Accessibility: reading web content aloud

 

All the main browsers have free, easy to use tools that let you hear web pages read aloud.

Chrome

Chrome does not currently appear to have a built-in tool for reading pages aloud, but there are several extensions you can use. For example, try the “Read Aloud” extension. 

Once installed, a Read Aloud icon appears in your browser. Clicking it displays the main page content in a simplified form – and reads it aloud! It also has tools to adjust the text size.

 
The Read Aloud extension in Google's Chrome browser.
The Read Aloud extension in Google's Chrome browser.
 

Firefox

Firefox has a built-in ‘Reader View’ button, next to the address bar at the top of the browser. ‘Reader View’ displays the page’s main text content with simple styling and no distracting clutter. On the left of the text are tools allowing you to listen to the page read aloud or change the text size.

Safari (desktop)

Go to
Edit > Speech > Start speaking
in the Safari application menu.

You can choose to read the whole page (including the navigation and everything else), or you can click the “reader view” icon if you only want to read the main page content.

IOS

IOS has built-in settings for reading content aloud. Go to
Settings > Accessibility > Spoken Content
to select your preferences.
The iPhone User Guide has full information.

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer has a range of tools for people who want to listen rather than read.

ReadAloud is a powerful text-to-speech app which can read aloud web pages, news, documents, e-books or your own custom contents.”

Like most operating systems, Windows has its own built-in screen reading tools. See “Hear text read aloud with Narrator” for more information.

A note on “Reader View”

Many of these tools share the “Reader View” concept, intended to display the main page content in a simple, text-only format. While this can work well for pages that have clear and unambiguous main content, it is less effective on pages where it is not so easy to identify and isolate a single main article.