Is there any way to add a pronunciation to OSX text to speech service? I've google for the last few hours without a solution.

  • Are you selecting text and running the contextual menu Start Speaking command? You could create an Automator service that replaces text within a selection before passing it on to be spoken. See apple.stackexchange.com/questions/204299/french-narrator/… for a service that speaks. Aug 10, 2016 at 12:41
  • I'm currently doing it with automator, just wondering if there's a more natural way. Aug 10, 2016 at 12:46

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can affect macOS's text to speech pronunciation. Everything you need to know is in Apple's Speech Synthesis in OS X.

Try these two commands in Terminal.app:

say "cat"

Now to have the individual letters spelt out:

say "[[char LTRL]] cat [[char NORM]]"

See Use Embedded Speech Commands to Fine-Tune Spoken Output for a long list of modifiers.

If you need to speak in another language, be sure to use an appropriate voice.

  • How do you go about adding it permanently to the text to speech dictionary? Like if I do say "cat" again it doesn't spell it out again. Aug 10, 2016 at 12:32
  • Please could you ask this as a separate question. Feel free to link back to this question to provide additional context. Aug 10, 2016 at 12:35
  • Sorry, I didn't properly ask what I wanted, I'll modify the question. Aug 10, 2016 at 12:36
  • A separate question would be better. The answer here is useful and may help others. A new question can then directly address the other aspect, how to permanently store these changes. Aug 10, 2016 at 12:38
  • Alright, I posted my other question Aug 10, 2016 at 12:54

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