Using Mac’s Text-to-Speech with Mac Kindle App

Filed under: Mac Tips | Tags: , |

I like having Apple’s text-to-speech read websites to me while I scan other pages, or check email. I was wondering if I could do the same with my Kindle books.

I currently use the $79 Kindle, which doesn’t have a headphone jack (so no text-to-speech possible there). Also, a number of Kindle books do not have text to speech enabled, anyway.

So, I found myself wondering if there was any way to use Apple’s built-in text to speech to read Kindle books?

The answer was a surprisingly simple “Yes!” “Yes, but only for a while — see update below”

  1. Download the Kindle for Mac desktop app.
  2. Load up your favorite book (even if it has Kindle’s own text-to-speech disabled).
  3. Reduce the font to the smallest setting. This lets you select more text in the next step.
  4. Highlight all the text.
  5. Press the text-to-speech hotkey in you selected in System Preferences > Speech > Text to Speech.

Enjoy your favorite Apple text-to-speech voice read your book to you!

UPDATE: This works until you reach the copy limit for the ebook. The process described above acts as “copying.” Then, you get a warning, and then you can’t use the process anymore. Have I mentioned how much DRM sucks?


  • Brian J. Dixon

    Great post. There’s got to be a workaround to this. Accessibility is covered under DMCA. TTS would be a wonderful alternative to niche books where the publisher doesn’t offer an audiobook version.

    • TomaszStasiuk

      True. However, even when there is an audiobook available, I that doesn’t prevent you from having the book read to you. If I want the computer to read it to me, I don’t see why I can’t have that. It’s not stepping on the audiobook rights any more than having a person read the book to me. 

  • mark

    I just ran into the copy limit… i am a slow reader and I just got through a couple of chapters in no time… I was really pissed when I got to the “copy limit”… Does this happen on Kindle for PC?

  • Ria Wilder

    You are a life saver! Thanks.

  • ryan

    Thank you!

  • Ben

    does not work for me

  • Leon

    Does not work for me