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Friday, January 17, 2014

Fast Fiction Friday: Text-to-Speech

When it comes to polishing my manuscripts, my biggest help and time saver is a text-to-speech editor--or a little computerized voice that reads me my stories. You see, when I'm reading my own stories, I don't notice many spelling mistakes or garbled wording of sentences. I sound them out in my head the way I think they should sound--if written correctly. But with a computer reading to me, I notice so many problems I can't pick up on my own.

I used to do this on my Kindle, since it has a built-in text-to-speech editor, but just recently I discovered that I can also do this in MS Word! And it's already installed and a much more natural-sounding voice than on my Kindle. (To set this up, go up to the very top left hand corner of your MS Word screen. There are a few little icons there. Click on the far right one, which should read "Customize Quick Access Toolbar" when you mouse over it. Then choose "More Commands". Where it says "Choose Commands From" it will probably say "Popular Commands". Change this to "All Commands" and then scroll down in the commands box below until you find "Speak". Add it to the right hand box, and from then on, a little "Speak" icon will now appear in your Quick Access Toolbar at the top.)

Do you use text-to-speech to help you polish? If so, I'd love to hear what editor you use and how it works for you!

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