What is text-to-speech technology (TTS)?

ByThe Understood Team

At a glance

  • Text-to-speech (TTS) technology reads aloud digital text — the words on computers, smartphones, and tablets.

  • TTS can help people who struggle with reading.

  • There are TTS tools available for nearly every digital device.

Text-to-speech (TTS) is a type of assistive technology that reads digital text aloud. It’s sometimes called “read aloud” technology.

With a click of a button or the touch of a finger, TTS can take words on a computer or other digital device and convert them into audio. TTS is very helpful for kids and adults who struggle with reading. But it can also help with writing and editing, and even with focusing.

TTS works with nearly every personal digital device, including computers, smartphones, and tablets. All kinds of text files can be read aloud, including Word and Pages documents. Even online web pages can be read aloud.

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About the author

About the author

The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Jamie Martin is an assistive technology specialist at the New England Assistive Technology Center (NEAT) in Hartford, Connecticut.