Mac Text to Speech

This app reads documents for you and pronounces the text in a choice of voices. You can save the audio to file. And it is very easy to start, stop and select another voice, and change the speed of reading. Nice for kids, great writing tool, for presenters and as a media production utility.

Read4Me now for sale in the Mac AppStore in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish.

International Languages

With a little effort you will be able to use Read4me in many languages because the Mac OS X Speech engine allows plug-ins. Please read this page for more information on downloading extra voices for Mac OS X.

The first thing you’ll notice is that voices in languages other than English are not installed by default. There must be a reason behind the way ‘accessibility’ is implemented in OS X, but setting up speech assistance is needlessly complex. Also it changes all the time. As a vendor for many sight-inhibited users I regret that Apple made no effort to provide speech assistance while installing OS X. I will explain how it works for Sierra, with screenshots for the international users.

Setting up Languages
First, in recent versions of OS X you should select the languages that you use,
combined with a region. English (U.K) instead of English. Both selected language(s) and regions are used by Read4Me to sort the Voices panel in the app. Some languages have voices speaking regional dialects, i.e. English as in Ireland; Spanish as in Mexico; French as in France.


Downloading the free voices from Apple.

System Preferences -> Accessibility -> Speech -> System Voice -> Customize...

Second, you need to download the extra voices and these are large downloads (~ 2gigs). The downloads are not in the AppStore!! they are free however.
I will show a screenshot of the Systems Preferences panel that hides the “magic menu”. Under ‘Accessibility’ you will find the icon in the left column labeled ’Speech’ (Notice the white speech bubble on the screen). Then on the right there is a pop-up menu for the System Voice, with ‘Customize…’ at the bottom.


If you select that menu you can choose from a wide variety of languages, dialects and voices. Voices are named after a person.


Speech Samples

Read4Me speaking several languages and dialects, these samples were created using Read4Me: Arabic, Australian, British English, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Irish English, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Scottish English, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and a bit of Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Thai when you download additional voices from Apple.


Features & Benefits

• Open Microsoft Word documents, Rich Text, HTML, Open Office, and many other types of text files.
• Create a soundtrack with dialogs in multiple voices, saving to audio file or AudioBook format.
• Read text
selected within other applications from the "Services" menu.
• Change speed of reading to your preference.
• Fine-tune the text with Voice Coach (rate, volume, pauses, etc).
• Save your document to Rich Text Format, or to plain text file.
• Check your spelling in many languages, you can mix languages in the same file.
• If you use more than one foreign language on the Mac, then you can select the order of your preferred set in the Language & Text panel of System Preferences. Read4me will use this preference in its speech panel to sort, so voices can be selected based on their major language. Dialects are grouped together.

Reviews of Read4Me

Links with more information on Apple’s TTS:

  • Apple - OS X Lion - Over 250 new features. Read about all of them.

Launch Read4me with a specific (sub)set of languages

You can switch your language settings simply by selecting different languages in the International pane of System Preferences. It is tedious, however, to keep going back to System Preferences to reset your preferred language for a specific project. Instead, you can provide a preferred set of languages from the command-line, using the Terminal application:
$ /Applications/ -AppleLanguages "(French,German,Italian,Spanish)" &