Many computer users take advantage of text-to-voice programs to make their computer tasks easier. With a voice command we can execute a task which otherwise might take a combination of keyboard-key presses and mouse clicks.
For my readers who have not yet tried out text-to-voice applications or are looking for something better than what they are already using, I have gathered a list of 5 great options they can go for. Read each entry in my list, find out which one interests you, and use the comments to let me know how it went for you.
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Windows Speech Recognition
I am placing Windows native speech recognition at first place because I believe it will be the easiest to use for most Windows users. You will not need to install anything extra and the voice commands will be easily integrated into other Windows functions. For Windows users new to text-to-voice, Windows very own speech recognition is a great starting point.
To Enable Windows Voice Recognition tool click Start > Control Panel > Speech Recognition Options
NaturalReader is a great text-to-voice option to go with. Some text-to-voice programs work by taking as input text files of a specific format. With NaturalReader however, all we have to do is highlight the text in any document (or webpage), click on the application’s hotkey, and have the text read back to us. Voice options are also adjustable: we can choose to hear either a male or female voice, and adjust the voice’s quality and speed.
Users who, for whatever reason do not want to or cannot install any new applications, iSpeech will serve beautifully. This is an online text-to-voice application. A signup is required before we can use this browser-based service. Once we login, we can either upload a document file of the supported format, or paste in any text we want in the assigned area.
eSpeak, although a tiny sized program, supports many languages other than English. The program includes different voice with modifiable characteristics. WAV files can also be produced of the generated voice. eSpeak has versions compatible with Windows and Linux operating systems.
The last entry in my list is DSpeech. Not only does this program offer us the option to choose from different voices the text is read in, but also allows us to combine the voice or compare them. This way we can even form a dialogue between the two voices. The outputs can be saved as WAV, MP3, and OGG files. Once you have already familiarized yourself with basic text-to-speech techniques, this program will allow you to have quite some fun in your free time.