How to Use Google Docs Text to Speech: A Step-by-Step Guide

Google Docs Text to Speech is a handy tool that lets you listen to your document instead of reading it. This feature can be useful for multitasking, proofreading, or for those who have difficulty reading text on screens. In just a few steps, you can have Google Docs read your document to you.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Use Google Docs Text to Speech

Before jumping into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming for here. Google Docs does not have a built-in text-to-speech function, but don’t worry – we can use a feature called “Speak” that’s a part of Google’s accessibility features.

Step 1: Open a Google Docs Document

Open the document you want Google Docs to read out loud.

Once you have the document open, make sure your speakers or headphones are connected and working. This is where the voice will come from.

Step 2: Select the Text You Want to Hear

Highlight the text you want Google Docs to read to you.

You can select a word, sentence, paragraph, or the entire document. Just click and drag your mouse over the text.

Step 3: Access the Accessibility Menu

Click on the ‘Tools’ menu at the top of the page, then select ‘Accessibility settings.’

In the Accessibility menu, you’ll find options to make Google Docs easier to use if you have visual or auditory impairments.

Step 4: Enable ‘Speak’

Check the box next to ‘Turn on screen reader support’, then close the Accessibility settings window.

After enabling this feature, a new menu called “Accessibility” will appear on the Google Docs toolbar.

Step 5: Use the Speak Command

Go to the ‘Accessibility’ menu, hover over ‘Speak’, and then select ‘Speak selection.’

As soon as you click ‘Speak selection,’ Google Docs will start reading the text you’ve highlighted. The voice you hear will depend on the default voice settings of your web browser or operating system.

After completing these steps, Google Docs will read the selected text out loud to you. This can be an excellent way for you to listen to your document while doing something else, or it can help you catch errors you might have missed while reading.

Tips for Optimizing Your Experience with Google Docs Text to Speech

  • Make sure your internet connection is stable; this ensures that the speak feature works without interruptions.
  • Adjust the volume on your computer or device so that the speech is loud and clear enough for you to hear.
  • Use headphones for a clearer and more private listening experience.
  • If the default voice doesn’t suit you, explore your operating system’s settings to change the voice and speaking rate.
  • Utilize the text-to-speech feature for proofreading; hearing your work read aloud can help you catch mistakes you might have missed while reading it silently.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change the voice that reads the text?

Yes, you can change the voice in your computer’s system settings or browser settings.

Is Google Docs Text to Speech available on mobile devices?

While Google Docs on mobile doesn’t have the ‘Speak’ feature, most smartphones have their own text-to-speech options you can use.

Does this feature work in languages other than English?

Yes, Google Docs Text to Speech works in multiple languages, depending on the language support of your operating system or web browser.

Can I use Text to Speech on a shared document?

Absolutely, as long as you have permission to view the document, you can use the Text to Speech feature on it.

Is there a way to pause and resume the speech?

Currently, there’s no direct way to pause and resume speech in Google Docs. You would need to stop and then re-select the text to start again.


  1. Open your Google Docs document.
  2. Select the text you want to hear.
  3. Access the ‘Tools’ menu and open ‘Accessibility settings’.
  4. Enable ‘Speak’.
  5. Use the ‘Speak selection’ command in the ‘Accessibility’ menu.


Google Docs Text to Speech is a nifty feature that adds an extra layer of convenience to your workflow. It’s particularly useful for those who learn better through auditory means or for anyone looking to proofread their work in a new way. Although it might seem a bit hidden away in the Accessibility settings, once you know where to find it, it’s straightforward to use. If you’ve never tried listening to your Google Docs before, give it a whirl! You might find that it helps you catch errors you’d otherwise miss or simply provides a welcome break from staring at your screen. Happy listening, and remember, Google Docs is more than just a writing tool; it’s a multi-faceted platform that caters to various needs, including those auditory in nature.

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