Speech Speech Speech!!!

The speech option totally kicks booty!
Ok I’m a newbie so for some of you this may seem a little green but I just discovered the speech option in this application and I think it rocks.
I was totally on my way to sleep and stumbled on this option clicked it and felt like a jolt of caffeine hit my system. I think I let it read half of what I’ve written to me delighted at the sound of my pen coming through the speakers.
This is totally awesome! :mrgreen:

Glad you like it! I have to say that I can’t take too much credit for the speech option, though - it’s built into OS X, so adding to an application such as Scrivener is really easy. I was going to say that you should find it in many OS X apps (it’s in TextEdit, for instance), but for some reason Apple don’t seem to have added it to Pages - strange. I’ve made it more useful for version 2.0, though, so that it starts and stops from the cursor point rather than returning to the beginning of the text all the time, which is the standard behaviour.

Thanks and all the best,


Thanks for your quick response! It really means a lot when joining a new community and you are well received. First let me say that the ‘Speech’ component has helped me with my editing. When I listen to what I’ve written and hear some of the typos that hide from my eyes but are instantly detected by my ears. So to included it in your application was a good idea.

My mother was so surprised when I told her I’d organized my novel in a authoring application. But to click a button and let her hear my words spring to life was something totally different.

I’m excited about 2.0 and will be making my purchase very soon.

I’m curious though, I’m sure I’m not using the tool to it’s maximum capacity.
Are there any youtube videos on basic set up and usage?


Yes, there are - but so far we don’t advertise them very well! On our main page there is a “Videos” button you can click on to get to them, but there’s nothing anywhere else, I don’t think - when we rejig the website for 2.0 we really need to make them more obvious. Here’s the direct link page:


We do post them all on YouTube too (David makes the videos, so he would know whereabouts on YouTube they are, as I leave that to him).

I hope they’re useful.

Many thanks again for your enthusiasm about Scrivener, much appreciated.

All the best,

The text has to be selected in Pages.

I use speech quite a bit, mostly to catch small grammatical errors, forgetting to add endings (-ing, -ed, and -s), missing and double words. Makes easily overlooked mistakes more obvious.

Maybe you can put a Help > Video Tutorial in 2.0 that links to Youtube or your website.

“… starts and stops from the cursor point rather than returning to the beginning of the text all the time, which is the standard behaviour.”

Terrific! As others have pointed out, having a text read aloud makes typos and errors easier to spot. For that you really need the ability to read from the cursor on. You read until there’s an error, stop to fix it, and then start up from that point on.

Like a several other built-in text features in OS X, the stock text-to-speech works only clumsily, either starting from the document’s beginning or reading only selected text. That’s not how it ought to be done. Start from the cursor is the “right” way.

If you have the time, here are some enhancements you might consider:

  1. On more recent Macs, add the ability to use the stop/start clicks on Apple earphones to stop and start the reading.

  2. Use cursors keys to speed up/slow down the reading speed. There tends to be a optimal speed that varies with the text. Too slow and boredom and distraction follow. Too fast, and mistakes are missed.

  3. Display the text being current read enlarged and scrolling in a pop-up window. Some common mistakes (“there” for “their”) aren’t that obvious when listening aloud. A quick look at the window will make sure theses sound-alikes aren’t mistakes.

Looking forward to 2.0!

None of this is built into the OS X speech system sadly.

All the best,

If you select text, TextEdit will only read the selection, rather than starting @ the beginning of the document.

I’ve had my Mac for 5+ years and only discovered this cool feature tonight thanks to the Scriv forums :smiley:

For reasons best known to themselves, Apple squirrelled away the text-to-speech options in Snow Leopard for non-Apple apps. Text-to-speech is universally available though - just go to Preferences > Speech and nominate your favourite key combo in the ‘Speak selected text when the key is pressed’ option.

Thereafter, you can get any app to talk, and hours of fun making Word say rude words beckon. As a bonus, for someone who uses Remote Desktop to access a Windows machine, text-to-speech works even on the text in the remote Windows machine. Which is handy for proofing the more important emails. Or making Outlook say rude words.

Which is fun when you consider that normally word and outlook would cause us to say rude words.

Actually, in all fairness to Apple, this is more to do with the non-Apple apps than Apple in this case. Apple make it incredibly easy to add text-to-speech to an app. In fact, it appears in the default Edit menu that a developer can add to a program with no code at all. So it’s up to the third-party developer how easy or difficult it is to access, really.

All the best,

Oh, I am sure it is easy to add - but if memory serves (and it may not), in Leopard ‘text to speech’ was a default option on the services menu. In Snow Leopard they overhauled the services menu, and it’s no longer obvious how to enable speech for most applications, and most don’t have it enabled by their developers.

Anyway, it gave me ten minutes of head-scratching and frustrated clicking when I first installed Snow Leopard. And some people still seem to be desperately seeking Vicki.

M u s t r e s i s t …

Yeah, I just set it up as Ctrl+option+S, because I didn’t think there was a short cut that uses that key combo, I could be and probably am mistaken about that though. I highlight the text I want to read hit that key combo and it reads the selected text. I normally go about a paragraph at a time. Fix my mistakes then listen again to make sure I got them all.

The Alex voice they added in Leopard is one of the better text-to-voice’s I’ve ever heard. Pretty nice it’s built into the OS and not a stand alone you would have to pay for. Granted it’s not perfect, but still a very nice feature. (I like to mess with it by typing “Dr. Dr.” and it will say doctor drive and other things like that.)