How to Use PowerPoint Speak to Read Text Aloud
With PowerPoint presentations, you or an audio or video clip generally do all of the talking. But what if you want to give your voice a rest without disrupting the presentation?
Microsoft PowerPoint contains a built-in but hidden Speak function that enables it to read aloud the content of your presentation slides, similar to Word’s and Outlook’s Read Aloud features.
In this tutorial, you’ll discover how to set up and utilize Microsoft PowerPoint’s Speak function to read aloud your slides and power up your presentations, as well as how to control it.
How to Enable Speak in Microsoft PowerPoint
The Speak function has been available in PowerPoint since 2010, but many people are unaware of it since it is not shown in the Ribbon area or on the Quick Access Toolbar by default.
However, with a little modification, you can activate Speak on the Ribbon and QAT and have PowerPoint speak like your Google Assistant. Here’s how it’s done:
- Launch the PowerPoint desktop app.
- Click on File, then scroll all the way down to Options.
- Under PowerPoint Options, choose Quick Access Toolbar. Open PowerPoint, right-click on the Quick Access Toolbar under the Ribbon, and choose Customize Quick Access Toolbar…
- Change the option from “Popular Commands” to Commands Not in the Ribbon or All Commands in the “Choose commands from” menu.
- Drag the scroll bar all the way down, then click Speak. The instructions are alphabetical, so you may skip to “S.”
- Speak will be added to the “Customize Quick Access Toolbar” window once you click Add, then scroll down and click OK.
- Speak will be enabled by default for all documents in PowerPoint.
- Return to your Quick Access Toolbar, and the Speak button should be visible, although it may be inactive.
Related: Methods for Reading Text Out Loud on Android
How to Use Speak to Read Microsoft PowerPoint Documents Aloud
You may begin listening to your PowerPoint presentations after Speak is added to your Quick Access Toolbar or Ribbon. Here’s how it’s done:
- Open any existing document in the PowerPoint desktop program.
- Choose the section of the text that you want read aloud. This will make the Speak button in the Quick Access Toolbar available.
- When you click Speak, it will begin speaking or reading the specified text.
- Simply click on Stop Speaking to end Speak.
Unlike the Read Aloud functionality, Speak acts primarily as a play/pause button on the Quick Access Toolbar. It may also play in the background while you work on other things.
Related: TikTok’s Text-to-Speech Feature: Everything You Need to Know
How to Manage Speak in Microsoft PowerPoint
You’ll have to go via the Windows menu to change how Speak works. Here’s how it’s done:
- On your computer, press the Windows key and choose Control Panel.
- In the left pane, choose Speech Recognition, then Text to Speech. You may change the voice attributes, reading speed, and other text-to-speech options from here.
- To change the voice, use the Voice option dropdown menu. Your selections will be determined by the version of Windows you are using.
- To listen to your voice choices, click the Preview Voice button.
- By default, the voice speed is set to Normal. You may change this by sliding the slider between “Slow” and “Fast” to the left or right.
- Click OK when done.
Related: How to Use and Manage Microsoft Word’s Read Aloud Feature
Power Up Your PowerPoint Presentations With Speak
Whether you’re weary and overworked or have a speech handicap, you can use Speak to power up your PowerPoint presentations and let it do the talking for you. It may also be found in Word, Outlook, and OneNote.
Speak is definitely not as powerful or as easy to use as Read Aloud, maybe because PowerPoint already has various audio/visual features. However, it is enough for the fundamental responsibilities of assisting you in creating an audio presentation or reading another person’s presentation aloud.
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