Text to speech on HP laptop

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This article explains how to access the software programs that make text to speech possible on an HP laptop.

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Text to speech on HP laptop

For over 80 years, Hewlett-Packard (HP) has been one of the world’s leading technology companies. HP makes various products, including printers and 3D printers. However, it also offers a range of laptops.

You may have one of these laptops and if you have a disability, you may want to find ways to improve your ease of access to that laptop.

Perhaps you’ve already used some of the laptop’s accessibility features. Maybe you’re using voice commands to control the device and have a headset to help with reading difficulties.

But wouldn’t having a screen reader be great too?

Imagine having a way to get your HP laptop to read text aloud from Microsoft Word so you can complete a document review. Or maybe, you could get a text to speech app that reads every bit of text on your screen.

The good news is that you can.

This article explains how to access the software programs that make text to speech possible on an HP laptop.

What is text to speech?

Text to speech (TTS) is an assistive technology that reads any digital text placed into it aloud. The critical text to speech feature is the ability to playback text as audio files, essentially turning any text into speech.

Many apps have useful speech options, such as different narrators and languages. Some also have a control panel that allows you to adjust the speed of the spoken words, slowing down or speeding up as needed.

Having on-screen text read aloud from a word processor or web pages doesn’t only benefit people with disabilities. Others can use TTS to listen to text as they work, drive, or exercise.

As such, TTS is ideal for accessibility and can help improve productivity.

Activating text to speech on HP laptops – Use Narrator

So, how do you access text to speech on your HP laptop?

If you have the Windows 10 or Windows 11 operating system installed, you can access Microsoft’s Narrator software. As part of the Windows speech recognition suite, Narrator can easily read any text in word processors, web pages, or Notepad.

Here are the steps for activating it:

  1. Head to “Settings” and select “Ease of Access.”

  2. Click “Narrator” and toggle the on/off button below “Use Narrator.”

Narrator is now activated. You can use the handy keyboard shortcut “Windows Key + Ctrl + Enter” to start Narrator. The same shortcut turns it off. With Narrator turned on, your laptop will dictate text that appears on the screen directly to you.

But what if you want to toggle some of the settings?

Plenty of online tutorials can help you get a handle on the more advanced aspects of Narrator settings. But here are some useful things you can try.

Changing Narrator’s Startup options

You can find Narrator Home in your HP laptop’s startup tray. Alternatively, navigate to “Settings” and click “Open Narrator Home.” From here, you can customize the app to control when Narrator launches.

Such customizations include having Narrator automatically start when you sign into your laptop. You can also choose to automatically minimize the app to your system tray on startup and open Narrator Home when you log in.

Personalizing Narrator’s voice

Sadly, for some, Narrator does not use Microsoft’s Cortana voice. However, you can personalize the voice via the Narrator settings dialog box.

Open Narrator settings and you should see a drop-down box that allows you to choose the voice you want. You should also see sliders that enable you to alter the pitch and voice volume.

If you’d like a selection of additional languages, follow these steps:

  1. Open “Settings” and navigate to “Time & Language.”

  2. Select “Language.”

  3. Move your cursor to “Add More Voices.” Then choose “Add Voices.”

  4. Choose your desired language and select “Add.”

This should add a voice in your chosen language to the drop-down box.

Alternatives to Narrator

Though Narrator is the default screen reader on HP laptops, there are several others you can try.

Read Aloud

This simple text to speech reader is available via the Read Aloud website and as a Google Chrome extension. Though it lacks advanced features, it’s ideal for quickly reading a chunk of text copied and pasted into the reader.

NaturalReader

NaturalReader can read various file types, including Microsoft Word files and PDFs. It can scan pages from physical documents and has a Pronunciation Editor that helps it handle different text formatting. It’s also capable of reading emails and any text in your browser.

Kurzweil 3000

In addition to reading text aloud, Kurzweil 3000 has some useful note-taking options. For example, it allows you to highlight and circle important parts of your text. Plus, you can fill in any blanks.

VoiceOver

Apple’s VoiceOver software is available on Macs and devices that run iOS, such as the iPhone and iPad. It is Apple’s default text to speech reader. It also has a clever gesture-based operation that helps you use your device even if you can’t see it well.

Speechify

In addition to availability on Apple devices, you can get Speechify for Android devices. It also has a Google Chrome extension. Speechify offers narration in over 14 languages and has useful reading speed settings making it ideal for work or studying. It also has the most natural-sounding voice options compared to other options, including celebrity options in its premium plan.

Try Speechify for free on your HP laptop

Though Narrator is a handy screen reader, you may want to try a more feature-rich app. With Speechify, you get a TTS reader that offers a host of language and voice options.

Better yet, the app is compatible with most HP laptops. Plus, it features optical character recognition (OCR) technology that lets you scan physical pages and documents, which it can then read aloud. As you can see, Speechify can truly turn anything into an speech. You can try Speechify for free online to see if it’s a good fit for your HP laptop.

FAQ

How do I use text to speech on my HP laptop?

Activating Narrator is the most straightforward way. However, you can download several TTS apps for an HP laptop, including Speechify, which has more realistic voice options.

How do I turn on voice recognition?

Select the Windows button and open your “Ease of Access” settings. Next, click “Speech” and activate “Turn on Speech Recognition.

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