So I had an “ah uh” moment last month when our copywriter at work reminded me of a little secret most folks don’t know. Macs can talk, or rather read typed text. I asked him to proofread some material that I had written and he asked me “Did you get your Mac to read it to you?”. Bam, went the light. I have known forever that Macs can do text-to-speach but have never even considered it as a proofreader for my dyslexic problem.
Most Mac users probably have no idea that their Mac is capable of reading typed text out loud. It’s true, and there are at least a dozen different voices to choose from to boot. Just go to your system preferences and choose “Text to speech”. From there you will be given options to choose a voice and a keyboard shortcut etc. I chose to have “Control S” as my shortcut to activate the text-to-speech. “S” for speech made sense after all.
How do I use this amazing tool you ask? Well, just highlight some text with your curser and then use your new shiny keyboard shortcut to have the little Mac read back every email, letter and tweet that you have just typed. You will “hear” all of the errors that you don’t see, just like that. In fact people that write for a living may want to consider this as an objective voice. Typically when you type and read it back your brain projects what you meant to write, making it hard to read your copy objectively. So that’s it. All of my written material now ships with little hesitation, or worry that my dyslexia will spoil the linguistic party.
Enjoy and be sure to pass on this little tip.0