Gone are the days when it was almost impossible to get hands on a text to speech software as they were quite expensive. We are fortunate to live in times when most of everything is easily accessible including a text to speech software. Now we come across various options of text to speech free downloads on the internet that are designed to make the process of converting our text documents into audio files as easy as possible.
What is a Text to Speech Software
Basically, a text to speech software converts your text files into audio files. Such software is really helpful for people who are visually impaired. It can also be beneficial for those who have dyslexia and cannot properly read on the screen. Further to that, it can also help people who can read a certain language but cannot speak it or are in the process of learning it. This way it helps in overcoming language barriers for such people.
Some people also make use of a text to speech software when they just want to listen to a document while they are busy completing some other task. This might help them retain the information they’ve heard or sense-check something they’ve written.
Various free text to speech software available for downloading. Free text to speech online tools are also available. However, we would recommend you to download one.
Here are some of the best free text to speech software you can try for reading the text aloud:
Equipped with a built-in web browser and OCR, Natural Reader is a free text to speech software that can be used in a couple of ways. The first way is to load the text documents into its library and then make the software read them aloud right from there. This is quite an organized way of managing multiple files. This software also supports many file types including eBook formats. The built-in OCR lets you upload a scanned document and then reads it out loud for you.
The second way is with the help of a floating toolbar. While in this mode, you can highlight the text in any application and with the help of toolbar controls, you can start and customize text to speech. You can use this feature not only in your web browser but also word processor (word document) and a whole range of other programs. This software comes with a built-in web browser so you can easily convert your web context to speech.
Balanolka is another best free text to speech software available at the moment. It comes with a couple of interesting features. You may either copy and paste the text you want to convert into an audio file into the software or simply open a supported file format (PDF, DOC, and HTML) in the software directly. This software also allows saving the text file as an audio file with your own customizable voices. Different routes are available to achieve the desired output.
Apart from reading the text aloud, this software also holds the ability to save narrations as audio files in a different range of formats including WAV and MP3. It also lets you create bookmarks for lengthy documents to make it convenient to switch back to a specific location. Moreover, some excellent tools are also available to help you customize the pronunciation of the words to your preference.
Zabaware Text-to-Speech Reader
Following the likes of Natural Reader and Balabolka, Zabaware Text-to-Speech Reader also supports various file formats which can be opened directly in the software. You can also simply copy and paste text into the program.
This software converts any text you copy to the clipboard to audio file and WAV format which means that you can convert words from the website or the dialogue boxes that pop up on your screen to speech.
There might just be one downside of this software; it offers limited voice options. Only volume and speed settings can be customized unless you go ahead and play around with the pronunciation settings as well. However, if you want to get additional voices then you have to buy them for a $25 fee which is rather expensive.
WordTalk, developed by the University of Edinburgh, is a toolbar add-on for Microsoft Word that converts text to speech. Working just like an extension, this toolbar add-on is really helpful as it works with all the editions of MS Word and is easily accessible through the toolbar or ribbon present on Word. Using WordTalk is fairly easy and it also supports SAPI 4 and SAPI 5 voices which can be tweaked as per your liking.
With the help of this toolbar, individual words, sentences, and even paragraphs can be read aloud. Moreover, you can also save your narrations. By using a few keyboard shortcuts, you can get access to frequently used options rather quickly.
There is no doubt about the fact that Panopreter Basic is really quick and simple to use. It does live up to its name and helps to deliver free text to speech conversion without any add-ons. However, there are a few downsides to this software. The list of supported file types is fairly less which brings disappointment for the users. Even the level of voice customization is quite unsatisfactory. You cannot adjust any other setting apart from choosing a language, volume, and speed. Compared to the likes of other free text to speech programs, this one’s a little disappointing.
This software does support WAV format but it does not support MP3 which is quite unacceptable. Speaking of the layout, the dual-pane layout of the software is not really user-friendly and not very pleasant to work with. A lot of space seems to be wasted unless you are listening to text to speech conversation over there and also converting to an audio file at the same time.
In the end, it does get the job done which is to convert your text into an audio file, but we would still recommend others over this one.