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 and then Accessibility.
  3. Under 'Text-to-Speech', turn on ChromeVox.

Tip: When you press Ctrl + Alt + z, you can turn ChromeVox on or off from any page. Learn 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 and then Accessibility.
  3. Under 'Text-to-Speech', turn on 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.

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.

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 and then Accessibility.
  3. Under 'Text-to-Speech', turn on Select to Speak.
  4. Select Open Select to Speak settings.
  5. Under 'Highlighting', you can:
    • Turn on Highlight each word as it is spoken.
    • Next to 'Colour for word highlights', select a colour.
      • To get the strongest contrast, you may use green or pink, especially if you use high-contrast mode.
    • Turn on Shade background content.
      • This allows you to shade the whole screen, except for the text being spoken.

Disable Select to Speak navigation features

Important: When 'Enable navigation controls' is turned off, quick access to pause and play, adjust speed and skip lines of text is disabled.

  1. At the bottom right, select the time.
    • Or press Alt + Shift + s.
  2. Select Settings and then Accessibility.
  3. Under 'Text-to-Speech', select Open 'Select to speech' settings.
  4. Under 'Highlighting', turn off Enable navigation controls.
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