Hear text read aloud

You can hear full pages read aloud with Chromebook’s built-in screen reader. You can hear parts of a page, including specific words, read aloud with Select-to-speak.

Listen to all text

To have pages read aloud to you, turn on your Chromebook’s built-in screen reader:

  1. At the bottom right, select the time. Or press Alt + Shift + s.

  2. Select Settings .
  3. At the bottom, select Advanced.
  4. In the "Accessibility" section, select Manage accessibility features.
  5. Under "Text-to-Speech," turn on Enable ChromeVox (spoken feedback).

Tip: You can turn Chromevox on or off from any page by pressing Ctrl + Alt + z. Learn more about how to use the built-in screen reader.

Listen to part of a page

To select specific text on a page to be read to you, turn on Select-to-speak.

Step 1: Turn on Select-to-speak

  1. At the bottom right, select the time. Or press Alt + Shift + s.
  2. Select Settings .
  3. At the bottom, select Advanced.
  4. In the "Accessibility" section, select Manage accessibility features.
  5. Under "Text-to-Speech," turn on Enable select-to-speak.

Step 2: Select & hear text

Important: Depending on your keyboard, you can press the Search key  or the Launcher key  for some shortcuts. Both keys work the same.

Option 1

  1. Press and hold the Search key .
  2. Drag the pointer over an area of text. 

Option 2

  1. Highlight the text to be read.
  2. Press the Search key  + s.

Option 3

  1. At the bottom right, near the time, select Select-to-Speak .
  2. Drag the pointer over an area of text.

Tip: If you’re on a touchscreen, tap a line of text or drag your finger over an area of the screen.

Your Chromebook reads the section aloud and each word is highlighted.

To stop Select-to-speak while it’s reading, press Ctrl or the Search key . You can also select Stop .

Tip: With navigation controls, you can pause and play, adjust speed, and skip lines of text.

Tap here to see an interactive tutorial

Highlight or shade background text

If you are using Select-to-speak, each word will be highlighted as it's spoken. You can turn off highlighting, change the color of the highlighted words, or shade the screen behind selected text.

  1. At the bottom right, select the time. Or press Alt + Shift + s.
  2. Select Settings  .
  3. At the bottom, select Advanced.
  4. In the "Accessibility" section, select Manage accessibility features.
  5. Under "Text-to-Speech," turn on “Select-to-speak.”
  6. Select Open select-to-speak settings. Under “Highlighting,” you can:
    • Turn on Highlight each word as it is spoken.
    • Select a color next to “Color for word highlights.” Tip: To get the strongest contrast, we recommend using green or pink, especially if you’re using high contrast mode.
    • Turn on Shade background content: This allows you to shade the whole screen, except for the text being spoken.

Disable Navigation Features

  1. At the bottom right, select the time. Or press Alt + Shift + s.
  2. Select Settings .
  3. At the bottom, select Advanced.
  4. Under "Accessibility," select Manage accessibility features.
  5. Under "Text-to-Speech," select Open select to speech settings.
  6. Under “Highlighting,” turn off Enable navigation controls.

Tip: When “Enable Navigation Controls” is turned off, quick access to pause and play, adjust speed, and skip lines of text is disabled.

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