macOS High Sierra

Voices pane of the Speech category

Use the Voices pane of the Speech category in VoiceOver Utility to mute speech and customize voice settings for your default language and additional languages.

To open VoiceOver Utility, press Command-F5 to turn VoiceOver on, then press VO-F8.

Note: VO represents the VoiceOver modifier.

Mute Speech

Turn off VoiceOver speech. This option doesn’t affect VoiceOver sound effects or the audio of other apps.


Click the pop-up menu, then choose a default voice for VoiceOver, such as Alex Compact.

To make other voices available, choose Customize, then select the voices. Some voices must be downloaded; make sure you’re connected to the Internet.


Set the speed at which the voice speaks.


Click to set additional options for the default voice:

Pitch: How high or low the voice speaks.

Volume: How loudly or softly the voice speaks.

Intonation: How the voice rises and falls as it speaks.

To set voices and options for specific items, such as status or attributes, click the Additional options button .

Add button

Add a language, then choose and customize the voice you want VoiceOver to use when reading in that language.

If VoiceOver detects that a language has been associated with text that it’s reading, it automatically switches to another voice and reads the text in that language.

Remove button

Remove a language you added.