I read a lot of articles every day, but sometimes, I prefer listening to them instead. This way is quicker, put less strain on eyes, and you can do it anywhere. For instance, I often listen to my saved articles on Pocket, before going to bed.
Similarly, if you are a beginner writer, you can use this technique to quickly proofread your work before publishing it. It’ll help you find tiny errors in your writing, which you would have missed otherwise.
Related: 6 Best Audiobook Apps for Android
To make your device read out text, you need a text-to-speech engine or a TTS. And thankfully, this comes inbuilt in most devices, so no need to download extra software.
TTS has also improved a lot in past few years. Yes, it still doesn’t sound very natural but it’s definitely workable. I am using TTS for both listening to my fav article and proofreading my work, for past one year. And so far, my experience is pretty good.
Use Text to speech on your device
Every Mac computers come with a built-in TTS, which you can use to read out any text on your screen. Simply select the text > right-click > speech > start speaking.
The accent is a bit robotic but understandable. And, if you want, you can change the voice (like from male to female) and the playback speed, by going to dictation and speech option under system preference.
Windows do not have inbuilt TTS like MAC, so you will have to download a third-party TTS app. If you are going to use this feature only for web pages, use — speakit, it’s a chrome extension and needs internet to work.
However, if you need something more robust, Natural reader is one of the best free TTS software out there. It’s free, available for both MAC and PC, and has all the useful features you’ll ever need — like it’s compatible with any text, whether it’s from ebooks, PDF, or webpages. It can read out any text.
Like Mac, iOS also has the TTS built-in. But you have to enable it first. To do that, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech. Here, you’ll see two options — Speak Selection and Speak Screen. The first one will speak the highlighted text and the second one will read whatever is on the screen including text-based ads.
Once enabled, select text on any app on your iOS device and then tap on speak option.
Like iOS, Android also an inbuilt TTS, but it only works, if the apps have this feature integrated. Like in Google Books, you can use the TTS. However, you can not select text and make it speak out like we did in iOS.
But, there is a simple solution. Simply, share the web page to the Pocket’s android app, and then use its TTS feature to make it read out loud. To read out text from other documents like PDF, Word document, eBooks etc, try Voice Aloud Reader.
Also Read: How to Use Pocket (read later app) Effectively