Text-to-speech on PC is something everyone should check out to improve efficiency, accessibility, and save time. Here’s how to turn it on and use it!
How to use text-to-speech on PC
The basics of text to speech
At its core, TTS relies on three primary components: a text analysis module, a synthesis engine, and an audio rendering system. The text analysis module breaks down the written text into smaller units, such as words, phrases, or sentences, while taking into account factors like punctuation and capitalization.
This analysis ensures that the synthesized speech, whether it’s from Microsoft’s MS Sam TTS or another system, sounds natural and coherent. The synthesis engine then converts these units into phonetic representations, transforming them into a structured set of speech sounds.
This process involves mapping the written text to the corresponding phonemes, which are the basic units of sound in a language. Finally, the audio rendering system, which can include speech voices from various providers, utilizes a digital signal processing technique, often involving pre-recorded human speech samples, to produce the final output.
This combination of linguistic analysis and audio processing allows TTS to generate high-quality speech that closely resembles human speech.
How to enable text-to-speech on Microsoft and Windows
Microsoft has been experimenting with text-to-speech technology for quite some time. In fact, Windows 2000 and XP had TTS software included with the OS. The app was known as Microsoft Sam, and users could explore this functionality with narration and so much more.
Microsoft went through many changes and improvements of its TTS software. Windows Vista and Windows 7 had Microsoft Anna, and Windows 8 introduced several new voiceover options. Today, Microsoft 10 uses Hazel, David, George, Susan, Zira, and Mark as default voices.
To turn on text-to-speech on your PC, all you need to do is go to Settings, click on Ease of Access, and you should notice the Narrator section of the page. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + Ctrl + Enter to start Narrator.
Here, you will also get the chance to customize the entire experience, choose different voices, adjust speed of the playback, and so much more.
Benefits of using text-to-speech on PC
Using text-to-speech can be a perfect way to overcome difficulties in life. Some people struggle with reading, and this includes conditions like dyslexia, ADHD, and other disabilities such as visual impairments.
Using a TTS tool means you won’t need to read on your own, and you can use your headphones or speakers to listen to the text as you would with podcasts. But even if you don’t have anything against traditional reading, using TTS software can still be a great idea.
You can save so much time and be able to better multitask by using text-to-speech by listening to the content. Furthermore, text-to-speech apps can be quite helpful with e-learning. You might enjoy listening to books while relaxing, and it will make your life better overall.
Many people also prefer TTS tools as a way to learn a new language since it is possible for them to hear a language while reading it. They can learn by hearing proper pronunciations while following the text on the screen.
How to customize text-to-speech on PC
When you enter Settings and navigate to Narrator, you will see that there are plenty of different options to customize this text-to-speech tool. Users will get a chance to explore numerous voices and so much more.
There are many different customization options for you to choose from, and they are all designed to enhance your experience. Of course, these options will only work for the built-in Narrator app in Windows 10 or 11.
These operating systems also supports different languages, and these languages work on this text-to-speech reader as well. The quality of the app is quite decent, but for some people, it might be a bit limiting.
If you are looking for something more, you will need to download a separate app. Fortunately, there are other incredible text-to-speech apps you can choose from, and they will work on Windows without any problems.
Using text to speech features on PC
Now that you have successfully set up the Text to Speech feature on your PC, perhaps using the best Windows text to speech software, it’s time to explore its various capabilities and learn how to make the most of this powerful tool.
Basic text to speech commands
Using Text to Speech is relatively straightforward. Most applications, including the popular free text app for computer, allow you to simply highlight the text you want to be read aloud and activate the relevant command or hotkey.
The selected text will then be converted into speech and played through your computer’s speakers or headphones. With the rise of speech recognition, some apps even let you dictate the text you want to be converted.
Imagine you’re working on a lengthy document and need to proofread it. Instead of reading the text word by word, you can simply highlight the paragraphs and let Text to Speech, like the text to speech Microsoft offers, do the reading for you.
This not only saves time but also helps you catch any errors or inconsistencies that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. And if you’re using a texting app for computer free of charge, you can even send messages without typing.
Additionally, some software offers integrated web browsers or document viewers, allowing you to directly open and read online articles, PDFs, or e-books within the application, further enhancing your reading experience. This means you can listen to your favorite blog posts, news articles, or even entire books without straining your eyes.
