ReadOutLoud Text to Speech Reader

ReadOutLoud is a freeware text to speech reading program you can use to read aloud and listen to text you copy from anywhere, including emails, word processor documents, .pdf files or the internet. Like all free text to speech programs I am aware of, it uses the Microsoft default voice (Anna or Mark) that comes with Windows, as other more sophisticated voices cost about $35.00 per voice to buy. ReadOutLoud, however, unlike any other free text to voice program I know of, has a front end to Anna and Mark that greatly improves their pronunciation, especially of heteronyms, words that are spelt the same but pronounced differently. Our 'educated Anna,' while perhaps not as suave as her expensive sisters, is just as good at pronunciation, if not better. Certainly, there is a long list of words 'educated Anna' pronounces correctly that her aristocratic siblings get wrong, and this greatly enhances the listening experience. ReadOutLoud is also easy to use. At its simplest you can just highlight the text you want read, from any source, and click the 'Read Hilighted' button button to read it aloud. You can select multiple pages in Acrobat Reader, and most other apps, with 'Shift + PgDn'. For instance, to select five pages to read, click where you want to start, hold down the 'Shift' key and press 'PgDn' five times. (Note: when reading .pdf files, in Acrobat Reader and other apps, make sure you check the upper checkbox to avoid pausing after each line.)

To go straight to the Download Section to download the latest version of ReadOutLoud, please click here.

To go straight ReadOutLoud Help, please click here.

ReadOutLoud also includes a Speed Reading Trainer:

  • ReadOutLoud's Speed Reading Trainer coaches your eyes to scan reading material more effectively. It does this by progressively highlighting the text you paste into the window as you read it. After you have read each line you press the down arrow to highlight the line. At the end of the page the text automatically advances to the top of the next page so your reading is not interrupted.

ReadOutLoud Help:
  • The easiest way to get help: Most of the command buttons and both the check boxes have banners of text that come up below them when you mouse over them for a second or so, and between them these banners tell you just about all you need to know about using ReadOutLoud. For more detail, though, please read the following.

  • How to use ReadOutLoud: The simplest, and most common way of using ReadOutLoud is to just highlight the text you want read, from any source, then click the 'Read Hilighted' button. The highlighted text will be copied and pasted into the ReadOutLoud text window, displacing any previous text in the window, and be read out loud. In Acrobat Reader and most other applications other than webpages, you can highlight multiple pages quickly with 'Shift + PgDn'. If you wish to pause or stop the reading, you can then just press the 'Pause' button, which becomes the 'Resume' button you can resume the reading with. If you want to lower or raise the reading speed you can click the '<' or '>' button prior to doing the reading. The amount by which the speed is raised or lowered is shown at the bottom left of the window. If you want to change the speed after starting a reading, press 'Pause', change the speed, then click 'Read' to restart the reading at the new speed. During a reading the same '<' and '>' buttons can be used to skip back and skip forward one sentence for each click.

  • Reading Options: If you wish to write into the text window, or copy text from multiple sources into it before starting a reading, you can do so. You will need to highlight the text you want to use, copy it to the Windows clipboard with 'Ctrl + C', then click the 'Paste' button to paste it into the read window. The 'Paste' button clears any previous text from the window before pasting in your selection. You can then edit the text, or add more selections to it by copying them and pasting them into the read window with 'Ctrl + V'. You can also adjust the reading speed at this point. When the text to be read is ready, click the 'Read' button.

  • Adjusting the Volume: Click on the speaker icon at the right end of the Windows Task Bar (which is usually across the bottom of your screen). Adjust the volume slide bar to a level that is comfortable for you.

  • The F2 key and the 'Clear' button: The 'Clear' button will remove all text from the text box so you can type in words you may want spoken. You don't need to use the 'Clear' button before using either the 'Paste' or 'RH' buttons, as they both automatically clear previous text from the window before pasting the new selection in. The F2 key will copy the whole contents of the text box to the Windows clipboard, so you can transfer it to a word processor or editor if you want to save it.

  • The upper check box, if checked, will cause ReadOutLound to not pause after each carriage return when reading. This is needed for .pdf files which have a carriage return at the end of every line, where otherwise the continual pauses would make the reading sound very stilted.

  • The lower check box, if checked, will exclude any text or numbers within square brackets from the reading. With this, reference material can be put within square brackets, [], but it will not disturb the flow of your prose when you read it back aloud. Putting the mouse over these check boxes and some of the command boxes will cause tooltip banners to appear below them to remind you of what they do.

  • Using the Speed Reading Trainer: Click the 'Paste' button to put the text you have copied and want to practice with into the text box, then click the 'SR' button. You then press the down-arrow key after you've read each line. At the end of the page the text will advance to the beginning of the next page so there is no interruption to your reading. Once you have finished, press the same button again, now called 'X'.

Educating Anna:

    While I have 'taught' Anna to pronounce over one hundred words correctly that she previously didn't, this is bound to be an ongoing process. When you, while using ReadOutLoud, find words that Anna is pronouncing wrongly, please feel free to let me know what these words are, and I will do my best to correct Anna's translation of them. This is not always possible, but very often it is. I will email you back to let you know which of your words I was able to correct and which version of ReadOutLoud at my website will include the new pronunciations, so you can download it. So, if you wish to, please do help me 'educate Anna.' My email address is just below the Download Section that follows.

Download the latest version of ReadOutLoud:

    To install ReadOutLoud 1.20 (06/01/2017, 317 KB) on your computer, click here: ROLSetup.exe

    Then, choose to 'Run' ROLSetup.exe, or choose to 'Save' it to your computer and double-click the saved ROLSetup.exe to run it. Follow the simple instructions in the install program and ReadOutLoud will be installed on your computer. If you already have ReadOutLoud on your computer, and are updating to a newer version, you don't need to uninstall the old version - just install it as above, and it will replace the old program.

    If when you try to run ReadOutLoud you get an error message like this:

    Then also click on and run the following link to install MSVBVM50.DLL on your computer: msvbvm50.exe

    Alternatively, the first time you install, you can install ReadOutLoud 1.20 along with MSVBVM50.DLL 06/01/2017, 847 KB total) by clicking here: ROLOSetup.exe

Contact Information:

    If you have any questions about ReadOutLoud, or have any words you have found Anna isn't pronouncing correctly, and you'd like to let me know about so we can keep on educating Anna, please feel free to contact me:
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