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How to listen to Web sites in Chrome

Whether you have a need for text-to-speech or you just want to give your eyes a break, there's an easy solution.

Text-to-speech can assist people with disabilities in using computers or read documents to people while their eyes' attention is needed elsewhere.

Chrome Speak, an extension available for Google Chrome, offers the ability to listen to text on any Web site. The extension doesn't require any Internet connection, making it a bit faster than many other TTS extensions. Here's how to get started with using it:

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Step 1: Install Chrome Speak from the Google Chrome Web store.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Step 2: Right-click on the headphones icon to adjust the extensions settings. Here you can tinker with how fast the voice will speak, what kind of voice will speak, and even use a stop button when you've heard enough.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Step 3: Highlight text that you want the extension to read to you, and then right-click and choose Read the selected text.

Despite being an extension that can be used for serious purposes, you can also use it for some fun. Head to a funny Web site or even a user forum (4chan, anyone?) and listen to the robotic voice read comments aloud--it's sure to give you a laugh.