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How to have Microsoft Word Read Document Text Aloud

Posted by Roger Hyttinen on

Document loaded in Word


It can often be helpful to have your Word documents read aloud. This can help you find errors or clumsy language that you may have missed during editing. In fact, many novelists read their entire novels aloud to ensure that the dialog sounds as natural as possible.

Word contains a hidden Speak command which when executed, will read the select text of your document out loud. The easiest way to make this command accessible, is to add it to the Quick Access Toolbar. If you choose, you can also add it to a custom group on the Ribbon.

To Add the Speech Command to the Quick Access Toolbar

  1. Click the drop-down arrow on the Quick Access Toolbar and choose More Commands from the list.

    Quick access toolbar arrow and commands

  2. Click the Choose Commands From arrow and choose: Commands Not in the Ribbon.  

    Commands Not In Ribbon command in list

  3. Scroll down until you see the Speak command.
  4. Click the Speak command in the list and then click the Add button.

    Click Speak command and then click Add

  5. Click OK. The command is now added to the Quick Access Toolbar.
  6. To use the command, highlight the text that you want read aloud and click the Speak icon on the Quick Access Toolbar.  

    Speak Command

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