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Hear text read aloud

You can hear full pages read aloud with Chromebook’s built-in screen reader, or 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 and 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.

  1. To select what text you’d like to hear:
    • Press and hold the Search key  and select a line of text.
    • Press and hold the Search key  and drag the pointer over an area of the screen.
    • ​Highlight the text and press the Search key  + s.
    • At the bottom right, near the time, select Select to Speak . Then select a line of text or drag the pointer over an area of the screen.
    • On a touchscreen: At the bottom right, near the time, tap Select to Speak . Then tap a line of text or drag your finger over an area of the screen.
  2. Your Chromebook will read the section aloud and each word will be highlighted.
  3. 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.

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 colour 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 colour next to 'Colour 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-speak 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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