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Chapter 4. Setting System Preferences > Letting Mac Do the Talking

Letting Mac Do the Talking

Your Macintosh can speak to you as well as listen. Mac OS X can read aloud what appears on your screen, such as typed text, alert messages, window items, menus, and other interface items. It speaks using a synthesized voice (), such as Pipe Organ, Cellos, or Junior. Some voices, such as Pipe Organ, are based on a song and sing the voice. You can use the Speech pane in System Preferences to select a default voice, set talking alert options for when alerts appear on the screen, and other spoken options for the user interface. Instead of just showing you, the Mac can tell you when an application needs your attention, such as when your printer is out of paper, or read buttons, icons, tabs, dialog options, and selected text in e-mails and documents when you point to it as well as read select text when you press a keyboard shortcut.

Set the Default Speaking Voice

Click the System Preferences icon in the Dock, and then click the Speech icon.

Click the Default Voice tab.

Select one of the voices in the Voice list.

The computer speaks so you can hear the voice, and a description of the voice appears on the right.

To change the speed at which the voice speaks, drag the Rate slider.

To hear the select speaking voice at the current rate, click Play.

Click the Close button.


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