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.