Text speaker

Translate text on Web pages and other documents to speech with this program.

Read Aloud is a program that will read text aloud. It has two main interfaces, one for entering Web addresses that the program will browse to and read the text on aloud, and another tab labeled Textpad where you can paste text into a window to be read out loud.

We tested both aspects of the program. The first Web page we tried Read Aloud on was a Blogger page. The page mostly comprised text, and the program did very well reading it. The default voice is "Microsoft Anna," a pleasing female voice. The voice is a little halting at times, but we could understand everything easily nonetheless. Next we tried a Web page for a local cafe. The program read it well. Read Aloud doesn't read the Alt tags of photos, which something we'd like to see added. We tried some more complex Web pages like Facebook and Twitter, and Read Aloud worked with them, but the busy layout of Facebook made the reading chaotic. We were impressed that program did a good job reading the Twitter page, however. The Textpad feature is handy and quite functional. We copied some text from an e-mail into it, and the program translated it into speech flawlessly.

Read Aloud is free. It doesn't have any Help file that we could find but is easy to figure out. It performs a unique service that would be a great benefit to users with vision problems or reading difficulties, but Read Aloud is fun for anyone to use.

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