Top 3 ways to have Microsoft read aloud to you

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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Productivity on April 28, 2023
Get Microsoft to read aloud for you with ease! Explore the top 3 ways to have your texts spoken out loud. Start listening today.

    Top 3 ways to have Microsoft read aloud to you

    With the rapid advancement of technology, we now have access to a plethora of tools that can make our daily tasks easier and more efficient. One such tool is text to speech (TTS) software, which can read out any text on your device and is especially useful for those who prefer to listen rather than read, or for people who have visual impairments or reading difficulties. In this article, we will explore the top three ways to have Microsoft read aloud to you, including built-in Windows options and third-party software.

    ‌Benefits of having Microsoft read aloud to you

    There are many benefits to having Microsoft read out loud entire documents to you. It can improve reading comprehension, help with proofreading, and reduce eye strain. Additionally, it can be helpful for individuals with visual impairments or learning disabilities and allow you to easily multitask.

    Everything you need to know about Immersive Reader

    Immersive Reader is a built-in free Microsoft tool that uses advanced technology to improve reading comprehension and fluency for individuals of all ages and abilities. It is a part of Microsoft’s Learning Tools, a set of features designed to help students with diverse learning needs, including those with dyslexia, ADHD, and visual impairments. Immersive Reader allows users to customize the text appearance, font size, spacing, and background color, making it easier to read and understand.

    It also includes features such as focus mode, which highlights individual sentences or lines to make it easier to follow along, and the text to speech tool Read Aloud, which reads the selected text aloud.


    Immersive Reader can be used in various Microsoft applications such as OneNote, Microsoft Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Microsoft Edge, making it a versatile tool for individuals who want to improve their reading skills.

    How to access Immersive Reader

    To access Immersive Reader, select the text you want to read and right-click to bring up the drop-down menu. Then click on “Immersive Reader.” For example, if you want to have Microsoft Word read aloud, open the Word document you want to read, select the text you want to hear, click on the “View” tab in the Word ribbon menu, and click on “Immersive Reader” in the “Learning Tools” section of the menu. This will open the Immersive Reader window, where you can click on the “Play” button located at the bottom of the screen. This will begin reading the selected text aloud using the default voice, or you can customize the reading experience by selecting the “Voice Options” button and choosing a different voice, adjusting the reading speed, and more.

    Keyboard shortcuts for Read Aloud

    You can also make use of keyboard shortcuts to control the Read Aloud feature quickly by taking advantage of the following Read Aloud controls:

    • Start or exit Read Aloud — Ctrl+Alt+Space

    • Pause or play Read Aloud — Ctrl+Space

    • Speed up reading speed — Alt+Right

    • Slow down reading speed — Alt+Left

    • Read the previous paragraph — Ctrl+Right

    • Read the next paragraph — Ctrl+Left

    You can also add the Read Aloud feature to the Quick Access Toolbar in Word and Outlook for easy access. To do this, right-click the Read Aloud button and select “Add to Quick Access Toolbar.” This will allow you to access the feature with a single click rather than having to navigate through the Review tab.

    Everything you need to know about Speak

    The Speak command is a built-in feature in Windows 10 that allows the computer to read selected text aloud. It is part of the Speech API (SAPI), which is a set of Windows programming interfaces that enable software developers to add speech recognition and text to speech functionality to their applications.


    The Speak command is a built-in feature in Windows, and it can be used with most text-based applications that allow text selection, including applications such as Microsoft Office, web browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, email clients like Microsoft Outlook, and many more.

    How to access Speak

    To use Speak, you first need to select the text you want to hear spoken aloud. You can do this in any application, such as a Word document, a web browser, or an email client. Once you have selected the text, you can then use the Speak command to have it read aloud by the computer.

    To use the Speak command, select the text you want to be read aloud. Then, press the Windows key + H to activate the command. You may need to enable this feature first in Settings under the “Speech” section. Once the command is activated, the text will be read aloud, and you can adjust the voice settings and voice speed by clicking the left arrow icon.

    Keyboard shortcuts for Speak

    In Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and OneNote, you can add the Speak command to your Quick Access Toolbar by carrying out the steps below:

    • Next to the Quick Access Toolbar, click Customize Quick Access Toolbar.

    • Click “More Commands.”

    • In the Choose commands from list, select “All Commands.”

    • Scroll down to the Speak command, select it, and then click “Add.”

    • Click “OK.”

