Five Apps: Text-to-speech tools
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Text-to-speech applications have a number of differentrnuses. They can assist the visually impaired by reading various screen elements,rnand they’re also useful to writers. Text-to-speech engines havernthe ability to verbally read a document, thereby making the proof-readingrnprocess a lot easier. Here are five text-to-speech applications.
1. Text Speaker
rnText Speaker is a text-to-speech utility that has some really nice extras built in. It costs $29.95 (USD), but a free trial versionrnis available for download.
Text Speaker setup wizard
Follow the prompts to download and setup Text Speaker.
Text Speaker voice properties
In Text Speaker, the voice is fullyrncustomizable. You can download a varietyrnof different voices for use with the utility.
Text Speaker conversion process
Another nice feature in Text Speaker is the ability to convert a documentrnto an audio recording.
Text Speaker Talking Reminders
My personal favorite feature is the Talking Reminders.rnThe software allows you to set up reminders for various events, and then it verbally reminds you of them.
2. Verbose Text to Speech
Verbose Text to Speech is another utility for converting a block of text into speech. It costs $40.00 (USD), but a free trial isrnavailable for download.
Verbose Text to Speech load text
Text can be loaded from arnfile and pasted into the interface, or you can load a text file directly.
Verbose Text to Speech saving files
In addition to being ablernto read text aloud, the utility can also save the speech as an audio file or audio CD.
Verbose Text to Speech options
The utility also allows yournto choose from a couple of different voices.
Verbose Text to Speech voice pronunciations
Under Voice Pronunciation, check your Voice Selection.
3. Ultra Hal Text-to-Speech Reader
Ultra Hal Text-to-Speech Reader is a free utility for converting text into speech.
Ultra Hal Text-to-Speech Reader File
The interesting thing aboutrnUltra Hal Text-to-Speech Reader is that it is more of a speech-enabled textrneditor than a text-to-speech engine.
Ultra Hal Text-to-Speech Reader Edit
Ultra Hal Text-to-Speech Reader Format
The software offers basicrnfont formatting capabilities, which is something that you wouldn’t ordinarilyrnexpect to find in a text-to-speech utility.
Ultra Hal Text-to-Speech Reader Options
4. Sayvoice Text to Speech Reader
Sayvoice Text to Speech Reader is a basic text to speech reader. It costs $47.98 (USD), but a free trial is available for download.
Sayvoice Text to Speech Reader skins
The one feature Sayvoice has that the otherrnutilities I reviewed didn’t is the ability to choose from arnvariety of skins.
Sayvoice Text to Speech Reader controls
This lightweight utilityrndoesn’t have a lot of controls. You can pick from a few different voices, plus adjust the pitch and speed of the speech.
Sayvoice Text to Speech Reader export
You can also export the speech to anrnaudio file.
5. Alive Text to Speech
Alive Text to Speech is another text to speech engine. It costs $29.95 (USD), but a free trial is available for download.
Alive Text to Speech conversion
The cool thing about AlivernText to Speech is that the program starts out by giving you a quick tutorial onrnhow to use it. This is helpful because speech commands are integrated intornWindows Explorer.
Alive Text to Speech options
The tool also features anrnadd-in for Internet Explorer.
Alive Text to Speech with Windows
Additionally, the tool isrnconfigured to automatically use the Windows clipboard. When you copy a block ofrntext to the clipboard, the text is automatically read. Unfortunately, Alive Text to Speech does notrnseem to work with Windows 8.