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Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Tech Tip: How to get Microsoft Word to read to you

At my talk last night "Editors as Partners, not enemies" for Art of the Book I mentioned that you can get Microsoft Word to read out loud to you.

Here's how to add the Speak command to your Quick Access Toolbar and use the tool:
  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. From the top of your screen next to the Save, Undo, and Redo buttons, click Customize Quick Access Toolbar arrow.
The Word Options dialog box opens.
  1. From the Choose commands from drop-down, select All Commands.

  1. Scroll down to the Speak command, select it, and then click Add.

  1. Click OK.
The Speak icon appears on your Quick Access Tool.

To use the Speak command

  1. Select the text you want to hear or select your entire document Ctrl+A.
  2. Click the Speak command.

Word will read to you. Admittedly, it reads to you in one of those computer voices and you might feel like you are on the Skytrain or have just been read to by Marvin the Paranoid Android.

Adjusting Voice Settings

If your computer’s sounds too computer generated or if it speaks too quickly you can easily adjust the settings.
  1. From the lower left-hand corner, pressing the Start button.
  2. In the search box, type narrator.
  3. Click on Narrator.
  1. Click Voice Settings.
  2. Edit the speed, volume, and pitch.
  3. Click OK when you are done.
  4. Click Exit.

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