Microsoft Word reads to you: Ways to use the Speak and Read Aloud commands

Can Microsoft Word read in my experience? Yes, it may. The Speak feature was incorporated into Microsoft Office (Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.) back in version 2003. It was called Text to Speech (TTS) then, and it functioned much the same because it does now. Fortunately, it’s a very simple procedure to set up and employ, so you can get started immediately.

Table of Contents

Add the Speak button towards the Quick Access Toolbar
Click the Speak button to listen to your text
Select the Read Aloud command
Change the Speak preferences within the Windows Control Panel.

Add the Speak button towards the Quick Access Toolbar

1. Click the Customize arrow around the Quick Access Toolbar.

2. In the dropdown menu, select More Commands.

3. On the Word Options screen >Customize the fast Access Toolbar, locate the Choose Commands From box and scroll down to the Speak command.

4. Choose the Speak command, click on the Add button in the center of the screen, then click OK.

5. Word adds the Speak command to the Quick Access Toolbar at the conclusion, and you’re ready to go.

Click on the Speak button to listen to your text

1. Ensure that your system’s speakers or sound devices are turned on.

2. Highlight a paragraph of text, then click the Speak command button.

3. Word reads any text that’s highlighted, even the entire document. Press Ctrl+ A to select the entire document.

4. Click on the Speak command button once to start the reading session, then click it again to stop. There is no pause-and-continue option at the moment, however, many users have requested this feature, so search for it later on versions.

Select the Read Aloud command

1. A different way to have your text read aloud in Word would be to choose the Review tab > Read Aloud button.

The greatest advantage of Read Aloud instead of the Speak command is…

(a) you don’t need to highlight the written text. Just position your cursor in which you want the reading aloud to begin and click on the Read Aloud button.

And (b), when you click the Read Aloud button again, it stops. Click the button again to carry on in the future. So, essentially, you have a Pause feature with Read Aloud that isn’t provided with Speak.

Change the Speak preferences within the Windows Control Panel.

The Speak preferences are defined in Widows, not in Word specifically.

1. Click Start > Windows System > User interface

2. Select Ease of Access > Speech Recognition > Text-to-speech, and the Speech Properties dialog window opens around the Text to Speech tab.

3. Under Voice Selection, choose MS David Desktop for any male voice or MS Zira Desktop for any female voice.

4. Click on the Preview button to hear each voice, make your selection.

5. Use the slider under Voice Speed to regulate the pace (slow, normal, or fast) of the reader.

6. Click on the Audio Output button to define the Sound preferences.

7. Click on the Advanced button to select or alter the output device.

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