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🗣 Easy text-to-speech for your Gatsby site, powered by Amazon Polly.


⚠️ This project is under heavy development, so breaking changes may occur on our road to a stable v1.0.0. Any bug reports and contributions will be highly appreciated.

Pull requests are welcome! npm GitHub license


npm install --save gatsby-transformer-polly

How to use


  1. In order to use this plugin you need an AWS account. You can use the text-to-speech service (AWS Polly) for free for the first 12 months (up to a couple million words to be precise).

    Attention: If you exceed the limits or use it after your initial free tier, using this plugin will generate costs in your AWS account!

  2. As this plugin is based on SSML files, the gatsby-source-filesystem is required to be installed and configured as well.

Mandatory configurations


To include this plugin add it to your gatsby-config.js file as follows. Also, make sure you have included an entry for the necessary gatsby-source-filesystem plugin. Now link them together by setting gatsby-transformer-polly’s ssmlFilesSourceInstanceName option to the same value as gatsby-source-filesystem’s name option.

The other options shown in this example are also mandatory:

// In your gatsby-config.js
plugins: [
    resolve: `gatsby-source-filesystem`,
    options: {
      name: `ssml`,
      path: `${__dirname}/src/ssml/`,
    resolve: `gatsby-transformer-polly`,
    options: {
      ssmlFilesSourceInstanceName: `ssml`,
      awsRegion: `us-east-1`,

AWS credentials

The plugin requires your AWS credentials in order to generate the text-to-speech data.

There are two ways to configure your AWS credentials:

  1. (recommended) The recommended way is to create a shared credentials file. You probably already have one if you used the AWS CLI before.
  2. To override the credentials defined in a shared credentials file or to easily build on a CI environment you can optionally pass in the AWS credentials using plugin configuration options:
// In your gatsby-config.js
  resolve: "gatsby-transformer-polly",
  options: {
    awsCredentials: {
      accessKeyId: process.env.GATSBY_AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID,
      secretAccessKey: process.env.GATSBY_AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY,

Attention: If you choose to go with option 2 it is highly recommended to work with environment variables (as seen in the example above)! Do not directly paste your AWS credentials into your gatsby-config.js file and commit it to git as this would be a security issue!

All configurations

Option Required Example
ssmlFilesSourceInstanceName Yes "ssml"
awsRegion Yes "us-east-1"
awsCredentials No { "accessKeyId": process.env.GATSBY_AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID, "secretAccessKey": process.env.GATSBY_AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY }

Create SSML files

As this plugin transforms SSML files into e.g. *.mp3 files or speech mark data, you will have to create some SSML files first.

Create them in the directory defined in the gatsby-source-filesystem declaration inside your gatsby-config.js.

Make sure you only use the SSML tags supported by AWS Polly.

Here is an example SSML file content:

     Hello <break time="300ms"/> World.

Query speech output data

Now you can just query the required data using GraphQL:

const data = useStaticQuery(graphql`
  query {
    file(relativePath: { eq: "hello-world.xml" }) {
      childPolly {
        # Specify the speech output attributes right in the query.
        polly(voiceId: "Justin", audioFileFormat: "mp3") {

Query parameters

The following query parameters can be used to modify the generated speech output:

Parameter Required Example Valid values
voiceId Yes "Justin" See Voices in Amazon Polly
audioFileFormat Yes "mp3" mp3 / ogg_vorbis / pcm
engine No "standard" standard / neural
languageCode No "en-US" See “LanguageCode” in SynthesizeSpeech docs
lexiconNames No ["LexA", "LexB"] See “LexiconNames” in SynthesizeSpeech docs
sampleRate No 16000 See “SampleRate” in SynthesizeSpeech docs
speechMarkTypes No ["sentence", "word"] See “SpeechMarkTypes” in SynthesizeSpeech docs

Contribute 🦸

Contributions are more than welcome! I would love to see text-to-speech becoming a thing in the already very accessible Gatsby ecosystem. If you agree with this and would like to join me on this mission it would be awesome to get in touch! 😊

Please feel free to create, comment and of course solve some of the issues. To get started you can also go for the easier issues marked with the good first issue label if you like.


The MIT License


The gatsby-transformer-polly library is maintained and sponsored by the Swiss web and mobile app development company Florian Gyger Software.

© 2023 Gatsby, Inc.