Text to speech Microsoft Word

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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Productivity on August 22, 2022
Using the text-to-speech Microsoft Word tool will save you a lot of time, and it is a great way to improve accessibility. Here's what you need to know about it!

    Text-to-speech Microsoft Word 

    Having a text-to-speech (TTS) tool on MS Word can be quite helpful, and as it turns out, there are a couple of different options you can check out. Using these app will improve accessibility, and they can save you so much time. 

    Microsoft Word’s text-to-speech—Read Aloud and accessibility for all users

    If you are a Microsoft Word user and want to improve accessibility, one of the simplest ways to achieve it is by using text-to-speech software. The best thing about it is that the TTS app Read Aloud is included in the Microsoft Office package. 

    Read Aloud allows you to hear the words you are typing, or rather, for the AI to read the text aloud once you’re done. It is a great way to hear how the text sounds, and you can relax and listen to the content as if it were an audiobook

    The TTS tool works on Word, Outlook, OneNote, and PowerPoint.

    How to turn on text-to-speech on Microsoft Word

    The first thing you will need to do is enable the Read Aloud tool in Microsoft Word. To do this, you will need to click on More Commands, which you will find in the drop-down menu in the left part of the Quick Access Toolbar. 

    From there on, you should click on Word Options, hover your cursor over Choose command from, and click on All Commands. This will allow you to find the Speak and add it to the menu. 

    As soon as you do this, the Speak button will appear in the top left corner, and all you need to do is highlight the text and click on the button to turn it on. You can also use Ctrl+A to select the entire text, or press the shift key and down arrow to select new lines.

    The different voices that are available for text-to-speech

    The text-to-speech tool included in the Microsoft Office package offers a couple of different voices you can use. Microsoft’s Read Aloud is a great feature, and it is similar to the Narrator function available in the newer versions of Windows. 

    However, these options can often be limiting. If you are looking for more customization options, more variety, languages, and voices, you might want to check out the alternatives. There are several TTS tools available on the market, and one of the best options is Speechify. 

    Speechify can do everything Read Aloud does, but even better! The app offers so many incredible voices, and you can pick and choose what suits you the best. One of the newest features Speechify offers is using Gwyneth Paltrow’s voice for text-to-speech. 

    Yes, you read that right. The well-known actress can now be your virtual assistant and read Word documents to you. It only makes the entire speech feature sound even more realistic, and you will feel as if you were listening to an audiobook

    Speechify is available on different platforms including Apple’s iPhones, Android devices, Mac, and Windows.

    How to change the speed and pitch of the voice in text-to-speech

    Having a chance to customize the sound can make a world of difference for users, and Speechify offers just that. Besides having to choose between numerous voices, accents, and languages, you can also select speech rate or speed. 

    The reason why this is so important is that it allows you to experience different docs in a different way. For example, you might want to quickly run over the entire document you wrote, and all you need to do is move the slider on the app to increase the speed. 

    At the same time, you can fully enjoy the experience and listen to the story at a regular speed (or even slower). Adjusting the pitch is another thing users might like, but when you have an incredible actress such as Gwyneth Paltrow, it might be unnecessary. 

    Some ideas of how you could use text-to-speech in your own life

    TTS tools can be quite helpful and bring so many improvements in your everyday life. One of the main reasons people use text-to-speech is that it can help them multitask. You can use it on emails, documents, or even social media, you are free to do anything else while listening. 

    At the same time, text-to-speech tools are designed to improve accessibility. If someone has a learning disability like dyslexia, visual impairments, or anything else that can make reading difficult, using TTS software can make a world of difference by being able to hear text spoken out loud to you in a natural voice instead of needing to read it.

    Even if you just prefer listening to texts instead of reading them, Speechify can easily help. The app will convert any type of text into audio in just a couple of clicks. Text-to-speech tools can often read alt texts as well, which is more than helpful.


    How do you use text to speech in Microsoft Word?

    You will need to click on the drop-down menu (Quick Access Toolbar) and navigate to More Commands. There, you will see an option to select “more commands,” and you will see “word options.” 

    Within this dialog box, you will be able to include “all commands,” and find Speak on the list. Once you add the button to the list, it should appear in the top left corner. After that, all you need to do is highlight the text, and click on the Speak icon. 

    How do you make Microsoft Word read aloud?

    There is an option in the Review tab to enable Read Aloud. There, you will find all controls necessary to use the feature. This includes play, pause, and the ability to move from one paragraph to the other. You can also use third-party apps like the internationally popular TTS app Speechify to read your Word documents to you out loud in natural-sounding voices.

    Does Windows 10 have text-to-speech?

    Yes. Microsoft Windows 10 and 11 have text-to-speech tools, and the speak feature is called the Narrator. To enable the Narrator, you will need to go to Settings (or Control Panel), Ease of Access, and click on Narrator. 

    The app will work on any type of document, including web pages. You can start or stop the app using Windows key + Ctrl + Enter keyboard shortcut or Speak command.

    You can also use Speechify on your Windows 10 computer to read all types of documents, web pages, and more.

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    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

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    "Speechify lets me listen to Goop blog posts out loud in the car and gets my friends through grad school. It's amazing for scripts."
    - Gwyneth Paltrow