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How to Get More Text to Speech Voices

by Sue Stepp

Text-to-speech programs convert anything typed into speech. The programs assist the visually impaired while working on a computer. Visually impaired people listen to what they're writing, and check typed information for errors on the computer. Other people like listening to their work, rather than reading it. Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 have built-in text-to-speech programs, but the voices sound slightly robotic. Download more text-to-speech voices from the Internet with clearer, less robotic voices for free.

Getting More Text-to-Speech Voices from Windows

Step 1

Click on the "Start" icon. Choose "Control Panel," "Switch to Classic View" and then click "Speech."

Step 2

Click "Text-to-speech." In the "Voice Selection" area, click the down arrow. A list of voices will appear. Choose one of the voices from the list, and click on it. The voice you choose becomes the default voice, and the computer uses that voice to recite the words in the box.

Slide the control knob to the left or right. It changes the voice speed. Changing the voice speed alters the voice pitches, and makes it sound like new voices. After making the changes, click "Apply" and then "OK."

Getting More Text-to-Speech Voices From the Internet

Step 1

Go to screamingbee.com/support/ScriptVOX/ScriptVOXMoreTextToSpeechVoices.aspx. Press the "Enter" button and wait for the web page to load.

Step 2

Scroll down until you see the area labeled "Microsoft TTS Voices for Windows." Click the box marked, "Click on this Link." The computer's download window appears. Click "Save File." Once the file downloads, open up the file and install the new voices in the Windows text-to-speech program.

Click on the "Start" icon. Then click on "Control Panel," "Switch to Classic View" and "Speech." Click on the "Text-to-speech" box. In the "Voice Selection" area, click the down arrow. A list of the new installed voices appears. Select the voice you want as a default, and the voice recites the printed material in the box aloud. If you like the voice, click "Apply." If you don't like the voice, choose another one, and play the voice. Click "Apply" after the chosen voice and click "OK."

Tip

  • Depending on your computer's version of Windows, the text-to-speech program has different numbers of preinstalled voices in the computer. Other voices are available, but some aren't free. Some voices range from $50 to over $100.

Items you will need

  • Computer
  • Windows XP or higher
  • Internet

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