XP, Vista, 7, and Windows 8 come with a built in voice database, which you can access via the Microsoft SAPI (Speech Application Programming Interface); in this guide, you’ll learn how to get your computer to say what you type using one of three methods.
Speak to Me!
(Method 1) The easiest way to access this feature is through the Windows speech settings. If you’d like quick access, there’s also a script you can use to access the SAPI via Visual Basic (see below)
- Press Start, type speech and click change text to speech settings
- Type what you want said in the preview pane and click Preview Voice
- Optional: Change the voice (options vary by operating system)
Method 2: Use a Quick Access Visual Basic Script
- Copy the following text and paste it into Notepad (Windows Key, type notepad, press Enter)
Thanks to Jon Davis for the condensed script.
- Save the file as speak.vbs
- Double-click on speak.vbs, type in your message, and press Enter
Have fun and be creative; you can have your computer greet you at login, for example. Having trouble with the script? See below for help.
Method 3: Use a Tool
If you’d rather skip the script, you can download the Windows Guides text to speech tool for quick access.
If the script didn’t work:
- Your browser may display quotation marks in a different character set. Go back to the Notepad file and replace all the quotes [ ” ] using your keyboard. Save the file and try again.
- If the script is error free but it’s still not working, you do not have the SAPI installed on your computer. Download download the SDK and SAPI here