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Mac Automation: Make your text speak its mind


Have you ever wanted to type something into your Mac and have it record what you typed audibly using any one of the Mac OS X voices? It's easily done with a few Automator actions, and in this Mac Automation post, I'll show you how.

Open Automator and find the following actions, then drag them to the workflow area (in the same order):
  • Get Specified Text
  • Text to Audio File

Running the workflow
With these two actions in place, you can enter text into the Get Specified Text action, and a file name in the Text to Audio File action, and run it with great results. The text that you enter will be magically encoded into audio using the specified voice in the audio file action.

Read on to learn more about saving the workflow, and adding additional options. Saving the workflow
You can extend this workflow by saving it as an application, and have it available to use without ever launching Automator. Before you start saving as an app, however, you must check the options for the actions. Click options on the Text to Audio File action and check the box that says "Show this action when the workflow runs." This option will allow you to change settings for this action when it opens as an app.

When you save the workflow as an application, it will appear just like an application file (.app) and will allow you to run the workflow by double-clicking (just like a real application) on the icon. You can save a workflow like this by clicking File > Save, and selecting "application" from the Format drop-down menu.

Adding options
If you wanted to add the audio file to iTunes, then you could optionally add the "Import Files into iTunes" action, which would, as the title says, import it into iTunes. You could also add the "Add Songs to iPod" action, which would place the audio file on any connected iPod.


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Have you ever wanted to type something into your Mac and have it record what you typed audibly using any one of the Mac OS X voices? It's...