Knowing how to use text to speech on Zoom is useful for accessibility and document presentation. It’s easy to set up once you know which tools to use and your options for text conversion.
In this article, you’ll learn how to use text to speech on Zoom.
How to Use Text to Speech on Zoom
Unfortunately, Zoom doesn’t have its own text to speech function. This means you’ll need to use a third-party platform for creating spoken text. Depending on your device and needs, it could be as simple as using your built-in screen reading software. For example, on iOS and OSX, VoiceOver screen reader will work fine.
Alternatively, if you’re on Windows, JAWS and NVDA are suitable options, as is TalkBack on Android.
How to Use Text to Speech on Zoom on iOS and OSX
Here are the steps for setting up Voiceover on OSX and iOS. If you’re on an Apple device, this is arguably the easiest way to do it because you don’t need to install any extra software.
How to Use Text to Speech on Zoom on iOS
- On your iMac or MacBook, press Command and F5.
- A dialog box will open showing you options such as Learn More and Enable Voiceover.
- Simply turn it on and your Mac will read the screen.
Alternatively, if Siri is enabled, you can ask it to turn on Voiceover.
How to Use Text to Speech on Zoom on OSX
Setting up Voiceover is much easier on an iPhone or iPad:
- Activate Siri by saying, “Hey, Siri”.
- Then say, “Turn on Voiceover”.
You can also do it by going to Settings and tapping Accessibility. Then, select Voiceover and toggle on or off.
Pros and Cons of Using Voiceover for Text to Speech
It’s worth understanding the pros and cons of Voiceover when it comes to how to use text to speech on Zoom.
- Voiceover is easy to set up for Apple users.
- It doesn’t require any third-party software.
- On iOS, it includes gesture recognition, meaning you don’t have to use your screen.
- On OSX, it removes the need for the keyboard.
- Its functionality is limited – you don’t have much control over voice, accent, speed, etc.
- Voiceover will just read your whole screen, which could get annoying for you and the other meeting participants.
How to Use Text to Speech on Zoom with Android Devices
The process for how to use text to speech on Zoom on Android is very similar to iOS. There’s a built-in service called TalkBack:
- Open your Settings menu and then scroll down to Accessibility.
- Tap TalkBack and switch it to On.
TalkBack has a lot of settings for language, speed, pitch, etc. and it includes gesture recognition. There’s no point in going over the pros and cons of TalkBack because they’re almost identical to Voiceover on iOS.
How to Use Text to Speech on Zoom with Third-Party Software
An option that’ll work regardless of your operating system or device is to use a third-party program that converts text into speech. Here’s how to use text to speech on Zoom via a separate app.
- Download your chosen speech to text software.
- Depending on your needs, either upload a document into the app or enable its screen-reading functionality.
- Change the speaking settings, such as accent, gender, pitch, speed, etc.
- Have the app read out the text.
The steps for this option are quite general, but should be applicable to any text to speech service you choose. However, make sure you research the market and choose one that’s most suitable for your purpose.
For example, some specialize in converting written documents into speech, whereas others function as screen readers. The latter will be helpful if you need it to read the chat box in your Zoom app, whereas document converters will be better if you need to present something to the meeting.
Pros and Cons of Third-Party Software
Again, this list is general because it’ll apply to most text to speech platforms. They’ll also have their own pros and cons depending on functionality.
- Dedicated apps should give you far more options than built-in software.
- It should be easy to find an app that suits your specific needs, whether this is document conversion or screen reading.
- Some should integrate directly with Zoom in the form of browser extensions.
- Most text to speech platforms cost money. It might not be a lot, but this can limit access for some people.
- It can be difficult (or impossible) to run text to speech and Zoom apps at the same time on a mobile device.
Who Uses Text to Speech on Zoom?
Text-to-speech on Zoom is useful for the following reasons:
- Accessibility. For example, people with dyslexia would benefit from a document reader if they need to present something. Similarly, people with sight difficulties find text to speech helpful.
- Presentation. Regardless of whether you have accessibility needs, using text to speech to present a document to a Zoom meeting can save a lot of time and effort.
- Fun. If you’re running an online class, using a text to speech platform can make lessons and quizzes more engaging. For example, you could change the settings to make funny voices.
Frequently Asked Questions about Text to Speech on Zoom?
To enable transcription on Zoom, go to Account Management and click Account Settings. Find Cloud Recording and select Recording. Turn this on and then choose Advanced cloud recording settings and select Create audio transcript.
Zoom’s built-in transcription setting will turn audio to text but not in real-time. Instead, it transcribes a recording, which you can then search for keywords. However, a third-party platform will often be more accurate and give you more control over your transcription settings.
Zoom’s transcription service is free, provided you have a Zoom account. Follow the steps to enable transcription and the software will produce one after your meeting is over. You can also turn on live captions that happen during the meeting.