3/3/229:00 am The Useful Mac Spoken Content Accessibility Features Your Mac can speak announcements, read selected text out loud and repeat back to you what you type. Check out these Accessibility features can be useful to anyone. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Let me show you how to use the Spoken Content Accessibility features on your Mac. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 1000 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. Now there are a variety of features on your Mac that will read things out loud to you rather than having you read the text on your screen. Chances are just about any user can find some of these useful. To find Spoken Content features go to System Preferences and then Accessibility. Then look for Spoken Content. There are four main types of spoken content accessibility features. But before we get into those let's look at the different voices you can use. Since things are going to be spoken out loud you get to choose the voices. You'll have a variety here. Some of these are old voices that have been around on your Mac for a long time. But recently Apple has added the Siri voices and they will show up here as well. The ones you get depend on your country settings. So I'm going to use Siri Voice 4 which is the most recognizable American voice. You can preview the voice by pressing the Play button. Hello I'm Siri. You can set the speaking rate so if you want it to be faster you can go faster or much slower. You can also set the relative volume. So you can have it go to the maximum volume set by your system or you can have it speak at a lower volume if you'd rather have things like music be relatively louder. Now let's look at the four different options here. One thing you could do is simply have announcements spoken out loud. Let's look at the options here. You can choose a voice. So you can have a different voice reading announcements than doing other things. This could make it easier to pick out the announcements from other things being spoken at the time. You get to choose a phrase that's spoken when the announcement is made. So you can use that location name first, for instance. Let's preview that. Alert from Finder. You can also use a phrase from this list down here. So you could see that there are four things there by default. You can have them go through them one-by-one or pick one at random. You could also edit this phrase list. So, you can use these here but you can add your own. So you could make your Mac emulate say computers in science fiction movies and such. The things that they say or just have things that grab your attention or maybe show off your own sense of humor in the phrases that this feature uses. You can set a delay. So how long it takes for the phrase to be spoken. So, maybe a notification shows up and only if you don't do anything for 5 seconds will it be spoken. Otherwise if you dismiss it then it will never speak. So to enable this make sure you have the checkmark turned On. So as an example here I've got a reminder set to give me a notification here very shortly. Alert from Reminders. Now let me change it to one of these and reset the time on this. Alert. Next we have Speak Selection. So you've got the keyboard shortcut is OptionEscape. That's what you use to trigger this. But how it works depends on these settings. You can have it Highlight the Content as it is spoken. You can either highlight words, sentences, or words and sentences. So if I select both of those then I can set a color for each. So word color can be blue and maybe I'll use yellow for sentence color. Then the sentence can be either underlined or have a background color. Let's stick with Underline. Then there's a Controller that can appear. You can have it appear Automatically when we use this feature or Never or Always, so it's there all the time. So that's a way to trigger this without using Option Escape. Let's have it do Automatically. So let's turn this On and let's go to another app like Pages where we can select some text. Let's try this out. I'm going to use Option Escape to activate it. (voice is reading Alice is beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister.....). Notice how all of the text here is underlined. It's just one long sentence. Then the word being spoken is highlighted. I can Pause. I can Play. I could stop it right there. Turn it Off. You can use the Turtle Icon here to slow things down and the Rabbit to speed things up. I find how well the highlighting works really depends on the App you're using. If you are doing it on a webpage where there's a lot of design behind the text then you'll find that it doesn't always grab the whole word. But it's closes enough just to give you the idea of where it is at. Next we have Speak Item Under Pointer. So if you turn this On, (voice says Speak item under the pointer checked) anytime you move your pointer over something it's going to give you a rundown on what it is. Now if you go into the buttons here you can have it speak items under the pointer Always or Only When Using the Zoom feature. You can have Speech Verbosity set to Low and it's just going to say things like that. Whereas if you go to High it will describe more of what's there. It has a delay. If you set it really low it's going to speak everything as you move the pointer around the screen. If you move it up a little bit, like it is here, then it will wait until you stop the pointer in a certain spot before it starts speaking. Speak typing feedback works when you're actually typing in an app. It could be in Pages. It could be in Mail. It could be in a form in Safari. Just about anywhere. The options here are either Echo Characters every time you press a key on the keyboard. Only Speak a Word when you're done typing the word. Echo Selection Changes. So that's when you use the keys on your keyboard to select text. Echo When Using Modifier Keys. Let's have it Echo Words. I'll turn this On and I'll switch to Pages again. Then watch as I type. It doesn't do anything yet. But as soon as I hit space it will speak the word. I can see this being useful to some people to be able to hear the words they are typing spoken back to them. Also it could be useful to hear when you're using the modifier keys. Control, Option, Command, Shift. Of course all of these Echoing features become very important if you're not able to see what it is that you are typing. But even if you can see having spoken announcements that is a little bit better than having just the sound. Being able to select some text and having it read to you while you do something else is very useful. Having the words you type being echoed to you can be see as a useful writing tool. So whether or not you need these functions I encourage you to go into System Preferences, Accessibility, Spoken Content and try these out to see which ones could be useful to you. Thanks for watching.Related Subjects: Accessibility (28 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 4 Responses to “The Useful Mac Spoken Content Accessibility Features” Jim Terrinoni 1 year ago Gary, you did a great job presenting the numerous options available. I presently work with Special Ed. students, some of which are non-verbal and I find these techniques invaluable. For anyone who complains about auto-correct these options can save you the embarrassment of having something typed that shouldn’t. Simple example: just today in a group posting that another person put the word “taped” had been auto-corrected to “raped.” Using some of Gary’s suggestions would have caught this. Mike G 10 months ago Another excellent feature overview. One extremely useful Accessibility Spoken Content option is the ability to specify custom or corrected pronunciations for words or acronyms that even the newer premium and enhanced quality voices may mispronounce. Sadly, it appears this feature is only available on iOS and iPadOS. I don't see Pronunciation on the latest macOS Ventura. Gary Rosenzweig 10 months ago Mike: Perhaps in the next version of macOS? Mike G 10 months ago Fingers crossed. 🤞🏼 I just submitted a feedback request to Apple, but sometimes it feels like shouting into the vacuum of interstellar space. Comments Closed.