macOs "Operating aids" -> Text reading / Voice output

I regularly use the operating aids to have the manuscript text read out to me in order to check it again. What I have noticed for quite some time: When I use the menu option in Scrivener, the generic voice of “Anna” is always used and not the voice of Siri, which I preset in the control panel and which is easier to understand. On the other hand, if I use the predefined system shortcuts to trigger voice output, Siri will start reading.

A bug that has been around in Catalina for quite some time, and is not solved in Big Sur either, is the incorrect word marking when reading aloud. macOs confusingly marks the text. I have already sent a bug report to Apple for the BigSur Beta several times but it ist still present in Beta 9.

If you go to the Speech setting in Accessibility in System Preferences you can set the voice there, and the keyboard shortcut. But it does seem that if you use the menu item in Scrivener the default voice is still used.


It’s not specifically a Scrivener issue though, as the same thing happens in Pages and TextEdit for me. It must be the way that menu item calls on the speech function in the OS.

After I had read this thread a moment ago I switched voices in the system settings to see—or actually: hear—what happens. And guess what, every new voice I picked was used in Scrivener too, even when activated by the speech menu item.

Then I wondered why you could chose a Siri voice and I couldn’t. And that was simply because I did not have Siri activated on my Mac as the monitor attached to my Mac Mini has no microphone. So for test purposes I activated Siri and got both the male and the female Siri voice. Nice, but … now the voice chosen in the general preferences is not respected in Scrivener anymore.

That means the voice for speech activated by a program’s menu item is not the default voice but the last voice that has been set in the preferences before activating Siri. Which is a tiny and above all useless distinction.

And so curiosity got me stuck on the really not good Markus voice I had played around with instead of the proper one of die strenge Petra which I had been using for years. De-activating Siri again did not help, of course. Sigh.