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How to make Google Docs read your documents out loud to you, using a Google Chrome extension

Business Insider logo Business Insider 1/28/2020 Devon Delfino
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  • You can make Google Docs read text to you out loud with the text-to-speech function.
  • You'll need to use the Google Chrome web browser, along with the ChromeVox extension, which will read the text of any webpage aloud to you.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Sometimes a fresh perspective can make a world of difference. Hearing your written words spoken aloud, for example, can help you more easily find those spots that need refining or rephrasing.

But for those who don't want - or simply don't have the option - to let someone else read them their work, Google Chrome's accessibility features can provide a good digital replacement.

Here's how to set up the text-to-speech feature and have Google Docs read your text out loud:

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In order for this to work, be sure that you've added the ChromeVox extension to your Google Chrome web browser on a PC or Mac computer.

1. Open your Google Doc.

2. Click "Tools" in the top toolbar.

3. Select "Accessibility settings."

a screenshot of a cell phone © Devon Delfino/Business Insider

4. Tick the box next to "Turn on Screen Reader Support" and then click "OK." You should now see a new section appear in your top toolbar called "Accessibility."

a screenshot of a cell phone © Devon Delfino/Business Insider

5. Highlight the section of text you want read aloud.

6. Click "Accessibility" and then "Speak," followed by "Speak selection."

a screenshot of a cell phone © Devon Delfino/Business Insider

ChromeVox will read the selection aloud to you.

Note, however, that if you have more than one Google Doc page open, ChromeVox may try to read from a different document. You should try this with only one document open at a time.

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