Speech output makes it easier to use your computer if you find it difficult to see the screen. You can listen to web pages and documents, as well as menus, buttons and icons.
Built in speech output programmes
Built in speech output programmes come free with your computer. If you use Windows or Mac OSX you can use your computer without seeing the screen.
Windows Narrator lets you choose your voice settings, echo keystrokes, announce system messages and scroll notifications.
Windows 7 and Vista
- Click the Start button, or press the Windows key.
- Type Narrator, then press the Enter key.
If you use Windows you can find more information on the Microsoft website.
Mac OSX VoiceOver lets you use your computer and most built in programmes without seeing the screen.
- Turn on VoiceOver by pressing Command and F5.
- Turn off VoiceOver by pressing Command and F5 again.
- The VoiceOver utility can be launched from the System Preferences.
If you use Mac OSX you can find more information on the Apple website:
Third party speech output programmes
Third party speech output programmes can be purchased or downloaded for free, and installed on your computer. They often have more features than built in speech output programmes.
If you use Windows there are several popular speech output programmes to choose from. Here are some suggestions.
- NVDA from NV Access
- SA To Go from System Access
- Jaws from Freedom Scientific
- Supernova Screen Reader from Dolphin
We are not aware of any third party speech output programmes for Mac OSX.