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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Taylor

Accessibility Made Easy: The Benefits of Text-to-Speech in MS Word

a man with written words going into his ear

What is the Text-to-Speech function?

Text-to-Speech functionality has become increasingly important in today's digital age, especially for those with disabilities or learning differences. Microsoft Word offers a range of accessibility tools to ensure that everyone can use their software with ease. In today's world, ensuring that information is accessible to all individuals, regardless of their abilities, is paramount. One such tool is the Text-to-Speech feature in MS Word, which converts written text into spoken words, allowing users to listen to their documents rather than read them. This is particularly useful for individuals with visual impairments or dyslexia, who may struggle to read long passages of text on a screen. This not only promotes inclusivity but also empowers individuals to engage with content in a way that suits their unique needs.

Why use the Text-to-Speech function?

Not only does Text-to-Speech improve accessibility, but it also has other benefits. For example, it can help with proofreading and editing by allowing users to hear their writing read back to them. This can help to identify errors or areas that may need improvement. Moreover, the ability to hear your written words spoken aloud can provide valuable insights into the flow and clarity of your writing. By listening to your documents being read back to you, you can more easily identify awkward phrasings, grammatical errors, or areas where the text may need revision. It's like having a virtual proofreader at your beck and call!

Whether you're a student, a professional, or simply someone who spends a lot of time working with written documents, this functionality can revolutionise the way you interact with text.

In addition, text-to-speech can improve productivity by allowing users to multitask. They can listen to a document while doing other tasks, such as cooking or exercising, without having to sit and read it. This can be a huge time-saver for busy individuals. Picture this: you're reviewing a lengthy report or sifting through a dense research paper. Instead of tediously reading every word on the page, you can simply sit back and listen as Word reads the text aloud to you.

Overall, Text-to-Speech is a valuable tool for improving accessibility, productivity, and overall user experience. Microsoft Word's built-in Text-to-Speech functionality is easy to use and can be a game-changer for those with visual impairments, dyslexia, or anyone looking to save time and increase productivity.

Okay, where do I find this handy tool?

Now, you might be wondering how to access this magical Text-to-Speech functionality in MS Word.

a screenshot of where to find the tab and button for the text to speech function

Don’t worry – it's incredibly simple! Just follow these easy steps:

1. Open your document in Microsoft Word.

2. Navigate to the "Review" tab in the ribbon at the top of the screen.

3. Click on the "Read Aloud" button in the "Speech" group.

4. Sit back, relax, and let Word do the talking!

a screenshot of a Word document showing the text to speech function
Look under the 'Review' tab to find the feature

💡Bonus tip: You can change the speed at which the text is read and also the voice that reads it to you!

And there you have it – accessibility, efficiency, and productivity all wrapped up in one nifty feature. So next time you find yourself buried under a mountain of text, remember to give the Text-to-Speech function in MS Word a try. You might just be amazed at how much easier it makes your life!

Until next time, happy reading (or should I say, happy listening)!


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