Have you ever spent hours writing an article or paper and despite re-reading it numerous times found an error you didn’t catch after it was turned in or published? Then try a TEXT TO SPEECH (TTS) program to have what you wrote read back to you from the computer. When you listen to what you have written your brain receives information in a different way and you may catch errors you didn’t realize that were there. 

There are many advantages to using aTEXT TO SPEECH program. When we READ SILENTLY we don’t realize that we are actually pronouncing every word we are reading in our heads. When we LISTEN to text that is being read to us, we aren’t pronouncing the words,  and after a period of time, our reading speed increases because there is no lag time pronouncing words in our head!

ttsiconhalf  BONUS:  Many TEXT TO SPEECH programs can also turn the audio file of what it is reading into a mp3 file that you can listen to between classes or better yet – – RIGHT BEFORE AN EXAM. Imagine converting your study guides, or textbooks to audio so you can study anywhere  – – anytime. 

Below are some summaries of testimonials directly from the Natural Reader program web site demonstrating the benefits of using aTEXT TO SPEECH program for many different students and professions. 

* A COMPUTER SCIENCE ENGINEERING STUDENT said he uses it after a long day of programming. In the evening his eyes are tired and he just wants to change gears and have a book or some motivational material read to him. 

* A LAW STUDENT uses the software because it helps her to read her cases in a matter of hours, not days. She loves the ability to convert her textbooks to a mp3 file that she can listen to on the go. 

* A TEXTBOOK AUTHOR uses it to proofread and said she found 80 typos that were not caught by editors or human proofreaders. 

* A Ph.D. STUDENT uses it to read journal articles, websites, email and his books. He also uses it to proofread what he writes. He uses the speed control feature to increase the reading speed and it allows him to get through more material per hour. 

* A NEW YORK PUBLICIST uses it for all of her work online. Not only does this give her eyes a break, but she converts the text to a mp3 file so she isn’t necessarily glued to a screen and can work on the go.

* A PRODUCTION COORDINATOR uses it to proofread and to edit and proofread online courses she co-authors. As a result, she says it has cut her editing time in half. 

* A TECH BLOGGER uses it (me) for proofreading and to listen to web sites, emails, articles, and books. My reading speed has increased drastically. In fact, my speed has increased so much my husband says it sounds more like chipmunks are reading to me! 

Interested in trying a TEXT TO SPEECH program? Below are two Windows programs I would recommend, and both have free trials available. NOTE: It may take a few days to get used to the process of listening versus reading. However, give it a fair chance and I promise you won’t be sorry.

MACs already have a TTS tool built in. Go to System Preferences, Speech, Text to Speech and check, “speak selected text when the key is pressed”. Then click SET KEY  and set a key combination that you will use to enable the computer to start reading the text you have selected. I use Command-Q.


Natural Reader  (ALSO HAS AN APP)

There is a free and paid version. The conversion to mp3 feature is an upgrade to a paid version $69.50. But, there are free conversion programs that will do this for you.


Was this article of interest to you? Do you think you will try out a Text To Speech program? Please let me know in the comments below. Also, if you have any questions about this article, or another – – I would love to answer them!

For mobile devices take a look at these articles.

Do you use a TEXT TO SPEECH program? If so, which one? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

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