Do you ever wish you could listen to an article or story instead of reading it. You might want this so you can do something else, like clean your desktop, get coffee, or simply not have to read for a while, or for the visually impaired.
If this sounds good to you (pun intended), then ChromeSpeak could be just what you are looking for.
ChromeSpeak is free Chrome extension that converts any text in your browser to speech at a simple click of a right mouse button. It is fantastically simple and easy to use, and does not bog your browser down with too many bells and whistles.
How it works: once you have selected a chunk of on-screen text, simple right-click on the selection and choose the ‘read selected text’ option. ChromeSpeak will use the built-in text to speech capabilities on your operating system to begin reading what you have selected and a second right click will bring up the option to make it stop reading. It works quite well on even very long bits of text, and the native text to speech options on your OS can be changed to suit your needs if you want to modify the pitch, speed or overall qualities of the voice. It even works on offline pages, so you don’t actually have to have an active internet connection to use it!
You can use the Chrome settings menu to activate or de-activate the ChromeSpeak extension at any time but once you have it active, you will be able to use it immediately. All you need to do is use the mouse to select a particular chunk of text, and then tell ChromeSpeak to read it out loud. There are surely other ways to do this with various programs but ChromeSpeak makes it simple and easy by attaching to your browser and not loading itself unless you desire it.
Aside from delivering exactly on what it promises, Chromespeak delivers excellent speech quality. It is such a simple extension that sits in the background and doesn’t bother you at all or shows itself unless you desire to use it (something which can be rare in today’s world of freeware). There are a number of ways it can be used, depending on your needs, so take a look and see if it is for you. After all, it won’t cost you a thing and could wind up being something you use every day! Until next time, my friends!
- Get ChromeSpeak here.