Make Your Mac Speak To You With OS X [Feature]

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Make Your Mac Speak To You

It’s the future, already, right? While we may not have flying cars or jetpacks, we do have computers ad mobile devices that we can speak to and that can speak to us.

Here are a few ways to make your Mac speak to you in a variety of ways. Make it read books to you right from the Kindle app, change text documents into audio files for easy transport, and even let you know when your Terminal session is finished. If that isn’t enough, we’ll even show you how to get better voices to do all this with, even in different languages. So settle in and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Understand Your Mac Better With High Quality Voices [OS X Tips]

Add Voices

Mention having a computer read a book to them, and most people will give you that look. You know that look, the one that says, “I hate those goofy robot voices. I want a real person to read to me.”

While there’s no current way to make a computer voice sound like an actual human voice, many of the built in voices are much better these days. In addition, there are some high quality voices you may not even know you have built right into OS X Lion. Here’s how to enable them for use.

Have Your Mac Read eBooks To You [OS X Tips]

Mac Reads eBooks

Lots of us like to listen to audiobooks, and lots of us buy ebooks across a variety of services and devices. If you own an iPad, for instance, you might download audio books from iTunes or iBooks from that particular app, and then read right on your iPad. If you want to listen to iBooks, or have a visual impairment that makes it tough to see the text on the iPad screen, you can turn on VoiceOver and have the iBook read to you.

What about the Mac, you might ask? Can’t you just turn on VoiceOver on the Mac and have it read ebooks to you? Not if you use an e-Reader software like Kindle or Nook, you can’t. There is a way to get your Mac to read Kindle books to you, out loud, with its built-in text to speech software, but it’s not as intuitive as you might think. Here’s how.

Get Terminal To Tell You When It’s Done [OS X Tips]

Speak Terminal

Terminal has tons of great applications on the Mac. By accessing the Unix underpinnings of Mac OS X, Terminal allows power users and newbies alike to do things with their Mac that may not be enabled out of the box.

Code monkeys and script jockeys frequently use Terminal to run longer processes than typical, like compiling code (the process of making all those little lines of code into an app that will run on your Mac) or running scripts. When they finish, they finish. There’s no built in way to know that they’re done.