How to Use Text to Speech Tools

Reading is great, but sometimes you want or need to listen. Let your computer or phone do the reading for you.

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
June 23, 2022

Reading is great, but sometimes you want or need to listen. Let your computer or phone do the reading for you. Let’s explore some tools to do this.

This is for the mobile or desktop

Dilbert and White
Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

Some people struggle with reading text on a screen, or physically can not. Others might want their computer to read something to them aloud while they do something else. There are plenty of reasons to use a text-to-speech tool, also called a “screen reader”.

Although there are standalone text-to-speech apps, you probably do not need them. That’s because every operating system, and several well-known pieces of software, offer a text-to-speech feature, and they are all quite good.

Spoken Content for iPhone

The iPhone’s text-to-speech feature is very easy to use. First, to turn it on, head to:

Settings > Accessibiltu > Spoken Content

and enable Speak Selection and Speak Screen. Once enabled, any text you highlight in any application will have a Speak option, which you tap to activate. We have highlighted some text from the Notes app to be read to us. Refer to the below image:

Spoken Content for iPhone

Read Aloud for Browsers

Read Aloud is an extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge that can read whatever website you currently have open. First, you will need to download the extension. After downloading, in Chrome, right-click on some highlighted text and choose the Read aloud selected text option. See the below image:

Text to Speech 3
Read Aloud for browsers

Immersive Reader for Office and Edge

Microsoft Office applications have a built-in text-to-speech feature but it’s a little hard to find. First, in any document, click the Immersive Reader tab. If you do not see it, search for it, and from then on it should appear in your interface permanently. Highlight some text, then right-click and select Read Aloud to hear your document read back to you with the corresponding word highlighted as it goes. Immersive Reader is perfect for copy editing and reviewing long documents. See the following image:

Text to Speech 3
Immersive Reader for Office

Microsoft Edge has this feature, too. Highlight some text, then right-click and select Real aloud selection. Refer to the below image:

Text to Speech 4
Immersive Reader for Edge

Natural Reader

First, download the mobile version (ours is for the iPhone). Then head to

NaturalReaders.com/online (note the plural in the URL)

and paste some text, highlighting it to hear it read on a mobile device. See the below image:

Text to Speech 5
Natural Reader on mobile

You can also drag documents into your browser window if you prefer. Natural Reader has a variety of voices, and you can control the speed of reading. Just click the Gear icon on the upper right-hand corner for options. See the following image:

Text to Speech 6
Natural Reader options

You can upgrade for features like a Chrome extension, OCR for scanned documents, higher quality voices, and the ability to create MP3 files; these features cost $9.99 a month. The paid version also supports uploading documents, including Microsoft Word, Apple’s Pages, and even image files with text on them. The free version is perfect for quick listening. Refer to the below image for an example of listening to a webpage:

Text to Speech 7
Natural Reader for web pages

Quote For the Day

Technology is so much fun but we can drown in our technology. The fog of information can drive out knowledge.

Daniel J Boorstin

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I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Just send an email to contact@techsavvy.life. Please mention the device, app, and version you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

Author’s E-book

You can access the e-book from a Kindle device, the Kindle App for the desktop or smartphone, which is a free app.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong Vietnam: Events and Aftermath

How to Drag and Drop Browser Links to Desktop

In four major browsers; Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari; on Windows, Mac, and Linux, you can easily drag and drop a shortcut link to a website straight to your desktop.

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
JMarch 1, 2022

In four major browsers; Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari; on Windows, Mac, and Linux, you can easily drag and drop a shortcut link to a website straight to your desktop. Let’s see how easily this is done.

This is for PCs, Macs, and web browsers. Screenshots are from Windows 10

Dilbert and Plan
Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

Create Shortcut Using Chrome, Edge, and Firefox

To create a desktop web shortcut, first open a Chrome, Edge, or Firefox browser window and navigate to the site you want to create a shortcut from. In the address bar at the top of the window, click and drag the Padlock icon (located to the left of the address) out of the browser window, or drag and drop the URL address onto your desktop. Refer to the below image:

Links 1
Drag to create a shortcut on the desktop

Next, as soon as you click and drag, you will see the title or address of the website besides your pointer. When you are hovering over the desktop, release your mouse button, and a shortcut icon will be created. To use the shortcut, double-click it at any time, and the site will open in your default browser.

This shortcut does not have to stay on your desktop either; you can move it to any folder on your PC.

Create Shortcut Using Safari on Mac

To make a desktop web shortcut on a Mac, first, open a Safari browser window and navigate to the site you want to create a shortcut to.

Next, in that window, hover your mouse cursor over the address bar at the top of the window, and a small Plus (“+”) icon will appear on the far left side. Click and drag the Plus icon onto your desktop and release your mouse or trackpad button. A shortcut icon will appear. See the below image:

Links 2
Drag to create a shortcut on Mac

Now, you can double-click the shortcut icon, and your default browser app will open and automatically load the website stored in the link.

By the way, this is not the only drag-and-drop trick you can do with browsers. Most browsers also allow you to drag tabs between open windows of the same browser.

How to Drag Tabs Between Browser Windows

Quote For the Day

If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost.

Zig Ziglar

That’s it. Please feel free to share this post! One way to share is via Twitter.

Just click the Tweet icon below. This will launch Twitter where you click its icon to post the Tweet.

Check out TechSavvy.Life for blog posts on smartphones, PCs, and Macs! You may email us at contact@techsavvy.life for comments or questions.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Just send an email to contact@techsavvy.life. Please mention the device, app, and version you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

Author’s E-book

You can access the e-book from a Kindle device, the Kindle App for the desktop or smartphone, which is a free app.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong Vietnam: Events and Aftermath

How to Drag Tabs Between Browser Windows

Did you know you can drag tabs between browser windows within Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari on Windows, Linux, and Mac? (But not between different browser types.) It seems obvious in retrospect, but many people never notice.

Did you know you can drag tabs between browser windows within Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari on Windows, Linux, and Mac? (But not between different browser types.) It seems obvious in retrospect, but many people never notice. Let’s explore how this is done.

This is for modern browsers. Screenshots are from Chrome in Windows 10

Dilbert and Press
Copyright Scott Adams, Inc./Distributed by Universal Uclick for UFS

First, open Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari, or Mozilla Firefox on a Mac or PC. Open a few tabs in one browser window and then press Ctrl+n (or Command+n on a Mac) to open another browser window.

To move a tab between browser windows, click and drag the tab from the tab bar in one window onto the tab bar in another window.

(In Safari, you can alternatively just drag a tab and drop it anywhere on top of another Safari browser window.) Refer to below image for using Chrome:

Tabs 1

Once you drag the tab into the other window’s tab bar, you will see that tab appear in the tab list of the destination window. See below image:

Tabs 2

In Chrome, Edge, and Firefox, you can select multiple tabs. Just hold down Ctrl (or Command on a Mac) and click on multiple tabs. Once they are selected, you can drag them off into a new window, or you can close all of them by pressing any tab’s X button.

Quote For the Day

Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.

Isaac Asimov

That’s it. Please feel free to share this post! One way to share is via Twitter.

Just click the Tweet icon below. This will launch Twitter where you click its icon to post the Tweet.

Check out TechSavvy.Life for blog posts on smartphones, PCs, and Macs. You may email us at contact@techsavvy.life for comments or questions.

I Would Like to Hear From You

Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer or smart device tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Just send an email to contact@techsavvy.life. Please mention the device, app and version that you are using. To help us out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

The author’s Vietnam eBook on the Battle for Tra Bong: Events and Aftermath
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