These software provide audible versions of electronic text in websites, eBooks, PDFs, Word docs, and basically any file that appropriately has text. This is the same software that allows Siri and Android Assistants to “speak” text on smartphones. Some devices have robust native text-to-speech systems, such as Apple’s Speech/Spoken Content feature, while others require additional installations or apps.

If you are approved for text-to-speech accommodations, feel free to sign up to get trained on these technologies using the following link.

Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil 3000 is a robust software that allows users to hear text aloud. In addition to listening to text, users can highlight vital information, create OCR readable PDFs, create mind-maps, print notes, and even create audio notes using the audio-note-tool.

Important: All members of the Yale community, regardless of disability, have free access to Kurzweil 3000. Please e-mail sasat@yale.edu for access.

Online guides and help articles can be accessed at the Kurzweil Academy.


NaturalReader is a web and app-based text-to-speech reader for PDFs, Word Docs, and various other electronic files. The benefit of this software is that the premium voices allow students to have a wider range of natural sounding voices that work for them. In addition to using the app on a smartphone, this can also can be installed as a browser plug-in. 

While anyone can use the Free version of NaturalReader, which allows unlimited use of the Free voices and limited use of the Premium and Plus voices, SAS offers a Premium subscription tostudents with concussions, which supports unlimited use of the Free and Premium voices and limited use of the Plus voices.

If you need natural-sounding text-to-speech assistance but do not have this accommodation, please see Microsoft Edge and Word below.

Microsoft Edge

The Microsoft Edge browser comes with a built-in read aloud function. This can be activated by either highlighting text and then right clicking the text to select “Read Aloud” or it can be activated by the open book button in the Edge address bar. This feature has an array of voices that can be adjusted for speed and other aspects of reading. Reading of PDFs is also supported. Learn more about this feature.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word also includes natural-sounding voices (the specific voices available depend on the operating system). Learn how to use this feature.

Apple Spoken Content

A native feature found in Apple devices under the system preferences menu. Allows a user to highlight and then press a shortcut key (option+esc for Macs, highlight and press speak on iPhones) to have the highlighted content read out loud. Limited voices but can alter reading speeds.

Adobe Acrobat Reader

A PDF viewer that has an internal text-to-speech Read Aloud feature. This feature can be found in the View tab in the menu bar. The downside of using the Adobe Acrobat Reader is that the documents are not always immediately accessible, and this software is not as robust in features. This does not allow for custom voices or speed adjustment when having text read aloud.