For a variety of reasons I am very interested in having audio versions of various texts. In some cases I can get these texts in LaTeX format (with equations). Obviously I can use "normal" text-to-speech programs for reading ascii plain text or pdf/ps OCR produced ascii. Unfortunately this renders the mathematics nearly unintelligible.

Are there are any programs or packages specifically designed for rendering either TeX code generally, or math-oriented TeX code specifically, into text-to-speech friendly forms?

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    Ross Moore's presentations from the last three TUGs might be interesting for you. From TUG 2009, TUG 2010 and TUG 2011. Dec 8, 2011 at 21:25
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    Am I right that ConTeXt can generate MathML? If yes, this is another way to go - I would suppose that text-to-speech thingies for MathML do exist. (And converting proper LaTeX to ConTeXt, if we allow to lose the exact same formatting, shouldn't be difficult; AFAIR, there's even a ConTeXt module which accepts LaTeX syntax.)
    – mbork
    Dec 8, 2011 at 21:52
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    the problem with mathml is that "presentation mathml" can be totally obscure, and "content mathml" doesn't yet (and may never) exist. sigh. Dec 8, 2011 at 22:30
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    in addition to my bounty question above: Raman worked on both Emacspeak and ChromeVox; are either of these practical ... ?
    – Ben Bolker
    Dec 8, 2021 at 22:42
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    Related: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/454944/… @BenBolker Dec 9, 2021 at 1:00

3 Answers 3


The seminal work on converting TeX to spoken words (from the pre-PDF age) is by T.V. Raman. Today one would generate tagged PDF, which is possible with ConTeXt.

  • Do you have any idea where or if the packages he uses in there (like TeXTALK) are available?
    – guillefix
    May 13, 2014 at 20:56
  • @guillefix: No. But he's still alive. May 13, 2014 at 21:07

Unfortunately this renders the mathematics nearly unintelligible.

Have you tried InftyReader? It OCR's math really well for me, and it can output it as MathML. I haven then looked for programs that would convert MathML to speech and have only found MathPlayer, mentioned in this thread on ResearchGate; but it can only read math from IE9. I have also found this Android app that purportedly "Displays and reads MathML content", but haven't got it to work yet. The TeXTaLK pachage mentioned in Martin's answer's link seems to only be found in that article only, from my Google searches.

This question is quite old, so if anyone has found anything new, please let me know as well!


I have had reasonable success with pandoc, as it transcribes latex into UTF-8.

I use:

pandoc -f latex -t plain frugal2.tex > out.txt

espeak-ng -f out.txt -w /tmp/a.wav
  • 2
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    Mar 30 at 17:27

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