How do I add voices to Web Reader?

Bookshare Web Reader reads using your device's built-in text-to-speech (TTS) voice. Depending on what kind of device you have, you may be able to select an alternate voice -- see instructions, below. In addition, you can get access to additional voices and enhance the Bookshare Web Reader reading experience by using a compatible extension such as Read&Write from TextHelp or Snap&Read from Don Johnston, both of which are available for the latest Edge, Chrome, and Safari browsers. Learn more about these reading tool extensions.

Windows PC

To change the TTS voice your computer uses to read in Bookshare Web Reader:

Windows 8 and older

  1. Open the start menu, then type "Text to Speech" into the search box. 
  2. Select the option to "Change text to speech settings." 
  3. From the voice drop down box select the voice you wish to use with the Web Reader. 

Windows 10

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu on the bottom left corner of your screen.
  2. Select Control Panel.
  3. Type "text to speech" in the search box on the top right corner of the window, then select "Change text to speech settings."
  4. Select your preferred voice from the Voice Selection drop-down menu, then select the Preview Voice button.
  5. Select the Apply button to save your changes.


To change your computer's Text to Speech voice:

  1. Select the Apple icon on the top left corner of the screen and select "System Preferences." 
  2. Choose the Speech and Dictation option, and from the speech tab select the voice you wish to use.


If you don't like the default voice on your chromebook, and you don't want to use either of the extensions mentioned above, you can purchase high-quality voices from Acapela and incorporate them into Bookshare Web Reader. These voices cost $8-$10 each on average. Here are the instructions:

  1. Go to the Chrome Web Store and search for "Acapela TTS Engine"

  1. Download this extension to your Chromebook.
  2. Select the Acapela icon in the top tool bar, then select “Options.”
  3. You can then test, purchase, and download your desired TTS voices on your Chromebook. (Tip: when sampling the different voices, enter a longer sentence into the box of text that is being read, so you can get a better idea of how each voice sounds.)
  4. Your purchased voices will be available in the Settings menu in Bookshare Web Reader (you may need to restart your Chromebook).

Mobile Devices (iOS, Android)

Bookshare Web Reader isn't fully compatible with mobile devices; however, screen reader users can use VoiceOver or TalkBack to listen to the book. If you're reading on a mobile device, we recommend using a mobile app instead.