Screenshot from my Computer
As writers, we know how valuable it is for us to hear our manuscripts read aloud. I recently learned something that I think might be valuable to all the writers out there.
If you write your manuscript in MS Word, you will need to save the document as a PDF file. (Simply go to file, then select print on the list, and then select the PDF printer you have installed on your computer.)
Open your PDF document and click on “View” on the tool bar at the top. You will see a selection that says, “Read Out Loud,” or something similar. After you click this, there will be an option to read the current page, or to read the whole document. There are also options to slow down or speed up the speech. At the bottom of the list will be a pause or stop option. You may need to go back to “View” and scroll down to “Read Out Loud” again to change your choices.
Make sure you have your speaker volume up and click on the choice you want; either read the page you are on, or read to the end of the manuscript.
It will also be a good idea to open your manuscript in MS Word and reduce both the PDF page and your MS Word page, so both fit on the screen. At least give yourself the option so that you can alternate between the two by minimizing the PDF file and stopping the speech. This will enable you to edit your document in MS Word as you hear it read. Remember to stop or pause the aloud reading, you will need to go to the View in the PDF file, scroll down to Read Out Loud, and you will see a “Pause” or “Stop” choice.
Of course, the voice on my PDF program is somewhat robotic sounding. I intend to replace it with a more natural sounding voice. There are some available if you Google around the internet for them. Some of them cost, but some of them are free and there is a variety of voices depending on your preference.
I am amazed to find this and although I haven’t really tried it to any extent yet, I wanted to share it with you. I think this will be a useful tool, if you can find a natural sounding voice to read your manuscript. I can’t post any links for this yet because I’m still researching this phase.