How do you get your iPhone to read text out loud? With a flick of an accessibility switch!

For those with low or no vision, reading text on an iPhone or iPad can be difficult at best, if not downright impossible. Accessibility can help. There's a feature called "Speech" that will read out words on a page, read out the whole page, and more. Here's how to use it!

How to enable Speak Selection

Speak Selection allows you to select bits of text on a screen to be read aloud to you.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Speech.
  5. Tap the switch next to Speak Selection.

    Tap Speech, tap the switch next to Speak Selection

How to use Speak Selection

  1. Navigate to the text you want read aloud.
  2. Tap and hold on the text and drag the highlight to surround all of the text you want read aloud if it's not all highlighted already.
  3. Tap the Speak button in the menu that pops up.

    Tap and hold the text, tap Speak in the pop-up menu

How to enable Speak Screen

If you're into iBooks but have a hard time reading them on your phone, you can enable Speak Screen and it'll read out the entire screen to you. Here's how:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Speech.
  5. Tap the switch next to Speak Screen.

    Tap Speech, tap the switch next to Speak Screen

How to use Speak Screen

  1. Navigate to the screen you want read aloud.
  2. Swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen.

How to enable highlighted content with spoken text

As content is being read out to you, you can enable Highlight Content to highlight along as it reads.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Speech.
  5. Tap Highlight Content.
  6. Tap the switch to turn it on.

    Tap Speech, tap Highlight Content, tap the switch to turn it on

Why there's that extra step in there, we'll never know.

How to enable character feedback

If you have trouble seeing the keyboard on your iPhone or iPad, you can enable character feedback, which says aloud each letter you type.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Speech.
  5. Tap Typing Feedback.
  6. Tap the switch next to Characters to enable it.

    Tap Speech, tap Typing Feedback, tap the switch next to Characters

How to enable character hints

If you're also a little hard of hearing and might miss VoiceOver reading out a letter, you can turn on character hints, which reads each letter out using the phonetic alphabet, as in 'a' is alpha, 'b' is bravo, and so on.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Speech.
  5. Tap Typing Feedback.
  6. Tap the switch next to Character Hints to enable it.

    Tap Speech, tap Typing Feedback, tap the switch next to Character hints

How to change the character feedback delay

If you don't want each character being read aloud right after you type it or if you have motor skill issues that prevent you from typing quickly, you can turn up the character feedback delay. Character Feedback or Character Hints will have to be enabled for you to see this setting.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Speech.
  5. Tap Typing Feedback.
  6. Tap the plus or minus buttons under Character Feedback Delay.

    Tap Speech, tap Typing Feedback, tap the plus and minus buttons

How to enable spoken words while typing

If you enable Speak Words, VoiceOver will read out full words as you type instead of individual letters.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Speech.
  5. Tap Typing Feedback.
  6. Tap the switch next to Speak Words.

    Tap Speech, tap Typing Feedback, tap the switch next to Speak Words

How to enable Speak Auto-text

VoiceOver can automatically speak auto-corrections and auto-capitalizations if you have those settings enabled.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Speech.
  5. Tap Typing Feedback.
  6. Tap the switch next to Speak Auto-text.

    Tap Speech, tap Typing Feedback, tap the switch next to Speak Auto-text

How to enable spoken predictions

If you have predictive text enabled, you can get your iPhone to speak the predicted words. Here's how:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Speech.
  5. Tap Typing Feedback.
  6. Tap the switch next to Hold to Speak Predictions.

    Tap Speech, tap Typing Feedback, tap the switch next to Hold to Speak Predicitions

How to change the spoken text voice

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Speech.
  5. Tap Voices.
  6. Tap the language you want to use.

    Tap Speech, tap Typing Feedback, tap the language you want to use

  7. Tap a voice.
  8. Tap the play button to preview the voice or tap the name to enable the voice. Alternatively, you can tap the download button (cloud with an arrow) to download new voices or versions of voices.

    Tap a voice, tap the play button or tap the name to enable the voice

How to change the speaking rate for spoken text

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.

    Launch Settings, tap General, tap Accessibility

  4. Tap Speech.
  5. Tap and drag the slider left and right to decrease and increase the speaking rate. Left is slower; right is faster.

    Tap Speech, tap and drag the slider

How to add pronunciations

If you use spoken text for your email, but it always mispronounces a relative's name, you can add your preferred pronunciation.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Tap Speech.

    Tap General, tap Accessibility, tap Speech

  5. Tap Pronunciations.
  6. Tap the add button (plus sign) on the top right of your screen.
  7. Type in the phrase for which you would like to enter a pronunciation.

    Tap Pronunciations, tap Play, tap the add button, type in the phrase

  8. Type in the pronunciation substitution or tap the dictation button to say it aloud. It's easier to say it aloud.
  9. Tap Play on the top right of your screen to preview the pronunciation.
  10. Tap the back button on the top left when you're finished.

    Type in the pronunciation, tap Play to preview it, tap the back button when you are finished

You can then select the language in which you want to replace the pronunciation, the voice, whether or not that pronunciation is applied to all apps, and whether or not to ignore case.

Questions?

Let us know in the comments below!