How to get my computer to talk to me

Updated: 08/31/2020 by Computer Hope
Listening to PC talk

There are many different ways a user can get their computer to read text aloud to them or read text that is on their screen. Select a link below for information about specific programs or services available to have text spoken to you by your computer.

Blind or vision impaired users looking for accessibility solutions

Below are programs that help users who are blind or vision impaired browse a graphical environment, such Microsoft Windows, the Internet, or other portions of the computer.

Microsoft Windows Narrator and Magnifier - Although these programs are not as sophisticated as other solutions, they are free and included with Microsoft Windows. Both programs can be accessed by clicking Start, Programs, Accessories, Accessibility, and then clicking Magnifier or Narrator. Below is a brief description of each of these programs.

Magnifier - A great program that allows users who are vision impaired to magnify portions of the screen, allowing them to read and navigate their computer more easily.

Narrator - This program is intended more for the blind. It reads buttons, links, and portions of a window aloud to the user, allowing him or her to navigate. Unfortunately, this program is fairly limited but may help some users with their navigation.

JAWS - One of the most sophisticated and highly recommended programs, JAWS is a screen reader capable of reading almost everything on the screen. It is also capable of outputting the information to Braille. Unfortunately, because of all its capabilities and complexities, this program is one of the most expensive solutions.

Dolphin - Dolphin software Pocket Hal is a great program for the visually impaired and blind users for reading everything on the screen in almost every program. Dolphin also offers other solutions to help users receive an audio reading of their documents.

Users looking for programs to run on their computer to read text aloud

If you're looking for a program to install and run on your computer that reads text aloud, consider one of the below free programs.

Ultra Hal Text-to-Speech Reader - Another great, free Windows program that allows users to copy text to a program and have the text read aloud by various voices.

Users looking for speech synthesis on the Internet

Below are links to web pages that allow users to type and listen to speech synthesis over the Internet. Most of these pages only require a web browser and speakers (or headphones) to work.

AT&T TTS demo - One of the best freely accessible and sounding TTS (Text-To-Speech) synthesis programs online. It can convert typed text into an audio format and played all online without needing to download any software.

Perform a search for additional online text-to-speech programs.