Podcast #58: Aural Style Sheets

Dennis and Ross explain aural style sheets, a nifty part of CSS2.

Download Web Axe Episode 58 (Aural Style Sheets)

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What are Aural Style Sheets?

A way of controlling speech synthesis and auditory icons with CSS2, usually through a screen reader.

H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6 {
voice-family: paul;
stress: 20;
richness: 90;
cue-before: url("ping.au")

Supported by: Emacspeak, Fonix SpeakThis, and the Opera Browser


  • More control over how screen readers will render your documents
  • Also beneficial for those who want your content in a mobile manor (on the road, exercising, almost podcast-esk)
  • Near future, more devices may access internet that you may want read, such as car

Example: Speak-numeral element

digits: a string of numbers is spoken as a whole number (123 = one hundred twenty-three)

continuous: numbers in a string are read successively (123 = one two three)


  • volume
  • speak
  • pause
  • cure
  • play-during
  • spacial elements (ways to have two voices appear from different areas)
  • voice character
    • speech rate
    • voice family
    • pitch
    • pitch-range
    • stress
    • richness
  • speak-punctuation
  • speak-numeral



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