Tools I Use: Text to Speech

text to speech

Previously, I wrote about dictation and transcription services I use for speech-to-text.

Now imagine getting anything on your computer read back to you.

There is a little-known tool available on most computers called text to speech.

Why do I use this little-known tool meant for accessibility? I am not illiterate nor blind, but I do use this often because my ears are available more than my eyes are.

This is the same reason I listen to audiobooks and podcasts. Ears can take constant input. Eyes are needed for many things to see around you, guide you and also read.

If I need to “read” an online article, email or document (like an ‘exciting’ contract), this will read aloud all text as-is. Your computer may have multiple voices to choose from to read this text Verbatim.

  1. Find ‘text to speech’ in your system preferences.
  2. Select a voice you want to read the text and the rate of speed for the machine to read it to you.
  3. Memorize the hot keys to hit to activate this function
  4. Select some text on your internet browser or within a document.
  5. Hit the hot keys.

It will read just about any text to you so you don’t miss it.

Yes, you can control the rate of how fast or slow you want text read to you.

I use this text to speech to do the first passes of editing and proofreading of my eBooks.

Audio is faster than typing or reading (I speak fast too). This is the same reason why I recently adopted and use an Amazon Echo Dot. I can ask Alexa any of its 15,000+ different ‘skills’ which includes continuing an audio book from Audible.

Some apps call it ‘read aloud’ feature. Adobe Acrobat has this feature to read PDFs back to you as well.

Have you tried using text to speech to save yourself time?

Tools I use: Audiobooks

Audio guide icon isolated on white backgroundWhen it comes to consuming books, I prefer to consume and digest audiobooks. My ears are more available than my eyes. When I am driving, traveling, walking, showering, waiting anywhere…I listen to podcasts or audiobooks. Rarely do I listen to music. I would prefer to learn something.

Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks Audible is one of those great options for audiobooks.

Want to consume an audiobook or two? Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks

Tools I Use: Podcasts

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Podcasts I listen to

I listen to a lot of podcasts, including:

The Economist

The Mentee Podcast

99% Invisible

Seeking Wisdom

The Tim Ferriss Show

Why listen to podcasts?

Your ears are more available than your eyes. You can use headphones or earbuds.

Unless you need dead air (silence), why not consume some audio content?

If you are waiting (commuting, traveling, in line) somewhere, why not learn something new instead of vegetating in place?

Do you like good content? Pick a topic. There is a podcast about it.

Do you like good content that is free to download and consume? How much of your content is free vs. paid for? All podcasts worth listening to are free.

Podcasts of my own

Another DAM Podcast

Podcast about Digital Asset Management

Tagging.tech

Podcast comparing human-generated information to computer-generated information

Rights.tech

Podcast about Rights Management

There is another series coming in January 2017