How to make your Mac speak with a simple Terminal command

It’s possible to force your Mac to say anything you want with a simple command line from the Terminal app. Not only does this allow for some good old-fashioned fun, but it can even come in handy depending on the situation.

In this short tutorial, we’ll show you how to make your Mac speak whatever you want it to.

Make Mac's Terminal speak anything you want

Making your Mac speak with the Terminal app

This is really just a novelty feature, but we still think it’s a fun one. If you’re a DJ trying to entertain guests at a party, it could be a humorous way to start off the party or to make announcements during a song.

Moreover, having your Mac say things might be a simple way for you to learn the pronunciation of something or to simply entertain yourself and your friends.

Whatever the reason, let’s show you how to make your Mac speak.

Choose the voice you want

macOS comes with a number of voices preinstalled in the operating system. Follow these steps to choose the voice you want to use.

On macOS Ventura and later:

  1. Open System Settings and click Accessibility from the left sidebar.
  2. Pick Spoken Content from the list of options.
  3. Click the menu next to System voice and pick a voice.
Pick System Voice in Mac Accessibility settings

On macOS Monterey and earlier:

  1. Launch the System Preferences app and open the Accessibility preferences pane.
  2. Click Speech on the left.
  3. Click on the System Voice drop-down box to reveal all your voice options.
  4. Select a voice from the menu that appears.
System Voice in Accessibility Speech - make Mac speak

Command your Mac to say anything with Terminal

Now that you have picked the voice you want to use for when your Mac says what you command it to say, you can get to perform the command:

  1. Launch the Terminal app on your Mac.
  2. Enter the following command and then press the enter/return key on your keyboard:
say "Anything in these quotation marks will be said by me, your Mac. Go ahead, try it."
Make your Mac speak with this terminal command

The result should be your Mac saying: “Anything in these quotation marks will be said by me, your Mac. Go ahead, try it,” with the voice that you selected earlier in this tutorial. If you didn’t hear anything, check to make sure your volume is up and that the command was entered correctly.

You can change the text in the quotation marks to anything you want, and your Mac will do its best to say everything correctly. For example, the following command will make your Mac say, “Hi iDownloadBlog!”

say "Hi iDownloadBlog!"

As you should expect, voice software is never perfect and will almost always have some kind of trouble pronouncing some things.

Making your Mac say anything you want can be a humorous way to not only entertain yourself but also to entertain kids or an audience. No special software is required, and everything is done simply by way of an incredibly easy Terminal command. What kinds of funny things will you have your Mac say out loud?

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