Sunday, 23 Jun 2024
Technology

9 Best Text to Speech (TTS) Software

Quite a significant portion of our computer time is spent reading digital textual content, whether online or offline. However, reading can be time-consuming and requires effort. This is where text-to-speech (TTS) software comes to the rescue. TTS applications make it easy to consume voluminous textual content by reading it aloud. They are also useful in language acquisition and assisting individuals with disabilities in learning.

In this article, we will explore nine of the best text-to-speech software available today.

1. NaturalReader

naturalreader

NaturalReader is a versatile TTS software that can read aloud text from various file types, including web pages. It can even read text from images and scanned documents using built-in OCR functionality. NaturalReader offers multiple natural-sounding voices, and additional voices in different languages can be purchased. The software also includes features like voice speed and pitch control, batch conversion of documents to MP3 files, and more.

Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP; Mac OS X 10.9 and later
Price: Paid versions start from $69.50, Free version available Download

2. Balabolka

balabolka

Balabolka is a must-have TTS software for those who read from a variety of files. It supports reading aloud from file types like DOCX, DJVU, PDF, EPUB, and RTF. Balabolka can read text directly from the clipboard and offers real-time adjustment of speech, pitch, and volume. The software also includes useful tools for batch file conversion and extracting text from audio files. It supports multiple languages and is available as a portable application.

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Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP
Price: Free Download

3. TextAloud

textaloud

TextAloud is not just a TTS software; it also functions as a textual content aggregator. It allows you to read single pieces of text or create a reading playlist with multiple texts. TextAloud can automatically grab text from the clipboard and supports multiple formats. The software provides a collection of natural-sounding voices, and additional voices can be purchased. It offers various options such as custom audio tags, spell checking, and more.

Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP
Price: Paid version costs $29.95, 20 days free trial available Download

4. Verbose

verbose

Verbose is a reliable TTS software that can read aloud text from various file formats, including email programs and websites. It has a straightforward user interface and offers voice pitch and speed control. However, Verbose has limited features compared to some other applications. It also includes a voice prompt in the unregistered mode, reminding users to purchase the software.

Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP
Price: Paid version costs $60.00, 14 days free trial available Download

5. SwiftTalker

swifttalker

SwiftTalker is a basic text editor that can read aloud text documents. It allows reading selected blocks of text or the entire document. The software comes with general options like play/pause and offers cool sound effects that can be applied to the voices. It supports languages such as English, French, German, and Italian. SwiftTalker is cross-platform but has limitations like a large install size and limited input format support.

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Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP; Mac OS X 10.6-10.8; Linux
Price: Paid voice packs start from $10.00, Free trial available Download

6. eSpeak

espeak

eSpeak is a lightweight TTS utility that works well despite its small size. It supports TXT and XML file formats and provides selectable voice choices. eSpeak offers basic voice control and reading options. It also supports a wide range of languages and can be used as a command-line tool.

Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP; Mac OS X
Price: Free Download

7. Zabaware TTS Reader

zabaware tts reader

Zabaware TTS Reader allows reading textual content copied into the application. It can monitor and read clipboard, emails, and webpages and can save read text as WAV files. The software includes a collection of voices, and it can automatically read standard window dialogs. This unique feature makes Zabaware TTS Reader useful as a personal assistant. However, the software has limited format support.

Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP
Price: Free Download

8. Adobe Acrobat Reader

adobe reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader, primarily a PDF reader, also offers basic TTS features. It includes a “Read Out Loud” feature that allows reading PDF files either per page or entirely. Users can enable this feature by selecting “View > Read Out Loud” in Adobe Acrobat Reader. It is a convenient option for occasional text-to-speech needs.

Platform Availability: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP; Mac OS X 10.5 and later
Price: Free Download

9. Mac OS X’s Text To Speech Feature

macosx texttospeech

Mac OS X users have a built-in text-to-speech feature that provides basic functionality without the need for third-party software. Users can enable Text to Speech in Mac OS X by going to “System Preferences > Dictation & Speech” and selecting the “Text to Speech” tab. From there, users can configure additional settings, download voices, and use key combinations to have text read aloud.

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Platform Availability: Mac OS X
Price: Free

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which text-to-speech software is the best for speech synthesis?
  • What are some basic text-to-speech software options?
  • Can I use Mac OS X’s native text-to-speech feature for reading text?

Conclusion

Text-to-speech software makes consuming digital textual content faster and more convenient. With a variety of options available, users can choose the software that best suits their needs. Whether it’s NaturalReader, Balabolka, TextAloud, or any other software mentioned, try them out and share your experience in the comments below.

Less reading, more listening!