Advanced text to speech features
Beyond the basic functionality, Text to Speech applications often offer advanced features to enhance the user experience. These can include options to save the spoken text as an audio file, enabling you to listen to it offline or on portable devices. With the type and speak feature, you can even input text without a keyboard.
Imagine you come across an interesting article while browsing the internet, but you don’t have the time to read it at that moment. With Text to Speech, you can simply save the article as an audio file and listen to it later while commuting, exercising, or doing household chores. This way, you can make the most of your time and stay informed even when you’re on the go.
Some applications, like the computer text app or text pc software, also allow you to customize the pronunciation of specific words or phrases, ensuring the most accurate and natural-sounding representation. This can be particularly useful when dealing with technical terms, names, or foreign words that may not be pronounced correctly by default.
For instance, if you’re studying a foreign language and come across a word that you’re unsure how to pronounce, you can use Text to Speech to hear the correct pronunciation. This not only helps improve your language skills but also builds your confidence in speaking the language. And with the rise of speech to text for pc, you can even transcribe spoken words into written text.
As you can see, Text to Speech technology offers a wide range of features that can greatly enhance your reading experience. Whether you’re a student, professional, or simply someone who enjoys reading, incorporating Text to Speech into your daily routine can make your life easier and more enjoyable.
And with the computer to text app and free text from pc options available, the possibilities are endless.
Troubleshooting common text to speech issues
While Text to Speech technology is generally reliable and easy to use, occasionally, you may encounter some issues. Understanding common problems and their solutions can help ensure a smooth and frustration-free experience.
Resolving audio problems
If you experience issues with the audio output of the Text to Speech feature, the first step is to check your computer’s audio settings. Ensure that the volume is set to an appropriate level, the correct audio output device is selected, and the necessary drivers are up to date. If the problem persists, try restarting the Text to Speech application or your computer.
Fixing text recognition errors
Text to Speech systems rely on accurate text recognition to produce high-quality audio output. However, they may occasionally encounter errors, especially with complex or poorly formatted text.
If the application misinterprets certain words or phrases, consider adjusting the spelling or formatting to improve recognition. Additionally, some software allows you to manually correct text recognition errors, ensuring the spoken content remains accurate.
Speechify — An alternative to Narrator
Those who are looking to get something more out of their text-to-speech app should check out Speechify, one of the most popular TTS apps available today. Speechify’s API was initially designed to assist those struggling with dyslexia and reading difficulty, but anyone can benefit from its many amazing features.
Currently, Speechify supports over fourteen different languages, and there are many AI voices and accents for each language. One of the main advantages of Speechify is that the app is so intuitive and easy to use, but tutorials are available if you want to get the most out of it.
Thankfully, you won’t need to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how things work. Instead, you will be able to use it as soon as you download it on your device. The app works on Windows devices—as well as Android and Apple devices that support iOS (iPhone and iPad) and MacOS (MacBook).
What makes Speechify the best text-to-speech software is its natural-sounding voices. High-quality voices are designed to sound as if a real human was reading the text, and it is one of many reasons why Speechify is a go-to app for users across the globe. You can also easily customize the voices to your preference!
Speechify additionally offers OCR or optical character recognition, which means that it can analyze a photo and convert the written text into wav or mp3 files. Most apps allow you to use standard programs like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, but Speechify can process nearly every type of text file you can think of.
Does Windows 10 have text-to-speech?
Yes. Windows 10 has an integrated free text-to-speech tool called Narrator. Using this screen reader allows the software to read aloud the text files to you, and there are plenty of customization options you can use. However, we recommend using Speechify to get even better TTS features.
How do I turn on text-to-speech on my computer?
You can navigate to the Settings part, and there, you will notice Ease of Access. Once you click on it, you will see the Narrator, and all you need to do is turn it on via the slider. There will be a pop-up box with an additional explanation of how things work.
What is text-to-speech?
Text-to-speech is voice synthesis software, and it is designed to convert text into speech. It combines AI, deep learning, machine learning, and many more technologies to produce a realistic-sounding voice.
The speech engine allows users to easily turn any text format (including PDF and epub) into audio files, and these apps are designed to improve accessibility. Popular apps include Microsoft Azure, NaturalReader, Amazon Polly, Speechify, Balabolka, and many more.
Can I get my computer to read text to me?
Yes. If you are a Windows PC user, Windows 10 and 11 have an integrated text-to-speech tool called Narrator. If you dislike the app, you can download a Chrome extension which will allow you to use it on web pages (HTML), and one of the most popular apps is Speechify.