How to Turn a Text File Into an AudioBook on a Mac

How to Turn a Text File Into an AudioBook on a Mac. The Macintosh Operating System has almost always had a built-in Text to Speech converter. One use of the Text to Speech feature is as a screen reader for those whose vision is impaired, but the speech program can also create audiobooks from any text file.

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Turn a Text File Into an AudioBook on a Mac

You could convert a presentation to an audio file and listen to it on the way, in order to prepare for the speech. There are many public domain books out on the Internet, and if you have ebooks you'd rather listen to instead of read, converting those to audiobooks is a cinch.

Using Automator, a powerful and simple scripting tool in the Mac OS, you'll be able to create a "plug-in" that will create an audio file in "aiff" format that you can play on an iPod or most other media players.

How to Create the Text to AudioBook Plug-in

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Launch Automator. You can find it in the Applications folder on Mac OS X.

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Select "Text" as the starting point in the "Select a starting point to open a new workflow" window.

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Select "TextEdit" from the "Get Content From" drop-down box.

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Make sure "Use text of open TextEdit document" is selected in the second drop-down box.

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Click the "Choose" button.

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Select "Text" from the "Library" list on the far left.

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Double-click "Text to Audio File." You can also click-drag "Text to Audio File" on to the workflow area.

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Set the "System Voice" to "Alex" if you're using Mac OS X Leopard, and "Bruce" if you're using Mac OS X Tiger.

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Type "Audiobook" into the "Save As" text area.

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Select where you'd like the audiobook saved on your computer. By default it saves to the Desktop.

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Click on "File" > "Save As Plug-In" (or use the keyboard shortcut Option-Command-S).

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Type "AudioBook" in the "Save Plug-in As" text box. You can name this however you please, but make sure it's descriptive.

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Select "Finder" in the "Plug-in for" drop-down.

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Click "Save."

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How to Make an AudioBook from a TextEdit Document

Step

Navigate to your text file in the Finder. If you don't have a TextEdit document, copy and paste your text into the TextEdit program in Mac OSX (found in the Applications folder), save it and navigate to this file. Make sure this text file is open as well.

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Right-click or command-click the text file in the Finder. Select "More" > "Automator" > "AudioBook".

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Go to your Desktop and find the file named "AudioBook.aiff."

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Double-click on "AudioBook.aiff" and it should begin playing in iTunes.

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