How to customize text to speech on Dell.
Configure and use text to speech on Dell in Windows 10
Text to speech technology has many fantastic benefits. Most people use text to speech as an accessibility feature. With TTS, people with vision or learning disabilities can enjoy reading and manage their workload better.
The good news is that configuring the text to speech feature is possible if you have a Dell computer with a Windows 10 operating system. Windows 10 also allows you to set up speech recognition functionality. Here, however, we’ll focus on how to customize text to speech on Dell.
Benefits of using text to speech on Dell
Most Dell desktop or laptop computers run on Windows 10. Therefore, the default text to speech feature is Narrator. All Windows 10 computers can access this screen reader and have text and other elements on the screen read aloud to them.
Apple computers with macOS operating systems have a different text to speech solution. Again, TTS can make using Dell devices much easier if you’re dealing with learning disabilities like dyslexia or ADHD.
This assistive technology also makes a huge difference for people with visual impairments and the elderly. Text to speech is incredibly convenient for Dell users who want to improve their productivity and master multitasking.
Set up your hardware
The first step in this Microsoft Windows 10 text to speech tutorial is setting up the hardware. You should have a reliable Dell computer. If the device has a virus or glitches that cause screen interruptions, you’ll have difficulty utilizing this tool. In addition, check that English is the default language on your Dell computer.
Go to System>Time & Language>Speech and choose speech options, including the language.
Set up speakers
Here’s how you set up your speakers:
Go to the control panel.
Select “Sounds and Audio Devices.”
Switch to the “Audio” tab and choose a device from the “Sound Playback.”
Select the “Speakers” tab and proceed to configure your speakers.
Select an audio output device
The next step is to select your speaker on your Dell device:
Using your cursor, left-click on the speaker icon on the Windows 10 taskbar.
When a drop-down menu appears, you’ll see all audio devices available.
Select the desired speaker or headset by left-clicking on it.
Configure text to speech options
Once you finish setting up the hardware and speaker, you can configure Narrator on Windows 10 and make the most out of all text to speech options.
Click on the “Start” button and select “Settings.” Alternatively, command Cortana to open “Settings.”
Select the “Ease of Access” option followed by “Narrator” on the left-side pane.
Move the toggle switch under the “Turn on Narrator” option or click on “Open Narrator home.”
A dialog box will likely appear informing you that Microsoft has made changes to the layout. In addition, you’ll learn that it relies on the “CTRL” key for most keyboard shortcuts.
Determine the selected TTS voice or engine
Under the “Personalize Narrator’s voice” option, you’ll find a drop-down menu with all available text to speech voices in Windows 10. You can choose between Microsoft Zira or Microsoft David, and many others.
Preview TTS voice
You’ll automatically hear the voices change as you click on each available narrator’s voice. If there’s no sound, that’s probably because the Narrator function was disabled. Therefore, scroll up and turn on the feature to preview TTS voices.
Change the TTS voice or engine
When you select the text to speech voice for your Windows 10 Dell computer, everything Narrator reads aloud will be in that voice.
If you want to listen to a different voice narrating the screen, it’s easy to make the change. Simply visit the “Personalize Narrator’s voice” option and select a different-sounding voice.
Change TTS voice rate
You can change the text to speech voice rate by moving the slider under the “Choose a voice” menu. As you move the “Change voice speed” slider, Narrator will change the voice rate automatically, allowing you to find the right setting.
Change the text to speech volume
Not everyone will enjoy the same volume level for their Windows 10 Narrator. Therefore, you’ll find another slider labeled “Change voice volume” under the “Choose a voice” option.
Using text to speech with Narrator
Using text to speech with Narrator is pretty straightforward but does have a learning curve. You will need some time to master all the keyboard shortcuts. But the “QuickStart” tutorial should help you become more comfortable with this functionality.
Have Narrator announce events on the screen
Once you turn on Narrator on your Windows 10, the selected voice will start announcing events on the screen.
It’s an automatic process, though you can continue choosing different settings. For example, you can select “Don’t Announce” under “Change how the capitalized text is read.” It prevents Narrator from “announcing” whenever there’s capitalized text on the screen.
Have Narrator read typed keys aloud
Under the “Change what you hear when typing” in Narrator’s settings, you can check or uncheck several boxes.
For example, you might want to “Hear letters, numbers, and punctuation as you type” but not “Hear Shift, Alt, and other modifier keys as you type.” These settings allow you to customize more of what Narrator reads aloud.
Have the mouse pointer move to active items when you use Narrator
Narrator is a versatile built-in screen reading app. It allows Windows 10 to work with computers without needing to move the mouse pointer.
Under Narrator’s settings, find the “Use Narrator cursor” option. From there, you can choose the Narrator cursor navigation mode, including having the cursor move as the Narrator reads text.
Navigating with the keyboard and Narrator
In Microsoft Windows 10, you can choose different keyboard settings to ensure TTS works smoothly. In Narrator’s settings, find the “Choose keyboard settings” option.
Under “Select keyboard layout,” select “Standard” or “Legacy.” This is where you also choose the dedicated Narrator keyboard key. It can be the “Caps lock,” “Insert” key, or both.
There are a couple of reading options in the Windows 10 Narrator settings. You can use a braille display with this Windows screen reading app. However, you will need a dedicated software program that can communicate with Narrator effectively.
Another option is to use the built-in “Scan mode.” When you press the spacebar and caps lock keys together, Narrator scans the text on the screen and reads aloud faster.
Start Narrator minimized
You don’t need to see Narrator’s main menu and all the options as soon as you turn on your Dell computer. If you check the “Minimize Narrator Home to system tray” box under the “Start-up” option, Narrator will minimize to the taskbar.
Setting up TTS on Windows Vista or Windows XP
If you’re using an older version of Windows on your Dell, like XP or Vista, you still have the option to use TTS features.
The setup process is similar. You need to ensure that the hardware and speakers are working well. The dedicated screen reader, Narrator, is also available in these versions of Windows, so you’ll have your pick of different TTS voices.
Need another option?
One of the best options available is Speechify. This screen reading tool is versatile, affordable, and easy to use. You can install Speechify on your Chrome browser, Android device, iPhone, iPad, and Dell computer.
Regardless of your TTS service, the text to speech technology changes lives. People who struggle with reading can improve their quality of life and increase productivity. The speech recognition feature allows you to dictate text in Microsoft Word but Narrator lets you hear every word on the screen. Plus, if you want a larger range of more natural-sounding voices, Speechify may be right for you. These technologies are immensely beneficial and are only getting better with time.