Google Docs has a useful text-to-speech feature that can read your documents out loud. This allows you to listen to your documents to catch errors, improve flow, and more.
In this blog post, I’ll explain step-by-step how to use Google Docs to read documents aloud on desktop and mobile.
Enable Text-to-Speech in Google Docs
To get started, you first need to enable the text-to-speech option in your Google Docs settings:
- Open Google Docs in your web browser or mobile app.
- Click the Tools menu > Accessibility settings.
- Under Screen reader support, check the box for Use text-to-speech.
- Click Save to enable the feature.
Once enabled, you can have Google Docs read your text out loud.
Make Google Docs Read Your Text on Desktop
Here is how to make Google Docs read your document aloud on desktop:
- Open the Google Doc you want read aloud.
- Select the text you want to be read. Or to read the entire document, skip this step.
- Click Tools > Read aloud. Or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+S.
- In the side panel, select a voice and speech rate.
- Click the play button to have Google Docs read your selection aloud.
As it reads, the text will be highlighted on the screen. You can pause, rewind, fast forward, and adjust the playback speed as needed.
Use Google Docs Text-to-Speech on Mobile
You can also get documents read aloud on Android and iOS mobile apps:
- Open the Google Doc in the mobile app.
- Tap the three-dot menu in the top-right corner.
- Choose Read aloud.
- Select text or tap Entire document.
- Pick a voice and speed.
- Tap the Play button to start playback.
The mobile app has playback controls to pause, skip back or ahead.
Customize Text-to-Speech Voices and Speeds
Google Docs offers a variety of text-to-speech voices and adjustable playback speeds:
Voices – Choose from over 100 voices across over 30 languages. Pick natural-sounding male and female voices.
Speed – Slow down or speed up the speech rate from slow to fast. Find an easy listening pace.
Test different voices and speeds to find what works best for you. The customization options help optimize clarity and listening comfort.
Tips for Using Google Docs Read Aloud
Here are some tips for getting the most out of the Google Docs read aloud tool:
- Proofread errors – Have Docs read your writing to catch typos, grammar issues, and awkward phrasing.
- Check document flow – Listen to transitions between paragraphs and sections to ensure a smooth flow.
- Hands-free reviewing – Enable read aloud to review documents while cooking, exercising, driving, or doing other tasks.
- Improve comprehension – Reading along as Docs speaks can boost retention and understanding.
- Accessibility aid – The read aloud function assists people with reading disabilities like dyslexia.
Listen to Documents Anywhere
The Google Docs text-to-speech feature allows you to listen to documents aloud on both desktop and mobile. It’s great for proofreading on the go, “reading” while multitasking, and improving accessibility.
Enable read aloud in your Docs settings, then select text and click “Read aloud” whenever you want Google to speak your documents out loud. Pick the ideal voice and speed, then sit back and listen.