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


Can Microsoft Word read to me? Yes, it can. There are three ways to accomplish this task: The Speak and Read Aloud features in Word, or the Narrator feature in Windows.

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 as it does now. Fortunately, it’s a very simple procedure to set up and use, so you can get started immediately.

Add the Speak button to the Quick Access Toolbar

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

2. From the dropdown menu, select More Commands.

3. Go to Word Options >Customize the Quick Access Toolbar and locate the Choose Commands From box. Scroll down to the Speak command.

4. Select the Speak command, click the Add button in the middle of the screen, then click OK.

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

001 add speak button to quick access toolbar JD Sartain / IDG Worldwide

Add Speak button to Quick Access Toolbar

Click the Speak button to listen to your text

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



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