How to use Google text-to-speech on your Android phone to hear text instead of reading it

You can enable Google's text-to-speech feature on your Android phone to help with grammar and phrasing.

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You can enable Google’s text-to-speech feature on your Android phone to help with grammar and phrasing.
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Westend61/Getty Images

Speech-to-text is a popular productivity hack that many use to more quickly and easily create written sentences.

Its counterpart, text-to-speech, can help with productivity too, albeit in a different way: By hearing the text read back to you in a robotic voice, you may be able to catch skipped words, grammar mistakes, and awkward phrasing.

Here’s what you need to know to start using text-to-speech on your Android:

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How to enable Google text-to-speech

1. Go into your device’s settings.

2. Tap “Accessibility.”

Google's text-to-speech feature reads back sentences to you in a robotic voice to help you catch grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and awkward phrasing.

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Google’s text-to-speech feature reads back sentences to you in a robotic voice to help you catch grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and awkward phrasing.
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Devon Delfino/Business Insider

3. Depending on your device, you may need to tap “Vision.”

4. Choose “Select to speak.”

You can enable the Google text-to-speech feature to read back to you multiple sections of text.

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You can enable the Google text-to-speech feature to read back to you multiple sections of text.
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Devon Delfino/Business Insider

5. Toggle the feature on and confirm by tapping “Ok” in the pop-up window.

Toggle the Google text-to-speech feature on by clicking

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Toggle the Google text-to-speech feature on by clicking “Ok.”
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Devon Delfino/Business Insider

Depending on your device, you will either see a circle pop-up with the text-to-speech icon, or it will appear in the lower-right corner of your screen.

How to use Google text-to-speech

Once you’ve set up the feature and you’ve navigated to a bit of text you want to have read back to you, here’s what you’ll need to do:

1. Tap the text-to-speech icon – you’ll see a red stop button appear, with a greyed-out play button next to it.

2. Tap and select the speech you want read back to you. Drag your finger across the screen if there is more than one section, or press the play button to have everything on the screen read back to you, including button commands.

Google's text-to-speech feature can even read back button commands to you.

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Google’s text-to-speech feature can even read back button commands to you.
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Devon Delfino/Business Insider

3. Tap the play button to begin the text-to-speech playback.

If you tap the carrot to the side of the icon, you’ll also see the ability to pause the read-back, or go back or forward.

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