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The KDE Text-To-Speech System, Jovie

The name of this application has changed!

Prior to KDE SC 3.5, this application was known as KTTS. The name has changed to Jovie. Depending on your distribution, you may still see KTTS installed on your system or in your distributions package repositories.


  • Converts text into audio
  • Highly Configurable
    • Substitute misspoken words
    • Choose speech synthesizers
    • Configure Audio Output
    • Manage Jobs
  • Runs in the System Tray
  • Integrates with most KDE applications
    • Speak text from clipboard
    • Speak all or sections of text file in Kate
    • Speak all or sections of HTML page in Konqueror
    • Can be used for notifications (KNotify)


The KDE Text-To-Speech System Jovie is an application that can run in the background to provide speech output of text throughout the desktop. It integrates with many applications and is simple to use.


Once installed you can start Jovie by going to your applications menu and under Utilites open jovie. Or just start KRunner Alt+F2 and run


. Jovie is not initially setup and you will need to do this before using its speaking abilities.


You can also access the configuration from System Settings

The first step is to make sure you have a compatible speech engine installed. The following synthesizers are compatible with Jovie: Festival, Festival Lite (flite), Hadifix, Epos, and FreeTTS. Any engine that can be run from commandline can also be used with Jovie.

Now you can continue on and create a Talker. Select the tab Talker from the Text-to-Speech Control Module and click Add.

Select which language and synthesizer to use. You will need to have a voice installed to use Festival, you can configure this afterwards by selecting the Edit button. Jovie should now be setup and you can test it by selecting Edit and then Test.


To configure the speaker's voice, volume, speed, and pitch go to the Talkers tab and click Edit on the speaker. A window such as the one in the above screenshot will popup and allow you to configure it. To change the voice you will need to have other voices installed.

Using Jovie

System Tray

If enabled in the configuration, Jovie will be availabe to you in the System Tray. Right-clicking it will reveal the menu which is straight forward and allows for control of the speech output.

Notice the Speak Clipboard Contents in the menu, if the application isn't integrated with Jovie (Read more about the applications with Jovie built-in in the next section) you can copy the text you want spoken, and click Speak Clipboard Contents to hear it read.

Integration with other Desktop Applications


Jovie allows you to speak the text on a web page. In the menu go to Tools -> Speak Text. However you may not want to do this because it will also read the HTML headers on the page. Instead highlight the text you want spoken and then select Speak Text.

Also note this feature is built into Okular as well. In the Tools menu you will be give two choices Speak Whole Document or Speak Current Page.


Jovie works with any application that uses notifications. To set this up start an application such as Konversation that uses notifications. In the menu go to Settings -> Configure Notifications...

As you can see you can have various notifications for different events, such as when someone triggers a highlight. By selecting it to speak for this event it will notify you through audio output each time this event happens. Of course you can also have more than one notification.


If an application doesn't include the ability to speak text remember that you can always highlight and copy text and then use Jovie to speak your clipboard contents.


If Jovie is silent despite having added a voice, try running the speech-dispatcher configuration tool on the command line.


For more information check out the Jovie Handbook included with Jovie or the Jovie handbook.