One very useful accessibility feature for people who are visually impaired is the text-to-speech feature on iPhone and Mac devices. If you would rather listen than read, this feature also helps to increase productivity. So, if you’ve been seeking a way for your iPhone to read your texts to you automatically, it is now possible!
With this option enabled, Siri will read the contents of your messages aloud when they arrive while you’re driving, out for a nighttime stroll, or need to access messages hands-free. We’ll show you how to set up this function on your device, and how to take advantage of it for improved ease and convenience.
How to Make Siri Read Texts on iPhone Devices
Most screen text can be accessed and read by Siri. Nearly all apps are compatible with the personal voice assistant, allowing you to use your free hands for other tasks. If you’d like to accomplish this on your iPhone device, follow the steps below:
- Navigate to the Accessibility settings and enable the option before having the iPhone read text. Accessibility > Spoken Content can be found under Settings.
- To show a Speak button on any selected text, enable Speak Selection.
- Activate Speak Screen to hear the entire screen by swiping two fingers over it from top to bottom.
- The Show Controller toggle button should be turned on next after choosing Speech Controller. The Speak Controller uses an overlay on the screen to provide rapid access to the Speak Screen and Speak on Touch functions.
- Selecting Voices and changing the Speaking Rate are both possible using the other settings available on the Spoken Content screen. Add challenging words to a list using Pronunciations and have them spoken precisely. Another accessibility feature, Typing feedback, speaks feedback as it spells out each character and whole words. It also does typing predictions, auto-corrections, and auto-capitalizations. However, you should only activate this if it is required.
- Long-press the right-side button to activate Siri, or say “Hey Siri” to start it. To get Siri to read text from the screen, say something like “Speak screen.” You might also choose the text you want Siri to read, then click on Speak.
You’re all set up! Note that You can follow along with Siri’s reading of the words by turning on Highlight Content in the Spoken Content settings. If you don’t like the default blue, you can change the highlight colors. You’ll find this to be a useful feature for mobile document review.
How to Make Siri Read Text on macOS Devices
On macOS, spoken content functions somewhat differently than on iPhone devices. Note that it is still an accessibility function that reads what is on the screen using the text-to-speech feature. However, instead of a straight Siri command, a keyboard shortcut is used to activate it on macOS.
Here’s how to get it done:
- Select System Preferences from the Apple menu.
- Select Spoken Content under Accessibility. Select Speak from the drop-down menu.
- If necessary, choose Options to modify the keyboard shortcut.
- Change the other settings to have sentences, words, or both highlighted as your Mac speaks if you choose. To make it easier for your eyes to follow the spoken words, sentences may be highlighted or underlined. To disable highlighted text, choose Never from the pop-up menu for Highlight content.
- To choose the controller’s behavior, click the Show controller’s pop-up menu option. By default, you can choose the speed and the controller will show up with the spoken material. To stop, skip ahead, or pause the narration, use the buttons. You can slow down the speech rate using the turtle image on the left and speed it up using the rabbit.
- Option + Esc on a keyboard will cause macOS to read the selected text.
Here, keep in mind that without making a choice, macOS can read everything on the screen. However, you can improve the experience by choosing the words that the voice-over will read out loud.
Additionally, employ the Reader View in browsers such as Safari and Firefox to reduce the clutter before using the keyboard shortcut for Spoken Content. This will help to increase the efficiency of your reading with Siri. Unless you select the text, macOS will be unable to read it on Chrome.
In summary, the text-to-speech feature is a rather genius one, so feel free to take advantage of it to automatically hear Siri read out your text messages. Ensure that you follow the instructions carefully to set up the feature, and also pay attention to our helpful tips. If you know anyone that might benefit from this guide, make sure to recommend it to them.