Did you know that your Mac can read aloud to you? Mac OS X Leopard and later includes a cool Text to Speech function that makes the Mac speak selected text in text-based files — including web pages, email messages, spreadsheets, calendar entries, PDFs, text documents, Finder windows, and even iTunes.
- To start, open the System Preferences panel under the Apple icon.
- Click on Speech.
- Select the Text to Speech tab, check the option “Speak selected text when the key is pressed,”
- Click the Set Key option. Choose one modifier key — Command, Control, Option, or Shift — plus one other key of your choice
- Click OK. Now each time you type this key combination, your Mac will read aloud any text you have selected. To stop the speech, type the same key combination again.
Choosing a different voice:
You can even choose your Mac’s voice. Mac OS X includes 24 human-sounding and novelty voices, from the suave Alex to the robotic Zarvox. (To see the complete list, click the “Show More Voices” option at the bottom of the pull-down System Voice menu.) You can also ask your Mac to speak more slowly or quickly by adjusting the Speaking Rate slider. Whichever you choose, listening to your text can be a surprisingly useful tool for editing and proofreading.
- Open the file you want to convert in Kurzweil 3000.
- Make sure to check the voice settings, (person reading and the speed)
- Go to the File Menu --> Audio File --> Create Audio File
- Chose the name you want for the file
- Chose whether you want MP3 or WAV (Note: if you get an error when trying to create an MP3 version, choose WAV and it will work)
- Check the voice and speed setting
- Click on “Create”
- Depending on your file size, it may take a while to create the file
- To check on the status of your file creation:
- File Menu --> Audio File --> Audio Spooler Monitor
- A window will open showing you the progress. Click on Refresh to see an update.
- When your file is done, it should show “Successful” in the bottom window. If it shows “Failed”, your audio file was not created.
- Once your file is finished, go to “My Documents” --> Kurzweil Output Audio – your file should be in this folder.
- Move the file to your MP3 player, USB Flash Drive, Email as attachment, etc.