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Have Your Computer Read Your Writing Back to You

Page history last edited by Stuart Froman 7 years, 6 months ago

A great way to proofread your writing is to have your computer read it back to you using "text-to-speech." By doing this, you'll hear many mistakes, especially missing words and letters, but reading along with the sound also forces you to focus on every word, so you see mistakes (e.g., their vs there) that you might otherwise scan over. Hearing the writing can also help you detect errors of style, such as long, convoluted sentences and the use of cliches and jargon.

 

While text-to-speech is a great proofreading tool, it's no substitute for the practice of reading quality prose aloud as a way to train your ear in the music of English.

 

Here are links to instructions for getting your computer to read your writing back to you.

 

1. Microsoft Office on a PC

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/using-the-speak-text-to-speech-feature-HA102066711.aspx

 

2. Microsoft Office on a Mac

(Thanks to Scott Roberts for these links)

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-use-text-to-speech-in-mac-os-x-lion.html

http://mac2.microsoft.com/help/office/14/en-us/word/item/8e3ee30f-325e-48f3-a59b-a5d842b3a96a

 

3. Other applications

This free download is a little cumbersome but allows you to get text-to-speech in other applications.

http://www.naturalreaders.com/download.php

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