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Toolbar Guide

1 of 6: Where to find the toolbar

Word 97 to 2003 :
you will find WordTalk on the main Word toolbar.

Word 2007 and above :
this is located under the 'Add-Ins' tab.

2 of 6: Toolbar Icons

Speak from cursor

Speaks the entire document starting from the cursor.

Speak paragraph

Speaks the paragraph containing the cursor.

Speak sentence

Speaks the sentence that contains the cursor.

Speak word

Speaks the word that contains the cursor.

Speak selection

Speaks the text that is selected.

Stop speaking

Stops the computer speaking.

Configure WordTalk

Opens a window to configure WordTalk.

Save sound files

Save text as a wav or mp3 file.

Save settings

Save your personalised settings.

Load settings

Load your personalised settings.

Talking spell check

Opens the talking spell checker.


Version number and copyright information.

3 of 6: Configuring WordTalk

You can adjust the WordTalk settings by clicking on the Configure button. It has four tabs - Speech, Colour, Keys and Options. The settings you select will be saved by WordTalk for use the next time, apart from the voice itself, which you must configure using the Speech Control Panel.

Configuring Speech

The Speed of the voice can be increased by dragging right along the speed bar and decreased by dragging left.

The Volume of the voice can be increased by dragging right along the volume bar and decreased by dragging left.

Clicking on the small down arrow on the right of the box below shows the voices available (usually Sam, Mike and Mary). Click on the voice name to choose the voice you want.

Configuring Colour

The colour tab lets you choose a background colour for the highlighted text, which many people find helpful. The highlighted text is the opposite of the background colour, i.e. clicking on dark blue gives blue background and yellow foreground; red gives red background and turquoise foreground. Blue, yellow, dark red or light gray are usually the best options.

Configuring Shortcut Keys

You can use keyboard shortcuts to control WordTalk instead of clicking on the toolbar. If you want to use shortcuts, tick the Keyboard shortcuts box, then OK.

Configuring Options

Saving and Loading Settings

If you would like your preferred settings in the Configure WordTalk window easily loaded on your next Word / WordTalk session, This can be done by Load Settings and Save Settings icons.

To save your settings click the Save Setting icon.

When you start up your next session, you can restore you settings by clicking on the Load Settings icon

This does not save the current voice you are using. To choose a default voice use the Control Panel as described in Setting a Default WordTalk Voice

4 of 6: Setting a Default WordTalk voice

When you start WordTalk it will use the PC's default voice. You can change the voice with the WordTalk Configure panel, but you may want to set it up so that WordTalk always uses a particular voice, by default.

To do this, open up the Speech Control Panel:

Now click the Text To Speech tab, and choose the voice you want to use. Please note that WordTalk will only work with SAPI 5 voices.

Extra voices for WordTalk

If you're in a Scottish school or educational establishment, or the public sector, you can get free high quality Scottish voices CALL's Scottish Voice website. You have a choice of listening with Heather, Stuart and Scottish Gaelic speakers can use the Ceitidh voice.

5 of 6: Talking Spell Check

Word has a fairly good spell checker, and the WordTalk spell checker uses the Word dictionaries with a few "phonic" enhancements. WordTalk also speaks the suggestions which can be helpful in some cases. To use the Word Talk spell check, click on the word to be checked and then click on the WordTalk spelling icon. (The talking spell-check will only check words that Microsoft Word considers to be misspelled.)

Listening to the suggestions

To listen to the suggestions, click on the word.

If a correct suggestion is found, select it and click Replace Spelling to correct the word.

Listening to synonyms

Sometimes it is useful to get a list of the synonyms of a suggestion, for example, to clarify the meaning. To do this, select the suggestion and then click on Find Synonyms . If there are any synonyms in the thesaurus dictionary they will be displayed in the synonym box. They can be listened to by clicking on them. If preferred the user can replace the word with one in the Synonym list be clicking on Replace Synonym .

If the spelling of the word checked was correct, a 'spelling correct' window will appear.

6 of 6: Saving Text as a Sound File

It may be useful to be able to listen to a piece of text away from Word or even the computer e.g. on a mp3 player or similar. To do this, select the piece of text to be converted to sound file, and then click on the Save as Sound File icon. The following window opens.

To save to Wave file, click the Save to Wave button. A Save window will appear enabling the user to choose the name and location of the file. The default is mywavefile and saves it to the WordTalk folder in Program Files.

To save to MP3 file, click the Save to MP3 button. A Save window will appear enabling the user to choose the name and location of the file. The default is mymp3file and saves it to the WordTalk folder in Program Files.