Convert Text to an Audio File with Mac’s Automator

Have a Mac? Did you know you can highlight text, right-click it, and turn it into a spoken word audio file read aloud by the Mac system voice of your choice? Learn how to create this service by following these simple steps.

1 – Open Automator and Create a New Service


Automator is built into Mac OSX. Go up to FILE > NEW and it will bring up your options.

Pick SERVICE and hit CHOOSE.

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2 – Choose “Text to Audio File” & Drag It Over


By default your service description should read Service receives selected text in any application. If it’s not, adjust your dropdowns so they are.

The Text to Audio File action is found in the 2nd column. Click & drag it into the light blue box next to it.

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3 – Pick a Voice, a Default File Name, and Where It Will Live


These are up to you. To find a voice you like, you can sample them by hitting Play. I set my location to the Desktop so it’s easy to find when it’s done.

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4 – Save the Service & Name It


You can use FILE > SAVE or the keyboard shortcut Command-S. Whatever text you save here will be what you see in your right-click menu when you want to use the service.

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5 – Type Some Text as a Sample & Select It


I typed this up in TextEdit. You can also just select any text. The rule here is: If you can select it, you can make it into an audio file.

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6 – Right-Click or Control-Click the Highlighted Text


With any text selected, right-click or control-click it and you should see your new service listed at the bottom here! Choose it!

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7 – Your File Is Complete!


You should find it on your Desktop as planned. This AIFF file is ready to rock, and good to use in videos or podcasts too!