I need a text-to-speech program. I am planning to use this software for proofreading purposes therefore understandable quality is enough for my purposes. There is a similar question here but I do not need sound file or other features of suggested program.

Ideally it should have following features:

  • Able to read English.
  • Able to read txt files.
  • Able to read other formats like PDF, DOC, DOCX, EPUB, ….
  • Has a speed option to control reading speed.
  • Windows 8 support or Mac OS or Linux.
  • Ideally free software.

Actually the old Microsoft Reader has some of these features, but it is not available for Windows 8.


On OS X, there's already a text-to-speech utility integrated with the OS. You can simply use the say command from a terminal like this:

say "Hello World"

or with text from a file:

say -f mytext.txt

Use the -v option to choose a different voice:

say -v Agnes "Hello World"

The reading speed and default voice can be configured in System Preferences -> Speech:

Text to Speech Preferences

If you check the [x] Speak selected text when the key is pressed option, you can select text from any application and have it spoken by using that keyboard shortcut.

So while the command line say utility only supports plain text directly, you can get it to speak selected text in any format using the keyboard shortcut.


You can try Intelligent Speaker - extension for Google Chrome. You can open your text in browser and listen it. Speech rate is adjustable. I am the author.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.