Affinity Consulting Blog


With the recent release of Windows 10, much of the "talk" is about Cortana, Microsoft's new voice assistant. But if you are going to (wisely) wait to upgrade your primary office PC to Windows 10, you can still take advantage of the voice technology features built into Windows 8. This month's tip will describe Narrator and how to use it with Word.

These tips come from the excellent site How-To Geek. Here are the steps to have Word use Narrator to read documents to you:

1. In your Word file, click on the small arrow located in the “Quick Access Toolbar” and finding the “More Commands…” option.

2. Open the “Word Options” dialog box, click on the drop down menu that says “Popular Commands” and switch it to “All Commands.”

3. Scroll down until you find a command called “Speak” then click on it once to highlight it and press the “Add>>” button on the right.

If you look at the “Quick Access Toolbar” you will notice that there is a small “message box” with a gray arrow.

Now simply highlight the portion of the document you want Word to read to you. You can also have Word read the entire document by pressing “Control” and “A” at the same time (Ctrl+A). Once you have highlighted the text you want Word to read, simply click on the new "Speak" button you added to your Quick Access Toolbar.

If you don't like the way Word speaks to you, adjustments are easy. Press the “Start” button, type “Narrator”, and click on the icon that shows up. Next, click on the “Voice Settings” button and edit the Speed, Volume, and Pitch till you get a voice you like. Once you are done, press "OK".

Why have Word read to you? Sometimes your eyes are tires and you can't take another minute in front of your screen. Or your back hurts nad you need to stand up and walk around your office.

I like it for proofreading documents. My eyes don't always "see" errors on screen. When I don't have an editor/proofreader available, I can often catch more errors and correct them if I hear the documents read to me. Try having Word read documents to you and you may find your own favorite uses.

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