Free ‘Speak’ for Office


CALL Scotland has written a guide to a well-hidden free Text to Speech facility in Microsoft Office 2010. It can speak selected text in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

Anyone who wants to listen to a lot is likely to prefer software with synchronised hi-liting, but this best kept secret would be particularly good for hearing occasional words.

The guide explains how to put a good-sized icon on the Ribbon.

To add a small icon for ‘Speak’ to the Quick Access Toolbar at the top of the Word screen:

  • Click on the tiny icon ‘Customise Quick Access Toolbar.
  • Choose ‘More Commands’.
  • In ‘Choose Commands from’, choose ‘All Commands’.
  • In the big window called ‘Separator’, scroll down to find ‘Speak’ and click on it.
  • Click on ‘Add’ in the middle of the screen to put it in your Quick Access Toolbar contents on the right.
  • Click on OK.

Then, in your document, highlight text, click on the ‘Speak Selected Text’ icon and it will read it aloud.

© B.D.A. New Technologies Committee. February 2013.
Copies of this page may be made providing it is unchanged and the source is acknowledged.
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