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Use the Speak text-to-speech feature to read text aloud

Speak is a built-in feature of Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and OneNote. You can use Speak to have text read aloud in the language of your version of Office.

Text-to-speech (TTS) is the ability of your computer to play back written text as spoken words. Depending upon your configuration and installed TTS engines, you can hear most text that appears on your screen in Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and OneNote. For example, if you're using the English version of Office, the English TTS engine is automatically installed. To use text-to-speech in different languages, see Using the Speak feature with Multilingual TTS.

To learn how to configure Excel for text-to-speech, see Converting text to speech in Excel.

Add Speak to the Quick Access Toolbar

You can add the Speak command to your Quick Access Toolbar by doing the following in Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and OneNote:

  1. Next to the Quick Access Toolbar, click Customize Quick Access Toolbar.

    Quick Access Toolbar Speak command

  2. Click More Commands.

  3. In the Choose commands from list, select All Commands.

  4. Scroll down to the Speak command, select it, and then click Add.

  5. Click OK.

Note: In Office 2007, the Speak command is only available in Excel 2007. For more information, see I don't see commands for converting text to speech.

Use Speak to read text aloud

After you have added the Speak command to your Quick Access Toolbar, you can hear single words or blocks of text read aloud by selecting the text you want to hear and then clicking the Speak icon on the Quick Access Toolbar.

Learn more

Converting text to speech in Excel

Dictate text using Speech Recognition

Learning Tools in Word

Hear text read aloud with Narrator

Using the Save as Daisy add-in

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