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I am using the Chrome browser and I know OS X has built-in voice synthesis that can speak to assist visually impaired users.

Can I use this feature to have the computer read contents of websites for me? Eg., I'd like to select a couple of paragraphs and have them read.

I know Safari has that built-in, but for one, there I don't know how to change the voice (e.g. I'd prefer a male voice), and secondly, I'd prefer to have it with Chrome.

Is it possible?

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OS X's built in screen reader, VoiceOver, works in Chrome.

To enable it, go to System Preferences-> Universal Access-> Seeing and toggle the VoiceOver: radio group to On. You will also be able to check the shortcut key for easily enabing/disabling VoiceOver.

I recommend you take some time and familiarize yourself with VoiceOver; it's very powerful but takes some getting used to.

Click the VoiceOver Utility button to configure VoiceOver. This lets you change, among many other options, the voice and speaking speed.

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Fortunately, someone (me) developed a Chrome extension that does exactly what you're looking for: Announcify

PS: Sorry for shamelessly advertising my own products.

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