I hadn't looked in a while, so I was glad to take a peek at the Chrome Store to see what was available now. After playing with several and reading Chrome Store reviews, I found one that I can easily recommend: Read Aloud. It is free with no hidden charges.
|Note the bullhorn extension icon for Read Aloud in the upper right.|
- It is easy to use!
- It grabs text from the website, simplifies the font/formatting, and puts it in an easy to read “box”; it then highlights text as it reads (although in settings, you can turn highlighting off).
- Multiple male and female voices are available in a fairly normal “American” accent. These are included at no charge. (Many TTS tools have only one voice with an English affect, or additional voices cost additional money.)
- It works on Google Docs. (Many do not!)
- You can adjust speed and pitch. (Many only have this option for a premium/paid version.)
- It is one of the few TTS tools that can read a PDF that is opened inside a tab of your Chrome browser.
- It is important to note that while typical websites should be fine, Read Aloud will NOT work inside a learning management system (LMS) such as Schoology or Edmodo. However, this is true of nearly all TTS extensions (such as Read & Write), paid or free.
Do you recommend a different text to speech Chrome extension that is free? Share in the Comments below.