Under Vision, find Spoken Content.

Accessibility of mac spoken content


Accessibility of mac spoken content

In the Spoken Content tab, you will see several options. If you want to read a specific text passage, you can check Speak selection.

Say mac selection


Say mac selection

To make it easier, click on the Options tab and – next to Show Controller – select Always.

Mac show controller always


Mac show controller always

For your Mac to read documents and emails, you need to follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open the document or email that you want your device to read.

2nd step: Highlight the text.

Step 3: Press the play button on the controller bar.

Play button and select email


Play button and select email

Customize the voice

When you start using spoken content on your Mac, you’ll have a default voice for everything. But if you find this person annoying or difficult to understand, don’t worry; you can customize it to make your job easier.

To customize the voice of spoken content on your Mac:

Step 1: Go to the Apple logo at the top left and select System Preferences.

Mac System Preferences select


Mac System Preferences select

2nd step: Select Accessibility.

Mac System Preferences Accessibility Icon


Mac System Preferences Accessibility Icon

Step 3: Under Vision, select Spoken Content.

Accessibility of mac spoken content


Accessibility of mac spoken content

Step 4: At the top, you’ll see an option labeled System Voice. Click on the box next to it.

Voice selection mac


Voice selection mac

Step 5: Once you’ve tapped on the box, a drop-down menu will appear. Select one of these voices.

Select a voice on mac


Select a voice on mac

Step 6: Press play to see whether or not you like the new voice. If you don’t, repeat the process.

Mac voice play button


Mac voice play button

Alternatively, you can find additional options by selecting Personalize at the bottom of the screen instead. When you are there, you can check and uncheck what you like and what not.

Changing the conversation speed

In addition to changing the voices, you can change the speaking speed. One way to do this is to select the hare or turtle icons in the spoken content bar that you checked to activate earlier.

As an alternative, you can change this from your System Preferences.

Step 1: Navigate to the Apple logo on the top left and click on it.

Apple logo on mac


Apple logo on mac

2nd step: Select System Preferences.

Mac System Preferences select


Mac System Preferences select

Step 3: Open accessibility.

Mac System Preferences Accessibility Icon


Mac System Preferences Accessibility Icon

Step 4: Look for spoken content under Vision.

Accessibility of mac spoken content


Accessibility of mac spoken content

Step 5: Near the top of your screen, you’ll see a bar called Speak Rate. Scroll left to slow down the voice and right if you want to speed it up.

Mac slider


Mac slider

Change the language

Besides English, you can also change the spoken content settings on your Mac to enable different languages.

You can choose from several different languages, but not all of them will have as many voices as English. The process to do this is not too complicated:

Step 1: Go to the Apple logo at the top left. When the drop-down menu appears, select System Preferences.

Access mac system preferences


Access mac system preferences

2nd step: Click on the Accessibility icon.

Mac System Preferences Accessibility Icon


Mac System Preferences Accessibility Icon

Step 3: Under Vision, go to Spoken content and expand the System voice tab. Then tap on Personalize at the bottom.

Customize mac spoken content


Customize mac spoken content

Step 4: Check the voice of the person you want to add in the selected language. Then choose OK.

Select voice on macbook


Select voice on macbook

Let your Mac do the talking

Customizing your Mac to read documents and emails can help if you see text you don’t understand, and it can do the same if you have difficulty reading the content. The tips we’ve presented to you in this article will also work if you want your device to read the articles you see online.

Try these tips and customize the settings however you want. After that, it will be much easier for you to consume the content on your Mac.

Last updated Sep 20, 2021

The above article may contain affiliate links that help support Guiding Tech. However, this does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains impartial and authentic.

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