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It seems that Microsoft decided to remove text-to-speech from Word 2007. Is there a decent replacement, preferably that doesn't require a separate application? I'd like it to read directly from word.

This isn't really an accessibility question, either. I'd just like to be able to hear what I write aloud. It makes poor wording more obvious.

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This doesn't answer your question so I'll post it as a comment, but Microsoft removed TTS from Office 2007 because it is now included with Windows Vista and up. However, for those of us running Windows XP with Office 2007, we're left without TTS. One workaround I've found is to 'install' Office 2003, but do a custom installation. By doing this custom installation, you can uninclude all Office apps, and only install the TTS module. –  th3dude Dec 11 '09 at 18:52
    
Where is it now? I'm running Windows 7, so that shouldn't be a problem for me, should it? –  Sean Edwards Dec 11 '09 at 18:57
    
Search for "text to speech" in W7 Help and Support, and you'll be directed to Narrator - the text to speech feature built into W7... –  Gcoupe Dec 12 '09 at 8:27

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, Microsoft did it again. Text-to-Speech has been removed from Word 2007.
Fortunately there is a rather easy way to implement it with a little bit of macro code.

The article Word text to speech describes how to add to Word two buttons using VBA macros, SpeakText and StopSpeaking.

image

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You could always try copying/pasting the text into ReadPlease. It it has free and paid versions, and the free versions works great! Just install, copy past your text, and you're off! :)

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Text to speech in MS Word 2007

Below are the macros to enable TTS. These macros should be put into “normal.dot”, so it gets loaded along with MS word application.

Press Alt+F11 to goto macro editor and paste this code. You need to add three buttons to quick access tool bar. You can do this by clicking small downward arrow telling “Customize quick access toolbar” on the title bar of MS word where you will find save, undo and redo buttons. Select “More commands” in the dropdown menu to open “Word options” window. Select “Customize” on left hand menu and “Choose commands from” should be set to “Macros”. Add all three macros and this will create three buttons on the quick access tool bar. Now your MS word is TTS enabled.

Option Explicit
Dim speech As SpVoice
Dim i As Integer

Sub SpeakText()
On Error Resume Next
If i = 0 Then
  Set speech = New SpVoice
  If Len(Selection.Text) > 1 Then 'speak selection
  speech.Speak Selection.Text, _
  SVSFlagsAsync + SVSFPurgeBeforeSpeak
  Else 'speak whole document
  speech.Speak ActiveDocument.Range(0, _
    ActiveDocument.Characters.Count).Text, _
    SVSFlagsAsync + SVSFPurgeBeforeSpeak
  End If
Else
  If i = 1 Then
  speech.Resume
  i = 0
  End If
End If
End Sub

Sub StopSpeaking()
On Error Resume Next
speech.Speak vbNullString, SVSFPurgeBeforeSpeak
Set speech = Nothing
i = 0
End Sub

Sub PauseSpeaking()
On Error Resume Next
If i = 0 Then
  speech.pause
  i = 1
Else
  If i = 1 Then
  speech.Resume
  i = 0
  End If
End If
End Sub

Source

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Excellent! Molly, the link is not working. –  Nicu Zecheru Dec 13 '09 at 18:05
    
hmm, if you're referring to the source link in my post, it works fine for me in 3 different browsers. –  Molly7244 Dec 13 '09 at 18:19

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