How to use text-to-speech on Discord

Discord users already know what can be a useful and fun communication app. Originally designed for gamers, Discord now encourages communities and group chats to form nearly any type of fan or topic - specializing in everything from humorous laughter to training guides.

How to use text-to-speech on Discord
Use text-to-speech on Discord

This kind of ease of use is great, but it also means that you can sometimes run into communication issues - perhaps a language barrier or an accessibility issue related to a disability. Or maybe when things get boring, you just want to enjoy some audio cues. And while Discord has both text and audio channels, not everyone knows that you can give audio capabilities to a text channel anytime you want with its text-to-speech (TTS) feature. Here's how to activate it and make sure it works!

Go to Discord settings

Open your Discord app. This guide focuses on the client for your Mac or PC, but if you use an extension or web connection instead, you can still find the same features, although things may look a little different.

Look at the bottom of the Discord window and you'll see a gear icon next to the headphone icon - this is your settings tool. Select it to open a side window on the left with all of your Discord settings (and if you've never explored those settings before, we encourage you to take a closer look when you're done here because a lot of them are useful).

Find the text-to-speech feature

The settings menu is divided into several sections. Start by looking for the section that refers to app settings. Below that, find and select the option that says Text & Images. This is a great section for controlling what Discord chats look like on a specific channel. 

You can enable or disable emoji interactions and animated emoji, for example. But for now, we're only interested in one feature: scroll down until you find the section that says text-to-speech.

Enable the TTS function

In the text-to-speech section, you will see a feature that says Allow reading and using the / tts command. Make sure this switch is on. You can now use text-to-speech whenever you want!

Fortunately, the text-to-speech (TTS) process on Discord is pretty straightforward. Go to your channel and type "/ tts", then write your message. Hit Enter and your message will appear in the channel without the tts tag. However, this command will also cause a voice robot to read your message aloud when it is sent.

Enable channel notifications as necessary

There is something more important that needs to be done. Refer to the settings section referring to the application settings. You should now find the option that says Notifications. Select it and it will show you all the different alerts and notifications that Discord sent you. It's not so much about text-to-speech, but scroll down until you get to the section called Text-to-Speech Notifications.

Here you will have three options to choose from:

  1. For all channels: This plays all text messages on any Discord channels you are a part of. Users also don't need to use the command "/ tts" - any text message sent by the voice robot will be read. This setting is primarily intended for accessibility, and while it can be very useful for those who cannot see, it's way too much for the average user.
  2. For the currently selected channel: The channel you are currently browsing will read all messages in the audio tuning. This can be useful for accessibility, but it can also be important if you are busy doing other things on your computer but still want to follow a channel conversation - that way all new messages will be read aloud automatically while you can focus on other things.
  3. Never: By selecting "never," the system will never read your text aloud. Even if someone uses the specified "/ tts" command, they will remain silent. This tool is a good way to boost privacy and stop spammers.

You don't have to choose one of the three options listed above. It is not necessary to use or take advantage of the TTS feature on Discord. However, this is an essential step for several other reasons. For starters, you might want to hear virtually all of the messages from the channel you're in, not just the messages that you write personally. 

Second, it's good to remember that other people can always turn off all TTS features in Discord. Many users will do this in case the user sends spam to text-to-speech fonts which is frustrating. Therefore, if other users are set to Never, they will not be able to hear your messages out loud.

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