How to change the text-to-speech voice on your Mac computer, or give it a new language

September 24, 2020 By [email protected]_84 Off



It only takes a few clicks to give your Mac a new voice. Hollis Johnson/Business Insider


© Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
It only takes a few clicks to give your Mac a new voice. Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • You can change the voice that your Mac uses to read text and notifications by going to the System Preferences menu.
  • There are about a half-dozen voices available on your Mac by default, but you can download more.
  • When you change the text-to-speech voice on a Mac, you can also set how fast it reads or change its language.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

One of your Mac’s various accessibility features is its ability to read out text that’s on the screen. This is great for users who can’t see the screen very well.

But if you use this feature, you might not be satisfied with the default voice, which can sound very robotic.

Luckily, you can change the voice at any time. There are over a hundred different voices available in a variety of languages.

Here’s how to change the speech voice on your Mac.

How to change the speech voice on a Mac

1. Click the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences.”

2. Click on the “Accessibility” option.



a screen shot of a computer: Open the Accessibility menu. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider


© Ryan Ariano/Business Insider
Open the Accessibility menu. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

3. In the left sidebar, select “Speech.” This will open the menu where you can change the speech settings.

4. To change the voice, click on the “System Voice” tab to open a dropdown menu. By default, you can choose from two male voices and three female voices.



a screenshot of a cell phone: There are a few preset voice options. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider


© Ryan Ariano/Business Insider
There are a few preset voice options. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

5. To change the rate at which your Mac speaks, click on the “Speaking Rate” slider and move it left or right to slow it down or speed it up, respectively.

6. To enable your Mac to speak out announcements — it’ll let you know when a program needs your attention, and read alerts — read text that you select, or read text that you hover your mouse over, click the box next to those options.



a screenshot of a video game: There are a variety of options for the voiceover features. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider


© Ryan Ariano/Business Insider
There are a variety of options for the voiceover features. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

How to add new speech voices on your Mac

1. Open the “Speech” menu again.

2. Click on “System Voice” and scroll down to “Customize.”



a screenshot of a cell phone: "Customize" will be the last option. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider


© Ryan Ariano/Business Insider
“Customize” will be the last option. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

3. You’ll now be shown a list of all the voices of various languages and dialects that you can download and add to your speech options. You can select most voices and then click “Play” at the bottom to hear what it sounds like. 

4. When you find a voice and language you want, check the box next to it and click “OK” at the bottom of the window. Your Mac will download the voice, and you can then select it.



a screenshot of a video game: You'll need to make sure you have space on your computer for the new voices. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider


© Ryan Ariano/Business Insider
You’ll need to make sure you have space on your computer for the new voices. Ryan Ariano/Business Insider

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