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iOS text to speech from iBooks iOS devices
Our sister publication, Macworld UK, published a neat hint on recently, showing how to have an iOS device read texts from iBooks. iOS has accessibility features that can perform text to speech, but you need to know the trick to get this to work in iBooks.

First, turn on text to speech: go to Settings > General > Accessibility, and set Speak Selection to On.

Next, in a book, switch to scroll mode (tap the aA icon, then tap Themes to get to this theme), you can select a word and drag the selection far ahead in the book. Then, in the menu that displays, tap on Speak.

You can use this technique to have text spoken in any document, and there is a limitation in iBooks, where you can't select all the text and have it spoken. Since selecting is annoying - having to drag the handle a very long way - you may find this troublesome, but if you really want to have a text spoken, this lets you do so, even in iBooks, which is read-only.
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iOS text to speech from iBooks
Authored by: 0oBBh0XSJpwG on Mar 21, '13 08:12:21AM

You should read the comments of the macworld article you are referencing: they say correctly that reading books from cover to cover has been available since accessibility is there. You only need to figure out the gestures for reading. Or do you expect blind users to select the text they want to be spoken?

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iOS text to speech from iBooks
Authored by: Mike Perry on Mar 21, '13 04:51:51PM
It's a bit of trouble, but a lot of OS X keyboard commands will work with iOS, including Command-A to select all the text. I just checked, and it does select all the text in a book. You'll have to hook up Apple's Bluetooth keyboard, but it will beat a lot of scrolling. Also, there is this from the MacWorld UK comments to this article:
This is actually rather a limited way to use iBooks for audiobooks. What is clearly even less well known is that you can use VoiceOver to read iBooks from cover to cover, without quite such complicated gestures -- and it's been available long before Siri was even a twinkle in Steve Jobs' eye. It is an absolute boon -- since I discovered this just over two years ago I have read about 70 books. Just turn VoiceOver on, tap a line in a book and then swipe down with two fingers. VoiceOver will now read the whole book to you without further intervention.
Maybe, maybe not. I've raised the problem with Apple's accessibility options with their team. It's designed in consultation with disability superusers, I told them. Ordinary people are overwhelmed by all the options. Turn on the features and your blasted Mac or iPad does voice-over for everything. You can't just use it to read the text on a web page or, as here, in a book. In my case, I couldn't get the feature to work with iBooks. I keep getting warnings and, when I exited settings, Voice Over was turned off. Why it would do that is beyond me. And if I can't manage, image what it's like for those with actual disabilities.

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