The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Using Text-to-Speech for Reviewing Writing

Text-to-Speech (TTS) is an Assistive Technology that allows digital text to be read aloud.

This tool is available throughout both the iPad and MacBook. This technology is crucial for those who have difficulties reading but can also prove beneficial for anyone when reviewing their own written work.

Listening back to your own writing allows you to hear exactly what you wrote, not what you thought you wrote. You can hear where missed punctuation should be placed, notice if there is a wrong word or misspelled word, or whether a sentence makes sense. It allows you to review a larger section to ensure the flow of ideas is what you planned. It is a powerful editing step to enhance the quality of writing that is also used by teachers for their own work.

How to Use Text-to-Speech

Let's walk through the process.

The first step is to ensure that TTS is turned on in the Accessibility menu. To do this go to System Preferences or Settings on the iPad and find Accessibility. Within Accessibility there is spoken pen content or speech. In this section ensure speak selected text when the key is pressed is checked. On the iPad, highlight the text for the speak button option, on the Mac, highlight the text and (by default) Option + Esc will read the highlighted text.

By turning this on it allows you to highlight text anywhere on your system and have it read out.

You can then choose the speaking rate and voice used for TTS. The voice of Alex can give a better listening experience due to providing more of the cognitive clues you get when listening to normal speech.


Mr Jared Faint
ILT Integration Specialist