How to Use Text-to-speech on Chromebook

The text-to-speech feature on Chromebook is a useful tool that allows users to hear selected text on the screen. Originally designed to assist people with vision disabilities, this accessibility feature can also be utilized by regular users to listen to text. In this article, we will guide you on how to enable and use text-to-speech on your Chromebook.

How to Enable Text-to-speech on Chrome

To begin using text-to-speech on your Chromebook, you must first enable the feature. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Open Settings on your Chromebook. Simply click on the time at the bottom right of the Shelf and select the Settings icon at the top.

  2. Expand the Advanced section from the left sidebar and click on Accessibility, followed by Manage accessibility settings.

  3. Turn on the toggle next to Enable Select to speak.

To disable text-to-speech, simply repeat the above steps and turn off the Enable Select to speak toggle.

How to Use Select-to-speak on Chromebook

Once you have enabled the select-to-speak feature, follow these steps to use it effectively:

Step 1: Select and Hear Text

With the select-to-speak feature enabled, you can now select the text that you want your Chromebook to read aloud. Once selected, a purple box will appear around the text.

There are three ways to select the text:

  1. Using the Search key: Press and hold the Search key on your keyboard while selecting the text or area by dragging the mouse.

  2. Using the Keyboard Shortcut: Select or highlight the desired text and press the Search + S keys on your keyboard.

  3. Using the Select-to-speak Button: When you enable select-to-speak in settings, you will see its icon on the Chromebook's shelf. Click on this icon and select the text or area using a mouse or finger (for touchscreen devices).

Step 2: Control Playback

Once you have selected the text, your Chromebook will start reading it while highlighting the spoken words. You will also see a text-to-speech toolbar below the selected text. Use this toolbar for navigation controls, such as pausing or playing the text, moving to the next line or paragraph, and adjusting the speed of the spoken text.

Step 3: Stop Select-to-speak

When you have finished listening to the text, you can stop Chromebook from reading it in one of the following ways:

  • Press the Ctrl key on your keyboard.
  • Press the Search key (or Launcher key).
  • Click on the X button in the select-to-speak toolbar.
  • Click on the stop button in the shelf.
  • To pause the text, tap on the Pause button in the select-to-speak toolbar.

Tips to Use Select-to-Speak on Chromebook

Here are some additional tips to enhance your select-to-speak experience on Chromebook:

1. Change Select-to-speak Language and Voice

By default, the text will be read in the device's language with the system voice. However, you can customize both the language and the voice.

Go to Settings > Accessibility > Manage accessibility settings. Click on Open Select-to-speech settings under the Text-to-Speech section. From there, you can choose your desired language and voice, as well as enable or disable the natural voice feature.

2. Customize Highlights

You have the option to customize the color of the highlight box or turn it off altogether.

Go to Settings > Accessibility > Manage accessibility settings. Press the Open Select-to-speech settings. Turn off the toggle for Highlight each word as it's spoken and select a different color under the Color for word highlights box.

3. Turn off Navigation Control Toolbar

If you prefer not to see the toolbar that appears below the highlighted text, you can easily turn it off. Simply disable the toggle next to Enable navigation controls. You will find this option under Settings > Accessibility > Manage accessibility settings > Open Select-to-speech settings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How to Fix Chromebook Text-to-speech Not Working?

If text-to-speech isn't working, restart your Chromebook and enable the text-to-speech feature as shown above. If the issue persists, try updating your Chrome OS by going to Settings > About Chrome OS > Check for updates.

  1. How to Enable Speech-to-text in Chromebook?

Chromebook also allows users to dictate text, which is then automatically converted into typed text. To enable this feature, go to Settings > Manage accessibility settings and turn on Enable dictation.

More Accessibility Features

Apart from text-to-speech, there are other voice-based features available on Chromebook. Check out our articles on enabling or disabling voice on Chromebook and using the on-screen keyboard for further assistance.

Remember, text-to-speech is not only an accessibility feature but also a convenient tool for anyone who wants to listen to text on their Chromebook. Take advantage of this feature to make your Chromebook experience even more enjoyable and accessible.