    Everything you need to know about Speechify

    Speechify is a third-party text to speech software that integrates with Microsoft applications and uses advanced algorithms to convert written text into spoken words. It is designed to make reading easier and more accessible for people who have difficulty reading or who prefer to listen to content instead of reading it. The app is known for having more humanlike narrator options than other text to speech options. In fact, Speechify offers a wide range of voice selections, including male and female voices in various accents and languages.


    Not only does Speechify read Microsoft text aloud, but it works with any digital or physical text, including but not limited to emails, web pages, social media posts, news articles, and study materials. The app even has a feature that allows you to scan physical documents into the app so you can easily have any text read aloud to you.

    How to access Speechify

    To access Speechify, you can use the desktop version via the Speechify website, install the Google Chrome extension or download the Android or IOS app. Once you have installed the app, you can use it to read any text that is displayed on your screen, including Microsoft text, by following the steps below:

    1. Copy the text you want to read in Microsoft.

    2. Open the Speechify app and click the “Import” button.

    3. Speechify will automatically detect the copied text and begin reading it aloud in a clear, natural-sounding voice.

    4. You can adjust the reading speed, pause by tapping the “Play” button, rewind, or skip forward using the app’s left and right arrows.

    5. Speechify also offers a variety of voices to choose from and lets you save the audio output for later listening.

    Keyboard shortcuts for Speechify

    Some common keyboard shortcuts for Speechify include:

    1. Play/Pause — Spacebar

    2. Skip forward/backward — Right/Left Arrow keys

    3. Increase/decrease reading speed — Up/Down Arrow keys

    4. Jump to next sentence — Ctrl + Right Arrow

    5. Jump to previous sentence — Ctrl + Left Arrow

    6. Rewind/Forward — Ctrl + Shift + Left/Right Arrow keys

    7. Increase/decrease volume — Up/Down Arrow keys while holding Shift

    8. Quit Speechify — Esc key

    You can also customize and create your own Speechify keyboard shortcuts by clicking settings or the gear icon and selecting keyboard shortcuts,

    Speechify – Try it today

    Speechify is available for all computers, including Mac (IOS) and Microsoft devices, tablets, and Android and iPhones. Try Speechify for free today and see how it can transform your reading experience.


    What is the difference between listening to a person and listening to a computer?

    The main difference between listening to a person and listening to a computer is that people are capable of conveying emotions, nuance, and context in their communication, while computers typically rely on programmed responses and lack the ability to express emotions or understand the broader context of a conversation.

    What is the Microsoft audio player?

    Microsoft has several audio players that it has developed over the years. The most well-known of these is likely Windows Media Player, which is a media player application that is included with Windows operating systems.

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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.

    Pick Your Speechify Tribe

    I have been flailing due to an eye injury on top of Lyme disease on top of long-covid and a herniated disc with neuropathy. Sitting hurts and propping a book while lying down is stressful. Anxiety over not keeping up, ADD with medication fluctuation and nystagmus of one eye, stigmatism with the other eye both before the retina injured has caused duress as an exam approaches in 35 days. I just need to get through these 500 pages and at least try the assignments. I believe this app will be the key.. thank you ever so much! It’s never too late to find a key and unlock the door to a new world!

    “I have ADHD and I love to read but have piles of book that I have never touched. I downloaded this app and it has helped me read more and obtain information better for school! Love this app , I recommend it to everyone!” - JENEMARIE

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    “I like Reading books but I don’t like to read at the same time this is so nice and very much correct. Totally recommend!” - Amazing use this now!!! - HALL LACKS SI USA

    “I am a student who had dyslexia so is very very very helpful for me. A reading assignment that would normally take me 30+ minutes took 10! I will be using this very often.” - CHAMA NORLAND

    “I’m an audible learner. Speechify helps me to comprehend readings better than I am capable of reading the text silently.” - CANDI CL

    “This is probably top 5 of greatest apps ever, you can literally read alone an entire book in a day. Easily worth the cost of the app.” - TJV 34

    “Excellent for comprehending medical textbooks more quickly and thoroughly!! This is awesome for keeping up with latest surgical techniques and technology. Dr. K” - IMPLANTOPERATOR

    “Speechify saves my 70 year old eyes. I close them. I listen.” - WRANGLERSUPREME

    “I was dreading reading this long story but Speechify got it done now I can go ahead and take my college quiz.” - SUNCOP

    “I teach visually impaired students AND students with dyslexia. This app is a huge help to all of them. Thank you for helping those who need it most!!” - ETTETWO

    “I use this app to proofread before I publish chapters of my books and it works so good! 10/10 recommended.” - LOUIELEIUOL


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