Microsoft's Text-to-Speech application allows you to hear sections of text read out loud by a synthesised voice. This can be particularly useful for visually impaired users and others with accessibility issues. On the Windows XP operating system, the default voice was called Microsoft Sam. The voice was updated on Windows Vista to Microsoft Anna. This newer voice was less robotic-sounding than Microsoft Sam but was not compatible with Windows XP. If you want to add new voices to Text-to-Speech on XP, you can download two older alternate voices, Microsoft Mike and Microsoft Mary, from Microsoft.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Go to the Microsoft Download Center and search for "Microsoft Speech SDK 5.1." Click "Download" and tick the box for the file "Sp5TTIntXP.exe." Click "Next" then select "Open" or "Run this program from its current location" to install the voices.
Click "Start" then "Control Panel." Double-click "Speech" then click the "Text-to-Speech" tab. Click "Voice Selection" to see a list of installed voices.
Click a new voice to select it. Click "Preview Voice" to hear what it sounds like. You can change the text in the preview box to hear how it says different things. If you are happy with the voice, click "Apply" to set it as your new active voice.
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