Change Pronunciations In Mac OS X Lion’s VoiceOver Utility [Tip]


When Steve Jobs first introduced Mac and its voice utility, people went crazy. It was novel, to say the least, and of course, the fascination of having your computer talk to you fed the hype around it. If you look at it today, talking computers aren’t a big deal, and perhaps very few people now use the built-in Voice Utility. However, for the select few who do, Lee, Daniel, Kathy, Vicki, Victoria, Alex, Bruce and Fred might not be saying all the words just right. It’s a given that a voice utility can’t get all the words right, but the native Mac VoiceOver Utility makes allowance for that by allowing you to modify the pronunciation for a word. Read on for details.

Go to Applications\Utilities and launch the VoiceOver Utility. Open it’s preferences and go to Speech, where you will find a Pronunciation tab.

Mac Pronunciations

Use the plus sign at the bottom to add a new word. The Text is the word for which you want to enter pronunciation, while the Substitution is the pronunciation of the word. Application is where you will specify if the word should be pronounced the way it has been entered in all or a single app. Check or uncheck Ignore Case if the word you’ve entered may be written in capital or small lettering.

It might take you a few tries to get the pronunciation just right, but you don’t need to be a linguist to teach an old (or new) Mac new tricks. You can train the utility to pronounce names of gadgets, foreign foods and even your cat’s name.

  • Rick Costel

    I wish there was an add-on language pack that just added all these phrases. Like a user collective that people could add to and submit their words via internet.