The Speak feature in Microsoft Office enables text-to-speech (TTS) in OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word. By downloading additional TTS engines for other languages, you can change the voice selection to hear the text read in those languages. TTS engines are also necessary to hear translations with the Mini Translator.
Important: The Speak feature will not work with Windows XP.
To learn how to use the TTS feature in Excel, see Converting text to speech in Excel.
What do you want to do?
Add TTS engines for other languages
To add other language engines, for free, you will need to the correct Speech Platform, and then you must download the TTS engines in the language(s) that you want.
Download the Microsoft Speech Platform
To download and install the Microsoft Speech Platform, follow these steps:
Determine which operating system platform that you have.
Go to the Microsoft Download Center, and then download the Microsoft Speech Platform for your platform.
Follow the instructions to install the speech platform on your computer.
Download additional TTS language engines
To download and install TTS engines in additional languages, follow these steps:
Select your TTS language from the following list.
Follow the instructions to install the TTS engine for the language that you selected.
Repeat steps 1 and 2 for any additional languages.
Restart your Office program for the changes to take effect.
Note: If you have a third-party TTS engine already installed on your computer, Speak will use that TTS engine rather than a Microsoft TTS engine that you have installed from the Download Center. For example, if you have a German TTS engine from another company and you also install the German Microsoft TTS engine from the Download Center, the third-party TTS engine will always be used. If you uninstall the third-party TTS engine, Speak will automatically use the TTS engine from the Download Center.
Add Speak to the ribbon or Quick Access Toolbar
Before you can use Speak, you’ll need to add it to the ribbon or the Quick Access Toolbar.
To learn how to add Speak to your ribbon, see Customize the ribbon in Office.
To learn how to add Speak to your Quick Access Toolbar, see Customize the Quick Access Toolbar
After you have installed the correct platform and language TTS engines, you can use Speak to hear the text playback in the language that you choose.
To hear the text playback, follow these steps:
Select the word or text string that you want to hear spoken.
Click Speak in the ribbon or your Quick Access Toolbar.
Click Speak again to stop the playback.
Note: Speak is disabled until you select text whose editing language matches one of your installed TTS engines.
Speak automatically knows which language to use, based on the proofing language you have set for your selected text. To learn more about using different languages in your file, see Check spelling and grammar in a different language. To learn more about hearing translations spoken with the Mini Translator, see See translations with the Mini Translator.