Every other day it seems like there is a Google Chrome browser extension in the Web App store that we just can’t live without. Chrome Speak is one of those extensions. In a nutshell, Chrome Speak reads text to you.
To some, having your browser speak to you may seem lazy. However, there are uses for a Chrome extension that reads you the web. We first look at a few of its features and how to use it. We have also listed a few different ways you can utilize Chrome Speak in everyday life.
How to use Chrome Speak
Start by installing the extension. There are actually 2 different versions that appear to be the same. Here is the link to the one we tested.
Once you download and install the extension, there are some settings to tinker with if you choose to. The options are things like pitch and speed of the voice and which voice to use (if there are more than one installed on your computer).
The setting many of you may want to change is the language.
How to use Chrome Speak
To use Chrome Speak, start by highlighting the text you want to read.
Then, right-click. In the window, you will see an option to read the selected text.
If you want to stop the text from being read to you, right-click again and select stop reading text.
Uses for Chrome Speak
There are several reasons why you may want to have text on a page read to you.
Learning disability – If you or someone you know has a learning disability such as dyslexia, reading is more of a chore. If you can have the text read to you, there is a greater chance to learn or explore more on the web.
Multi-tasking – You can have the text read to you while you are working in another window.
Proof Reading – When you writing something in your browser, like a blog post, it can be good to have it read to you. When something is read to you, you aren’t reading what you think you wrote, you are hearing what you actually wrote. Sometimes there is a difference.
It sounds funny in a robot voice – Okay, let’s face it, some things are just really funny when spoken in a robot voice. Why not have some fun while getting some work done.
Chrome Speak in Action
In the video below, you will see a demo of Chrome Speak in action. You can skip to the 2:00 minute mark to hear an example. The first 2 minutes is filled with a text description of how to install and use the extension and music.
The extension works great. It will read text from most of the pages tested. If you are using a Web App like Google Docs and trying to proof read the text, you may run into an issue.