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I am a very heavy text to speech user on the Mac. Every time I use text to speech I have to triple click the paragraph to select it, and then hit option escape to activate text to speech. I wish that instead I could just option click a paragraph and it would immediately start speaking. I imagine this could be achieved using Automator or a similar tool combined with shortcuts? Does anybody know how to make this happen?

Action I wish existed for text to speech: Option + click = highlight the entire paragraph and immediately begin reading = triple click + (option + Escape)

  • Using something like Karabiner you should be able to simulate the triple click and send the Option+Escape shortcut to trigger text to speech. – tubedogg Sep 8 '16 at 3:49
  • Additional needed commands: 1. Highlight and begin reading all text in document downstream of click: Command + Option + Click = command + shift + down arrow + (option + Escape) 2. Command + Shift + S = Stop text to speech midway, when clicked again start 2 seconds earlier from where the voice stopped speaking. – Cliff Weitzman Sep 8 '16 at 4:12
  • @tubedogg thanks for the suggestion. I tried Karabiner, it looks very promising but I have yet to get it to work: Here is my current XML attempt which does not work: <item> <name>Click Speak</name> <identifier>private.option_click_to_speak</identifier> <name>Option+LeftClick to Option+RightClick</name> <autogen> __KeyToKey__ PointingButton::LEFT, MODIFIERFLAG_EITHER_LEFT_OR_RIGHT_OPTION, PointingButton::MULTICLICK KeyCode::OPTION, ESCAPE </autogen> </item> – Cliff Weitzman Sep 8 '16 at 18:06
  • I'll take a look at it later, but right off the bat, you need to change OPTION near the end to ModifierFlag::OPTION_L. – tubedogg Sep 8 '16 at 18:09
  • wow that was a fast responce! Will do now – Cliff Weitzman Sep 8 '16 at 18:10
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Here is an item that you can put in your Karabiner private.xml file to make Option-Escape highlight the current paragraph (under your mouse cursor) and being reading it.

I also implemented the command for stopping it as you requested (Command-Shift-S) though I don't believe there's a way to go back two seconds and start reading again.

<item>
    <identifier>private.tripleclick</identifier>
    <name>Option-Escape to Triple-Click and Text-to-Speech</name>
    <autogen>
        __KeyToKey__
        KeyCode::ESCAPE, ModifierFlag::OPTION_L,

        @begin
        PointingButton::LEFT, PointingButton::LEFT, PointingButton::LEFT,
        KeyCode::ESCAPE, ModifierFlag::OPTION_L
        @end
    </autogen>
</item>
<item>
    <identifier>private.stoptts</identifier>
    <name>Command-Shift-S stops Text-to-Speech</name>
    <autogen>
        __KeyToKey__
        KeyCode::S, ModifierFlag::COMMAND_L, ModifierFlag::SHIFT_L,
        KeyCode::ESCAPE, ModifierFlag::OPTION_L
    </autogen>
</item>
  • Thank you @tubedogg! I implemented this but it does not seem to work for me. When I hit option escape in Notes now for example, it highlights the entire document and starts reading it. However, for a computer where text to speech is enabled with the option escape shortcut. This is standard. When trying this on, when trying it in chrome on medium for example this does not seem to work for me. I tried tinkering with it but did not get it to work. What application did you test this with? Maybe I'm setting something up wrong with Karabiner. Thank you so so much for the help. I really appreciate it – Cliff Weitzman Sep 10 '16 at 18:20
  • Just to make sure, did you use the Reload XML button in Karabiner and then enable these two items in Karabiner's preferences? Otherwise, the normal Option-Escape command will happen instead. I tested this on Chrome (actually tested it again just now) and it seems to be working fine for me. Also, make sure you have <?xml version="1.0"?> on the first line of your private.xml file, <root> on the second, and </root> on the last line. – tubedogg Sep 10 '16 at 20:35

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