Tips & Tricks, Tutorials, Hacking, Troubleshooting,

One of the best proofreading techniques is to have someone read your work to you so you can hear errors you would not normally see. But, it takes time to find someone you trust enough to read what you write, not to mention most of us who write do so alone.

WordTalk is an add-in for MSWord that reads your documents to you, and even saves them into an MP3 file if you choose.

The program is available from and is absolutely free. It is designed for people with reading and writing disabilities, but as noted above, it has practical uses for all of us. The complete package is a 50mb download, so those with slower connections will be waiting awhile.

After running the install file in the usual manner, you must click on the newly installed program from the start menu.

wordtalk start A window will appear asking if you want to add the toolbar to Word. Click the first option that says Add WordTalk Toolbar to Word.

add word talk

Now you can open word, click add-ins and see the new toolbar.

wordtalk toolbar

The program is straight-forward and simple to use. The first icon on the toolbar that looks like a chat bubble will start reading your document from where your cursor is placed. The P will just read a paragraph, while the S will read a sentence and the W will read a single word. The crossed-out chat bubble will make the program stop reading, and the speaker icon will record your text as an MP3 or WAV.

In recording an MP3, you will not hear the text read as it records—it just automatically creates an MP3. So, you could save your documents to an MP3 player or cell phone and listen to them in car.

While WordTalk is quite easy to use, some people report receiving Visual Basic and .Net errors. If you encounter these errors, there are solutions on WordTalk’s FAQ.

WordTalk will work with MSWord 2003/XP and 2007. Older versions are not compatible. Foreign language voices will also work with WordTalk if the are installed on your machine.

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