Configuring Text To Speech In XP (Part I)

XP includes many different features that make it accessible to all different types of users. One such feature is the Narrator which uses Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology to enable XP to play back printed text in a pre-recorded spoken voice. This can be very useful if there are users on the network who have vision impairments and difficulty reading the text that is displayed on the screen.

In this series of articles I will outline how you can configure Text-to-Speech in XP and then use the Narrator to read the text that is displayed on the screen. This article assumes that your computer is equipped with a sound card and speakers.

Text-to-Speech in XP
A sound card and speakers is all you need to make XP talk to you. This is because XP is capable of playing back text in a spoken voice. The technology is referred to as Text-to-Speech (TTS). Not only is this technology useful for a person with visual impairments, but it is also useful for someone who is working on multiple tasks at one time.

Text-to-Speech in XP is made possible through a built-in driver called the TTS engine that is able to recognize text. It can play displayed text back using a pre-generated voice. Although it is a very useful technology, the engine included with XP provides limited text-to-speech functionality. If you frequently use text-to-speech, you can download third-party engines from other manufacturers that will offer more functionality.

In any case, if you’ve decided that text-to-speech is something you’d like to try out, be sure to read the next installment in this series to learn how you can configure the TTS engine.

[tags]text to speech, xp, tts, audio, computer generated, voice, diana huggins[/tags]

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