How to Change Your Computers Default Voiceby Kevin Lee
Windows comes with a text-to-speech (TTS) engine that gives your computer a voice. Users can listen as their computers read email messages and other documents. Microsoft includes one default voice with its program. Some users are happy with that voice. Other users may prefer alternate voices that have different dialects and speech patterns. Third-party vendors offer TTS voices that work with the Microsoft TTS engine. Simply install a new voice and your computer will speak with a new personality.
Visit the demo page of a vendor that markets TTS voices (see Resources).
Listen to the voices on the demo pages and choose one that you like. You will usually have a range of voices to choose from. These voices, male and female, will speak with different accents and tonal qualities.
Purchase a voice that you like and download the software to your hard drive. Double-click the file to install the voice.
Click the Windows "Start" menu and type "text to speech" (without the quotes). Press "Enter" and Windows will open the Speech Properties window.
Click the "Text to Speech" tab to display a drop-down list containing available voices.
Click the list to open it and select the new voice that you installed.
Click "Preview Voice" to sample the voice. Drag the Voice Speed slider to the left or right to adjust the speed of the voice. This voice will become your computer's default voice and perform all TTS functions.
- Some vendors, such as Cepstral, offer free trial voices. Look for companies that offer free demos if you prefer to test voices on your system before purchasing them. Voice files are large and may take a while to download.
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