Incredibly fun text-to-speech demo

Text-to-speech, or speech synthesis, has been around for a long, long time. Every Mac, since the very first one, has had speech synthesis built right in.

To get a sense of this, bring up Terminal (it’s in Applications > Utilities) and type:

say “I read the Loop every day, and now my teeth are the color of the winter sun”

Hit return, and you’ll hear your Mac’s computer voice, in all its default glory. Now open System Preferences and select the Dictation & Speech icon. Fiddle with some of those options and click the Play button to try them out. Now if you go back to Terminal, your new settings will be reflected when you ask it to say something.

Now that you see what comes built in, click the headline link and give this demo a try. There’s something about having an avatar, and the quality of the voices are great. Remember, no curse words. Oh, OK, go ahead. So much fun!



  • JohnDoey

    There was a website that compared the classic “Hello World” demonstration app in various coding languages. They had the AppleScript one down as this:

    display dialog “Hello World”

    … but it is even better like this:

    say “Hello World”

    … shorter and more fun.

    I wasn’t aware that “say” had been implemented in the Mac Terminal until this article, though.

  • Moeskido

    I use Speech to read articles to me while I work, as long as the work doesn’t involve heavy reading.

  • http://erikveland.com ErikVeland

    That demo has been around at least for seven years, possibly longer.