I have a 40 page Pages document which is a transcript from a hand written diary. I wish to use Text to Speech to read passages from my Pages document so that I can check the text against the original version. This works well except that when highlighting a portion of text in the document and I wish to stop (pause) the Text to Speech it only starts at the beginning of the highlighted text and not restarting from the point of being paused.

If I use the start/stop keyboard shortcut in Text to Speech system preferences the situation is worse. No matter if you have a highlighted portion of text it will restart from the beginning of the document!!

So the question is How to pause the text to speech process rather than stopping it?

  • I have the same problem. In the previous versions of Pages, the text-to-speech hot keys would toggle between reading/not reading only the highlighted portion of text. Now a toggle restarts the reading from the top of the document. – user117059 Mar 5 '15 at 18:38
  • I've tagged this OS X, but please edit the question (and tags if needed) if you are using pages on iOS. Bonus points for adding the version of the OS too. – bmike Mar 5 '15 at 19:25

This is a feature people wanted for a long time but it never came. An alternative is to use voice over but it doesn't really allow you to read out loud the highlighted text, it has to be the entire document. To activate it the default shortcut is command F5. You have to enable it in setting, just search for voice over.

There is one other way. You can save the entire document as txt file and open it with any browser of yours, tested on chrome or safari. Select all and right click, then "add to itunes as spoken track." It will take a few minutes and then you will have an audio file you can play. Press pause key on the keyboard to pause or resume while reading.

  • thanks 'aeroxy', your tip is genius, even apple geniuses at apple shops couldn't provide this answer. I want to add, you can transfer the aiff file to iphone as well and get it to read like my much cherished app, voice a loud, that let androids speak , repeat , pause etc. a feature iphone never had. I also downloaded a lovely human female scottish voice, 'Fiona' , much better than robotic sounds you get with many other voices – NiXon MacChan Oct 28 '17 at 20:30

What you want is Capti, Ghost reader, or Kurzweil.

Capti is free, so it's probably the best (especially since it is pretty good quality). It highlights, pauses, etc. And you can export to your phone. Unlike with mp3's or other audio files, it reads it as text, so it doesn't take up tons of space on your phone.

Ghost reader is also good, but costs money and can't export

Kurzweil is a premium software, but honestly I wouldn't invest in it because it's more for dyslexia and learning than just text to speech.

I know voice dream reader might also do what you want, but I've never tested it.

Speechify is close, but the desktop version isn't exactly what you want (it rsvp reads), the phone is.

The only potential downside is that Capti can crash a bit with HUGE documents.

If you're on Windows, get balabolka. It does what you want. And you can convert to MP3 if you want.


You can download Dictater. It offers all the features that you needed from text to speech. Check out the list of features found on the site:


  • Pause the audio
  • Skip forward by sentences or paragraphs
  • Replay sentences
  • Progress Indicator
  • Teleprompter Mode - Read along with audio

You can select the part you want and let it read only that part


add [[slnc 1000]] for pause of 1 second

add [[slnc 2000]] for pause of 2 seconds

and so on...

  • 2
    How can this be done while reading a document? Can you please edit your answer to address the problem indicated by the OP? – fsb Feb 17 '17 at 15:46
let text = "Text you would like to hear with [[slnc 10000]] pause for 10 seconds. [[slnc 4000]]. It is AppleScript programming language"
-- open it in Script Editor
say text

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protected by Monomeeth Oct 30 '17 at 4:04

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